The Comparisons of life in Eastern Maryland and the Arabian Peninsula

By Noah Boyd


Rising Sun, Maryland                          Source: Maryland State Archives


The town of Rising Sun, Maryland is a small area located in the north east corner of Maryland. The population is just north of 2,500 citizens. Given the small size, the downtown area is slow. It is occupied by a handful of small restaurants, homes, shops, and other stores. There is a heavy focus on agriculture, and blue collar work. Agriculture is a very important part throughout the town and surrounding areas there are miles of corn and tobacco fields, along with various other crops. The concentration on blue collar work can be shown in all ages, from the youth to the elderly in the area. The schooling for a majority of the town population comes through public schools. There are few small towns surrounding the area that have elementary and middle schools that feed into the high school. My experience throughout high school showed the importance of the county’s school of technology which shows the importance of blue collar culture. Instead of going to college or trade school, many of the high school students opt to go to the technology school and have a variety of trades to become certified in. Trades such as welding, plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning are all very popular options. It is made clear by many individuals at a young age that they want to pursue a blue collar career in the town of Rising Sun. 

Another important aspect of the town of Rising Sun is religion. The popular religion in my area is christianity. The churches are predominantly protestant with a few catholic churches. The importance of Christianity can be seen in the values of the town. In many cases, citizens are family oriented and traditional. If they do not continue their adult lives in Rising Sun, people typically continue to live close in neighboring towns and counties. It’s always interesting going back home for holidays and seeing how friends of mine have started their careers and lives within the area. 


Arabian Peninsula Desert                    Source:Britannica Encyclopedia

Comparing and contrasting Rising Sun, Maryland and the countries within the Arabian Peninsula the a multitude of differences between the two. One of the few similarities is the importance of religion. This aspect is an important part of the culture in the Arabian Peninsula, although the type of religion differs. The dominant religion in the area is Islam. The citizens typically practice Sunni Islamic beliefs (1). Their beliefs weigh heavily into the culture and can be shown in their ideas of a conservatism, family orientation, and traditional ways of life (2). Despite there being a difference in what religion is practices from the two areas, consistencies can be found in the values of each.

The two areas are unique geographically. In the Arabian peninsula it contains mostly arid land, raining only a few times a year. With little rain the peninsula is a desert area containing mountains, plateaus, and lava fields. There are three main deserts in the peninsula An Nafud the northernmost, Ad Dahna in the center of the peninsula, and Rub’ al Khali which is the southernmost. Ad Dahna is a long narrow desert connecting the northern and southern desert to each other. The lava fields run parallel with the red sea on the west side of the peninsula (3). The geographic factors limit what is able to be done in the area. With the little amount of rain civilizations tend to be on the outer sides of the peninsula. The most populated areas are along the western part of the country by the Red Sea. Cities such as Mecca, Jiddah, and Jizan and closely surrounding areas hold the largest portions of the population (4). There are numerous factors that contribute to the uniqueness of each area. 

The two areas are vastly different from one another. From geography to culture these areas share little in common. However, both areas have established a way of life that works well for them.



“Cecil County, Maryland.” Rising Sun, Cecil County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives, 14 July 2010,

“Climate of the Arabian Desert.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., Accessed 15 Sept. 2023.

(1) “Saudi Arabia – United States Department of State.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 15 (May) 2023.,-The%20U.S.%20government&text=Between%2085%20and%2090%20percent,of%20the%20Eastern%20Province%27s%20population. 

(2) “Islamic Culture: Origin, Traditions & Beliefs | Muslim Culture.” Study.Com | Take Online Courses. Earn College Credit. Research Schools, Degrees & Careers 15 (September) 2023.,up%20a%20faithful%20Muslim%20society. 

(3) Olsen, Sandra L. “Geography of the Arabian Peninsula .” Arabian Rock Art Heritage 15 (September): 2023

(4) Hussain, Ahmad. “Population Density in Various Regions of Saudi Arabia.” Research Gate, GmbH, Nov. 2014,







4 responses to “The Comparisons of life in Eastern Maryland and the Arabian Peninsula”

  1. Ed Webb Avatar
    Ed Webb

    Some fruitful comparisons here.

    Instead of footnoting, you can link directly to any online source by embedding a hyperlink in the relevant part of the text. That way a reader can click straight through to the source if they like. Pasting hyperlinks at the bottom makes less sense: they are for machines to read, not humans!

  2. Nadja Duricko Avatar
    Nadja Duricko

    I really enjoyed reading about the town you grew up in. The way you compared culture, religion, and the overall way of life is very introspective. The concentration on blue collar work as well as the comparison of Christianity in your town and the predominant Sunni Islamic beliefs in the Arabian Peninsula are very interesting to read about.

  3. Levi Avatar

    This is an informative and well-written post, Noah. Your description of your home town paints a clear picture of life there and your comment on going home and seeing that friends have already started adult lives and careers there was particularly interesting. It was also interesting to learn how areas so different in so many ways can share a similar sense of community through religion.

  4. Alex Avatar

    Very interesting post Noah, love how you were able to find a connection (religion) between two very different worlds. I noticed you mentioned popular work fields in Rising Sun, were you able to find any popular fields within any countries in the Arabian peninsula?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *