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Saudi Arabia
  1. Ravi Malhotra
  1. King Fahad Hospital, Al Baha, PO Box 204, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, E-mail: ravineuro{at}


Every now and again Saudi Arabia is in the international news, for the wrong reasons. It is home to the two Holy mosques, one at Makkah and the other at Madinah. Millions of people travel to this country every year to perform the pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah. In their wake these pilgrims bring with them their culture, their pots and pans, their sheep and goats, and their microbes. This vast cultural cauldron has the potential for huge outbreaks of illnesses: malaria, cholera, enteric fever, meningitis and zoonosis. Year after year the Saudi authorities manage the multitude of problems with unselfish devotion, stretching their resources, to provide free facilities to this sea of mankind. All this in the name of God and in His service. It is this immense piety, taqwa in Arabic, that lies at the heart of Saudi culture. Little is written about it.

Saudi Arabia a population

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