Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
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Map of Saudi Arabia
Map of Saudi Arabia

BACKGROUND

Saudi Arabia is where Islam was born. Islam's two most holy shrines are located in the cities Mecca and Medina. Officially known as The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the country is ruled by King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud. He has been the king since August 1, 2005. The king's official title is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" because it is his job to guard over the two holy shrines. The Saudi state of today was created in 1932 by the king's father, ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman AL SAUD.

Saudi Arabia is the home to many Kuwaitis refugees. A refugee is like an immigrant, only a refugee has not chosen to move to his or her new country. Saudi Arabia accepted 400,000 Kuwaitis including their royal family in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait and forced many Kuwaitis to escape their own country. The United States sent soldiers to Saudi Arabia during this time to help the Kuwaitis and some terrorist acts resulted until the U.S. troops left in 2003.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made a lot of progress. The king began an Inter-Faith Dialogue in 2008 to encourage religious tolerance on a global level. Iin February 2009, the king gave political jobs and judicial positions to people with different beliefs, and appointed the first female to work in his cabinet. Economically, Saudi Arabia remains a leading producer of oil and natural gas and holds more than 20% of the world's proven oil reserves.


GEOGRAPHY

Saudi Arabia is in the Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen.

Its total land area is 2,149,690 sq km and the countries that boder Saudi Arabia are Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and Katar.

Saudi Arabia's climate is a harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes. The terrain is mostly an unihabited, sandy desert.


POPULATION

There are 28,686,633 inhabitants in Saudi Arabia making it the 43 biggest country in the world.

ETHNIC GROUPS & RELIGION & LANGUAGE

Ninety percent of the Saudi Arabian population is of Arab decent. The other ten percent is African-Arabian.
Saudi Arabia is 100% Muslim and Arabic speaking.

LITERACY

By definition "literacy" means that if you are the ago of 15 or older, you can read and write. In Saudi Arabia
78.8% of the total population is literate. 84.7% of males are literate and 70.8% of females are literate.

CAPITAL CITY

Riyadh

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 provinces. A province is like a state. The provinces are Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah (Eastern Province), 'Asir, Ha'il, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, and Tabuk.

INDEPENDENCE & CONSTITUTION

Unification of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom occured on September 23, 1932. This date is celebrated as a national holiday. Saudi Arabia does not have a government constitution, but is instead, ruled by Islamic Law. This was decided in 1992.

SUFFRAGE

Suffrage means "the right to vote." In Saudi Arabia, only men, age 21 years and older have the right to vote.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

The leader of the executive branch is King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 1 August 2005). He is the chief of state and the head of government. The king's heir, who will take over once the king dies, is Crown Prince SULTAN bin Abd al- Aziz Al Saud (half brother of the monarch). As a result, there are no elections for choosing kings. You have to be part of the royal family. The king does choose a Council of Ministers every four years and it includes many royal family members.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

There is a group of 150 legislators called the Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura. They are also chosen by the King and allowed to serve four year terms. In October of 2003 the king's Council of Ministers announced that they would allow elections for some of the members of local government groups and for 1/3 of the members of the national Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura. This promise has not been kept as it is now the year 2009 and still no elections have taken place.

JUDICIAL BRANCH

A Supreme Council of Justices have been appointed by the king.

NOW THAT YOU HAVE FINISHED READING THE WIKI --- DO THE FOLLOWING -->

Go to the Reference section of the upstairs library and look for the book with the call number:

REF
910
GEO

Use the table of contents to find the page about Saudi Arabia. Read this page and compare the information with the Wiki. Find something interesting from the book to add. Then, ask your teacher how to add information to the Wiki from the book.