A Guide to teaching English in Saudi Arabia 1: Al Baha


When many people think of Saudi Arabia, they think of the religion and politics. There are however many people who go to Saudi Arabia every year from all over the world, including many people who go there to teach, including teaching English. There are many questions and concerns that such people might have about the country. It is for this reason that this guide has been made. Mr Mahir Gazdar has been an English Teacher both in the UK and in Saudi Arabia. Through the series “A Guide to Teaching English in Saudi Arabia”, he gives essential information about living and working as an English Teacher there and gives personal accounts of his experiences. In the first in this series, he focuses on the region of “Al Baha” where he taught. It is hoped that this guide will be of interest to anyone who is considering moving to Saudi Arabia and teaching there or for anyone who has a general curiosity about the country

This is an article that I translated for Al Baha Museum and is about the two local tribes, Al Ghamdi and Al Zahrani. The locals therefore have these two common surnames.

Famous people from Al Ghamdi:

Abu Thibyan Al A’raj, who was a general over 2,500 troops during the Battle of Qadsiyya;
Jundub bin Zuhair Al Ghamdi about whom it is said that the verse of the Quran in Surah Al Kahf 110 was referenced;
Jundub bin Ka’ab Al Ghamdi who was said to have killed a sorcerer at the time and;
Sufyan bin O’wf bin Al Mughfil Al Ghamdi who witnessed the opening of Al Sham /Levantine and went against the Romans.

Two scientists from Al Ghamdi:

Abu Mukhnif Al Azdi Al Ghamdi who lived in Iraq and wrote about 33 books about the news /history of the area at the time and
Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Ammar Al Ghamdi who lived in Baghdad, learned the Quran and was also an orator.

Famous people from Al Zahrani:

Umm Shareek: Ghaziyya bint Jabir Al Dowsiyya who offered herself in marriage to the prophet PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him) and for whom the verse of the Quran in Surah Al Ahzab 50 was referenced;
Abu Huraira: Abdul Rahman bin Sakhr Al Dowsi, who narrated more than 5,000 hadiths /sayings of the prophet PBUH;
Umm Aban Al Dowsiyya who the Caliph Omar PBUH married to Othman PBUH and;
Al Tufail bin Amr who was the chief of the Banu Daws tribe, which is South of Makkah and helped spread Islam amongst his tribe.

Two scientists from Al Zahrani:

Al Khalil bin Ahmed Al Farahidi Al Dowsi who was born in Oman in 718, made the first Arabic dictionary and specialised in Arabic language, music, sport and translation and;
Sulaiman bin Dawud Al Zahrani who lived in Baghdad and Basra and narrated hadith. His students included Al Bukhari, Imam Muslim and Abu Dawud.

***To read and order the book, click here***


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