I am Saudi Arabian from the Wadi ad-Dawasir, a town in the Riyadh Province in Saudi Arabia. We live near Al Bir, the town located in the Dawasir Valley. Wadi ad-Dawasir is divided into Alnowaima and Alkhamaseen regions. I live in the former. Al Bir village is the oldest village in the Riyadh region as it was founded in the year 1015 Hijri. It has historical importance since it was believed to be a site of pilgrimage for Muslims on their journey to the Holy City of Makah. It is also thought to be the source of underground water in the region. I live with my family in this ancient village satiated with cultural artifacts. The King Fahud Stadium is a favorite for many people here. It resembles the football culture as it catches fire so rapidly all over the world.
The trademark of this region is folklore music and dance, the Samri. It is a beautiful spectacle, performed at most social events. The performers sing and play instruments combined with a choreographed dance.
My mother is from the city of olives and salt, Qurayyat. She is from the Banu Tamim tribe, famous for its records of genealogy. Khabbab ibn al-Aratt is a legendary member of this tribe as he was Prophet Muhammad. The tribe has four branches: Amr bin Tamim, Saad bin Tamim, Hanthala bin Tamim and Abdumanat bin Tamim. My mother is from the members of Banu Tamim that scattered to occupy the Nadj area due to economical reasons. The most prolific dynasty of Banu Tamim is the Al Thani dynasty that currently runs Qatar.
My late maternal grandmother was a Saudi-Syrian. Her mother came from the city of Deir ez-Zor in Syria. This is the sixth largest city in Syria, situated in the East of the country. It has a rich history concerning the wars of the 20th century. It was under French rule in 1921. It got integrated into the Syria Arab Republic. It has a dark past of genocide, which murdered people of the deportation caravans along the banks of the Euphrates River. A church has been built there to commemorate the victims of this tragedy.
My mom’s half-siblings are from Amman, the capital city of Jordan. Amman is a city of the highest status and prosperous history. It was occupied with staggering populations and stellar infrastructure that earned many praises and honors. It has famous cuisines with different dishes from its neighboring countries known as the food of the Levant. There are falafels from Syria, kebabs from Egypt, and also meat from Iraq for spicy dishes. This cuisine is world-renowned, and it was once featured in the New York Times.
My paternal grandmother is from Alqasab village in Najd. It has a plateau landscape. It is famous for the Najd white gold and salt. It is one of the most popular salts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and it covers one third of the region. Najd is situated in the central part of the kingdom. It has puritanical Muslims, therefore, its people are remarkably conservative. My father obviously got his piety from his mother. The language used in this region is Arabic. However, it shows divergence in that the nomadic and sedentary groups in these regions are not identical.
My dad’s stepmother is from Hyderabad, India. Hyderabad is the capital of an Indian state known as Andhra Pradesh. The banks of Musi River mark this location. Hyderabad paintings belong to the famous Deccani paintings that depict bright colors, ornaments, dressings and landscapes. Its cuisine involves the use of numerous spices. Rice is a frequent component. Wheat and meat are also popular in this region. The main religion in Hyderabad is Hindu.
My half-uncles have both Indian and Saudi origins. My family consists of various races, thus, intermarriages among different societies give me an opportunity to be the witness of a mixture of modern and ancient, foreign and local, positive and negative cultures.
All my family ties perceive religion as an important hallmark of life. I can also admit that the delicacies in this region have an abundant proportion of spices that are professionally blended to tantalize tongues. We live as joint families because the family is the basic unit of society, so it has to be united.