The culture of Saudi Arabia.

Reply to the discussion:

For my SLP paper, I decided to focus on the culture of Saudi Arabia. I was raised in an overall American and non-religious household, however, my mother came from a Palestinian household. Because of their close geographic settings, Saudi Arabia has a few similarities with Palestinian culture. Of course, there are also a few differences. Purnell (2005) identifies two cultural factors which will be discussed: “Family Roles and Organization” and “High-Risk Behaviors”.

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Family Roles and Organization

Like in many middle-eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Palestinian families are patriarchal (World Trade Press, 2010)(Global Affairs Canada, 2018). Both household structures are set up where the husband works and the wife takes care of the children (World Trade Press, 2010)(The Culture of Palestine, 2020). While both of my parents have jobs, as well as my two aunts, my mother recounts that growing up my grandfather went to work while my grandmother stayed home. Like in Saudi Arabia, businesses are run by families and business interactions tend to be less formal (World Trade Press, 2010)(Global Affairs Canada, 2018).

High Risk Behaviors

Also, like other middle-eastern countries, smoking tobacco is common in both Palestine and Saudi Arabia (Mizher et al., 2018)(Moradi-Lakeh et al, 2013). Because of this, both states have laws preventing the smoking tobacco from occurring in healthcare settings (Moradi-Lakeh et al, 2013) (Mizher et al., 2018). There is, however, a slight difference in the health care setting. While in Saudi Arabia, the commonness of tobacco smoking is lower compared to other middle-eastern countries (Moradi-Lakeh et al, 2013), the same does not apply to commonness of smoking in health care professionals. In Saudi Arabia, a study in 2012 showed that 23.5% of health care staff were found to be current smokers of Tobacco (Moradi-Lakeh et al, 2013). In Palestine, the average rating of health care providers who were still smokers was 34.5% (Mizher et al., 2018)

As a healthcare provider, I will be more cautious when interacting with people of similar ethnic backgrounds that are from different regions. I will expect similarities in customs and views, but also some differences. I will also be mindful of smoking in the health care facility. I myself do not smoke, but I will be cautious of my co-workers and how they will interact with my patients to ensure their full recovery.


Global Affairs Canada. (2018). West Bank and Gaza. Government of Canada. Retrieved from

Mizher, I.Y.; Fawaqa, S.I.; Sweileh, W. (2018). Prevalence and personal attitudes towards tobacco smoking among Palestinian healthcare professionals; a cross-cultural study. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice. 13(7). DOI:10.1186/s13722-018-0119-z

Moradi-Lakeh, M.; El Bcheraoui, C.; Afshin, A.; Daoud, F.; AlMazroa, M.A. (2017). Diet in Saudi Arabia: findings from a nationally representative survey. Public Health Nutrition. Cambridge. 20(6). 1075-1081. DOI: 10.1017/S1368980016003141

Purnell, L. (2005). The Purnell model for cultural competence [Electronic version].Journal of Multicultural Nursing & Health, 11(2), 7-15.

The Culture of Palestine. (2020). The Culture of Palestine. The Excellence Center in Palestine. Hebron-Palestine. Retrieved from

World Trade Press. (2010).Saudi Arabia society & culture complete report: An all-inclusive profile combining all of our society and culture reports (2nd ed.). Pentaluma, CA: World Trade Press.

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