Every culture is governed by an internal code of conduct, and this publication offers the first written code of Saudi culture. The Saudi way of being has long been an oral tradition passed merely verbally from one generation to the next, despite its power to regulate every aspect of public and private lives. Most Saudi norms and values have long been unwritten and only orally communicated among Saudis. As a result, visitors to Saudi Arabia have been unable to read about Saudi norms and values. For this reason, this book spells out these norms and values in bold print, recording the Saudi code of conduct and displaying it in a published format. It displays 1142 bite-sized (often previously unrecorded) explanations of how the human body acts in Saudi Arabia. It seeks to cover everything from top to bottom; the face, cheek, hair, eyes, skin, brain, mouth, ears, nose, stomach, waist, heart, genitals and extremities. It is the product of close observations of everyday activities and around 2,000 interviews with nationals and residents, over the past five years. This book is the first to talk about Saudi culture in a purely descriptive (and thus non-judgemental and unbiased) manner. It is the first to present Saudi values and norms in the form of a bullet-pointed list and in bite-sized explanations. Most explanations can be read independently of any other explanations. The way the content is focussed on bite-sized statements helps put across clearly and simply the information. The book is the first to be written by a male Saudi who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, who is still based in this country, who is a former officially-recognised imam and who comes from a working-class family—yet he is a backpacker, is married to a non-Saudi, non-Arab and non-Muslim European, has studied in Oxford, has published with the largest international academic publishers, has written in different languages and hence has the ability to communicate with and convey information to foreign mentalities. Publications about Saudi culture tend to be too serious; however, this book is not meant to be taken too seriously. The book is intended to be entertaining and humorous (and, surely, informative). It tries to avoid the use of the words ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ because of two main reasons. First, these two words are sensitive and, more importantly, serious. Second, the book is purely cultural and written entirely for the sake of cultural exchange (not for religious or political matters). This book is unbiased, exposing both negative and positive practices in Saudi society. Many Saudi readers of the book have criticised the author for not trying to invite (through and in the book) non-Muslim readers to Islam. Yet, this book is written purely for the sake of international communication (not for religious reasons), with neither religious nor political agendas.
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Dr. Al Lily is a Saudi international consultant on Saudi culture, a bestselling author, an Oxford graduate and an assistant professor of education, technology and sociology at a Saudi university. He has published with the largest academic publishers: Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, Sage and Oxford University Press. He has written in different languages, for academic & non-academic magazines. He has pioneered an innovative approach in research, called Crowd-Authoring. He has acted as the initiator, mediator and first author of an article by 99 authors – the first article in the social sciences to be written by such a large number of people. He was a 0.5%-researcher on Academia.edu in 2016. Whatsapp: +447946674377. Twitter: @abdulallily. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: https://abdulallily.wordpress.com
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