UMRAH means visiting the Holy Mosque in Mecca at any time of the year.
It inlcudes 7 complete turns around the Kaaba (House of God) as well as 7 laps between Mt. Safa and Mt. Merwah. One lap is approximately 500m.
Performing Umrah can last for a short period of time (approximately 1 hr for a fit person).
a. There is no age limit when performing Umrah
b. Special white cloth has to be worn with no undergarments for men
c. Women must uncover their faces and wear an ordinary dress.
Muslims celebrate 2 EID's in a year.
First: EID AL FITR - This is celebrated after completion of Ramadan
They celebrate by giving gifts & visiting relatives.
Second: EID AL ADHA - This is celebrated after completion of Hajj
They celebrate by slaughtering a sheep as a tradition carried from the time of Prophet Abraham. They also visit relatives and give gifts.
Saudi names usually consist of 3 to 4 names or more.
It i s part of their tradition that the children carry the name of their father and their grandfather plus their surname.
Fahad Abdulrahman Hamad AlGaeed
Fahad is the first name given by the parents, Abdulrahman is the name of the father, Hamad is the name of the grand Father while Algaeed is their surname.
Though the ladies name are constructed on the same manner....however, when they get married...they do not used the surname of their husbands.Their names remain the same, meaning they will still used their maiden names.
Most of the names consist of 2 words.
ABDUL = fixed prefix, while RAHMAN - is one of the names of GOD, believed to have 99 names.
Marrying a Saudi
Marrying a Saudi is not an easy thing to do...i am talking about the processing of the papers/documents.
During the year 1985, Saudi government banned Saudi men from marrying any foreigner except within the Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman) though they are not restricted by religion not to marry a Non Muslim or someone out of the gulf states.
The only thing that will somehow stop them from doing such is getting the PERMIT from the government. This permit will take years (as per hubby) to get..and so u need alot of patience and a certain amount of money to keep your papers moving from the Ministry of Interior.
So, Even if you have a legal marriage in a different country (like me in Philippines) it will not be acknowldged here in Saudi Arabia not unless your husband is holding the permit from the M.I.
The classic Saudi way of greetng is to give 4 kisses.One on the left cheek and 3 on the right cheek. This apply to both sexes (male to male; female to female)
As for the elders, one way of showing respect is to kiss the right hand and the forehead aside from the kisses on the cheeks.
It is very common for male friends to hold hands in public but this doesn't necessarily mean they have special relationship :-)
HAJJ is the 5th pillar of Islam and is obligatory to all Muslims to perform this pilgrimage once in their lifetime.
It is being performed on a specific time of the year. According to the Hijra Calendar (Arabic Calendar), it is during the 12th month namely Dhul Hijjah.
It is performed from 9th until the 13th of the Dhul Hijjah month wherein the most important day is the 2nd day where Muslims stand on the Mt. Arafa.
Conditions of Hajj:
a. Must be an adult - Over 14 yrs of age
b. Must be able to afford the cost to perform Hajj. Borrowing of money to perform Hajj is not allowed.
a. Special White clothes has to be worn when performing the pilgrimage. It is made up of 2 pieces of white cloth: (FOR MEN)
Upper part: Ihram
Lower part: Izar
***No other undergarments or any clothes should be worn underneath for men.
As for women, they have to uncover their faces and wear an ordinary dress***
Ladies Role in the Society
As the time evolves, little by little Saudi women are actively being part of manly dominated country.Dont get me wrong, manly dominated - doesnt mean women are second class citizens but moreso their typical idea of a woman is someone who takes care of the house, her husband and family.
Like i said, slowly they take part in the society.They have Saudi bank employees (exclusive for ladies) while majority of them are teachers.
Most of the women who are working here in Riyadh either white collar jobs or blue collar jobs are from the Philippines, India, Africa,Lebanon and South Africa.
Arabs in general, Saudi's in particular are very much into hand language. They use their hands when they talk.
They wave their fingers & flip their hands from one side to the other.
Sometimes they might point their finger at you, they do not mean anything negative.
Also, most of the Sauid men when they talk it is on a higher tone as if they're into argument.
Fret not! coz its just a normal thing for them :-)
Until the present time, the Saudi society consists of many TRIBES like Shammar, Anaza, Otayba and Motair just to name a few.
If you belong to a tribe means you're a pure Saudi (by birth and by blood) A non-Tribal are the ones who just migrated from other countries long time ago and settled after Hajj in Mecca and Medina.
It is very common to see someone tribal who cannot marry or deprived the right of marrying a non tribal individual.
Get Well Soon!
Here in Saudi Arabia, visiting a sick family member, friend or relatives and wishing him/her to get well soon, chocolates, dates and arabic coffee are usually the things that a visiting person brings.
My sister in law just had her operation few days back and my hubby told me that we will visit her soon. I told him that we should bring her fruits, biscuits or milk ( these are the things that we ususally give in the Philippines) but to my surprised hubby told me that we will get her Belgian chocolates or cake. hmmmm....
In the photo is a sample of the chocolate present to wish her "get well soon".
Miswak is made from a twig of certain trees which Saudi locals (some) used as a natural toothbrush.
It doesnt only gives a person a fresh breath but it also strengthens the gums and prevents tooth decay.
To use this, you have to bite one end of the twig and then the fiber will come out which looks like a regular bristle of a toothbrush. Rub it to your teeth as if your using the regular brush.
Riyadh men's greeting...
is to touch nose of your guest by your nose two or three times. This represents the highness and proud dignity. If you want to insult someone, just show pity for their nose.
This greeting can be seen on TV when the princes receive their guests, and among ministers.
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel
Latest head-fashion for Saudi females
Since one to two years fashion-oriented girls and women cover their head as follows:
Their use a face-cover with two sheets of different lenghts and bigger wholes for the eyes.
Once they had fixed this face-veil around their head they take the remaining end of their headveil laying it over their upper-head again.
Oh, some of them look extremely beautiful in it.
Imagine they have the right eye-make up, wearing expensive italian Designer bags suitable to their first class black Abayas, expensive italian designer shoes, moving their slim and tall figurein the right way
you forget all Naomi Campbells and Claudia Schiffers around the world.
- Arts and Culture
This consists of two pieces, the external called 'degla' which is fancier than the inside one, which is called 'thobe'.
It's a fasion today for a groom's dress.
It's usually costy; SR500-5000.
You can see men dancers who hold the Saudi flags, dressing degla. When they lift up their arms for the flag, their sleeves lift down long--sign of pride and honor.
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Saudi Picnics and Camping
Just as Americans and Europeans like to commune with nature, so do the Saudis. For them, the desert is nature, and a puddle of fresh water after a brief rain is heaven. There are no rivers or lakes, just empty desert expanse. Many Saudis have relatively permanent tents complete with electricity, A/C, and satellite TV in their backyards or in designated areas outside of town. The men go, sit around and smoke the waterpipe, play cards, eat dates, and drink the unroasted Arabic coffee. Women gather in a separate tent and share fashions and conversation any women might elsewhere in the world. Family picnics and car camping are also popular, particularly for those with lower incomes. Any desert shrub becomes a shade tree under which a car can be parked.
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture