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The little I know about Saudi Arabia

by Mike

To be honest, I know very little about Saudi Arabia. The western world tends to lump all of the middle east together and judge them based on the actions of a small few, so I'm also not sure how accurate the little information I have on Saudi Arabia actually is.

So what does come to mind when I think of Saudi Arabia?

Well, first of all is oil. I know Saudi Arabia has a lot of oil and also a lot of money because of that oil. I was interested to see how much oil they had, so I recently looked it up and saw that Saudi Arabia has around 25% of the world's oil and it makes up 95% of their exports. That's a lot of oil!

The other thing that comes to mind is obviously religion, especially since Islam is the only religion that you're allowed to exercise in Saudi Arabia.

The final thing I know is that Saudi Arabia does not have a great view on women and their rights. They don't have that many since they are by law required to have a male guardian which in essence makes their rights the same as a minor in other countries.

I noticed a little bit of this when I applied for my international drivers license before I came to Japan and I just went through the different rules for different countries and noticed that women are not allowed to drive cars in Saudi Arabia. And I even think (I'm not 100% sure on this though, so don't quote me on it!) that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world which does not allow it.

It's hard to differentiate what is fact and what is just western media fearmongering when it comes to the middle east. I would love to know what is true and what is not, but I wouldn't be that comfortable in going there. Even if I had the statistics in front of me telling me it is very safe to go there, it is hard to get rid of this subconscious image regarding the middle east that has been grinded into our minds by the media and I just feel I would be afraid walking around on the streets.

I don't know, perhaps I have watched too much Homeland.

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