Saudi Arabia’s strict religious rules cost its economy tens of billions every year

When I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia as a lawyer from 2010 to 2012, I spent a lot of time waiting outside restaurants.

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When I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia as a lawyer from 2010 to 2012, I spent a lot of time waiting outside restaurants.

Not because I really like food, or had a fetish for restaurant exteriors, but because I was really bad at estimating when Salat would happen.

“Salat” is the Arabic word for the prayer time that Muslims are asked to perform five times a day. During the usual workday, Salat occurs about four times. In most countries, Salat is voluntary. Saudi Arabia is not most countries.

In the oil-rich monarchy, all businesses are required to shut down during Salat to give their employees enough time to go to a local mosque and pray. During the 1980s, if Saudi’s religious police caught a young Muslim outside during Salat, they’d literally drag him to a mosque.

In the white-collar economy, each Salat normally takes 15 minutes, because fancy office buildings usually have designated prayer rooms where employees can go. More info

Source:  http://www.vox.com/

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