Saudi Arabia: Costume Around the World Series

Saudi Arabia: Costume Around the World Series

by Cath Senker

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
This "Countries in the News" series grazes trouble spots of the world, selecting basic information about the history, politics, culture, and current events. Each volume includes statistics and brief discussions of both continuing problems and issues in the news, while offering students several prompts for further debate in the classroom. Saudi Arabia will acquaint readers with the country's Muslim past and modern government since King Abd al-Aziz Al-Saud. Saudi Arabia's oil wealth is discussed, as are an exploding population, Sharia law, foreign workers, and the pilgrimage called the Hajj. "Know Your Facts" sidebars present information on subjects like oil exports, the first Iraq war, Al Qaeda, and U.S. troops stationed in the country. Offered as questions for student discussion are several issues, among them conflict between Muslim identity and modernization, rights and opportunities for women, harsh and barbaric punishments for crimes, and the perception that unemployment among Saudis is caused by foreign guest workers. Though barely skimmed here, Saudi Arabia's problems are quite interesting, especially the power of the royal family and the plight of Saudi Arabia's women (husbands can beat their wives with impunity); some suggested remedies for the future include wider political participation, relaxation of censorship, and less secrecy about the affairs of the super-rich Saudi royal family. Eye-opening information and color photos in this volume could inspire the further research necessary for any in-depth study of Saudi Arabia. Extra features include a timeline, a glossary, and a list of useful websites. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Greenberg
Part of the series "Costume Around the World," this title about Saudi Arabia opens with some general information about the country, its geography and climate, and then addresses how the local environment and traditions influenced the types of dress worn. Divided into two-page topical spreads, such as religion and culture or materials and textiles, the book effectively mixes text and photographs to present the material. Short sidebars such as "cool underwear" or "Hajj rules" spark interest by including interesting facts about dress: "cool underwear" describes the loose pajama-type bottoms worn by men under their traditional long robes; "Hajj rules" points out that women on the Islamic pilgrimage do not cover their faces, as they usually do, because all pilgrims think pure thoughts. Unfortunately, the book contains misinformation according to the Saudi Embassy Information Office: Saudi women do not wear patterned prayer robes, but black ones; Saudi women do not wear jewelry in multiples of five; and Saudis do not use "turquoise � to ward off the evil eye" or "silver bells� (to) warn away evil spirits." The author seems to have taken information about practices from other Arab and Middle Eastern countries and assumed that Saudis practice the same traditions. Reviewer: Elizabeth Greenberg

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Product Details

Chelsea House Publishers
Publication date:
Costume Around the World Series
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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