Saudi Arabia

By Zach Becher

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Saudi Arabian Flag

Saudi Arabian Flag Meaning:
Green is a traditional Islamic color which is linked to the prophet Mohammad who founded Islam and to the Fatimid dynasty. The white text, called the Shahada, is the Muslim Statement of Faith. It translates in English to "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is the Prophet of Allah." The sword is a symbol of justice and represents Abdul Aziz ibn Saud who was the first Saudi King.
Saudi Arabian Flag History:
The current Saudi Arabian flag was adopted on March 15, 1973. The white sword was added to the flag in 1906 and there have been a few slight modifications to the flag, the latest being in 1973.
Interesting Saudi Arabian Flag Facts:
Arabic text reads from the right to the left.
The Saudi Arabian national flag is only allowed for official purpose. The country's citizens are supposed to fly a plain green flag with a golden palm tree over two crossed swords in the upper right corner.

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Physical Geography
Area:
total: 2,149,690 sq km
country comparison to the world: 14
land: 2,149,690 sq kmwater: 0 sq kmCoordinates: 25 00 N, 45 00 ELocation: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of YemenClimate: harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremesTerrain: mostly uninhabited, sandy desert



Population26,131,703



Economy

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Saudi Arabia has an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. It possesses about 20% of the world's proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 80% of budget revenues, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. Saudi Arabia is encouraging the growth of the private sector in order to diversify its economy and to employ more Saudi nationals. Diversification efforts are focusing on power generation, telecommunications, natural gas exploration, and petrochemical sectors. Almost 6 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly in the oil and service sectors, while Riyadh is struggling to reduce unemployment among its own nationals. Saudi officials are particularly focused on employing its large youth population, which generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs. Riyadh has substantially boosted spending on job training and education, most recently with the opening of the King Abdallah University of Science and Technology - Saudi Arabia's first co-educational university. As part of its effort to attract foreign investment, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in December 2005 after many years of negotiations. The government has begun establishing six "economic cities" in different regions of the country to promote foreign investment and plans to spend $373 billion between 2010 and 2014 on social development and infrastructure projects to advance Saudi Arabia's economic development




Government
monarchy


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Country Name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
conventional short form: Saudi Arabialocal long form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyahlocal short form: Al Arabiyah as SuudiyahCapital City:
name: Riyadh
geographic coordinates: 24 38 N, 46 43 EExecutive Branch:
chief of state: King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 1 August 2005); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SULTAN bin Abd al- Aziz Al Saud (half brother of the monarch); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 1 August 2005); Deputy Prime Minister SULTAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud; Second Deputy Prime Minister NAYIF bin Abd Al-Aziz Al Saudcabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch every four years and includes many royal family members elections: none; the monarchy is hereditaryLegislative Branch:
Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (150 members and a chairman appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms); note - though the Council of Ministers announced in October 2003 its intent to introduce elections for a third of the Majlis al-Shura incrementally over a period of four to five years, to date no such elections have been held or announced

Judicial Branch:
Supreme Council of Justice
National Anthem:
name: "Aash Al Maleek" (Long Live Our Beloved King)




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Customs
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Meeting Etiquette. Men shake hands. Good friends may greet each other with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek.
. Women generally hug and kiss close friends.
. Men and women would not greet each other in public I from outside the family.
. When Saudis greet each other they take their time and converse about general things.
Gift Giving Etiquette
Gifts are not the norm as in many other countries.
. If you are invited to a Saudi's house bring something small as a thank you.
. Flowers do not make good gifts from a man, although a woman could give them to her hostess.
. Never give alcohol unless you are positive they partake.
. Gifts are not opened when received.

Dining Etiquette
. Saudis socialize primarily in restaurants and international hotels when entertaining expatriates whom they do not know well. After some time you will be invited to the home.
. Entertainment will generally be same-sex only. If both sexes are included, they will be in separate rooms.
If you are invited to a Saudi's house:
. You would usually remove your shoes.
. Dress conservatively.
. Try to arrive at the invited time. Punctuality is appreciated but not crucial.
. Show respect for the elders by greeting them first.
. Accept the offer of Arabian coffee and dates even if you do not normally drink coffee.
. If you are invited for a meal, understand that there will be a great deal of socializing and small talk before the meal is served.
Table manners
. If the meal is on the floor, sit cross-legged or kneel on one knee..
. Eat only with the right hand as the left is considered unclean.
. Try a bit of everything that is served.
. Meals are generally served family-style.
. Honoured guests are often offered the most prized pieces such as a sheep's head so be prepared!
. There is often more food than you can eat. Part of Saudi hospitality and generosity is to shower guests with abundance.
. There is little conversation during meals so that diners may relish the food.


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Culture
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Islam is practised by all Saudis and governs their personal, political, economic and legal lives. Islam was born in Saudi Arabia and thus is visited by millions of Muslims every year. The Prophet Muhammad is seen as the last of God's emissaries (following in the footsteps of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc) to bring revelation to mankind. He was distinguished with bringing a message for the whole of mankind, rather than just to a certain peoples. As Moses brought the Torah and Jesus the Bible, Muhammad brought the last book, the Quran. The Quran and the actions of the Prophet (the Sunnah) are used as the basis for all guidance in the religion.
Among certain obligations for Muslims are to pray five times a day - at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. The exact time is listed in the local newspaper each day. Friday is the Muslim holy day. Everything is closed. Many companies also close on Thursday, making the weekend Thursday and Friday.
During the holy month of Ramadan all Muslims must fast from dawn to dusk and are only permitted to work six hours per day. Fasting includes no eating, drinking, cigarette smoking, or gum chewing. Expatriates are not required to fast; however, they must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in public.
Each night at sunset, families and friends gather together to celebrate the breaking of the fast (iftar). The festivities often continue well into the night. In general, things happen more slowly during Ramadan. Many businesses operate on a reduced schedule. Shops may be open and closed at unusual times.

Family Values
. The family and tribe are the basis of the social structure.
. As is seen in their naming conventions, Saudis are cognizant of their heritage, their clan, and their extended family, as well as their nuclear family.
. Saudis take their responsibilities to their family quite seriously.
. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close.
. The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family.
. Nepotism is considered a good thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of primary importance.







Ethnic/Religious Make-Up
Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%
100% Muslim


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Question1. The only religion allowed in Saudi Arabia?A. ChristianB. JudaismC. HinduismD. Muslim2. What colors are the Saudi Arabian flag?A. Red, White, and BlueB. Blue, white, and greenC. Red and whiteD. green and white



5 Problems1. Low industry rate2. Take out all other religions3. End terrorist groups4. Drugs5. monarchy

5 Solutions1. Industrialize2. census3. major army project4. Enforce it better5. Democracy