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Saudi Arabia - Research Paper Example

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Saudi Arabia is a kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula, which is ruled by a king who combines legislative, judicial, and executive functions when administering the country. Either the law of the country is generally made by a royal decree from the king or the constitution of this…
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Saudi Arabia is a kingdom in the Arabian Peninsula, which is ruled by a king who combines legislative, judicial, and executive functions when administering the country. Either the law of the country is generally made by a royal decree from the king or the constitution of this state is the Quran. Although this country is often perceived to be a totalitarian state by many people in America, its political system has worked for the last century and not only has it done this, but it has also led to a great deal of development for its people. The Saudi Arabian government has used the oil wealth of the country for the benefit of its people and it has put a lot of investment not only in infrastructure but also in education (Khatib, 2011). In fact, it can be said that some of the infrastructure in Saudi Arabia is better developed than that in the United States. The cities of this country are also very well planned and built and these are designed in very modern architecture. It is actually a breathtaking site when one approaches a Saudi Arabian city from a distance; it is truly an image of a beautiful oasis in the desert. This country has a very extensive social welfare system that caters for all its citizens and one could dare argue that the Saudi Arabian social welfare system actually functions better than the one in the United States (Wiley, 1999).
Many in the United States believe that since Saudi Arabia is a traditionalist society, it does not have the necessary development to be in the modern world. The American image of Saudi Arabia is one of nomadic Arab tribesmen moving from place to place in the desert with nothing better to do than breed religious fanatics (Kamran, 2000). This image of Saudi Arabia is a very bad stereotype of the people of this state because most of the population of this country stopped their nomadic lifestyle more than half a century ago and in fact, many today live in the urban areas. The people of Saudi Arabia have adopted many of the ways of the Western world and this include the use of cars to travel instead of camels, many wear Western clothing (especially the men), and most of all, they live in houses which have been built in the modern style.
The popular opinion in the United States is that Saudi Arabia is an extremely fanatical society when it comes to religion (Harris, 2003). This image only applies to a few of the people in this society because the majorities are surprisingly very liberal in matters concerning religion. Moreover, they only appear to be fanatical because of their obedience to the Ulema, which is the leading religious authority in Saudi Arabia and has a very direct role in the government of the country alongside the royal family (Brown, 2009). Very few people in Saudi Arabia share the same religious point of view as that which is propagated by the various fanatical groups such as the Taliban. In fact, most Saudis tend to display the same kind of liberalism that is displayed by the other Arabs in the Middle East. The American perceptions of Saudi Arabia have been clearly fueled by the media’s portrayal of it and the only way to learn the truth about it is to see it for oneself.
References
Brown, L. C. (2009). Kingdom without borders: Saudi Arabia’s political, religious, and media Frontiers/Religion and politics in Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism and the state. Foreign Affairs, 88(3), 179-180.
Harris, D. A. (2003, Jun 07). Seeds of hate in Saudi Arabia. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.ajc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=ijITI2PHKoG&b=1531915&ct=1152561
Kamran, M. D. (2000). Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia: The shape of a client feudalism. The Middle East Journal, 54(3), 479-480.
Khatib, A. M. (2011). The effect of the increase in oil revenue on government expenditures on education in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 3(2), 74-76.
Wiley, J. (1999). Saudi Arabia, land of contrasts: Some keys to (understanding) the kingdom. Focus, 45(3), 28-32. Read More
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