Myth One: Saudi, the Land Of The Riches
Today I want to target the first myth about Saudi. All the stereotypes and ignorant comments really annoys me. When I meet new people whether they are Muslims, None Muslims, from the East or the West. They all think Saudis are LOADED. Like not only rich, but beyond. I even got questions like "do you even need to work when you are back in Saudi?" or "doesn't your government already provide you with income and housing while you sit at home?" I am always surprised by these questions. I think my eyes used to pop out of my head when I heard them, but I am so used to them by now.
The funniest thing is when I tell people the reality and that I don't have as much money as they think, they would just think I am lying. Plus, last time I checked it's not polite to question people about their bank accounts.
Lol no that's not my money or my own gas station, Source.
It is true the country is rich and produces crazy amounts of oil. We all hear about the extra billions Saudi makes every year, but who said that normal citizens get any of that money? I have no idea who started that rumour. Saudis get ZERO of the oil selling money. Well not directly. Some of it goes on scholarships, public education, over crowded public hospitals and other stuff -God knows what, but I am "sure" it's beneficial.
Surprisingly, Saudis work for their money. OH YAH THEY DO. They aren’t getting any free money, and the jobs don’t pay that much. In fact, a lot of Saudis are moving from high middle class to lower middle class. Especially, after the stock market crisis. All I know about the matter that stock market was growing really fast, and EVERYONE like seriously 98% of the people I know put their money-their lifetime savings- in the stock market. Few months later, the whole thing collapsed, and people lost their money. These days not the only husband works, but the wife does as well to make ends meet. The land of the riches will soon be the land of the “broke” and the “bankrupt”.
Confused Saudis, Source.
Here's a quick snippet of the Saudi reality: A person graduates high school, try to get into a public university, college or an institute. There are 25 public universities across the whole of Saudi in different areas. People tend to stick to what's close to them. In the Eastern province in Saudi for example. There are only three public universities for girls and guys. Getting to those universities is super competitive and when there is no other option the person applies to a private universities, which is one in the Eastern province or go to other areas. Of course there are more in the capital.
Forward 4-5 years, this person graduates. Then comes the -looking for a job- struggle. It's funny how random none Saudis think, Saudis have their jobs lined up for them. Of course if this person is lucky to have a family business, they will go work there, but that's rarely the case. When a job is secured, comes the low pay which starts from 4-7 grands Saudi Riyals for a BA/BS, which equals 660-1660 GBP. That's it! Now add living, transports, groceries and other expenses. Note that shopping is about the same prices as in London. Does this struggle sounds familiar? it's happening world wide and Saudis are not above that.
I know some people see the rich Saudis who travel and spend ridiculous amounts of money, but those super rich ones are a small percentage. Like every society, there is an upper class that controls most of the money.
closest social hierarchy pyramid I found, Source.
Bottom line is stop the stereotype and know that rich Saudis are a myth! Accept the fact that Saudis are just like any other nationality with so many money problems.
Please feel free to share your stereotypes and stories in the comments below. Please be respectful to each other!