Herman Nootix in Saudi Arabia
Herman: Hello there! Let’s take a jaunt around Jeddah.
Saudi Arabia is a fairly new country in a very old place. The Arabian Peninsula has been inhabited since before history. But the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only dates back to the 1930s, when a military leader named Ibn Saud united several regions and different Arab tribes into one nation. Then, he declared himself king, and has became kingdom ever since.
Almost all Saudi Arabians practice Islam. One of the five pillars of Islam requires that all Muslims travel to Mecca, the prophet Muhammad’s birthplace, at least once in their life. Mecca is just 25 miles from here. So, if you’re in Jeddah, and you’re Muslim, there’s no excuse not to make a trip.
When you’re studying in Saudi Arabia there’s one element you can’t ignore; oil. This was a land of nomads when oil is discovered, and is now one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Saudi Arabia now produces 25% of the world’s oil.
If you’re used to American government, then you’ll find Saudi Arabia very different indeed. The country is ruled by a king, his sons, and their cabinet of ministers. And instead of a national constitution, all laws are based on the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Book of Islam.
Jeddah is one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest and most populous cities. And that’s mostly because of another city close by; Mecca. Virtually all Muslims travel to Mecca at some point in their life, and to get there, they have to pass through the port of Jeddah.