By Robert A. Harper, Aswin Subanthore, Charles F. Gritzner
Examines the heritage, geography, tradition, faith, executive, and folks of Saudi Arabia.
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Extra info for Saudi Arabia (Modern World Nations)
When he became king, he actually became the sheik over the sheiks of all the local tribes. Ibn Saud lived a simple life and spent much of his time traveling from tribe to tribe with government records and the treasury in boxes, or receiving the sheiks in his palace in Riyadh. Any Saudi could visit the king to file a complaint; get a meal; obtain a dagger, cloak, or sack of sugar; dictate a marriage contract; have ailments treated; or hear Wahhabi scholars recite from the Koran. Almost every day, the king held majlis (a reception) for anyone who wished to speak with him.
Muhammad, who was illiterate, became a prophet for the god he called Allah, who was the god of Jews and Christians, as 49 50 Saudi Arabia well. Muhammad also saw Abraham, Moses, other Old Testament figures, and Jesus Christ as prophets. Muslims recognize Muhammad as the last and greatest prophet of God. He had a new message—the last word of God. Muhammad told the people of his tribe in Mecca to give up their pagan gods and accept the will of Allah. They not only refused, but forced Muhammad to leave the city.
It was one of the last parts of the world to be explored by Westerners. It was not until the early 1930s that the first European explorers ventured into this hostile region. And it was the last place on Earth (other than Antarctica) to be divided by political boundaries. EVER-PRESENT DRYNESS The most obvious physical feature of Saudi Arabia is its dry climate. The country’s aridity has produced the rugged terrain of the uplands and the vast sandy areas in the lowland. The landforms have been shaped by windblown sand and the erosive force of torrents of water following the few rains, as is common in desert areas.