Skimpy clothing in Saudi Arabia? If you’re in a compound, sure!

Published: October 30, 2013

While all Saudis are subject to state laws of segregation and modesty, those living inside the Saudi Aramco compound are free to mix freely, dress as they desire and watch movies in cinemas!

I remember watching a movie a couple of years ago, called Kingdom, the plot of which centred around an armed assault on a Saudi Aramco housing compound. For those who are not aware of the oil and gas industry, Saudi Aramco is a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company, which has exclusive rights of oil extraction in the country.

At the moment, Saudi Aramco is the biggest oil exporter in the world. The movie Kingdom was released in 2007 and that was my first exposure to the life-style followed in the housing compounds of this company. Last week I got a chance to actually visit a Saudi Aramco compound, and I understood for myself, why people refer to it as a ‘state within a state’. Please note, there are many such private compounds all across Saudi Arabia — this just happens to be the one I visited.

My first surprise was at the compound’s gate when the security guard said,

“Welcome to Saudi Aramco. Have a nice trip.”

Why was I surprised?

Brown-skinned expatriates are generally subject to somewhat insulting behaviour from Arabs; even if the expatriate is a professional engineer, like myself!  If you’re not white, getting such a welcome from an Arabic-speaking security guard is just not the norm, believe me. Pleased at this lovely welcome, I entered the compound.

As I entered, I realised that the welcome that I had received was likely to be the first surprise of many.

Looking around, I saw women not only skipping out on the traditional abaya and hijab, but dressed in western clothes including shorts and tight-fitting tops. I also found them driving cars within the compound; something that is treated as a criminal offence in the rest of the Kingdom. In fact, just recently, 12 women were arrested in KSA while they attempted to protest the ban on women driving.

It seems that the laws of the Kingdom end at the boundary of the compound.

My host then led me to something that I had not seen in KSA so far – a cinema! He told me that that this cinema generally showed the latest Hollywood and Bollywood movies and that there was even an option for ‘movies on demand’. Moreover, inside the cinema, I saw that the seating arrangement was not segregated for men and women, something completely alien to the cultural norms of Saudi Arabia. The segregation between the sexes can be seen at educational institutes, restaurants, offices and banks; in fact, men and women are segregated in almost every walk of life.

Seeing a sign indicating the swimming pool, I asked my host if we could cool down by the pool since it was very hot. He grinned at me and clarified that the swimming pool was not segregated either. Moreover, he told me there were no gender specific time-slots. Surprised and shocked, I withdrew my earlier request and moved on. Finally, we came across the Aramco Police, which is responsible for the implementation of Saudi Aramco laws within the compound.

After the tour, I accompanied my host to his home. Across the street from his house, I saw a skeleton hanging from a tree. Smiling at my confused expression, he explained that since Halloween was right around the corner people were busy putting up pumpkins and other decorations outside their homes. He pointed out a large skeleton strewn with lights that would turn on after dark, accompanied by scary Halloween music.

In my personal opinion, it is against all principles for a parallel state to be run with its own laws and law-enforcement agencies. Foreigners who come to Saudi Arabia to earn tax-free salaries should learn to mould themselves as per Saudi laws; the same way they expect Muslim expatriates in their lands to adhere to western values.

At the end, I decided to end my journey of surprise and asked my host to guide me to the mosque so that I could pray before leaving.

He simply stated,

“Well, there is no mosque inside the compound.”

Author’s note: The above story is my personal experience in one of the compounds of Saudi Aramco and I am not aware if other compounds of Saudi Aramco follow the same pattern, or not.

Abdullah Ansari

Abdullah Ansari

An electrical engineer by profession, Abdullah works in the oil and gas industry. His interests include international relations, global politics and debating.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hamza

    which city was the compound in? there is a mosque in every aramco compound i have been in. Or are you just exaggerating?Recommend

  • Critical

    Moral of the Story :Sharia is only for the poor and oppressed…..

    The rich can enjoy all they wantRecommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    Why do u have such an issue with people living how they please, and housing compounds and apartments in most developed countries have their own private tenancy rules also.Recommend

  • omair
  • Ansari

    Well, that’s not the case bro.Recommend

  • MA

    lol i must say you are lucky :PRecommend

  • Repatriated

    One question. Who seemed happier – the people inside the compound or outside? Answer that question honestly and think about why.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Ah, ET’s resident conservative strikes again!

    I imagine you’re just as upset about Muslims demanding a Shariah Court for themselves in UK? The idea of two parallel systems of law in a same country is quite reprehensible, isn’t it?

    And if Muslims in their countries adhere to Western values, what’s with the hullabaloo about the face veil ban? Last time I checked, niqab doesn’t comply with “Western values”, yet it’s tolerated in most, if not all, Western states.

    I encourage you to learn about pluralism and multiculturalism.Recommend

  • Ansari

    Bro, the compound map you shared is in Dhahran, I will appreciate if you can please read the ‘Author’s note” before commenting.Recommend

  • Saad

    You don’t like facts getting in the way of a good story, right ‘bro’?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Well, you can’t expect to have people who live a normal lifestyle to go live like caged animals. There is a difference between us adapting to a western lifestyle as you say. There is room for our way of life in their tolerant lifestyle, but no room for their freedom in our narrow culture. Just look at the way you are describing everything… why can’t you just live and let live?

    I have pious Muslim friends who are living happily in the US of A. How many Americans can live freely in our part of the world, unless it is a compound such as this?

    I lived for 18 years in Saudi Arabia. If it weren’t expatriates, Saudis would still be stuck in the dark ages. Hell, they are still stuck in the dark ages as far as their minds are concerned. Difference is they juts have wealth.

    Too bad they have been pumping that wealth into Pakistani madrasas since the 90s.Recommend

  • Critically acclaimed critic

    Having lived in a “western compound” (not aramco compound)…This is true but the author sounds perplexed, what kind of sheltered life were you living in KSA? Not everyone is religious. having partied with Saudi Princes in Mexico….like critical said…Sharia is only for the poor and brainwashed .. moral of the story …stop following religious zealots…maintain your personal faith within you and your four walls.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Exactly. I just remembered that I had friends in Aramco and they would pray at the mosque inside the compound!Recommend

  • Needroos

    Muslim expatriates in the West can still go to a mosque. How many Churches are there in Saudi Arabia?Recommend

  • Repatriated

    Also, public clothing, segregation and driving laws only apply to public areas and places of business and not to private residential property. E.g. if you drive your car in your driveway, the police cannot ask for a license; if you walk around naked in your house, you cannot be charged with public indecency; if you and your wife sit together on the couch, segregation laws do not apply. The compounds are private residential property. This entire piece is based upon your incorrect understanding of how laws work.Recommend

  • S

    what a poor conclusion – the govt allows these compounds as they know that if they did not they would not get the relevant expertise they needRecommend

  • njkhan

    There is a mosque in every aramco compound. I’ve lived in three of them to know that for sure. Your host probably just didn’t know the way. The compounds are designed to retain aramco’s employees who have often spent their entire lives in the West and find the KSA environment suffocating.
    Recommend

  • taimoor

    I agree that people should be allowed to do as they please, but this article does not condemn the lifestyle inside the compound. I think it just puts the spotlight on the hypocytical nature of the rulers in Saudi Arabia, where moral religious police take rounds in their jeeps and force people to go pray, whereas inside these residential compounds the rules are very relaxed.Recommend

  • Raja Islam

    Not only are movies shown within the compounds, there are also parties where alcohol is served openly. Not that I find anything wrong with that. Enjoy life my friend and do not get hung up on small things.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    And is the crime rate in the compound worse than outside – are people inside more or less likely to be law abiding citizens? Are people happier inside or outside? Just trying to understand what social objectives can be achieved by forcing people to live all covered up and segregated if it achieves nothing at all. Separately, pls also share your views on the burqa ban in France and Belgium – do you support the state or the rights of the individual in that case.Recommend

  • Farhan

    there are mosques in every compound…….I am not sure which one you visited but not all are like the one you described.Recommend

  • mano

    Take a chill pill and let people live. If you need laws to make you follow your religion, then you aren’t really following it. What they are doing is their problem not yours. Don’t go swimming with women if you don’t want that :). Oh, and to clear your misconception, nobody in West asks muslim expatriates to follow western norms. You need to get out of middle east to see that :)Recommend

  • Ali

    western values……..How many Churches or Temples in Saudi Arabia…..????Comparing west with Saudi Arabia is comparing Ferrari to Suzuki….U get equal rights in west……Tell me how many Pakistanis have got Saudi citizenship and land rights……Recommend

  • Teezee

    Saudi Aramco has 2 compounds. They both have mosques and the larger compound has 3 mosques. I lived in the compound for 12 years. Also the 2007 movie “the Kingdom” was about a compound in Riyadh which is about 4 hours away from both Aramco compounds.

    While the author has detailed his perception of the Aramco compound, his perception and the facts are quite different. He is correct to point out that people hang up Halloween decorations, and women drive etc.Recommend

  • sahrish najm

    i completely agree with you as saudi’s deliberately enforce all these laws for the norms where as the elite enjoys a way different kind of life style and way different than Islamic rulesRecommend

  • Max

    I have been working at Saudi Aramco, at the Dahran compound for 15 months. They are many mosques at the compound. This is the case at all the Aramco compounds.

    Yes the compound has separate rules to the govt i.e. Women can drive, wear western clothing, etc. this is because there are a lot of western expats living here with their wives and families. This is the norm and a way that they attract the western folks to come and work at Saudi Aramco.

    No alcohol is sold on the compound. There are no night clubs at the compound. Yes ppl can ferment their own alcohol in their houses and party as well with the opposite sex, however, as they are doing it in their home, they are free to do anything. This rule applies to the normal ppl living outside the compounds as well. The religious police and govt only becomes strict when you do crazy things out in the open
    Recommend

  • Max

    I will like to correct you…..this has nothing to do with culture, it’s religion. And it is not narrow.

    I am sure you are aware of the rulings of Islam. When these are not implemented properly, you end up in a lewd environment similar to the west. Now Saudi doesn’t implement Islam properly as well as the locals get up to many dodgy things in their homes and bahrain across the causeway. And because they don’t do it, they are suffering. Their society is getting corrupt. Similar to pak and other muslim countries.

    May we all be guided and become better Muslims. Recommend

  • Nasir

    Big Deal! I think the writer states the duplicity of the Kingdom. In any case, it is the law of nature / physics that every action has its equal but opposite reaction. It goes with human psyche. Societies and families as well as individuals who have been oppressed when they get chance to slightly be free they obviously will react. Bottom line or the moral of the story is don’t be extremist in any way, be it religious extremism or liberal extremism, moderation and middle course is the best and that’s what it teaches in Islam, unfortunately, out of 73 sects in Islam only 1 sect follows moderation actually taught by Islam and the rest are / or follow extremist values.Recommend

  • Insaan

    On youtube I saw a video about home of a royal family member. He has about 10+ women working in his home. None of the women was wearing any burqa or niqab.Recommend

  • whitesky

    “Also, public clothing, segregation and driving laws only apply to public areas ” A compound where many many people roam will be termed as a public area . an area which is open to others( other than your family members) is a public area and therefore the law of the land should be applicable.Recommend

  • Jalal Awan

    Where exactly was your compound located, Ansari? Aramco has a truly multi cultural environment.. mosques n all!Recommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    totally agree with you on this sirRecommend

  • Nandita.

    LOL ! The illustration is hilarious.Recommend

  • Insaan

    if you walk around naked in your house, you cannot be charged with public indecency……Saudis claim to follow Quran and Sunnah. Women employees are not required to wear a burqa or niqab in front of males of some member of royal family. Some Pakistani whose relative worked for Saudi royal family even claimed women walk around in bikinis.Recommend

  • Ansari

    For all curious ones, this compound is situated in Udhaliyah. Please go and check yourself and drop me an email ([email protected]) if you find a mosque inside compound.Recommend

  • Aramcon

    I happen to live in one of these compounds since a long time. We have 3 mosques within the area and driving within by women is more of a necessity than a privilege; we as moms have to drive children down for various school and sports activities, to the library, medical and dental appointments etc.,plus pick up our groceries ,go to the bank, post office, dry cleaners to name just a few chores we need to attend to. We have swimming pool/ gyms that only women go to. Dress code is specified which has to be modest. Which compound did you actually visit ?Recommend

  • 123xyz

    he is being sarcastic . he is saying poor people have to follow strict laws, in certain areas ,rich dont .Recommend

  • bigsaf

    I can understand being culturally uncomfortable with what’s described above as a conservative, but are you seriously taking issue with women driving and their Halloween too?

    Is this around the Eastern oil rich province that’s exploited while the Saudi Shia minority sect natives are oppressed, without human or political rights, by the filthy rich autocratic Wahhabi regime whose laws you like every subject to follow (including no driving for women?) while earning a tax free salary? No Islamic issues or principles undermined there? In truth the folks in the compound are following state rules set out by elitists who allow such hypocritical parallel laws. Muslim expats (as opposed to the concept of foreign national expats or Muslim natives and citizens) are still relatively freer and less oppressed in the West in law and practice compared to the East despite recent worrisome trends.

    The Kingdom movie made Saudi Arabia look like Iraq, however, there have been many compound attacks by Al Qaeda minded groups that happened before 2007, exploiting the an intolerant narrative for religo-political ideological goals.Recommend

  • Surprised

    It is surprising at your surprise when the guard greeted you. I have been living in KSA for the past couple of years. Never got an unwelcome treatment from any security related staff. Guards here do not treat people any differently than anywhere else.Recommend

  • be in senses

    hey all! I SPEND 15 yrs of my life in saudi arabia. THERE are rules according to shariah to be followed. The writer visited Saudia for the first time may be,so he doesn’t know that mostly foreigners reside in compounds.Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman

    The Saudi Aramco (SA) need this kind of compund to invite Americans in SA for employment. SA have this culture since the beginning (from 1960s) when the majority of stakes were with American. This has been carried out by the employees of SA happily.

    The Saudi government does not interfare with these because, they need the Americans/Brits expertise to operate the gigantic oil facilities of SA.

    Sometimes the culture is too powerful or resistant to change, likewise the culture of drinking in our armed forces, which is being carried on for sixty years. No matter who is the Chief.Recommend

  • deep

    Why is it that you were greeted respectfully at the compound? Is it because the guard at the gate has been instructed to be respectful to everyone regardless of gender, race and religion. Shouldn’t that one gesture have told you that imposition of one religion’s norms over society – even if 99% of the people follow that religion is wrong and goes against the natural inclination of human beings towards diversity.Recommend

  • Ansari

    For your kind information, this compound is situated in Udhaliyah. Try to talk somebody who lives in there and you will get the truth.Recommend

  • Ansari

    Well, people are never happy. Those outside think of inside compound life as heaven. Vice versa, people inside think they are in a jail made of gold and silver.Recommend

  • Ansari

    This compound is located in Udhaliyah. I will appreciate if you can call somebody there and ask for fact.Recommend

  • Ansari

    Its in Udhaliyah. Call somebody there and get facts straight.Recommend

  • Talha Rizvi

    Aren’t you an Indian?Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    No. It is culture.

    I don’t interpret Islam the way you do.Recommend

  • Ali

    A compound is not open for public. It is restricted in terms of who can enter and who cannotRecommend

  • Ali

    Saudi royal family does not mean it is a representation of the entire Saudi culture. Majority of Saudi’s live a segregated life where the actually follow all the principles of Quran and Sunnah. And if you want a story I can give you a lot of stories then these servant have very hiped stories about the employers. So dont make judgements if u havent seem themRecommend

  • Sadia

    The author seems so surprised. It is a commonly known fact in Saudi Arabia that inside Western compounds Saudi laws are not enforced. What i fail to understand is the point behind this writeup. Is he against cinemas and women driving, is he deploring the dual system or is he just giving us information. This is a poorly conceived piece.Recommend

  • rehman1

    why is the dog in a burka:)Recommend

  • Naanpoons

    Are there any mosques in the Vatican city?
    Try to make relevant comparisons.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Saudi don’t implement Islam properly…..So which Muslim country implements Islam properly?Recommend

  • Midhat

    The author was simply highlighting the hypocritical nature of the Saudi society where the laws have not been changed in a progressive manner because the ones who have the power to change them don’t follow them anyway. There wasnt much judgement in the article on the western lifestyles, he simply seemed surprised by the hypocrisy.Recommend

  • Silent Observer

    There is a mosque near by (The Great Mosque of Rome) and Vatican has no problem with mosque, There are thousand of Muslims in Italy who have access to Mosque and Imam Bargah. How many Churches are there is Brunei Darul Salam,KSA and many other muslim countries? and just to enlighten you even Bible is not allowed in KSA.

    Try to open your eyes before making assumptionsRecommend

  • Pak@Saudi

    Saudis can basically do what they like – its their country. Shouldn’t we be more concerned about our own country? people who live in glass houses shouldnt throw rocks!Recommend

  • Qaisrani

    So Ansari g, Saudis should mould their laws as per your wishes. Sigh.
    By the way, who are you to equate yourself in Muslim victimhood mentality along with “Ummah” brothers, as per we do this and west do this bla bla mantra??? Did Saudis ever ask you to share their pain that there is state within state in Saudia???Recommend

  • KAM

    Why is the writer so strongly opinionated…? “Foreigners who come to Saudi Arabia to earn tax-free salaries should learn to mould themselves as per Saudi laws;” seriously! this world cannot work without people respecting pluralism…. and at least in this one instance the saudis are doing something logical and human – giving people their freedom and right to live as they want (and i am disregarding the fact that it is probably for an ulterior motive that benefits them). Hopefully you didnt mean that just because foreigners earn tax free returns they should be abused like saudi women and should not have a right to life! *furious*Recommend

  • A

    I am actually surprised at the level of inaccuracies in this article,the compound,the laws,driving,segregation and finally the Mosque!! yet ET would actually go ahead with publishing it..Why? bad editorial standards much. OH YES now i get it anything to do with a little dirt slinging over westernisation and the US is always a good read right? regardless of the inaccuracies.Recommend

  • mhammad ovais khan

    so well repliedRecommend

  • mhammad ovais khan

    if they are allowed to go mosque then why france and other european countries are banning veil ???Recommend

  • bilal

    WOW you lived 18 years with Saudis and you think that they are in dark ages. who was stopping you to leave Saudi Arabia? They have their own culture like west.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Hmmm hope to visit this place one day . sounds interesting .Recommend

  • Ameer

    Because veil is a face covering which has major implications on surveillance and security and introduces problems with identifying people.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    because veil is slavery.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    its the arab culture and its followers that are decadent.. A single college in west will have more scientific papers published than the entire arab world. Wait until the oil dries up and its only camels after that.Recommend

  • Naanpoons

    Dear, Vatican city has the special status of an independent state alongside Italy. The mosque you talk about is indeed in “Italy” but outside the realms of the Vatican city. The Vatican has no jurisdiction in running the affairs of Italy.

    Do not misquote facts just to prove your self right.
    Rather than enforce your assumptions on us you should also give a shot at opening our eyes.Recommend

  • sauce

    How many veil wearing terrorist incidents have taken place in the West?
    Last time I checked, hardly any.Recommend

  • Pastrobe

    Isn’t tolerating the veil part of the same pluralism and multiculturalism you espouse?
    If there can be exceptions to this in some Western countries why can’t the same exceptions apply to Muslim states, in some if not all.Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    Well, these compounds are intended for westerners and not the “rich”, as most of the people are putting it.Recommend

  • Naanpoons

    Dear, the Vatican enjoys the status of an “independent state” along side Italy. It has no business with how the rest of Italy functions, so to say that The Great Mosque of Rome exists in “ITALY” is sidestepping the issue.

    Please do not presenting misinterpreted knowledge as facts.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Is veil mandatory in the Quran?Recommend

  • Gratgy

    But there have been burkha clad suicide bombers in Pakistan. Why should the west wait for it to happen thereRecommend

  • Parvez

    When you say the West expect Muslims to adhere to their values ….its quite a stretch.
    Most Muslims run to the West so that they can practice Islam in peace, comfort and most importantly with freedom…….and also enjoy the bounties of the West.Recommend

  • Hamza

    I have not been to Udhaliya, but I will not agree your statement that there is no mosque there. It is not in the middle of nowhere there are cities around that place. I am from 50 km from that place. Who was your host?Recommend

  • x

    Why is the burka clad woman fat and the ‘western’ one is thin? Is dieting against KSA laws too? :pRecommend

  • x

    Nope u didn’t counter his point. Sorry. FAIL.Recommend

  • x

    And you will decide that? I don’t wear a veil but just saying.Recommend

  • x

    He was NOT being sarcastic. This was a straight article, no tongue in cheek or wit or dark humour or satire or whatever. LOL. Sadly, he is just sayig what he thinks.Recommend

  • x

    You’re missing his point. ‘Religious police’ to oversee morals of people as they deem fit while the mighty royals secretly drink and hve affairs with maids and special women, 4 wives for pleasure and all kept miserable, stupid rules like no driving, racism, religious discrimination, humans right trampled on, obscene wealth, etc, this is not following religion. This is clear misuse of religion for persona gains and outward display of piety. Have u seen how Saudi women throw money around? How Saudi princes behave with foreign women and pay exorbitant amounts to ‘have dinner’ with female celebrities? You seriously think THEY implement Islam? being hypocritical is the worst.Recommend

  • x

    That’s the way of thr world. Its the poor to suffer. Look at the partying, drinking, western clothes wearing, dating kids and lifestyles of the army and government types. Nothing agaisnt parties, drinking and dating but just meant that differet rules for the rich and poor. Everyhwere.Recommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    You should try attending the parties held at the residences of some of the Sheikhs. More call girls than a a cat house and more alcohol than a brewery.Recommend

  • Critical

    U are the one making irrelevant comparison….

    Vatican is a holy city for the Roman Catholics just like Mecca for Muslims… The only people who live there are the clergy and the people who help the huge organization…

    Asking a mosque where no muslim lives is totally absurd,its like asking for a church right in front of Kaabah….

    Whereas Vatican City is in Italy,while Mecca is in saudi Arabia….

    Many non-christians live in Italy just like non-muslim live in Saudi Arabia….

    There are mosques in Rome which is just a few km away from the Vatican City…Hell there are Hindu temples in Italy …

    But whats the big deal in having a church or temple in Riyadh which is 1000 of km away from Mecca??? If you allow non-muslims to work,why cant you allow them to pray???Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Why do they think that they are in jail? Can’t they go outside the compound? Pls share the sample size of this survey that you conducted.Recommend

  • Parvez

    You wrote ‘ Foreigners should learn to mould themselves in the same way they expect Muslim expats in their lands to adhere to western values ‘………….isn’t that a bit of a stretch.
    Lets be honest Muslims willingly flock to western lands where they can practice their religion in peace, comfort and most importantly freedom……..and enjoy the largess of the western country as well.
    If this blog is to highlight hypocrisy, then you’re on thin ice here.Recommend

  • ahsanazir

    i do agreeRecommend

  • Al-saud

    As a proud British citizen with brown skin and English as a second language I always wonder how Saudi treat their Muslim brothers from poor countries and what I heard from uk Pakistani family n friends who visited Saudi Arabia for hajj shocked me.

    As a Muslim who believe in equality I feel angry at Saudi”s whom treat other humans disgusting just because they are from less well off countries.

    Recommend

  • sf

    I have heard that many Saudis including member of royal family wear normal Western dresses and act the same in Western coutries but then as their plane approaches near Saudi land they start wearing their veils and other traditional clothes. Also I hear they love to gamble big in Las Vegas according to many stories of that nature.Recommend

  • ex-Aramconian

    No Mosque come on writer! My Nana lived in Aramco Compound for over 30 years. He is more religious than any other person living outside of the compound. There are mosques in the compound to refute the writers claim. Thanks.Recommend

  • Proletarian

    Instead of being happy at the nice atmosphere in the compound you were angry? What is wrong with you. If it were me i’d have been angry at why life everywhere else in Saudi Arabia was not like the Aramco Compound.
    And there is a reason why the Saudi cant push the foreign professinals around. Because the saudis depend on these foreigners to keep thier manno salwa flowing. Saudi Arabia is no Iran or Russia or China.They have NOT created their own wealth. They have NEVER faced adversity. Recommend

  • mhammad ovais khan

    but to cover the “satar’ which means whole body of women and for men its from waist to knees by any means where as there is dispute among religious clerics for whether satar include face, hands and feet or notRecommend

  • abc

    how many christians are their in Saudi Arabia?Recommend

  • BRUISED INDIAN

    Again!! May your tribe increase. :))Recommend

  • mano

    What’s with the “bro”? Ain’t that a western term?Recommend

  • Insaan

    And how do you know your Nana is more religious than any other person living outside the compound? What is the definition of a “religious” person in your view.Recommend

  • unbelievable

    Why the surprise. Saudi oil industry would collapse without Western expertise and Western oil experts are rarely Muslim’s. Logic solution – give them secluded upscale compounds where you can keep the infidels and their “heathen practices” separated from the Saudi population.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Muslim men are supposed to lower their gaze when they see a Muslim sister. If Muslim men just lower their gaze it won’t matter if a woman wears a veil or not.Recommend

  • Nero

    None of the western countries force you to wear their attire or style. Recommend

  • gp65

    why is comparing the whole of Saudi Arabia to Vatican instead of comparing Saudi Arabia to Italy the relevant comparison?

    also if you have a Quran or Bhagvad Geeta with you while in Vatican no one will object. You are not allowed to keep your religious book even in your own home in Saudi ArabiaRecommend