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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Saudi Arabia [Anglais] [Broché]

Colin Wells


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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5  4 commentaires
18 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ultimate Primer on This Subject 25 janvier 2004
Par Shu Ping - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Talk show hosts and lecture coordinators, book this author. He's a layman's best friend, a scholar who can explain an important but complicated issue briefly and clearly - and make it interesting.
From the arrival of Muhammad to the arrival of information technology, from the rise of fundamentalism to the rise of the Saud dynasty, from the discovery of oil in the birthplace of Islam to the discovery that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the American routing of the Taliban, from Arab unity under Nasser to Arab disunity over Saddam. Desert nomads and extravagant princes, veiled faces and unemployed clerics. Revolution and reaction, socialism and democracy, modernization and secularization. Politics, sociology, economics, history, culture, religion, philosophy, theology, psychology, genealogy, even sexuality.
Saudi Arabia, everything it affects, and vice versa. Colin Wells puts it all in context and makes it amazingly easy to understand.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Saudi Arabia is in four parts. Historical background, the Gulf War and its aftermath, Saudi society, and the terrorism issue. It includes an FAQ, a timeline, a bibliography, a glossary, and an index. Definitions, notes, and cross references abound. The book also benefits from lively prose and juicy humor. And the author shares his opinions and predictions liberally. Kudos to the book's designer for making it easy on the eyes.
In his letter to the reader, Wells promises, "...an easy, step by step approach that doesn't require any previous knowledge...too many commentators spend their time either condemning or defending without doing any explaining. You need an objective guide, one who has no axe to grind but who also keeps a tough-minded skepticism in play at all times..."
He keeps his promise. The book is comprehensive, concise, vivid, insightful, detailed, relevant, and accurate. The ultimate primer on this subject.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This Is THE Book about Saudi to Read 14 août 2009
Par John J. Slattery - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I spent nineteen years in Saudi Arabia, teaching English for the Institute of Public Administration - five years in Jeddah and fourteen years in Riyadh - between 1980 and 2003 (I took occasional breaks in a vain attempt to preserve my sanity.) And I never lived "isolated" on any "compound." So, I believe I have the credentials to evaluate this book.
I began reading it with skepticism, looking for mistakes, misinterpretations, prejudices, spin, etc. Gradually, however, I realized that this author knew exactly what he was writing about. Moreover, his style makes reading about the Kingdom exceptionally enjoyable,
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be fully informed about Saudi Arabia, and I would call it required reading for anyone who plans to go there. The review by AJ (who declares that he is neither an Arab nor a Muslim) is so very misleading. I can assume only that he knows nothing about the Kingdom or that his disclaimer is, shall we say, less than honest.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Fascinating 5 novembre 2011
Par A. Somers - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is an Idiot's Guide to Saudi Arabia or more precisely the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

While it is very interesting and covers some things I didn't already know... there are certain elements of style that are missing. More art, photos and illustrations is a prime example. It would have helped so much to have a photograph to go with paragraphs and chapters like the Hajj, what type of slaughter of animals is halal and other things. It would have come in handy to help illustrate the author's dos and don'ts that the author advises about, such as having a photo for each do and each don't.

I think overall this is a good layout to help Westerners and maybe even native Saudis understand the culture better, and am curious to find other titles. When and if I do then I will have something to compare it to, until then I will leave this as *** and a half, due to the issue of photography and illustration. There are a few photos but not as many as there could be to make this a 4 or 5 star product.

There also should be more explanation why things are the way they are there, for instance King Mordakhai the Jew really being an ancestor of the present monarchy. Nothing wrong with that but I did not see it mentioned in this book, maybe I read it too fast, after all that is important information about the roots and legacy of where the present monarchy came from.

I also would have liked more attention to gun rights or the lack of gun rights! I think I have seen a report stating Bin Laden's son Abdul Rahman was sentenced to 24 years in the pony just because he owns a gun, so they may be archaic when it comes to gun laws, and having no conscription doesn't help either, since that is a good way to keep men out of trouble, look at Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, France, Greece, Norway, Iran, and many more they have conscription and it disciplines young men and keeps them busy instead of too much Playstation. Israel too.

My point is why complain about females's right to drive and not address the gun laws and the burka after all, what good is it to be running your own errands unless one can protect onesself? Driving with a burka on? Wacky! In Iran they don't make you cover your mouth and nose, the burka looks like an asphyxiation fetish piece, get real.

Aryan Somers
5 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Pro-American; Anti-arab 6 janvier 2007
Par AJ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
If you want a book that will describe Saudi culture from the perspective of Saudis themselves, look elsewhere. I was disappointed to find that the author seems to focus primarily on the things he dislikes about Saudi culture. He almost seems to go out of his way to make Saudis look ridiculous.

On political issues, the author seems almost like a mouthpiece of the US government, agreeing with official US positions on everything. A ridiculously large portion of the book is devoted to terrorism and re-hashing the 9-11 attacks. I wish more pages would have been devoted to telling me about customs and taboos that would actually be useful for a visitor to Saudi Arabia to know about. It does include some of this, but not enough. The section on the oil industry is pretty good.

And no, I am not an Arab or a Muslim.
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