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Saudi Customs and Etiquette Paperback – 28 Nov 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Stacey International; 2nd Revised edition edition (28 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900988526
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900988520
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.1 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Also by Kathy Cuddihy 'an A-Z of Places and Things Saudi'. From Abaya to the Zabaydah Road, 'An A - Z of Places and Things Saudi' serves as an invaluable reference to the reader seeking a real understanding of the Kingdom. Kathy Cuddihy, an author already known for her work in bridging the cultural divide, provides the answers with clarity and concision, providing a book that is at once a friendly companion and a handy reference.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ms. Cuddihy lived in the Kingdom for decades, and with her acquired knowledge has compiled an excellent, factually accurate, and common sense guide to the country. With the various "tabloid" novels and movies that claim to "rip the veil off Saudi society," this guide is an essential one that cuts through the fantasy, and presents the real facts for the first time visitors. Even an expatriate who has lived in the country for a few years might find needed explanations in the book; it would also be most useful for any journalist who writes about the country.

The core of the book is divided into 15 chapters, wisely starting with "Hospitality." It is normal that a visitor will be well received, per the customs of the country, and therefore the appropriate ways of reciprocating are outlined. The additional chapters cover a spectrum of issues: incense, health and beauty, dress, social conventions, bargaining, doing business, family, courtship and marriage, divorce, death, Islam, law, government and the Muslim year. In these chapters she manages to introduce around 100 useful Arabic words. The chapters are illustrated with useful drawings. The 16th chapter is a handy compilation of do's and don'ts. She even managed to work in the old canard about not showing the soles of your feet in this section. There is a glossary at the end, with perhaps 200 Arabic words, though perhaps the most useful is missing: "Lau Samat" ( If you please ), a term that will cover many a gaffe.

It is a shame that this wonderful guide appears out of print, but if you really want to learn more about the true customs and etiquette of the country, it is worthwhile to "chase the book down" from a secondary seller.

(Note: Review first published at Amazon, USA, on August 08, 2008)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saudi Customs 2 Feb. 2007
By William Garrison Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is an enjoyable quick-read, medium-large print font, medium-size paperback of 135 wide-margin pages. Its 16 chapters include: hospitality (greetings, the coffee ritual, invitations, eating, smoking), incense, health and beauty (miswak, perfume, henna, kohl), dress (men & women), social conventions (forms of address, friendship, expats, saving face, gifts, gestures, language, numbers, photography), bargaining, doing business (introductions, courtesies, business attitudes), family (children, women), courtship & marriage, divorce, death, Islam, law (pitfalls, visa documents), government, the Muslim year, dos & donts, and a glossary. The "bargaining" section is 4 pages long, and "doing business" only 9 -- so don't expect to learn about Saudi's business codes here in setting up an import/export firm. Essentially, this is between a pamphlet and a booklet. Some tidits that the author picked up during her living there. VERY useful if you have no idea of Arab customs and plan on visiting the Kingdom. Better than most similar booklets.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, sensible advice 8 Aug. 2008
By John P. Jones III - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ms. Cuddihy lived in the Kingdom for decades, and with her acquired knowledge has compiled an excellent, factually accurate, and common sense guide to the country. With the various "tabloid" novels and movies that claim to "rip the veil off Saudi society," this guide is an essential one that cuts through the fantasy, and presents the real facts for the first time visitors. Even an expatriate who has lived in the country for a few years might find needed explanations in the book; it would also be most useful for any journalist who writes about the country.

The core of the book is divided into 15 chapters, wisely starting with "Hospitality." It is normal that a visitor will be well received, per the customs of the country, and therefore the appropriate ways of reciprocating are outlined. The additional chapters cover a spectrum of issues: incense, health and beauty, dress, social conventions, bargaining, doing business, family, courtship and marriage, divorce, death, Islam, law, government and the Muslim year. In these chapters she manages to introduce around 100 useful Arabic words. The chapters are illustrated with useful drawings. The 16th chapter is a handy compilation of do's and don'ts. She even managed to work in the old canard about not showing the soles of your feet in this section. There is a glossary at the end, with perhaps 200 Arabic words, though perhaps the most useful is missing: "Lau Samat" ( If you please ), a term that will cover many a gaffe.

It is a shame that this wonderful guide appears out of print, but if you really want to learn more about the true customs and etiquette of the country, it is worthwhile to "chase the book down" from a secondary seller.
4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Saudi culture 22 Jan. 2011
By Cactus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The author opens up her book citing that when she first came to Saudi Arabia in 1976, most people in the Western world had very little knowledge about Saudi Arabia. Even as the author published her book in 2002, people still barely knew about this kingdom...

...and even in the present day, I feel like Saudi Arabia carries negative connotations in the Western world. We hear about the medieval style punishment, the laws that prohibit women from driving, and the association of terrorism with the Wahhabi faith. And I agree, all the above are bad, and Saudi Arabia may not be the most perfect place on Earth. However, I think people should still try and look at the other aspects of the country objectively. This book is a good introduction to the Saudi State and its culture.

Some of the topics covered include: Saudi hospitality, marriage and the family structure, religious practices, and differences in the business environment. For the most part, it explains what Saudis do (depending on which region they live in), and what they typically expect Westerners to do. The book is written in very simple language, and it is not highly detailed. One or two chapters in the book aren't that helpful, i.e. one of them just discusses the history of incense. The book is still adequate for someone who wants to broaden their horizons and understand Saudi Arabia better when they hear about it in current events, etc. The knowledge in this book is also a bare minimum to have if you plan on visiting or residing there.
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