Saudi Arabia State Overview

By | December 14, 2021

Saudi Arabia. Officially named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is a country on the Arabian Peninsula. It is also known as The Land of the Two Holy Mosques, in reference to those of Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam. Saudi Arabia has the second largest oil reserves on the planet, after Venezuela, and it obtains 75% of its income from its export. Its borders are with Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Riyadh is the capital city of Saudi Arabia according to itypemba.

Origins

Its etymological origin is composed of the House of Saud, the most powerful after the unification of 1932 and the term arabia that refers to noble in the Semitic language. Liechtenstein and Saudi Arabia are the only two countries in the world whose name is associated with that of the ruling family.

History

  • In 470, the arrival of Christianity, the martyrs of Najran, in the so-called “Book of the Himairites”, in January 2014, they discover inscriptions south of the Jabal Kawkab (“the mountain of the star”) [1]
  • Umayyad caliphate
  • Abbasid caliphate
  • Ottoman Empire

The Saudi state has its beginnings on the Arabian peninsula around the year 1750. A local governor, Muhammad bin Saud, joined forces with an Islamic reformer, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, creator of the religious sect of Wahhabism, to create a new political entity.

For the next one hundred and fifty years, the fortunes of the Saud family rose and fell several times as Saudi governors fought with Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and other Arab families for control over the peninsula. The modern Saudi state was founded by the late King Abdelaziz bin Saud (or Bin Saud).

The discovery of oil in 1938 economically transformed the country, and today, Saudi Arabia enjoys an intense economic relationship with many Western nations thanks to oil.

From 1980 until his death in 2003, it welcomed Idi Amin, President of Uganda. [2]

Recent history

In October 2010, the Saudi government finalized an agreement with the United States to purchase advanced technology fighter jets for $ 60 billion, the largest single arms sale agreement in United States history [3] .

In 2012, he supported Mansur Hadi to become president of Yemen, after Saleh fell, but when the Houthis took power in 2015, they welcomed him. [4]

In April 2013, it welcomed Ben Ali, President of Tunisia.

On March 26, 2015, operations against the Houthis in Yemen [5]

On March 28, 2015, it received the support of Turkey in its operations in Yemen. [6]

Politics

The country is an absolutist monarchy that, despite current efforts to modernize it, still remains a feudal system in which the Al-Saud dynasty rules and concentrates all authority.

The Basic Law adopted in 1992 declares that the kings of Saudi Arabia will be the descendants of the first king, Abdelaziz bin Saud, and that the Koran will be the constitution of the country, that is, that it will be governed by Islamic Law or Sharia.

There are no political parties, nor are there elections, except for the first municipal elections held in 2005. The king is the absolute ruler, and his power, theoretically at least, is limited by the precepts of Islamic Law and other Saudi traditions. He must also maintain a consensus with other members of the Royal Family, with religious leaders (ulema) and with other important members of society. The main members of the Royal Family are in charge of electing the king, who will always be a member of this family, and with the subsequent approval of the country’s religious leaders.

There is also a censorship on the covers of music discs [7]

Geography

The country occupies 80% of the Arabian Peninsula. Much of the borders with the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen are not well defined, which is why the exact size of the country is not known, although it is estimated at around 2,240,000 square kilometers. The climate is dry and hot. Half of the country is uninhabited because it is a desert with extreme temperatures with certain areas where there are oases. In most of Saudi Arabia vegetation is sparse and limited to some xerophytic grasses and shrubs.

The fauna is made up of wild cats, baboon monkeys, wolves and hyenas. The coastline on the Red Sea, particularly the coral reefs, has a rich marine fauna. The coastal area stretches for 2,640 kilometers.

Economy

Saudi Arabia has an economy based on oil extraction. The government maintains strong control over the main economic activities of the country. Oil reserves in 2008 reached 260 billion barrels, that is, 24% of proven reserves in the world.

It is the first oil exporter and the leader in the OPEC cartel. The oil sector represents 75% of the country’s budgeted income, 40% of its GNP and 90% of its income from exports. Due to oil, part of the coast and land are seriously polluted. In 2012, Saudi Arabia was pumping about 10 million barrels of oil per day [8] .

Culture

The culture of Saudi Arabia develops mainly around the Islamic religion. One of the most notable folk rituals is the Ardha which is the traditional dance of the country. The sword dance is based on a Bedouin tradition; drums mark the rhythm and a poet declaims verses while men carrying swords dance shoulder to shoulder. The folk music called “Al-sihba de Hijaz” has its origin in Arab Andalusia. In Mecca, Medina and Jeddah, the dance incorporates an instrument called “al-mizmar”, which is similar to the western oboe.

Religion

The two holiest places in Islam are found (both) in this country in the cities of Mecca and Medina. Five times a day, Muslims are called from mosque minarets to pray. The weekend is Thursday and Friday. The Muslim religion claims to have the same roots as Judaism and Christianity. However, the practice of Christianity, the presence of churches and the possession of Christian religious materials is prohibited. Neither Christians nor Judaists are allowed to enter the country, but ethnic Jews are allowed to enter the country., with the precondition that they are practicing Muslims and speak Arabic (despite their Jewish ethnicity). The Quran is the constitution of Saudi Arabia and sharia (Islamic law) is the basis of its legal system and no other religion can be practiced in the country. Islam prohibits the consumption of pork and alcohol, and this law is strictly enforced throughout the country. In the country there is an institution called “Mutawa” or religious police, also known as Police for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. It has 3,500 officers and thousands of volunteers, whose job it is to enforce Islamic law. They have the power to arrest any man and woman who are publicly gathered without their being family and also to prohibit and seize products, such as games, Western music CDs, movies and other products that are not considered compatible with the laws of sharia. March 11, 2002, the “Hai’ah” prevented schoolgirls from escaping from a burned-out school in Mecca because they were not wearing the headscarves and the “abaya” (black cloak). Fifteen girls died and 50 were injured in the incident. Criticism of this act spread throughout the world and the Mutawas were condemned by religious judges for this action. During the fasting month of Ramadan, both Muslims and people of other religions residing in the country must observe the fast prescribed by the religious laws of Sharia. Smoking, eating or drinking in public during this month is punishable by jail for Saudis, or immediate expulsion from the country for foreigners.

Major cities

  • Mecca, the most important holy city for Muslims, is the Caaba, it has a million 500,000 residents, it is located in the west of the country.
  • Medina the second most important city for Muslims, in it is the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad, and where his tomb is located, its residents are a little more than 1 000 000
  • Riyadh, the capital of the kingdom, and seat of government, the largest city, is located in the center of the country, has more than 5 000 000 residents.
  • Jiddah the second largest city, and the economic capital of the country, is located on the west coast of the kingdom, its residents exceed 2 000 000.

Saudi Arabia Culture