Arabian Return: Going Back in Time - 1975


This book contains the highlights of my return to live in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the mid-1970s after an absence of 19 years.

It was written for the express purpose of recording the events of my life and those of my family and friends, during that time, as I documented and remembered them. I loved living in Saudi Arabia and having the privilege of meeting and associating with all the people of all nationalities I encountered. For this unequivocal opportunity, I give praise to Allah.

Colleen R. Wilson


Map of Saudi Arabia
Map of Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a strange mystique that tugs at you like a magnet. Returning to live there again after an absence of 19 years was as much like going back in time as a living person is capable of doing. It was as if that country had almost stood still, immobile and at peace, in a protective cocoon of tranquility.

My first impression was a strange mixture of the old and the new. Saudi Arabia seemed to be caught in a time machine between confusing, modern civilization as we know it, and their world that had changed very little since ancient Biblical times. Still wearing their long, white, shirt-like garments and head coverings, fingering their worry beads, and kneeling to pray five times a day, they worked their way through the unfamiliar, foreign oil field equipment. And they were trying to understand the customs of those people, who were so alien to them but had come to live and work in their homeland.

Arriving there on March 22. 1975, we observed a few changes here and there, and what looked like a slow beginning of progress. Then it exploded before our eyes, and we were given the opportunity to be a part of and watch with fascination and excitement, Arabia's headlong rush into the 20th century, on a quest to catch up with the rest of the world.

Colleen Wilson Riding Camel
Colleen Wilson riding a camel.

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