Stereotypes Of Saudi Arabia Literature Review Examples
Stereotype is nothing but a common public belief about the characteristic attributes or behavior of an individual or a society as a whole. It may not be true since stereotyping an individual or a community is purely based on assumptions and views (“Stereotype Examples”). The most commonly noticed stereotypes in the world today are racial, cultural, sexual and group-based. Stereotyping a country for negative reasons affects the members of the society badly. For example, the younger generation of a negative stereotyped country may find it difficult to find better opportunities and fair treatment in another country. This, in turn, decreases the morale of the younger generation and promotes hatred and anger in young minds. Stereotyping tends to diminish performance of individuals or groups since the frequent threat undermines the potential of the victims (“The problem with”).
In the West, Saudi Arabians are yet stereotyped as terrorists, camel riders, rich and not treating women fairly. The Western World, particularly the media and journalists, vilify the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a negative stereotype of unfriendliness and intolerance toward other cultures and religions (Ahmad). Ahmad quotes in his article “Saudis still stereotyped in the West” that Martin, a Canadian Professor who was teaching at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center for some time, as saying that the capital city Riyadh is one of the loveliest places on earth with cloudless blue skies and a pleasing natural aroma in the air. “Saudis are so welcoming, and students welcome and love foreign teachers,” Ahmad cites Martin once again. Westerners extremely stereotype Saudi Arabia due to lack of familiarity with the country. The enormous media publicity of 9/11 in fact seemed to confirm the negative opinion of the Western World about the country. Most of the Westerners who continuously stereotype Saudi Arabia have either never met a Saudi national or never visited the country, laments Ahmad.
King Abdulaziz Al-Saud founded the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the year 1933. Within a short span of time since the foundation Saudi Arabia transformed itself into an extremely modern country from a nation known for deserts and camels. King Abdulaziz, though never traveled outside the Arab world, was a highly respected statesman dedicated to peace and justice. The recent king Abdullah, who took over in the year 2005, and was known for his international diplomatic skills, always stood for world peace, security and stability (“The history of”). People living in different countries have their own beliefs, cultures and religious practices, and the Saudis too have their own unique set of beliefs, cultures and religious practices. Their belief in their religion Islam and their spirit to defend forces that try to destroy Islam often portrays them as terrorists to the outside world.
Women, as against the stereotyping eyes of the Western world, do enjoy much freedom and opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran, a Saudi Arabian woman lawyer who primarily fights for the rights of women, has been listed as the seventh most powerful among 100 women by the magazine Arabian Business. She is also the founder of the first women law firm in the country. Similarly, Haifa Al Mansour, listed second among 100 most powerful women of the Arab World, is the director of the first ever Saudi movie to enter the Oscars under the Best Foreign language Movie category. Also, Lubna Olayan, listed as the 86th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine, is a popular Saudi Arabian business woman, and Chief Executive Officer of Olayan Financing Company (Primo).
When compared with most of the Western cities, Saudi Arabia is a far safer place for ordinary citizens and women to live. The city of Chicago, spotlighted for 2448 murders in the year 2012, is well-known for the operation of many gun crime bands and violent street gangs like most of the other cities of America (Don). In Saudi Arabia, enforcement of strict laws ensures peace and safety of all its citizens and foreigners living in the country.
The media, especially the Western one, has always focused on the restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia on religion and culture, and clothing pattern of women. However, the media has failed to show how an ordinary boy or girl loves to grow in the country with dreams and visions like any other boy or girl in the Western countries. The fact that Saudi Arabia has developed a lot in a small span of time is evident that Saudi Arabians believe in hard working so as to grow with the rest of the world (“Shaking Saudi”). The media could do a great favor to younger Saudi generation if it highlights the positive aspects of the country to the outside world to make the country one among the best in all aspects.
Ahmad, Hayat. "Saudis Still Stereotyped in the West." Arab News. 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.arabnews.com/news/521931>.
Babwin, Don. "Chicago Homicides Down Drastically In 2013 To Fewest Murders Since 1965, Police Say." The Huffington Post. 2 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www. huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/chicago-homicides-down-dr_n_4531328.html?ir=India>.
Primo, Valentina. "7 Successful Saudi Women That Beat the Stereotype." Barakabits.com. 30 Nov. 2014. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.barakabits.com/2014/11/7-successful-saudi-women-beat-stereotype>.
"Shaking Saudi Stereotype." Echo Depiction. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <https://echodepiction. wordpress.com/2010/03/01/shake-it/>.
"Stereotype Examples." Your Dictionary. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://examples. yourdictionary. com/stereotype-examples.html>.
"The History of Saudi Arabia." Saudi Embassy. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.
"The Problem with Negative Stereotypes." Centre for Confidence and Well-being. Web. 30 Jan. 2015. <http://www.centreforconfidence.co.uk/flourishing- lives.php?p=cGlkPTE4NQ ==>.
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