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A “Year of Hunger” – When Saudis had nothing to eat for the full year

Our parents might have heard some strange stories from their ancestors about the year 1909 which is said to be a harsh year in the Kingdom because in that year Saudis suffered to such extent that some of them perished while searching for a mouthful of food that could help them to save their life.


1909 is a year which is named as the “Year of Hunger”. Our ancestors use to narrate their story, there was a time when Saudi could eat meat only on Eid Al- Adha and thank Allah for all what they have now.

One of the retired soldier Mohammad Mousa who is in his 80s now discussed that wheat bread, dates and water made up the daily meal of his family of four members and they had a small quantity of sheep milk and ghee and tea were considered as a rich thing.

STORY OF A GROUP OF FRIENDS:  A preacher Khamees Al-Zahrani too came forward and discussed a story of a group of friends who lived in the region about a century ago. He said they agreed on themselves to seek food wherever it would be, even if it cost them their lives.

A woman saw them and approached one of the friends with her only 12-year-old son pleading them to take him with them and said he would die of hunger if he stays with her and she also assured the man that she would forgive him if her son died to which the merciful man agreed.

However, during the three days, they were unable to find anything to eat so one of the men told the men to kill the boy and eat his flesh to save their lives.

However, the trustworthy man refused on the offer made by his friend while other men were trying to persuade him but then they saw a female dog with her six puppies and they rejoiced and forgot about the boy.  They slaughter the seven animals, lighted a fire and had their hot dogs and completed their trip.

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