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I have written previously about working generations but the problem was that the working generations were focused mainly on people in the United States of America. Therefore I have dedicated adequate time to focus on this matter. And as a result, I ended up with “A Century in Saudi’s Labor Market”.
Below I will be expanding on the Pre-Oil Generation (Started Working Before 1938):
This was the generation that entered the workforce before the oil was found (1938). It is, of course, important to remember that the period was before the industrial revolution in Saudi Arabia went into huge effect. That time was different; having grown up when King Abdulaziz was uniting the now known as Saudi Arabia.
Slavery was still the norm. Therefore the need for talent wasn’t really a necessity. the economy was only affected by some known agricultural trade, travel routes and religious seasonal visitors (During Hajj and Ramadan).
Since the information was not flowing as it is now, this generation was mostly influenced by King Abdulaziz’s conquests and the emerging awareness of Islam. Additionally, trade was an influence and tribal mentality was one of the greatest factors in their life.
- Honesty: It is usually the case of small tribes that a lie doesn’t last long. The strong focus on Islamic traits by King Abdulaziz enhanced honesty. That resulted in the general public rarely showing signs of deception.
- Hard Work: It is important to know the nature of people that lived in that era. They were highly influenced by religion that concentrates on work; as it is mentioned through verses in the Holy Quran: (And say, “Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds, and [so, will] His Messenger and the believers. And you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do.”) (9:105)
- Tribal Mentality: Being a community comprised of tribes, it is undeniable that the prevailing way of life was controlled by the tribal mentality.
- Modesty: People were humble and modest due to the extreme lack of abundance and luxury, and the general state of the public.
- Sheltering: Coming to the rescue of one in need has been an inherent trait for Arabs in general.
- Honesty: (Already mentioned above)
- Hard-Work: (Already mentioned above)
- Community-Oriented: That was really derived from the strong tribal mentality.
- Modest: (Already mentioned above)
- Sheltering: (Already mentioned above)
- Lack of Education: Given the resources available, education would have been a luxury not afforded by many.
- Xenophobia: (unreasonable fear or hatred of the unfamiliar) That was really derived from the strong tribal mentality.
- Close- Mindedness: This might be more exclusive for the central regions of the Kingdom. Coastal cities such as Al-Ahsaa, Mecca, Jeddah, Al-Madinah where much more open-minded, due to trade and religious visitors (Pilgrims).
Back then almost everyone had a craft or was a Sheppard or farmer, some joined King Abdulaziz in his conquests. And few were dealing in trades, which means either in farms, workshops or traveling.
- Work Philosophy(why they work):
Day by Day: The early periods of the Kingdom encountered very hard times. When looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the main focus back then was to secure the basic physiological need to afford the day’s expenses (mainly food and shelter).