ksa Q&A

I love going home and seeing family and friends that I miss so much.

Everyone is always curious about what life in Saudi Arabia is like. So I, inevitably, answer the same questions over, and over, and over again. So to save myself some serious jaw workout, here’s some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions about life in Saudi. And if you don’t see your query here, just leave a comment! Nothing is too weird to ask! And if I don’t know the answer, I will find out from a qualified source.

– Can women drive?

The answer is no. Although there are no specific laws prohibiting women from driving, they cannot obtain a driver’s license. It is socially uncommon for a woman to be out and about on her own without a male family member present. A hired driver seems to be an acceptable escort when a woman needs to go do some shopping but still they generally travel with other female family members.

– Do you have to wear the burka?

The women in Saudi Arabia cover themselves in varying degrees from a headscarf (hijab), a niqab (a mask that reveals the eyes), to a full head-to-toe chador on top of hijab and niqab, depending on the woman and her family’s traditions . The only legally required garment for all females, Muslim or non-Muslim, is the abaya – a dark-coloured robe that covers a woman from neck to feet to hide the shape of her body.

– Is it hot all the time?

– The region does have seasons though less distinct than other climates. The summer lasts from May to October and can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius. The summer heat is very dry and is more tolerable than in more humid places. The winter does get cold here and it ranges from mid teens down to below zero.

Some resources I have found enlightening about the Kingdom:

Inside the Saudi Kingdom (BBC documentary)

The Frankincense Trail – Saudi Arabia

In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom

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