10 Things, Western World may not know about Saudi Arabia

Todd Holmstrom is a high-rank member of the US Foreign Service and came to Jeddah in 2014. Holmstrom is a married man and has four children. He can speak many languages such as Arabic, French, and Dutch. Todd Holmstrom, US Consul General in Jeddah shares his views about Saudi Arabia. He mentioned 10 things which American might not know about Saudi Arabia.

1-Glorious Places: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a home of wonderful and glorious places. Especially this achievement places Jeddah firmly in the forefront of significant architectural modernization such as Tallest Water Fountain which is known as King Fahd's Fountain or Jeddah Fountain, is the tallest on the west coastline of Saudi Arabia.

Tallest Flagpole also is known as Jeddah Flagpole located at King Square in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Biggest Outdoor Television Screen gives an energetic appearance to Jeddah city. The architecture of the screen was designed, set up by French company Citiled.

Soon, the World’s tallest Skyscraper will be built in Jeddah.  It is a tall, comfortably livable building under construction in Jeddah. Construction on Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower began in 2014. The new, tallest building will cause to seem the Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai mall.

Saudi Arabia was not as conservative before 1979 as it is today. There was a time when women used to travel all around the Kingdom without wearing an abaya. Following is the picture of an American tourist group at Al Hada mountain. The situation change after the 1979 attack on Makkah.

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2-Historical Places: There are many things to do and see in Saudi Arabia. Petra ruins in Jordan is much famous in the US for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system but as compared to that Madain Saleh in Saudi Arabia where I visited with my family this year, is a place of the multitude of cultures and equally beautiful but not well known in the US.

In my journeys around the Kingdom, I’ve loved sights of the various histrionic desert sceneries near Al-Ula, the coral banks of the Red Sea, and the mountainous landscape of Baha and Abha. Recommended: Places to Visit in Abha

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3-Wedding ceremonies are rich and bright functions with full of colors. In Saudi Arabia, the arrangements on marriage ceremonies are held separately for male and females.

Though, sometimes during the wedding ceremony or in the end of the function the bride and groom get together. Recommended: 6 Features of Saudi Wedding Ceremony most of you don't know

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4-American Restaurants: There are many sets of American restaurants in many different locations of Jeddah as compared to Michigan.

Americans might be surprised to see chain restaurants of Fuddruckers, Shake Shack, and On the Border, in Jeddah as they are expecting to see McDonalds and Starbucks. Recommended: 7 Best Restaurants in Jeddah to visit on a weekend

5-Payer Time: When there is a prayer time, everyone will set aside everything and go for prayers. Saudi Arabia may be the only Muslim country where everything such as shops, gas station etc. are remained close during prayer timings, during five Salah of the day. Recommended: Every Shop, Business, Mall closes at prayer time – The beauty of Saudi Arabia

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6-Female workforce: Women signify the fastest developing sector of the Saudi labor force. Female work force participation is a driver of growth and increase of economic development.  And women are gradually involved in influencing every aspect of life in Saudi Arabia.

7-Social Media Users: The ratio of social media users in Saudi Arabia is more than America. A greater percentage of the Kingdom’s youth uses social media. The popularity of social media is mostly among the age group of 26 to 34, many of them use Twitter.

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8-Entrepreneurship: Most of the Young persons are interested in having their own businesses. They want their personal businesses.

That is the reason when I asked the majority of the Saudi student about their future plans or what they want to be after completing graduation, the answer I get most of the time is a businessperson.

9-Hijri Calendar: Saudi Arabia follows a lunar Hijri calendar. A lunar calendar is consisting of 12 months in a year having 354 days or 355.

By tradition, this is based on the sighting of the crescent or depending on the visibility of the moon which shows the end of the previous month and beginning of the new month.

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10-Dates: There are more than 14 different kinds of dates in Saudi Arabia. A huge quantity of Saudi date cultivars is available and grown. These all are delicious and healthy. Recommended: 10 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Eating Ajwa Dates

Source: Saudi Gazette