chapter  6
19 Pages

Indonesians in Saudi Arabia

Religious and economic connections
WithMathias Diederich

Contacts between Arabia and South East Asia are ancient. There is a strong tradition of exchange between the two regions. With the spread of Islam beyond

Arabia, South East Asians regularly visited Arabia, especially the western region (Hijaz) to perform the annual pilgrimage, while Arabs travelled to South East Asia to spread the faith and engage in commercial activities. The Dutch East Indies have always been of particular interest for them. Arabs, especially from Hadramaut, came as traders; some of them proselytized among the local population at the same time, and married into influential local families.2