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Americans vs. Saudi Arabia

by Nikki
(Chofu, Tokyo, Japan)

As a whole, I would say many of the American people I know have a highly negative view of Saudi Arabia. It usually ranges from the oil crisis to their different way of life, but 90% of the time it boils down to religion. I find this to be a highly unfair judgment in many ways.

To be fair, I have never been to Saudi Arabia, or had a close relationship with any Saudi person, so my knowledge of Saudi Arabia is through the news and the media. Unfortunately, on most American networks, middle eastern people are portrayed very poorly, but I prefer to do my research before accepting that portrayal - or at least remain neutral on the topic entirely, if possible.

In my opinion, many Americans just accept the image. It fuels their fears of the middle east, because it is a place that the average American person does not know very much about. In fact, most people I have spoken to on the subject just know that the people there are Muslim and they (with varying degrees of directness) caused 9/11.

To be honest, it really makes me sad to hear that kind of thing. I am really glad that we are learning about Saudi Arabia, because I love to learn about other cultures, and I would like to learn something besides the negativity that is usually shown.

(Also I took a course in art history, and mosques are gorgeous!)

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