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|Currency||Hejaz Riyal (HJR)|
|Our Timeline Equivalent||western Saudi Arabia|
Hejaz is an Islamic kingdom situated on the west coast of Arabia. It contains the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, but its largest city and capital is Jeddah. Although it has progressed much in the past few decades, Hejaz remains one of the more religiously conservative nations with minorities and women reporting more discrimination than in most other nations besides Nejd and a handful of others. Exposure to migrants (both religious and otherwise) has increasingly opened the country up to more liberal ideas, and the newest success has been the passage of a law barring sexual discrimination for most kinds of white-collar jobs. According to a recent survey, 16% of Hejazi women wear the full-body burqa, and a further 62% wear the hijab (head scarf). This leaves 22% that do not wear either. Most of these women live in the cities, and will often wear hats to protect them from the sun.
Hejaz receives many Muslim pilgrims every year, from across the Middle East, and across the world, to some extent. Participating in the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is mandatory in Sunni and Shia Islam (at least for those with the means to do so). However, more secular Sunnis and Shiites these days (especially from outside the Middle East) have foregone the Hajj, and only a minority of Ijtihadi Muslims perform the Hajj. This has actually meant a steady decline in Hajj attendance, down almost one-third from the peak year of 1962. Perhaps partly because of this, as well as lessening tensions with non-Muslims, in 1978, non-Muslims were allowed to tour Mecca and Medina during non-Hajj times of the year.
Today, Hejaz struggles against obsolescence. With quickly secularizing Sunnis and Shi'ites (never mind the Ijtihadis), it is no longer the center of the world for most Muslims. Hejas is now working to exploit its historical strong points, creating museums showing off Arab and Muslim cultural relics to the world.
- 94% Muslims (mostly Sunni)
- 06% non-Muslims (Jewish, Christian, Hindu, etc)
Note - Most non-Muslims can be found in major cities, minus Mecca and Medina. Jeddah has a substantial number of non-Muslims, with the figure somewhere around 15%.
Note: This is estimated, as there are no government statistics.
- 90% Non-Vegetarian*
- 10% Vegetarian*
*Perhaps the majority of people in Hejaz do not eat meat most days, but this is almost always due to poverty instead of vegetarianism.