Where does the water in the desert come from?
One of the biggest problems of the state, but also of everyday life in Saudi Arabia, is water shortage. Where is one supposed to get water from in a country where there are no rivers and lakes?
But imagine that every Saudi consumes an average of 265 liters of water a day. Even in Germany, water consumption is not exactly low at 120 liters per day, but 265 liters is a lot more. In India, by the way, only 25 liters per capita are used per day.
Desalination plants and water pipes
In order to get any water at all, the Saudis pump water from the sea to large cities via long pipes. In desalination plants, the water is first cleaned of salt. A large part of this water is used for agriculture. The groundwater wells are often already used up and there are almost no natural water reserves left. So one can ask oneself whether in the end the water is more valuable than the oil that we cannot drink.
What is important for young men in Saudi Arabia?
Many Saudis do everything by car, so you get in the car, go shopping to the shopping center and back again. The streets within the cities are usually well developed, but this does not always apply to the carriageways. Is that the reason for the many off-road vehicles?
Big cars are very important to many young men. What should they do too? There are no bars, no cinemas and also no concerts. And they are not allowed to meet young women either, so they buy a fast car and race through the streets. The number of road deaths in Saudi Arabia is very high. It is officially six times as high as in Germany, and it is probably actually even higher.
Women and cars?
Incidentally, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women were not allowed to drive a car until 2018. A woman therefore needed a driver, i.e. a brother, uncle or father, to get from A to B. You might think she could have walked. That, too, was difficult because walking the streets alone was not possible.
The freedom of movement of women in Saudi Arabia is still severely restricted. Only slowly does something change. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any confident women in Saudi Arabia who are demanding their rights. But it takes a certain amount of time for an entire society to change.
Shopping in huge malls
The Saudis’ favorite pastime is shopping. There are huge shopping malls and supermarkets in the big cities where you can buy (almost) everything. And what should you do if you don’t even have the opportunity to go to the cinema?
In Saudi Arabia there are no cinemas and no theaters, because Islam – especially the strict form of Wahhabism, the religion in Saudi Arabia – forbids that. There are no bars, no cinemas and also no concerts. There are almost no places where young people can meet, especially not men and women, and certainly not in public. Everyone stays to himself and that is also very strictly controlled.
Islam also determines the festivals and celebrations in the country. These are mostly religious festivals. These include the festival of breaking the fast after Ramadan and the festival of sacrifice. In addition, the national holiday in Saudi Arabia is celebrated on September 23.
Social media is very important in Saudi Arabia, a country located in Middle East according to loverists. There are Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts like nowhere else. Many Saudis are on the Internet and there are also innovations here.
This is often the only way to get in contact, especially for young women and men. But the internet is also monitored in Saudi Arabia. Political statements, especially criticism of the government, are not allowed and are subject to severe penalties.
It doesn’t take much to end up in a prison in Saudi Arabia, anyone who insists on their rights lives dangerously. In addition, there are few freedoms and certainly not the right to express one’s opinion freely or even to criticize the government. Religion should not be questioned or criticized under any circumstances. Many women’s rights activists are also sitting in prisons without knowing what they have actually done.