Portal:Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabia Portal - بوابة المملكة العربية السعودية

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Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km2 (830,000 sq mi), Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in Western Asia, the second-largest in the Arab world (after Algeria), the fifth-largest in Asia, and the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south; it is separated from Egypt and Israel by the Gulf of Aqaba. It is the only country with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia also has one of the world's youngest populations: 50 percent of its 33.4 million people are under 25 years old.

The territory that now constitutes Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations. The prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world. The world's second-largest religion, Islam, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of Arabia and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory (from the Iberian Peninsula in the West to modern-day Pakistan in the East) in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun (632–661), Umayyad (661–750), Abbasid (750–1517) and Fatimid (909–1171) caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia, Africa and Europe.

The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of mainly four distinct regions: Hejaz, Najd and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa) and Southern Arabia ('Asir). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud. He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia has since been a totalitarian absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines. The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread largely financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam. The state's official language is Arabic. Read more...

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King Abdullah in 2007

Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Arabic: عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود‎, ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Sa‘ūd, Najdi Arabic pronunciation: [ʢæbˈdɑɫ.ɫɐ ben ˈʢæbdæl ʢæˈziːz ʔæːl sæˈʢuːd]; 1 August 1924 – 23 January 2015) was King of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques from the death of his half-brother, King Fahd, on 1 August 2005 until his own death in 2015.

Abdullah, like Fahd, was one of the many sons of Ibn Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia. Abdullah held important political posts throughout most of his adult life. In 1961 he became mayor of Mecca, his first public office. The following year, he was appointed commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, a post he was still holding when he became king. He also served as deputy defense minister and was named crown prince when Fahd took the throne in 1982. After King Fahd suffered a serious stroke in 1995, Abdullah became the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia until ascending the throne a decade later. Read more...
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Manal al-Sharif (Arabic: منال الشريف‎; born 25 April 1979) is a Saudi women's rights activist who helped start a right to drive campaign in 2011. Wajeha al-Huwaider filmed al-Sharif driving a car as part of the campaign. The video was posted on YouTube and Facebook. Al-Sharif was detained on 21 May 2011, released, and then rearrested the following day. On 30 May, al-Sharif was released on bail, on the conditions of returning for questioning if requested, not driving, and not talking to the media. The New York Times and Associated Press associated the women's driving campaign as part of the Arab Spring and the long duration of al-Sharif's detention due to Saudi authorities' fear of protests.

Following her driving campaign, al-Sharif remained an active critic of the Saudi government, tweeting on issues including imprisoned female foreign workers, the lack of elections for the Shura Council, and the murder of Lama al-Ghamdi. Her work has been recognized by Foreign Policy, Time, and the Oslo Freedom Forum. Read more...

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  1. ^ Sawe, Benjamin (2017-04-25), Tallest Mountains In Saudi Arabia, Worldatlas.com, retrieved 2019-01-14

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