The first was the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Higher education has expanded rapidly, with large numbers of Universities and colleges being founded particularly since 2000. , In December 2019, Saudi Arabia organized a big-budget electronic dance music festival, MDL Beast to the kingdom, "the region's biggest music event".  The leaked US Department of State memo, dated 17 August 2014, says that "governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia...are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIS and other radical groups in the region. In 2007, the Allegiance Council was created to regulate the succession. (In the privacy of the home behavior can be far looser, and reports from the Daily Mail and WikiLeaks indicate that the ruling Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself, indulging in parties, drugs and sex. These rock engravings date back more than 8,000 years, making them the earliest depictions of dogs in the world. , Saudi Arabia halted new trade and investment dealings with Canada and suspended diplomatic ties in a dramatic escalation of a dispute over the kingdom's arrest of women's rights activist Samar Badawi on 6 August 2018. High taxes and a growth in unemployment have contributed to discontent, and has been reflected in a rise in civil unrest, and discontent with the royal family. In the winter the temperature rarely drops below 0 °C (32 °F) with the exception of mostly the northern regions of the country where annual snowfall, in particular in the mountainous regions of Tabuk province, is not uncommon. Tribal identity remains strong and, outside of the royal family, political influence is frequently determined by tribal affiliation, with tribal sheikhs maintaining a considerable degree of influence over local and national events. Saudi International, a tournament of the European Tour scheduled from 4 to 7 February in King Abdullah Economic City, will have a stellar field.  In 2018 the first public cinema opened after a ban of 35 years, with plans to have more than 2,000 screens running by 2030. , The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic. For example, in Riyadh water was available only once every 2.5 days in 2011, while in Jeddah it is available only every 9 days. The documents showed Saudi Arabia as allegedly implementing a ‘sportswashing’ strategy, inclusive of meetings and official calls with supreme authorities of associations like the Major League Soccer (MLS), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), National Basketball Association (NBA). King Abdullah Economic City) to be completed by 2020, in an effort to diversify the economy and provide jobs. The Guinness World Records also took into consideration their production capacity of 15000 tonnes of high quality of olive oil, while the kingdom consumes double that. , Following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a nonbinding resolution was passed in the European Parliament on 25 October 2018, urging EU countries to impose an EU-wide arms embargo on Saudi Arabia.  However, these changes have been criticized as being too slow or merely cosmetic. , In 2005, King Fahd died and was succeeded by Abdullah, who continued the policy of minimum reform and clamping down on protests. Hosts to the Saudi international, the course is a true risk and reward layout, challenging the world’s best.  France authorized $18 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in 2015 alone.  Khalid's reign saw economic and social development progress at an extremely rapid rate, transforming the infrastructure and educational system of the country; in foreign policy, close ties with the US were developed.  The Al Jouf region has millions of olive trees and the expected number is expected to go up to 20 million trees soon. , From the 10th century to the early 20th century, Mecca and Medina were under the control of a local Arab ruler known as the Sharif of Mecca, but at most times the Sharif owed allegiance to the ruler of one of the major Islamic empires based in Baghdad, Cairo or Istanbul. , Arabs originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia, the Hejaz in particular, founded the Rashidun (632–661), Umayyad (661–750), Abbasid (750–1517) and the Fatimid (909–1171) caliphates.  In 1902, Abdul Rahman's son, Abdul Aziz—later to be known as Ibn Saud—recaptured control of Riyadh bringing the Al Saud back to Nejd, creating the third "Saudi state".  In November 2005, Saudi Arabia was approved as a member of the World Trade Organization.  The famine in Yemen is the direct result of the Saudi-led intervention and blockade of the rebel-held area. He said that Saudi has been funding an ideology that leads to extremism and the leaders of the kingdom are not aware of the consequences.. , Education is free at all levels. , Capital and physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts, such as beheading, stoning (to death), amputation, crucifixion and lashing, as well as the sheer number of executions have been strongly criticized. , The primary source of law is the Islamic Sharia derived from the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the traditions of the Prophet). The package represents a considerable improvement in the offensive capability of the Saudi armed forces.  Prince Bandar denied the allegations. Those arrested are often not informed of the crime of which they are accused or given access to a lawyer and are subject to abusive treatment and torture if they do not confess.  Though there are lakes in the country, Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world by area with no permanent rivers.  The Midianites were depicted in two major events in the Bible that recount Israel's two wars with Median, somewhere in the early 11th century BC.  Counting only the non-Muslim-majority countries, Saudi Arabia has paid for the construction of 1359 mosques, 210 Islamic centres, 202 colleges and 2000 schools. For rare chilly days, Saudi men wear a camel-hair cloak (bisht) over the top.  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.  The SANG is not a reserve but a fully operational front-line force, and originated out of Ibn Saud's tribal military-religious force, the Ikhwan.  The system has also been criticized for being arcane, lacking in some of the safeguards of justice, and unable to deal with the modern world. Per capita income fell from a high of $11,700 at the height of the oil boom in 1981 to $6,300 in 1998. , Saudi Arabia and the United States are strategic allies, and since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the US has sold $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia. It would be the first time the Gulf nation would be hosting an F1 race as one of 23 grand prix in the busiest calendar ever. , Saudi Arabia, in its vision for modernization introduced the nation to a number of international sporting events, bringing sports stars to the Kingdom.  Other sources had complained of an absence of laws criminalizing violence against women. Although now extremely wealthy, Saudi Arabia's economy was near stagnant.  Indeed, Osama bin Laden and 15 out of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia; in ISIL-occupied Raqqa, in mid-2014, all 12 judges were Saudi.  Saudi Arabia has undergone a process of political and social reform, such as to increase public transparency and good governance.  There are around 100,000 Westerners in Saudi Arabia, most of whom live in compounds or gated communities.  Outside of the Al-Saud, participation in the political process is limited to a relatively small segment of the population and takes the form of the royal family consulting with the ulema, tribal sheikhs and members of important commercial families on major decisions.  Arabic coffee is a traditional beverage in Arabian cuisine. (Priority is given to holders of degrees in various scientific fields, and exception made for Palestinians who are excluded unless married to a Saudi national, because of Arab League instructions barring the Arab states from granting them citizenship.) Initial analysis of the discovery concluded that the eastern province of Saudi Arabia was the homeland of the earliest settlers of Mesopotamia, and by extension, the likely origin of the Sumerians.  According to Pew Research Center there are 390,000 Hindus in Saudi Arabia, almost all foreign workers. , Retaliatory punishments, or Qisas, are practised: for instance, an eye can be surgically removed at the insistence of a victim who lost his own eye.  Classes are segregated by sex. How fun-filled Saudi Ladies Team International is LET golf but not as you know it With $500,000 up for grabs, the three-day, 36-team event offers a serious pay-day for LET players, being behind only the Women’s and Scottish Opens – and its weekend sister tournament, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF – in the weight of its prize fund.  The Sharia court system constitutes the basic judiciary of Saudi Arabia and its judges (qadi) and lawyers form part of the ulema, the country's Islamic scholars.  The current Minister of Defense is Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the son of King Salman and Crown Prince. Instruments include the rabābah, an instrument not unlike a three-string fiddle, and various types of percussion instruments, such as the ṭabl (drum) and the ṭār (tambourine). , On 31 October 2019, Saudi Arabia hosted the first ever women's wrestling match held by the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Saudi judges tend to follow the principles of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence (or fiqh) found in pre-modern texts and noted for its literalist interpretation of the Qur'an and hadith. feel free to edit and add stuff We're a collaborative community website about Super-golf Roblox that anyone, including you, can build and expand. It started as a Sheikdom of Dedan, which developed into the Kingdom of Lihyan tribe. " In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including Saudi Arabia, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region.  Similarly, President of Syria Bashar al-Assad noted that the sources of the extreme ideology of the terrorist organization ISIS and other such salafist extremist groups are the Wahabbism that has been supported by the royal family of Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia supports the intended formation of the Arab Customs Union in 2015 and an Arab common market by 2020, as announced at the 2009 Arab League summit. A recent poll conducted by YouGov for Save the Children and Avaaz stated that 63 percent of British people oppose the sale of weapons to Saudi. In addition, Sunni Islamic prohibition of creating representations of people have limited the visual arts, which tend to be dominated by geometric, floral, and abstract designs and by calligraphy. Since his concert last November, Mariah Carey, Sean Paul and Akon all performed in various Saudi cities. Women do not have equal rights to men in the kingdom; the U.S. State Department considers Saudi Arabian government's discrimination against women a "significant problem" in Saudi Arabia and notes that women have few political rights due to the government's discriminatory policies.  Neither entirely succeeded as Islamism continued to grow in strength. The 334-square kilometre city will include a safari and a Six Flags theme park. " A trip to Saudi by US President Barack Obama in 2014 included discussions of US–Iran relations, though these failed to resolve Riyadh's concerns. Faifi is spoken by about 50,000.  The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is widespread.. , The earliest sedentary culture in Saudi Arabia dates back to the Ubaid period, upon discovering various pottery sherds at Dosariyah.  On 2 May, the Finance Minister of Saudi Arabia admitted that the country's economy was facing a severe economical crisis for the first time in decades, due to the pandemic as well as declining global oil markets. , Saudi Arabia's relations with the West began to cause growing concern among some of the ulema and students of sharia law and was one of the issues that led to an increase in Islamist terrorism in Saudi Arabia, as well as Islamist terrorist attacks in Western countries by Saudi nationals.  As of 2018, two women hold cabinet positions in the Saudi government: Dr Tamadur bint Youssef Al Ramah, who was appointed Deputy Labour Minister that year; and Norah bint Abdallah Al Faiz, who became deputy minister of education in charge of women's affairs in 2009. This was after he performed a concert attended by more than 10,000 people in the heritage site north-west of Riyadh. 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. As a result, there has been a phenomenal growth in the production of all basic foods. ", "Tentative steps in Saudi Arabia: The king of Saudi Arabia shows some reformist credentials", "Support for shake-up of Saudi justice system", "When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia", "Saudi Arabia to abolish flogging – supreme court", "In landmark decision, Saudi Arabia to eliminate flogging punishment", "Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists in new law to crack down on political dissidents", "Report: Saudi girl accepts lashing for assaulting headmistress", "The foreign policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", "Arab leaders issue resolutions, emphasize Gaza reconstruction efforts", Saudis and Extremism: 'Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters', "Old friends US and Saudi Arabia feel the rift growing, seek new partners", America Is Complicit in the Carnage in Yemen, Rights group blasts U.S. "hypocrisy" in "vast flood of weapons" to Saudi Arabia, despite war crimes, "Obama: Congress veto override of 9/11 lawsuits bill 'a mistake, "We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis", "Saudi Arabia launces air attacks in Yemen", "Yemen conflict: US 'could be implicated in war crimes, "CIA using Saudi base for drone assassinations in Yemen", "The bizarre alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia is finally fraying", "The U.S. Might Be Better Off Cutting Ties With Saudi Arabia", "Trump signs off on $110B arms deal in Saudi Arabia", "US-Saudi Arabia ink historic 10-year weapons deal worth $350 billion as Trump begins visit", "WikiLeaks: The Saudis' Close but Strained Ties with Pakistan", "Iraq's foreign militants 'come from US allies, "Saudi Arabia and China launch 'digital Silk Road, "China's Xi Jinping calls Saudi king with pledge to boost ties", "Saudi Arabia, China Sign Deals Worth Up to $65 Billion", "Closer Ties: China And Saudi Arabia Sign $70 Billion in New Deals", "Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir of Saudi Arabia Co-host the Third Meeting of the Political and Diplomatic Sub-committee of China-Saudi Arabia High-level Joint Committee", "Saudi Arabia's Mohammed bin Salman Defends China's Use of Concentration Camps for Muslims During Visit to Beijing", "Saudi crown prince defends China's right to fight 'terrorism, "Saudi crown prince defends China's right to put Uighur Muslims in concentration camps", "Saudi crown prince defended China's imprisonment of a million Muslims in internment camps, giving Xi Jinping a reason to continue his 'precursors to genocide, "Which Countries Are For or Against China's Xinjiang Policies?  Apart from China, the UN nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was also assisting Saudi’s nuclear ambition. ", WikiLeaks Shows a Saudi Obsession With Iran, "Saudi Arabia urges US attack on Iran to stop nuclear programme", "Obama advised Netanyahu of Iran talks in September", "Iran nuclear deal: Saudi Arabia and Gulf react with caution", "Insight: Saudis brace for 'nightmare' of U.S.-Iran rapprochement", "US, Saudi drifting apart despite Obama visit", "Saudi Arabian troops enter Bahrain as regime asks for help to quell uprising", U.S.  The government's response to the crisis included strengthening the ulema's powers and increasing their financial support: in particular, they were given greater control over the education system and allowed to enforce stricter observance of Wahhabi rules of moral and social behaviour.  According to a report published by Bloomberg Economics in 2018, the government needs to produce 700,000 jobs by 2020 to meet its 9% unemployment target.  The world's second-largest religion, Islam, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. The governorates are further subdivided into sub-governorates (Arabic: مراكز; marakiz, sing. Arabia has a rich Lower Paleolithic record, and the quantity of Oldowan-like sites in the region indicate a significant role that Arabia had played in the early hominin colonization of Eurasia. For other uses, see, ٱلْمَمْلَكَة ٱلْعَرَبِيَّة ٱلسَّعُوْدِيَّة, لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله، مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُوْلُ ٱلله, Political, economic, and social changes of the 2010s.  Following the 9/11 attacks, the government aimed to tackle the twin problems of encouraging extremism and the inadequacy of the country's university education for a modern economy, by slowly modernising the education system through the "Tatweer" reform program.  In 1077–1078, an Arab Sheikh named Abdullah bin Ali Al Uyuni defeated the Qarmatians in Bahrain and al-Hasa with the help of the Great Seljuq Empire and founded the Uyunid dynasty. In March 1992, he introduced the "Basic Law", which emphasized the duties and responsibilities of a ruler. , Saudi Arabia is widely accused of having one of the worst human rights records in the world. The Saudi Foreign Ministry retaliated with an equal statement saying, "it will respond with greater action," indicating the kingdom's "influential and vital role in the global economy." Files are available under licenses specified on their description page. Disclaimer. The first concerts in Riyadh for 25 years took place the following year. ", "The total population – General Authority for Statistics", 88,000-Year-Old Finger Bone Pushes Back Human Migration Dates, "The Arab Empire | Mohammed | Umayyad Empire History", "10 Greatest Empires in the History of World", "The Authoritarian Resurgence: Saudi Arabia's Anxious Autocrats", "International – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)", "Saudi Arabia to overtake Russia as top oil producer-IEA", "The death penalty in Saudi Arabia: Facts and Figure", "Legal and Judicial Structure | The Embassy of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", "Saudi Arabia: Official Hate Speech Targets Minorities", "Saudi Arabia is worst country to be an atheist, report says", "Confronting Passive Sponsors of Terrorism", "Country Comparison :: Military expenditures — The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency", Global defence spending: the United States widens the gap, "USA and France dramatically increase major arms exports; Saudi Arabia is largest arms importer, says SIPRI | SIPRI", "MILITARY SPENDING AND ARMS IMPORTS BY IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA, QATAR AND THE UAE", "The UK Is Greenlighting Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Again.  مركز; markaz). " This "tolerance and moderation" has been called into question by the Baltimore Sun, based on the reports from Amnesty International regarding Raif Badawi, and in the case of a man from Hafr al-Batin sentenced to death for rejecting Islam. , Water supply and sanitation in Saudi Arabia is characterized by significant investments in seawater desalination, water distribution, sewerage and wastewater treatment leading to a substantial increase in access to drinking water and sanitation over the past decades.  In 1973, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations imposed an oil embargo against the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and other Western nations which supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. The Saudi Arabia national football team is considered as one of Asia's most successful national teams, having reached a joint record 6 AFC Asian Cup finals, winning three of those finals (1984, 1988, and 1996) and having qualified for the World Cup four consecutive times ever since debuting at the 1994 tournament.  For many years only two religious holidays were publicly recognized – ʿĪd al-Fiṭr and ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā. Diplomat Backed Continuing Support for Saudi War in Yemen Over Objections of Staff", "Saudis must lift Yemen blockade or 'untold' thousands will die, UN agencies warn", "The Photos the U.S. and Saudi Arabia Don't Want You to See", "In blocking arms to Yemen, Saudi Arabia squeezes a starving population", "US calls for ceasefire in Yemen within 30 days, sparking hopes of diplomatic breakthrough", "Showtime Documentary 'Kingdom of Silence' To Premiere On Two-Year Anniversary Of Jamal Khashoggi Murder", "Briarcliff Acquires U.S. On 'The Dissident' & Releases Trailer; Late 2020 Release To Commemorate 2nd Anniversary Of Jamal Khashoggi Murder In Saudi Consulate", "UK piles pressure on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing", "Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson accused of 'central role' in arming Saudi Arabia as UK's relationship with Riyadh reaches crossroads", "Jeremy Hunt's bid for prime minister is being funded by a close ally of Saudi prince Mohammed Bin Salman", "Saudi Arabia signs cooperation deals with China on nuclear energy", "Saudi Arabia, With China's Help, Expands Its Nuclear Program", "Pompeo pressed on claims China is helping build Saudi uranium facility", "Revealed: Saudi Arabia may have enough uranium ore to produce nuclear fuel", "Saudi Arabia's Atomic Ambition Is Being Fueled by a UN Watchdog", "Maliki: Saudi and Qatar at war against Iraq", "Syria conflict: BBC exclusive interview with President Bashar al-Assad" with Jeremy Bowen, "WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists", Why Obama doesn't want 9/11 families suing Saudi Arabia, "Saudi Arabia boosting extremism in Europe, says former ambassador", "About this Collection | Country Studies | Digital Collections | Library of Congress", "Saudis lead Middle East military spending", "Trends in International Arms Transfer, 2014", Saudi, UAE Influence Grows With Purchases, "Human rights groups ask Trudeau to end 'immoral' arms deal with Saudi Arabia", EU Parliament – unprecedented call arms embargo against Saudi Arabia, "Yemen civil war: Poll shows most Britons oppose Saudi Arabia arms sales, as MPs call emergency debate", "European Parliament passes resolution urging arms embargo on Saudi Arabia", "Germany plans to suspend arms sales to Saudis; other European countries press for more information on Khashoggi's killing", "Canada doubles weapons sales to Saudi Arabia despite moratorium", "Karl Andree case: David Cameron to write to Saudi government", "Briton Karl Andree jailed in Saudi Arabia back home", "Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death", "Dispatches: Obama Refuses to Talk Human Rights in Saudi Arabia", "USCIRF Urges President: Raise Religious Freedom on Saudi Trip", "Initiatives and Actions to Combat Terrorism", "Saudi Arabia's brutal punishment of a dissident", "Saudi Arabia court gives death penalty to man who renounced his Muslim faith", UK helped Saudi Arabia get UN human rights role through 'secret deal' to exchange votes, leaked documents suggest, "Saudi execution of Shia cleric sparks outrage in Middle East", Nobel laureates urge Saudi king to halt 14 executions, "Sen. Corker: Everything points to Saudis being responsible for missing journalist", Turkish officials have audio and video evidence that shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey has 'shocking' audio and visual evidence of Saudi journalist's killing, "Saudi Arabia scraps execution for those who committed crimes as minors: Commission", "UN Chief's 'List of Shame' Drops Saudi-Led Coalition", "Saudi Arabia fails to join UN human rights council but Russia and China elected", "The Tourists Guide To The 10 Amazing Volcanoes in Saudi Arabia", "VOLCANIC ARABIA: It started with tremors", "Updated world map of the Köppen–Geiger climate classification", "Snow City: Saudi Arabia's Tabuk region dresses in white to mesmerize people", "VIDEO: Do you know there are 1,300 islands in Saudi Arabia? In 1978, the country built its first grain silos. The annual King's Camel Race, begun in 1974, is one of the sport's most important contests and attracts animals and riders from throughout the region. Average summer temperatures are around 45 °C (113 °F), but can be as high as 54 °C (129 °F) at its most extreme. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. However, despite the gloomy economy and the need to “cut deeply” the government spending, the country had laid plans to acquire Newcastle United worth £300 million. The Nabataeans ruled large portions of north Arabia until their domain was annexed by the Roman Empire. The strategy is being viewed as a method of sportswashing following the chaos spread across Yemen since 4 years.  A much smaller second "Saudi state", located mainly in Nejd, was established in 1824. , On 25 March 2015, Saudi Arabia, spearheading a coalition of Sunni Muslim states, started a military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Up to date airline profiles for up to 5,000 airlines and aircraft operators: Fleet lists, schedule, news, route network, IATA/ICAO codes, alliances, subsidiaries, regional partners and codeshare agreements, launch year, mergers and rebranding, stock market quotes and URLs.  The government regained control of the mosque after 10 days and those captured were executed.  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