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Saudi Arabia Local Customs: 97 reviews and 78 photos

My Abaya - Saudi Arabia

My Abaya

Wearing the head covers for women.

In Saudi Arabia we(as women)wear the (Abayah)it`s like an over dress worn over clothes when we need to go out,but inside the homes(among women)we tend to take it off.
The head scarf is called(Tarha),usually it comes as a set with the Abayah....and we have it either as (custum made) or (ready to wear),,it also has trends and styles,few years back it was a trend to wear an Abaya made of coloured matirial(Brown,Navy blue,and gray),
now it`s classical black with some embroidery.
Chinese symbols and indian sari are very popular this year.(2003)

In many places(uptown speacially)
you will find that it`s OK not to wear the head scarf.

By the way,this is as far as you will see of me ;-)
If you are a lady and arraiving to Saudi,You can shop online for an Abaya from this site provided below:

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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Our home cooked food for Breaking our fast - Saudi Arabia

Our home cooked food for Breaking our fast

What is Ramadan all about...

A Muslim should start to fast when he/she reaches his puberty age...
Some people are excused not to fast,like the elderly,but for each day they do not fast an average meal should be given to the poor instead.
If you are ill or sick you are also allowed not to fast,if you have a medication needs to be taken during the day..but then you will have to fast the days you didn`t any time of the year before the next Ramadan,

When women get their menstrual period,they should not fast,but also calculate the days that they have not fast and fast it any time of the year.

Ramadan was a holy month even before Islam,non Muslims of the Arabian peninsula used to fast this month too, and move the month of Ramadan to fit in the summers only,that`s why it`s called Ramadan,,which means hot sands,or heat.
But when Islam was founded,God was merceful with Muslims to keep Ramandan to circle all year,so it can be in the winter,spring,summer or autumn.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 30, 2007
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Jufali Masjid - Saudi Arabia

Jufali Masjid

What is Ramadan all about...

Fasting starts a little after dawn(sun rise)and ends at sun set.
We muslims refrain from eating,drinking,smoking and sexual intercourse in day time...this is like detoxing the body...
We break our fast by eating dates(following prophet Mohammad`s way)along with a yogurt drink....some people believe it must be an odd number of dates,,either 3,5 or 7.

After breaking the fast the whole family prays together for the sun set prayers(Maghrib)usually the father or the grandfather leads the pryaers(Imam).

Or in other familes,the father,breaks his fasting with some dates and Arabic coffee,then goes to the mosque to preform the Maghrib prayers,then comes back home to finish his meal....this way will gove the stomach a chance to expect more food,,rather than stuffing yorself at once.

On the breakfast table each city has it`s own prefferd cuisine.In Jiddah,for example,it has to be soup(whole grain),meat samosa(originally from India) and Foul Bean(pronounced fool)eaten with pita bread or Tameez bread,(which is originally came from Afganistan.)these are the musts,,then there is the main dish and deserts.

After couple of hours from sun set,it will be time for the evening prayers,followed by Traweeh prayers,this is preformed in most mosques....usually the Imam reads a chapter or more of the Holy Quran per day/night so he will finish reading the whole book in less than a month.
Reading whole of the Quran is called Khitmah in Arabic.

The second meal is taken any time before the sun rise of the next morning,and it`s called Sahoor(it`s called by this name because the word Sahar means the last 1/3 of the night).

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 16, 2005
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Decoration - Saudi Arabia


Welcoming new babies to the world

Here is a picture of a decorated door in a hosptial,the baby is a boy as you can tell.

The baby gets his (Sabi`e)Done in after a week from his birth date,some couples like to delay it until the mother catches her breath ;-)
it`s like a shower party only done after birth.friends and relatives are invited,some like to combine 2 celebrations together,where also kids of the family are invited,then it`s called (Rahmani)by the Jiddawi accent.
The baby wears his best clothes(there are even some special custom wear for this occation)...candles are lit and handed to other kids to sing in joy around the new born..candies and gifts are handed to the children.
most songs involve prayers for the new born baby wishing him a good health and good future.
Then everybody feasts on meat and rice,yet some families like to add more of the international cuisine too.

The Rahmani song goes like"Ya rab ya Rahmani,barik lana fil ghlami"
which means:
Oh Lord,oh merciful one,bless our new born baby".

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 19, 2004
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Ramadan Lamp - Saudi Arabia

Ramadan Lamp

Ramadan symbols

1-The Ramadan lamp:**

Long ago beofre the electricy was invented,people used to go to bed right after the Taraweeh prayers,which usually ends around 9-10 depending on the time sun sets....

Then late at night there`s a person called (Mosaharati) which he has a task to wake all the neighbours up for Sahoor(this was long before my time)and I think he was either payed by the government or by people of the comunity.

He used to have a drum wrapped around his waist and a lamp so he`ll be able to see his way....
he drums and start to call each family by their names....
Or he says"oh sleeping one wake up and answer your lord" Arabic it`s {Ya Nayim Wahid Addayim}.
by this,the lamp got to be one of Ramadan`s symbols.

2-Ramadan Cannon:*

Though this tradition still remains but it started also because there was no electricity....
when the sun sets the we get to know that by hearing the calls of prayers from any mosque,but long ago there were no loud speakers to make the sound travel they used another method is to alarm people by shooting a cannon ball in the air.
Though no a days you can hear calls of prayers so easy,but nothing replace the sound of cannon which means FOOOOD!!!

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 16, 2004
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Women covering @the mosque. - Saudi Arabia

Women covering @the mosque.

Head scarf part II

As muslims each and every Islamic rule we follow or a good thing we do,we get rewarded from God as we believe life is only a big test and heaven is the greatest prize.

For an example,I pray my 5 prayers each day,I fast the holy month of Ramadan,and I visit Mecca each year,by preforming Omra,(Al Hamdulila,or in other word,Thank God).

yet I don`t cover while I`m out side Saudi Arabia,not because I believe I shouldn`t,but I guess i`m not a perfect muslim,and deep down in my heart I do believe inorder to complete the "Female muslim`s tasks"I have to be covering my head.

Wearing the veil is all about staying decent.not because we`re shy of how we`s all about treasuring urself,and being obedient to God.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 16, 2004
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A wedding reception - Saudi Arabia

A wedding reception

Weddings customs

Saudi Arabia is a very large country,each region has it`s own customs.
In Jiddah for example there are two kinds of weddings:
an Islamic wedding were only women attend and the bride walks alone down the aisle,music is played only by drums.and songs are preformed by females singers.

or an ordinary wedding where the bride walks down the aisle with her groom (all women cover up)and after reaching the stage where they are seated,the family male members of both bride and groom enter to greet the married couple,soon the male family members leave to another hall.
Music is played with all kinds of instruments and ladies dances the night away.

The bride says her "I Do" in another ceremony called (Milcka)sometimes it`s few months before the wedding she is able to go out with her fiancee when he is officially her husband ;-)

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jul 6, 2004
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AL-Haram Mosque Makkah(copy right google images) - Saudi Arabia

AL-Haram Mosque Makkah(copy right google images)

Prayers and shopping

Our shops open from 10 am til 1p.m then from 5p.m again til 10 or sometimes 11p.m.
At these times there are 3 prayers(the noon prayer,the sunset prayer and the evening prayer)so shops close for about 20 to 30 minutes to give the salesmen a chance to preform their prayers at the mosque.
So to give you the best times to go to shop either try it in the morning shift(from 10am to 1p.m) or after the evening prayers(from 8p.m to 10p.m).

Even information number goes on hold for prayers.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 14, 2004
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Condolences Customs

I`m writing this on the rememberence of my formel aunt who passed away few years back..if it wasn`t for this experience I wouldn`t knew lots of our condolences customs....

When a person dies,a condolence gathering is set up in his/her`s house or any other relative`s house(it`s agreed by the members of his family).
One line of light bulbs,is hung on the house front to mark the house for people to come and pay their condolences.
The gathering is held for three days in a row to give people a chance to come.
Most people arrive between the Maghrib prayers(sunset),and the Isha prayers(night time).
A brief lecture is given by a religious person,followed by a prayer for the dead person`s soul.

As everything else in Saudi Arabia,men and women are separated,the men are seated outside the house while women are seated inside of the houses.
The relatives of the dead person are seated in a row and usually wear white clothing with white scarves,(that`s for women)to be recognised by people coming to pay their condolences,as the non-relatives stay in their Abayas(the black cloak).
When entering the place(if your a woman),you should say "Al salamu alaikom"
which is the Islamic greeting,then go stright to the relatives row and kiss each person on one cheek only saying" Atham Allah Ajrakom"
meaning(may Allah greatly reward you)on their patience.
Arabic coffee is being served on a tray,unlike other happy events where guests are being offerd coffee refills more than a condolence place,you get to drink only one small cup.served with dates.
After the Isha prayers(night)dinner will be served,and it`s a custom to serve lamb on rice with chickpeas,though some people now ,offer buffets filled with international cuisine.
After dinner,everything is over,and people leave the house.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 3, 2004
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Our weekends.

In Saudi Arabia our weekend starts on Wednesday and ends on Friday (on Friday we have the Friday prayers at every mosque).
Most shops close on Friday morning til about 5 p.m then they open again,but some shops take all Friday off.
Most banks and all government offices close on Thursday and Friday,schools also close on Thursdays and Fridays.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 2, 2003
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