Saudi Arabia Facts

Modern Saudi Arabia is also sometimes called the Third Saudi State, thus distinguishing it from the First and Second Saudi States, which existed from 1744 to 1813 and from 1824 to 1891, respectively.

Saudi Arabia is a real oil barrel. The export of this raw material accounts for 90% of the country's export revenues, 75% of budget revenues and 45% of the state's GDP. Oil has become for Saudi Arabia not only the main product that boosts the country's economy, but also a serious geopolitical trump card. Colossal oil reserves were discovered here in 1938, but due to the Second World War, large-scale development had to be postponed.

The United States had its share in the Arab raw materials business since 1933; the Standard Oil Company of California operated in Saudi Arabia. Without waiting for the end of the war, US President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1945, after the end of the Yalta Conference, met with Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud.

The talks took place aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal. Then the so-called "Quincy Pact" was concluded, according to which the monopoly on the exploration and development of oil was transferred to the United States. Roosevelt, in turn, promised the Saudis protection from external threats.

Oil made Saudi Arabia the richest state in its region, Abdul-Aziz by 1952 had a personal fortune of about $ 200 million. The United States, in turn, received a good leverage on the oil market.

When it comes to Saudi Arabia, they always remember the harsh Sharia law. Women there are severely limited in their rights. So, in Saudi Arabia, a woman is not recommended to appear outside the house without the accompaniment of a mahram man (relative, husband), she is forbidden to communicate with other men if they are not mahram.

In 2009, the brothers publicly shot two of their sisters for communicating with other men, and in 2007, the father personally executed his daughter for communicating on Facebook with a stranger.

Women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear black abayas everywhere, and in 2011, the religious police also began to require women to close their eyes in public, as they might be too attractive.

Men in Saudi Arabia must defend the honor of the family and the honor of their women. There is such a concept "namus" or "sharaf", which translates as honor. Observing namus, a man can himself determine the punishment for a woman who has violated the ird - the rules of female piety.

To be fair, it must be said that segregation in Saudi Arabia extends to both women and men. Single men are restricted in their rights here no less than women. All public spaces are divided into two parts - for families (read "for women") and for men. In most places, entry for single men is, in principle, forbidden, therefore, socially, they are oppressed in their rights no less than women. Women in Saudi Arabia are fighting for their rights and have already achieved success in this matter, they can even hold political positions.

The legal system of Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia law, the death penalty in the country is provided for premeditated murder, armed robbery, unconventional relationships, extramarital (premarital) relationships, religious apostasy, violent actions, the creation of opposition groups to the authorities.

Compliance with the norms of Sharia law is controlled by the religious police - the Mutawwa, also called the Sharia guard. She reports to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Refraining from Vice. For various crimes, Sharia norms establish various punishments - from blows and stoning to cutting off the head.

The right to execute executions in Saudi Arabia is considered honorable; there are still several dynasties of executioners in the country, this skill is inherited. In 2013, Saudi Arabia faced a shortage of personnel, the number of sword-bearers is now decreasing, so the forms of execution have also changed.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most closed countries in the world. Staying in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina for non-Muslims is strictly prohibited by law. You can get to these cities only in groups of pilgrims performing the Hajj.

In history, however, there have been cases of violation of these prohibitions. The first known non-Muslim to visit Mecca was the Italian traveler from Bologna, Ludovico de Vertema, who visited here in 1503. Another non-Muslim who visited Mecca was Sir Richard Francis Burton. In the middle of the 19th century, he performed the Hajj from Afghanistan under an assumed name.

Water is more expensive here than gasoline. Magic is officially banned in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia there are nesting dolls for sale, but they are made in accordance with the norms - women in abayas, men in tobi and guthrie.

Saudi Arabia has adopted the Islamic calendar, now it is 1436 Hijri.

His favorite sport is football, the national team of the country was three times the champion of Asia.

It is not so easy to obtain a visa, especially if the passport contains a note about visiting Israel.