Interesting Facts about Saudi Arabia * Occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula with the largest continuous sand desert. * Monarch based: King acts as both head of state and government * Oil based economy. There is a scarcity of water and agricultural growth is limited * Islam is the only recognized religion * 99% of the population is Muslim * Sharia is the Islamic system of law * Patrilineal society * Gender equality is present * Women are governed by the men in their life. Father approves future husbands, in most case arranges the marriage itself.
In the absent of husband or fathers other male member of the family take on the role that fathers/husband have. * Islam did not set a minimum age for marriage * male cousins have the first choice of marrying female cousins in kinship marriages * Saudi women are seldom allowed to marry a non-Saudi, and may never marry a non-Muslim; these limitations do not apply to Saudi men. * Mother’s role- Manages the household duties, nurtures the family, educate family on social needs and provide religious and cultural expectations. Father’s role-Protects the family and provide financial security. Children are required to have absolute respect for fathers’ authority. * Girls received half as much as their brothers in inheritance, even though Quran suggests equality. It is ruled by sociological rather than religious realities in terms of inheritance. * Both women and men desire to have children, especially boys so that they can raise earning power in the family and carry their names. Class differences-Major social division is that between foreign workers and local citizens. Differences in lifestyle are increasing as wealthy elites interact less commonly with the middle-class people. Common attitudes, beliefs and practices are shared across economic divides, which also are bridged by ties of kinship and religion. * Women’s rights-Women were recently granted the right to vote and hold council positions. However they are still petitioning for the right to drive and exist without male guardianship.