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Politics Essay: United States and Saudi Arabia

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The United States and Saudi Arabia have a long history between them and for a long time stemming from 1940 when they established strong diplomatic relations. Saudi Arabia is strategically placed in terms of resources and convenience. Both countries have similar concerns touching on oil and terrorism concerns. Much as the two nations have plenty in common, other differences include culture and a variety of people.

For an individual who hails from Saudi Arabia and migrates to the United States, he is bound to encounter a culture shock because he will meet diversity in various aspects. There is a reverse culture shock, especially to students who go for their studies in the United States (United States Department of State).

In Saudi, there is a lot of time for pleasantries, especially when two people have scheduled for a meeting. In the United States, however, things are done faster and more direct. In other words, not even a second is lost because individuals get down to the important matters. In addition, life in Saudi Arabia does not give citizens the freedom of interaction as a family where a family of a father, mother, and their children can go out to have fun. In the United States, that is a lifestyle taken normally. That culture shock is one thing that a student coming from Saudi finds intimidating because they are used to an atmosphere that is tense because of the fear of the watchful society. They find that there is so much freedom to explore as opposed to their native home, where freedom is relatively hard to come by. A raw student to that kind of system finds it difficult to adapt at first but with time find themselves into it (American Bedu).

However, Saudi Arabia is perhaps the only place in the world where women lead one of the strangest lives of constantly being treated as second-class citizens despite being referred to as hidden treasures by their men. They have been legally and politically disenfranchised, and their liberties have also restrained by the legal guardians. It is so extreme that women who suffer rape or even sexual abuse never really have anywhere to turn to as recourse for justice. So when it comes, leadership, women in the Saudi do not think of having the right to participate as it would be tantamount to challenging the highest authority. Saudi still does not allow their women to enter the parliament as more than advisors and more strange, if these women advisors are to be consulted, it is done through video conferencing as the face-to-face conversation is not allowed. This is the only remarkable political position the Saudi women claim to have attained with six women currently holding this position but still are not regarded highly despite their stature (Shaw).

Saudi is also characterized by a deeply conservative culture of Islam that governs almost every undertaking of the people. Sharia, as it is known, is a religious guideline of how Muslims live their lives. Because the Sharia laws are revered, it means that the interpretations and adaptations go as far as to affect their economics, politics, hygiene, business, sexuality, and family life. While in the United States, alcohol is legal, and its consumption is massive, Saudi has illegalized alcohol, and the penalty for importing alcohol in Saudi is so exorbitant and also has severe detention. American people take alcohol as and when they wish as long as they are of the right age. What is more, women in Saudi are forbidden to drive and are supposed to put on clothes covered by a black abaya, which is long enough to cover the legs. American women, on the other hand, have the freedom to drive and even own cars of their wish…

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