The actual laws in Saudi Arabia are not as strict as they appear, but everyone tends
to be more conservative than required as social etiquette demands this. For example,
although women don't have to legally cover their faces all women do so. Many
of these dress and behavioral restrictions are also divided by sex as men and women
are not allowed to touch each other unless married.
Despite the social conservatism in Saudi Arabia, from a technological viewpoint
the country is very advanced. Since the discovery of oil, the country has become
quite wealthy and the government has used much of this money to advance their technology,
but also their social programs.
Today the people are becoming more and more educated in every field, but the oil
industry seems to be driving this rapid growth. With each year the country is also
becoming more educated as many new jobs are "white collar" positions in
every field from engineers in the oil industry to doctors assisting the huge population,
although education levels are still improving.
Saudi Arabia continues to be a balance between a country with a modern and advanced
economy and a socially conservative country, creating an odd, almost seemingly impossible
balance in the daily way of life. This balancing act may seem to be contradictory,
however the people believe in the system and the government so there seems to be
little argument as Saudi Arabia continues to move forward.