I remember the first time I visited Alqassim. It was the village where both my mother and father were born and lived some years of their life. At first, I was totally shocked by the way of living here. Everything was totally different from the things I was used to. Suddenly, I found out that there are many differences among various countries; yet, there are even more distinctions between the two areas of the same state. By means of this paper, I will show the main impressions from visiting this little piece of the blessed land.
Alqassim is a small village in north Saudi Arabia. Life here differs a lot from the one in the city. People walk slower, always greet each other and know everybody’s story from the beginning. There is no place for lies or dishonesty here. If one is a trader and owns a little store where he/she sells fruits, one takes care of his/her clientele and suppliers since he/she literary depends on them. The close relations and unity among community members are the key features of this small village. Whereas in the cities people can easily escape others by diving into the books, plugging their ears with headphones or locking in the apartment, where one could be accessed on a constant basis. Certainly, sometimes it could be quite irritating, yet, in case of emergency, one would be definitely provided with any kind of help.
Alqassim is a natural area, so the lifestyle there is different than in urban areas, such as Riyadh. Therefore, the household duties here are different than in the cities. Gardening is treated with more care here. Men usually take care of growing, protecting, and picking the crops. The latter include the grain or sometimes wheat. Another main difference refers to cooking. The majority of women in Alqassim are housewives, so they usually cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner for their husbands and kids. Children come from school and men come back from work and find their meals ready. The third main difference relates to the responsibilities regarding cleaning. Women usually take care of cleaning the living room, dining room, bedrooms, and kitchen. As could be seen from these general conclusions, females are overburdened with the household duties while men are basically responsible for the economic well-being of the family. Such a distribution of roles within the family is inherent for the Arabian families, especially, those residing in the rural areas. At the same time, it should be stressed that here women are provided with fewer opportunities for their personal development. Basically, their main duties include the running of the household and bringing children up. While men are given chances to grow both professionally and personally, women have to sacrifice their lives for their families. In this regard, it should be stressed that for the majority of females such state of affairs is totally acceptable. Yet, the traditions still rule and it is extremely hard or even impossible for them to change the configurations of the roles. Therefore, one might anticipate the social changes and unrest here due to the social injustice in the field of female rights.
At the lowest levels, life in Alqassim is totally different. The key household duties are usually assigned to women. On the contrary to the rural areas, in cities families turn to hire professionals to take care of their houses. Frequently, they hire the gardeners, babysitters, cooks and other kinds of servants. Another difference in household responsibilities is cooking. People hire maids to cook for them since each family member is busy with his/her own work. Cleaning is the third main difference between Riyadh and Alqassim, Families in the city also contact the cleaning agencies to help them in recruiting the personnel who will keep their houses tidy and fresh. Maids in Riyadh usually have their own rooms in the house they work in, and they are mostly treated as members of the family.
Life in the cities and villages is also different in terms of pressures and stress. On the contrary to the cities, especially capitals, that never sleep, in villages human beings live a more meaningful life. They perform their basic activities and have more time to reflect. They are not bombarded with the tones of emails and phone calls coming from everywhere since Wi-Fi is accessible in every corner. In the village, the life-work balance is always kept at the normal rate and, therefore, the relations within the family are stronger and healthier.
In conclusion, lifestyles not only vary between two different countries or two different cultures; they also differ between the two regions in the same state. For example, the main distinction between household responsibilities in Riyadh and Alqassim are ways of treatment of gardening, cooking, and cleaning. There are differences between those two regions even though they are in the same country. The distinctions in the household responsibilities as well as in the roles of men and women in small village communities and large cities also affect the scope of the opportunities provided the females. A slight overview of the key tendencies lets one suppose that in the future more Arabian women will unite to protest against the hegemony of men within the Arabian society.