Saudi Arabia 2006

Saturday, October 07, 2006



Saudi Arabia
Basics
Formal Name:
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Nationality: Saudi
Population: 23,513,330
*includes 5,360,526 non-nationals
Ethnic groups:
Arab 90%
Afro-Asian 10%
Religion:
Muslim 100%
Language:
Arabic

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Pre-Reading/Pre-Surfing


Anytime you go on a trip, it is fun to "read up" on where you're going! The ARAMCO people sent us packets to read on "travel tips", "phrases", and related information. They also gave us the book, The History of Saudi Arabia by James Wynbrandt (2004) which has been a great overview. In addition, this fall I have read:
The Sword of the Prophet (1979) by Robert Goldston gave an in-depth history of the foundation and spread of Islam. It examined the contributions of the Arab culture as well as the roots of conflict between Arabs and others.
Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia (2004) by Carmen Bin Ladin detailed her life before, during, and after being married to Osma's half-brother Islam. The reader gets a sense of what women must face in Saudi society, the modernization of the country, and what it means to carry the Bin Ladin name both before and after 9/11/2001.
House of Bush House of Saud (2004) by Craig Unger closely details the relationship between the ruling Saudis and the Bush dynasty and how it has shaped foreign diplomacy with that country and the region of the middle east.
Secrets of the Kingdom (2005) by Gerald Posner is subtitled "the inside story of the Saudi-US connection. It too goes into the politics, machinations, and personalities of those who shape foreign policy.
The Kite Runner (2003) by Khaled Hosseini was a side trip I took through Afghanistan learning about muslim life under the king, the soviets, the Taliban, and after. A powerful piece of fiction that touched on the conflict between Sh'ite and Sunni muslims, rich and poor, as well as ethnicity by focusing on the life of one young man and the people closest to him.

Websites

The following websites contain information on the Middle East and Saudi Arabia. Some are portals with extensive links to other sites. As with all information on the internet, please evaluate these sites critically and determine how to best utilize the information you find on Saudi Arabia.

African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/rr/amed/

Al-Balagh Bookstore
http://www.albalagh.net/bookstore/

Al-Jazeera (English language site for the controversial Arabic news channel)
http://english.aljazeera.net/HomePage

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (“The Middle East” - International Arabic/English paper)
http://www.asharq-e.com/

Arab-American Cultural Institute
http://www.aaci-us.org/

Arab-American National Museum
http://www.theaanm.org/home.asp?area_0=pages/logo&area_1=pages/trans

Arabic K-12 Network
http://www.arabick12.org/index.html

Arabic Literature (Cornell University Middle East and Islamic Studies Collection)
http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/arablit.htm

Arab News (English language paper)
http://www.arabnews.com/

Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR)
http://www.awaironline.org/index.html

BBC News: Saudi Arabia Country Profile
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/country_profiles/791936.stm

Center for Muslim Christian Understanding (Georgetown University)
http://cmcu.georgetown.edu/

The Daily Star (English language paper)
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/

International Constitutional Law Project: Saudi Arabia Index (Institute for Common Law, University of Bern)
http://www.verfassungsgeschichte.ch/

Islam America (sponsored by Dar al Islam)
http://www.islamamerica.org/index.cfm

Library of Congress Internet Resources Page
http://www.loc.gov/rr/international/amed/saudiarabia/saudiarabia.html

Middle East Network Information Center (University of Texas, Austin)
http://menic.utexas.edu/menic/Countries_and_Regions/Saudi_Arabia/

Middle East Information Network
http://www.mideastinfo.com/

Middle East Institute
http://www.mideasti.org/index.html

Middle East Policy Council Saudi Page
http://www.mepc.org/resources_links/Saudi.asp

Ministry of Education for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
http://www.moe.gov.sa/openshare/englishcon/

Official Website for the City of Riyadh
http://www.arriyadh.com/En/index.asp

Project Look Sharp: “Media Construction of the Middle East” Curriculum Page
http://www.ithaca.edu/looksharp/teaching_middleeast.php

Saudi Arabia Information Resource (Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information)
http://www.saudinf.com/

Saudi Arabian Cooking
http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART/mideast/saudi_cooking.html

Saudi Aramco World
http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200604/

The Saudi Gazette (English language paper)
http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/

United Nations Development Programme in Saudi Arabia
http://www.undp.org.sa/

University of Southern California Compendium of Muslim Texts
http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/

Article by Rachel Brons the author of Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is titled The Kingdom's Clock and it appeared in Foreign Policy Sept./Oct. 2006. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3558(this link provided by a travel colleague)