Gulf War Generation A.K.A Sahwa Generation


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 Gulf War Generation A.K.A Sahwa Generation Started Working (1990-2000)

This was the generation that entered the workforce age during (and after) the gulf war (1990 to 2000). This generation also grew up seeing their fathers and uncles work in offices with expats. They saw the effect of education on careers. This generation entered the workforce with significantly less western management and a higher number of Saudis.  It is also important to mention that unfortunately for this generation, the job market wasn’t good. This was due to the war, budgets were frozen, positions were made redundant. Furthermore during this period “Sahwa Movement” reached its peak.

  • Influences:

This generation (similar to the previous one) was mostly influenced by TVsTelephonesthe assassination of King Faisal, and “Sahwa Movement” reaching its absolute peak. It was also influenced by the establishment of companies such as SABICSCECOSaudi Oger, Almarai and the government acquiring 100% of Saudi Aramco.


  • Characteristics:
    • Higher Education: This generation saw the influx of post undergraduate studies.
    • Family Oriented: The tribal mentality somehow got infused with the Sahwa’s mentality and as families grew larger, the people started to focus on their direct family members
    • Work Towards an Individual Goal: That goal would be securing their individuality and starting their family unit according to the social construct of the time.


  • Pros:
    • High Loyalty: The high level of loyalty can be attributed to many things. But from an HR perspective, It was mostly noticed that governmentally funded organizations were taking the lead in developing people. Additionally, they started to see some of those said organizations with a housing program.
    • Generalist Orientation: Having covered the engineering, administrative and management side of the business. Saudis in this period preferred the management and engineering senior roles.
    • Relationship Focus: The Socio-Economical structure consolidated its form to take its shape accordingly.


  • Cons:
    • Management Style: There was not a large shift in management culture from the previous generation. That style was perfectly adapted with the “Sahwa Movement”. It was authoritative and non-inclusive.
    • Some Narcissistic & Self-Centred Behaviours: Due to the fact of being raised in the “Tafrah” period and experiencing the “Sahwa Movement”, some narcissistic tendencies and behaviors started to arise in the workplace.
    • Technology Impairment:  Technology has started to be heavily needed in the business sector, but the knowledge was extremely lacking and suppressed by the “Sahwa Movement”.
    • Reluctance to Change: Unlike the previous period, this generation became very hesitant towards change and that was greatly in thanks to the  “Sahwa Movement”.
    • No Budget Concerns: Again, this can be surely attributed to the lack of its necessity during the “Tafrah” period.
    • Diffusion of responsibility: It is a sociopsychological phenomenon whereby a person is less likely to take responsibility for action or inaction when others are present. Considered a form of attribution, the individual assumes that others either are responsible for taking action or have already done so. Additionally, and due to the events of the “Sahwa Movement”, individuals became reluctant to provide help for fear of how observers would view them.


  • Work Philosophy  (why they work):

Large and especially government-funded organization succeeded in taking the role of a nurturer. That guaranteed the loyalty of that generation and it is noted that the standard goal was to work towards retirement. Additionally, they started to see some of those said organizations with housing programs.

Gulf War Generation A.K.A Sahwa Generation
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Gulf War Generation A.K.A Sahwa Generation
This was the generation that entered the workforce age during (and after) the gulf war (1990 to 2000).
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HR MasterKey
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1 comment on “Gulf War Generation A.K.A Sahwa Generation

  1. Pingback: جيل حرب الخليج - الصحوة | HR MasterKey

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