Culture

Population

The population of Saudi Arabia is 26,534,504 compared to the US which is 307,006,550.  Most of the population lives near the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf but there still is a large portion that live inland, in and around the city of Riyadh.  Riyadh in addition to the city of Jeddah are the two biggest cities in the country.  Riyadh, the capital, houses 4.725 million Saudi Arabians while Jeddah houses 3.234 million.  82 percent of the population live in urban area while the rest live in rural communities.

Agriculture

Saudi Arabian cultivate crops such as wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, and citrus.  Their diet consists of basic ingredients such as fava beans, wheat, rice, yogurt, dates, chicken and lamb.  Traditional dishes include Kapsa (Chicken and Rice), hummus, and Tabbouleh (Bulgur Wheat Salad).  Fatir, which is a type of flat bread, is served with every meal and is used as an eating utensil to scoop up food, kind of like tortillas.  Beverages such as Laban Drink (Yogurt Drink) and Qahwa (Arabic Coffee) are also consumed.  Saudis do not eat pork or drink alcohol due to the strict Islamic law.

Industry and Tourism

Saudi Arabia’s economy is centered around the huge oil reserves that are found within its borders.  The country contains one-fifth of the world’s petroleum reserves and is the world’s largest exporter of oil.  Most of the countries industry is oil based but you can also find jobs in these areas:  manufacturing of plastics, cement, metals, fertilizers, construction, commercial ship repair, and commercial aircraft repair.

The city of Jeddah, which lies on the coast of the Red Sea, is a popular spot for aquatic sports because of its proximity to coral reefs.  The Asir National Park is a vegetation filled, mountainous piece of land that is located in the southwestern part of the country.  Mount Jabal Soodah is one of Saudi Arabia’s highest mountains (10,522 feet above sea level) making it a huge tourist attraction.  Although the country exhibits desert like conditions these tall peaks in the Asir National Park can sometimes produce snow fall.

View of mountain ranges from one of the picnic sites at the Asir National Park.
Source: http://www.splendidarabia.com/location/asir/asir_national_park/

Cultural Activities

The Islamic faith requires every able-bodied Muslim to journey to Saudi Arabia for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca called Hajj (the fifth pillar of Islam).  Thousands of Muslims from around the world come to Mecca to celebrate this joyous occasion making this one of the world’s largest pilgrimage.  On the ninth day of Hajj, Muslims travel to Mount Arafat where they pray and read passages from the Quran near The Hill of Forgiveness (Jabal Al Rahmah) where the Prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sa.html

http://www.foodbycountry.com/Kazakhstan-to-South-Africa/Saudi-Arabia.html

http://www.splendidarabia.com/location/asir/asir_national_park/

http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/sports_and_rec/tourism.aspx

http://www.sauditourism.com.sa/en/

http://www.saudiembassy.net/issues/hajj/

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One Response to Culture

  1. Jennifer Miller says:

    I really like the population picture you chose! it has a lot of detail, and describes what you said above, where most of the people live in Saudi Arabia. It was also intersting that the trip to Mecca was in Saudia Arabia, and the detail you brought towards their culture, about the food they eat, what they can’t eat, and also what they grow in the country. very well done.

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