This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
River and Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula was the crossroads of the ancient world. Trade was the basement of the area´s development, and the caravan roues became trade arteries that made life possible in the sparsely populated peninsula. Of all the tribes and people that inhabit in the Arabian Peninsula, few have had as much importance for commerce as the Nabateans, a people of Bedouin origin who developed a specialized knowledge of the trade caravan routes.
The birth of Islam Around the year 610, Muhammad, who was born in Makkh, received a message from God (in Arabic, Allah) through the Angel Gabriel. As more revelations carry him to proclaim the oneness of God universally, Prophet Mumammad´s following grew. In 622, after discovering an assassination plot against him, the Prophet led his followers to the town of Yathrib, which was later named Madinat Al-Nabi (city of the Prophet) and nowadays is known as Madinah. This was the Hijrah, or migration, which marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. In the years following the Prophet Muhammad’s death in AD 632, the territory of what is now Saudi Arabia was nominally ruled by the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, and was saved from obscurity only by the spiritual significance of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
The first Saudi State… In 1703, Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, began advocating a return to the original form of Islam. Abdul Wahhab was persecuted by local religious scholars and leaders who viewed his teaching as a threat to their power. Due to this, he sought protection in the town of Diriyah, which was ruled by Muhammad bin Saud and share his religious ideas. In the meantime, there was considerable anger throughout Arabia that the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah were under foreign (Ottoman) tutelage, and that was one of the reasons of the fast expansion of the Saudi-Wahhabi emirate. Upon his death, Al-Saud was succeeded by his son Abdul Aziz, who captured Riyadh in 1765. In 1792 Al-Wahhab died but the inexorable expansion of the Saudi-Wahhabi emirate continued. By the end of 18th century, the Saudi State ruled over the entire central plateau known as the Najd. By the early 19th century, its rule extended to most of the Arabian Peninsula, including Makkah and Madinah.
Four years later. The Saudi governor Turki bin Abdullah Al-Saud transferred his capital to Riyadh. which besieged Diriyah and made it uninhabitable by ruining the date palms. in 1924 to 1925. The Modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… The young Abdulaziz was determined to regain his family patrimony. he united tribes into one nation. . the dominant power in the Middle East and North Africa at that time. the country was named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With him was his young son Abdulaziz. In the process. In 1943 President Roosevelt established the Kingdom’s political importance by stating grandly that the Kingdom was ‘vital for the defence of the USA’. the Ottomans. Under Turki and his son Faisal. and forced Faisal Al-Saud to abandon the power. Discovery of oil The economic future of the new kingdom was almost instantly secured with the discovery of oil and the signing in 1933 of Saudi Arabia’s first oil concession. including Makkah and Madinah. the Al-Saud family had regained political control of central Arabia. of 1932. After establishing Riyadh as his headquarters. and established the Second Saudi State. 20 miles south of Diriyah. the Second Saudi State enjoyed a long period of peace. Ottomans captured parts of the Saudi State. accompanied by only 40 followers. This legendary event marks the beginning of the formation of the modern Saudi State.In 1818. in 1902. Faisal Al-Saud sought refuge with the Bedouin tribes in the vast sand desert of eastern Arabia known as the Rub´Al´Khali or empty quarter. For this. march one night into Riyadh to retake the Masmak Fortress. Abdulaziz captured all of the Hijaz. On September 23. the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) discovered commercial quantities of oil near Riyadh and in the area around Dammam in the east. Second Saudi State… By 1824. dispatched a large expeditionary force. who was already making his mark as a leader and a fierce warrior for the cause of Islam. and Islamic state with Arabic as its national language and the Holy Qurán as its constitution. shattered in 1865 by the Ottoman empire again.
Saud abdicated in 1964. He made a priority of proving himself a moderate and reliable friend of the West. The conflict was a devastating blow to the credibility of a regime that had prided itself on being the inheritors of the Wahhabi legacy and the rulers best able to safeguard the holy places. During two bloody weeks of fighting. Saud endeared himself to the Arab in the street by supporting Egypt in the Suez Crisis of 1956. Growing pains On 25 March 1975 King Faisal was assassinated by a nephew. In November 1979 the Great Mosque of Mecca was overrun by 250 fanatical followers of Juhaiman ibn Saif al-Otai.Upon Ibn Saud’s death on 9 November 1953. His brother Faisal proved more willing to provide his citizens with a stake in the economic benefits of oil. a militant Wahhabi leader. He introduced. with the Kingdom’s finances in deep trouble. 129 people were killed. 000 Shiites. a free health service for all Saudis. his profligate son Saud became king. but. On 14 June 1982 the figurehead King Khaled died aged 69. Although the throne passed to Faisal’s brother Khaled. The riots were brutally put down. and began the building boom that has transformed Saudi Arabia from an impoverished desert kingdom into a nation of modern infrastructure. a man who was known for his piety. drew support from across the region and reminded the world of Saudi Arabia’s importance in a world economy dependent upon oil. a move that quadrupled world oil prices. frugal lifestyle and closeness to his subjects. During the following year. the real power behind the throne was another of Faisal’s brothers. among other things. riots also broke out in the towns of the Qatif Oasis. while in 1986 he proclaimed himself the ‘Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’. the heartland of the Kingdom’s 300. . In response to the USA’s unconditional support for Israel. Fahd became king and set about reinforcing the twin pillars (and contradictions) of modern Al-Saud rule. who claimed that the Mahdi (Messiah) would appear in the mosque on that very day. many of whom were inspired by the revolutionary fervour of their co-religionists in Iran and the exhortations of the Ayatollah Khomeini to export the Shiite revolution. Saudi Arabia imposed an oil embargo on the USA in 1974. Fahd.