The Saudi riyal is divided into 100 hilalas, pronounced hi-LA-la. So far I have seen 50 and 25 hilala coins, but in practice, no one seems to be overly concerned about either giving out or extracting the change. But barter is not extinct. At one small hole-in-the-wall grocery, I received this 50-hilala chocolate bar for change.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)
Still eyes look coldly upon me,
Cold voices whisper and say --
'He is crazed with the spell of far Arabia,
They have stolen his wits away.'
—Walter de la Mare (1873 - 1958)
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AboutAn American eye on Arabia and beyond.
Foreign Services Institute - Free Arabic courses
Edward William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon
Koran indexed by roots
Perseus Collection: Arabic Materials
Andras Rajki’s Arabic Etymological Dictionary (transliteration)(blocked in KSA)
Bible - parallel translations
Bible Gateway (a dozen English versions including TNIV but not RSV, plus languages including Arabic but not Greek or Hebrew)(
blocked in KSA)(no longer blocked, see biblegateway.com)
Online Translations of the Bible (extensive list of links)