When you hear the name “Saudi Arabia” what comes to mind is often the economical status and its renowned production of oil and gas, or perhaps its geographical location and the desert climate. But surprisingly, near one of the largest oil fields in the world stands the Al-Hasa oasis. Located in the eastern region of the Kingdom, the fields are known for their cultivation of palm and rice.
There, fields of rice are grown and harvested by the locals themselves, acting as their primary source of income along with a few other crops throughout the year. Seeing these farmers in an atmosphere of simplicity really makes you think about your priorities and makes you think of what really matters. They live their day in an atmosphere of simplicity and peace, especially in the month of Ramadan, where they were fasting all day and working in the rice fields at night, taking breaks only for cups of tea. One of the rice farmers, Abu Adel, says he has been working in agriculture for more than thirty years now, and that he and his relatives either owned or rented farms for many years. Abu Ayman adds that agriculture is a blessing, it will continue to exist and will not disappear, unlike other sources of income such as oil and other industries that will not stay for a lifetime. Farmers all agree on the importance of teaching these crafts to young people, coining the phrase “craft in hand, safe from poverty”.