Hello, I'll answer all the questions you have about Saudi Arabia, people, religion, traditions, culture, scandals, etc. and I'll try to be unbiased :)

if you wanna ask questions about me then I'll answer them too.

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When I was in university, I dated a Saudi man. Being a silly girl, it took me some time to realize that he viewed me more as a whore than a girlfriend. I was just wondering, how common is it for young men to leave the country for a period of time and leave behind all customs. You would not believe what this guy got up to while he was in the US. - Yes, I am still a little bitter.
There are many Saudi students aboard in a scholarship program paid by the government, they split into 2 groups, some break Islamic laws and do everything haram(party, get drunk, have sex) and some would not, I personally only befriend Saudis in Canada who leave Saudi customs behind and go with the saying "when in Rome do what the Romans do", I met few Saudi atheists but they are few and hard to find and make them admit.
i found this thread very interesting. im an atheist myself living in Saudi Arabia. and i kind of understand not talking to your family about this. i havn't yet but would like to in the future . just to be known. i've mentioned t it breifly to the female members of my immediate family (sister and mother) my mother is european and my father is saudi .
like you , i was a bad muslim. then met some people and discussed evolution theory and started thinking. now i browse sites about islam to kind of figure out how it all came about .
its kind of interesting to research it from this stand point (being an atheist) because i researched it from the standpoint of being a muslim and it was somewhat different. the information perceived was not questioned. it was merely accepted or rejected.

im interested in the message islam gives. as you well know there is no country that implements the real islam. its things like being executed for apostasy that made me really open my eyes to islam and its flaws. not that i see it implemented in my daily life. but the order is out there in writing.

i appreciated your honest answers.i get the feeling you are from Jeddah ?!
I guess your family is very liberal, I'm not from Jeddah, I live in Dammam and my family is from Riyadh and Qaseem.
oh btw, do you discuss religion /atheism with friends?

and what argument was it that made you doubt islam ?

i dont think your family would disown you ...but probably , drag you from sheikh to sheikh in pursuance of your repentance . not sure what my family would do ..we hardly discuss religion either . i'm the only one in my family who is a non theist. the rest vary from just believing there is a god to actively researching into religion and belief systems to find relief.
My family is very religious, many religious figures are from my father and mother's family, they also are tribal, I'm from Subay tribe and my mother is from shammar, so basically they are very traditional people, I can't just go and say "I'm an atheist". if I had to tell someone, it's probably either my best friend or my dad or one of the liberal uncles.

I only discuss religion with non-Muslim friends.
I was stationed at King Fahad Air Base for three months in 1992. As a female military member, I did not enjoy my time in your country. I am sure you can see why. You have already answered a number of my questions. My question is about health care and the health of the Saudi people. While stationed there, a number of supposedly empty SCUD missiles landed on or near the base I was stationed at courtesy Saddam Hussein. One of these landed near where I was working. It turned out to be filled with the nerve agent sarin gas. I now suffer from Multiple Sclerosis due to this exposure. My husband who was stationed in Turkey and Iraq during the first Gulf War was also exposed to chemical weapons, oil fires and depleted uranium. He also has a multitude of health conditions.

I understand the children of Iraq often suffer from severe birth defects from the DU in the water, land, etc. I am not going to debate the use of these dreadful things like chemical weapons or DU. War is an ugly business and there is plenty of blame and hurt to go around. None of us control our governments or the secret or nasty things they might do.

My question is are the Saudi people suffering from Gulf War Illness, nervous system disorders, autoimmune disorders and birth deflects like the American and British military as well as the Iraqi people have? Have the Saudis made any progress on treating these conditions? What is the health care situation for those who suffer from these conditions? Since the civilian population could not be entirely separated from the military bases (SCUDs and DU covered ordinance land where they land. They don't say, oops, gotta go somewhere else innocent noncombatants here.), are you seeing large numbers of non military getting sick?

Thanks for answering all of our questions.
I'm really sorry to hear about how it affected you. During the invasion of Kuwait and Saudi, I was with my mom and her family in Ad Dammam, east side of Saudi Arabia, the government provided gas masks and we had one for each, we were hiding in their house and the scud missiles were landing on the city like rain and the women were screaming and crying, one scud blew up at a neighbor's house but killed none, finally, we fled Ad Dammam to Riyadh, but we had a car accident in our way, few strangers picked us up and took us to the hospital in Riyadh. We still live in the same neighborhood, and my mom's family still live in the same house and as far as I know, nobody was affected, but what you said is really strange, I didn't know scuds reached Taif, I thought it was too far, and its next to Mekkah, I guess Saddam never cared about Islam.
I was not in Taif. I was at another location. Most of my entire base got violently ill one day after a so called empty SCUD landed very near where I worked. It was later determined by the Veterans Administration that we were victims of a biological/chemical weapons attack. I was issued chemical weapons gear before entering the country, but it was taken from us on the day we arrived at the site. There were no alarms. We had no gear. We had no way to protect ourselves at all. Believe me, there were plenty of SCUDs landing where I was at. All supposedly empty.

I am glad that you had protective gear. No one should have to suffer with this disease. And no, I wasn't that far from Mecca. I never went there, of course.
forgot to mention, in that war, all the pregnant women lost their babies, including my mom, when I asked her the reason, she said it was because of the dark smoke that came from Kuwait's burning oil wells, I dunno if it's true but I doubt it was because of the scuds.
A lot of American military personnel had children with birth defects or stillbirths after the war. We also have higher rates of children with autism. Mostly, veterans believe this is caused by the umbrella disease Gulf War Illness. I do not know if the oil fires caused birth defects or still births. Depleted uranium can cause both. I am not sure how much DU was used during the first Gulf War or where it was used. My job had nothing to do with weapons, so I am not familiar with this sort of thing. It was used heavily in the recent Iraq War. The oil fires definitely caused lung problems. There were a number of chemical/biological weapons storage facilities our people found in Iraq that we just blew up. I imagine being downwind of one of these explosions would be a very bad thing.

There is going to have to be a massive clean up of these war torn areas one of these days.
That's why it pisses me off when someone thinks that war is fun or that any person who's anti-war is a lame tree hugging hippie, I wish they could live a real war, in their own hometown where their family lives, so they can learn a valuable lesson.

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