In Arab society, the ahl or extended family is the primary social unit. Most families are neither as illustrious nor as large as that deriving from the first king of Saudi Arabia, but the sense of ‘belonging’ engendered within the wider group of relations is just as strongly felt. Such a household is typically composed of a nuclear family (parents and children) plus other close relatives either married or unmarried. Even in modern urban contexts, where self-reliant, nuclear families tend to be the norm, the strength of the extended family ethos is often retained. It is also because members of the extended family are still held responsible for one another’s conduct, including the punishment of those who transgress society’s norms.