Kingdom of Faith

When tradition meets modernization...

Riyadh as a city displays conflicting emotions that hits you the minute you walk out of the airport. Like all faithful today, it is a character assaulted by a world of skeptics who are embolden by science and technology. On one hand you discern a city jealously holding on to its roots. Strong in its belief and unbending when it comes to faith. Look the other way and you have a city bursting at the seams trying to reel in a flood of commercialization and technology which accompanies progress. For now tradition rules with an iron fist but as I see the number of new sky scrapers reflecting the setting sun, I sense changing winds. Add in a massive legion of foreign labor, I can feel a culture rapidly evolving.


Thus Riyadh is a stereotypical split personality. Like most of us, it is trying to balance a strict upbringing with the influence of the new world. Only time will tell which way Riyadh and Saudi Arabia as a whole will move. Will it embrace progress, dig deeper into its traditions or will it be the few who master the difficult balance between the two forces…

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