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From the Publisher
"The median age in Saudi Arabia is about 15. New mothers receive gifts from family, friends and neighbors and in turn arrange to have freshly-butchered mutton distributed to the poor. Choosing a spouse is a prolonged process, and nearly always a family affair. Long, a consultant on the Middle East with a 30-year diplomatic career, describes everyday life in Saudi Arabia, including its traditional elements and those undergoing change, family life, cuisine and dress, social customs, rites of passage, holidays, communications, mass media, and forms of artistic expression. He points out that many regional cultures with their own ways of life co-exist in this young nation with an ancient history."
Art Book News Annual
"[T]his handy little book is a fine introduction to Saudi Arabia for students, visiting businesspersons, expatriate workers or the pioneer tourists the Kingdom is gradually attracting. Even longtime foreign residents of Saudi Arabia may find it a useful way to fill in gaps in their knowledge and con- firm their suspicions about aspects of Saudi custom and culture. The author truly knows his subject matter. He does not sugarcoat: He takes on topics like terrorism and disaffected Saudi youth. But he writes to explain differences, rather than criticize them. He offers fascinating insights on the extended family, gender roles, the disorientation of young people and the complex interplay of tradition and modernization in today's Saudi Arabia….[f]or those who look beyond the stereotypes of the western media, there is a rich and vibrant culture and an evolving society worthy of attention and respect."
Saudi Aramco World
"Since the mid-twentieth century, this conservative traditional society has wrestled with the impact of modernization and of its great oil wealth. The author has used extensive personal contacts there to provide up-to-date material. The volume includes a foreword, preface, chronology, and introduction and chapters on Land, People, and History; Traditional Islamic Culture and Modernization; The Extended Family and Gender Roles; Cuisine and Dress; Social Customs; Rites of Passage and Holidays; Communication and Mass Media; and Artistic Expression."
"David E. Long's Culture and Customs of Saudi Arabia, geared toward a non-specialist lay audience, gives an accessible account of modern Saudi Arabian society and culture. Well written and easy to read, the book reflects the author's insights and observations acquired while living and working in the Kingdom….This is a thoughtfully written work that provides the reader with a sensative and well-balanced view of Saudi Arabian culture and society."
Middle East Journal