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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia What are the major historical events that shaped modern day Saudi Arabia? What are the major landforms of Saudi Arabia? What is the geography and climate of Saudi Arabia? What government/economic systems are used in Saudi Arabia? Location LOCATION •Saudi Arabia is the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula in SW Asia. •It is bordered by Jordan, Iraq, and Syria to the north. •It is bordered by Yemen and Oman to the south. •It is bordered by the Red Sea to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. Geography and Climate •Saudi Arabia has a desert landscape and a desert (arid) climate. •Water is scarce. •The only source of fresh water in Saudi Arabia is found in scattered oases. •Saudi Arabia’s arid climate means its farmers rely on irrigation. History of Saudi Arabia History •Saudi Arabia is the home to the religion of Islam. •Islam was founded in the city of Mecca in the 600s. •Islam spread quickly throughout Southwest Asia. History •The territory now known as Saudi Arabia was made up of a small number of separate kingdoms. •These kingdoms were unified by King Ibn Saud in 1902, the head of the Saud family. History •Additional territories were added and the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia was created in 1932. History • Saudi Arabia is currently ruled by King Abdullah bin Abdul Jabar. • He has ruled Saudi Arabia since 2005. Ethnic Groups •Arabs are the largest ethnic group in Saudi Arabia. •The majority of Saudi Arabia’s non-citizens are workers from countries around the world. Religion •Nearly 100% of Saudi Arabia’s citizens practice Sunni Islam. •The laws of Saudi Arabia are influenced by Islamic teachings. •The two holiest places in Islam are both located in Saudi Arabia. The Two Great Mosques of Saudi Arabia The Great Mosque The Prophet’s Mosque Religion •Islam was founded in the city of Mecca •Muhammad, Islam’s founder, lived in Mecca and Medina. •One of the Five Pillars of Islam is the hajj, or the pilgrimage to Mecca in one’s lifetime. Government •Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy or autocracy with the king holding total power. •Saudi Arabia’s current king is the head of the Saud family, King Abdullah. Government •The Saud family has ruled parts of Saudi Arabia since the early 1700s. •The Saud family has been in power since Saudi Arabia was created in 1932. Government The people of Saudi Arabia have no political power and do not elect any of the nation’s leadership. Economy •Saudi Arabia has a command economy controlled by the king and his advisors. •The kingdom’s economy specializes in the oil industry. Economy •Because Saudi Arabia specializes in oil, it is dependent on other nations to provide it with the majority of its citizens needs and wants. Oil •Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of oil. •They possess 1/5 of the world’s oil reserves. •Oil was discovered in the region in 1931. •Aramco is the nation’s sole oil company. It is controlled by the king. Oil •The nation exported nearly $181 billion of oil in 2009. •Japan and the United States purchased the most oil from Saudi Arabia. Oil •The majority of Saudi Arabia’s oil is located near the Persian Gulf. •The Persian Gulf allows Saudi Arabia to easily export its oil. Oil •The discovery of oil has made Saudi Arabia and the majority of Middle Eastern countries strategically important and has given these nations worldwide influence. •The United States is Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the West. Oil •The exporting of oil has also greatly improved the quality of life (standard of living) for the people of Saudi Arabia. •This has led to an increase in life expectancy and a decline in infant mortality. Oil---OPEC •Saudi Arabia is a member of OPEC. •OPEC is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. •OPEC consists of 12 countries. Oil---OPEC •The goal of OPEC is to control the supply of oil. •They do this in an attempt to control of the price of oil.
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