Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 

 

            The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula. It occupies an area about the size of the United States east of the Mississippi RiverSaudi Arabias population is around 22 million (2004 census), and its capital city is Riyadh.

Saudi Arabias geography is diverse, with forests, grasslands, mountain ranges and deserts.  The climate varies from region to region.  Temperatures can reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the desert in the summer, while in the winter temperatures in the north and central parts of the country can drop below freezing. Saudi Arabia gets very little rain, only about four inches a year on average.

king Abdul Aziz Al-saud

                  

 

                         King Abdul Bin Abdul Aziz   Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz

 

         History

        The history of modern Saudi Arabia begins with king Abdul Aziz Al-saud , Known in the west as Ibn saud . The Al-Saud family had reigned over much of Arabia in the early 19th century. It lost part of its territory to the Turks later in the century, however, and was driven from its capital, Riyadh, by the rival House of Rashid. In 1902 Abdul Aziz recaptured the city and began to reconquer and reunify the country, which he completed some three decades later. In 1927, Abdul Aziz was officially proclaimed king, and the country was named the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932.

 

Mosque of Makkah

Mosque of Madina

 

        Islam

       For centuries the people of the Arabian Peninsula have possessed a strong identity based upon the tenets of Islam. Saudi Arabia is a modern nation that adheres to Islam, honors its Arab heritage and tradition, and presses vigorously forward in the service of Islam while securing the welfare of its people.

 

       Islam, one of the world's great monotheistic religions, has Saudi Arabia as its heartland. The followers of Islam, called Muslims, believe in God - in Arabic, Allah - and that Muhammad is His Prophet. Today, the worldwide community of Muslims, which embraces the people of many races and cultures, numbers well over one billion.

                 Historically, Saudi Arabia has occupied a special place in the Islamic world, for it is towards Makkah and Islam's most sacred shrine, the Ka'abah, located in the Holy Mosque there, that Muslims throughout the world turn devoutly in prayer five times a day. An appreciation of Islamic history and culture is therefore essential for a genuine understanding of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its Islamic heritage and its leading role in the Arab and Muslim worlds.


  

                   Map of Saudi Arabia      

        Geography  and Weather

        Saudi Arabia with area of about 865,000 square miles, occupies the bulk of Arabian peninsula . It is roughly one-third the size of the continental United States, and the same size as all of Western Europe. Its located in south west of Asia ( middle east) . it borders Jordan on the north west , Iraq on the north and north east , Kuwait , Qatar , Bahrain , and the United Arab Emirates on the east , Oman on the southeast ,and Yemen on the south, with the Persian gulf to its northeast and the Red sea to its west .

 

          Saudi Arabia has desert climate characterized by extreme heat during the day, an abrupt drop in     temperature at night, and slight, erratic rainfall. Hot and dry in summer , cool and rainy in winter. A uniform climate in Najd ( witch represent the middle region of Saudi Arabia ) .The average summer temperature is 45 C, but readings of up to 54 C are common. In the winter, the temperature rarely drops below 0 C. but the almost total absence of humidity and the high wind-chill factor make a bitterly cold atmosphere. In the spring and autumn, temperatures average 29 C. The region of Asir is subject to Indian Ocean monsoons, usually occurring between October and March. An average of 300 millimeters of rainfall occurs during this period--60 percent of the annual total. Additionally, in Asir and the southern Hijaz condensation caused by the higher mountain slopes contributes to the total rainfall. For the rest of the country, rainfall is low and erratic. The entire year's rainfall may consist of one or two torrential outbursts that flood the wadis and then rapidly disappear into   the soil to be trapped above the layers of impervious rock.    

 

Mop of Regions of Saudi Arabia

 

         Regions of Saudi Arabia

              1-  Al-Bahah                                2- Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah                  3- Al Jawf                   4- Al Madinah

             5- Al Gassim                                 6- Ar-Riyad                                             7- Ash-Sharqiyah        8- 'Asir

          9- Ha'il                                         10- Jizan                                                  11- Makkah                 12- Najran

          13- Tabuk

 

             Capital and main cities

 

Kingdom Center in Riyadh

 

               Riyadh  is the capital and largest city of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, located in Ar Riyadh Province in the Najd region. It is situated in the centre of the Arabian peninsula on a large plateau and is home to over 4,260,000[ people (around 20% of the nation's population). The name Riyadh is derived from the Arabic word meaning a place of gardens and trees ("rawdah"). With many wadis (a former water course, now dry) in the vicinity, Riyadh has been, since antiquity, a fertile area set in the heartland of the Arabian peninsula.

 

Picture of Jeddah city

 

                   Jeddah city located on the coast of the Red Sea  is the major urban center in western Saudi Arabia, the largest in the Western Province, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city Riyadh. The population of the city currently stands at over 3.4 million. It is considered as the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia and the wealthiest city in the Middle East and western Asia.

              Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, the holiest city of Islam, which able-bodied Muslims are  required to visit at least once in a lifetime.

 

King Fahad bridge in Dammam

 

               Dammam is the capital of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia.Dammam is the largest city in the Eastern Province; Dammam Port is one of the largest on the Persian Gulf. Its port for import-export traffic is second to Jeddah's port.

It is served by the new King Fahad International Airport, which was used by the US military during the Gulf War in 1991. Other cities that surround Dammam are Khobar, which is a thriving modern economic hub, and Dhahran, which is the headquarters for Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world.

Together the cities have a population of around 2 million, of whom 750,000 live in the city of Dammam itself. The local sports stadium is Prince Mohamed bin Fahad Stadium.


City in northwestern Saudi Arabia with 690,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate). It is the capital of the Eastern Province with 3.3 million inhabitants (2003 estimate). Dammam lies on tip of land stretching out into the Persian Gulf, forming a large metropolitan and industrial area, with about 1.2 million inhabitants, together with Khobar, Qatif and Dhahran. Dammam is a major seaport, involved in a wide variety of export and import. It is a centre for petroleum and natural gas, but also the centre of all commerce in the eastern parts of the kingdom. There is some agriculture, largely dealing with livestock and dairy products. Dhahran has excellent connections with other urban centres of Saudi Arabia by highways, and is also linked to Bahrain with a causeway. Dammam is also the terminus of the railroad to Riyadh. The King Fahd International Airport is shared by all the cities in the region. Dammam is a modern city, but has seen less investments and fewer projects than Khobar

 

 

        Energy

        The energy sector is the backbone of the Saudi economy. The Kingdom possesses a quarter of the worlds proven oil reserves, and is the worlds largest producer and exporter of oil. Saudi Arabia is also developing its additional energy resources natural gas that once flared off oil wells is collected and used, and the Kingdom has become a producer of refined oil products and petrochemicals such as kerosene, diesel oil and gasoline.


In addition, with the discovery of deposits of precious and semi-precious metals, Saudi Arabia expects to become a major exporter of minerals in the coming decades.

 

King Fahad university of petroleum and minerals ( k.f.u.p.m)

 

         Education

      Saudi Arabias education system has gone through an astonishing transformation. When the Kingdom was established in 1932, education was available to very few people, mostly the children of wealthy families living in the major cities.

     Today, Saudi Arabias public education system includes 11 universities, with more planned; some 25,000 schools; and a large number of colleges and other institutions. The system is open to all citizens, and provides students with free education, books and health services.


     While the study of Islam remains at its core, the modern Saudi educational system also provides quality instruction in diverse fields of arts and sciences. This diversity helps the Kingdom prepare its citizens for life and work in a global economy.

 

 

 

 

Saudi currency

 

         Saudi currency

             The riyal has been the currency of Saudi Arabia since the country came in to being and was the currency of Hejaz before Saudi Arabia was created. The Hejaz riyal was initially equivalent to the Ottoman 20 qurush coin and was consequently divided into 20 qurush, each of 40 para.

           However, the riyal was later set equal to the larger Maria Theresa taller, worth 22 Ottoman qurush. Hence, the Saudi currency system was initially 22 qurush = 1 riyal. This remained the system of currency even though the riyal was subsequently debased.

          In 1960, the system was changed to 20 qurush = 1 riyal and this was followed in 1963 by the introduction of the hallalah, worth one hundredth of a riyal. Saudi coins still bear denominations in hallallah; Denominations in qurush are not commonly used in everyday life anymore

         And one U.S. dollar = 3.76 S.R.

 

  • Population and human information

Population:
27,019,731
note: includes 5,576,076 non-nationals (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.2% (male 5,261,530/female 5,059,041)
15-64 years: 59.4% (male 9,159,519/female 6,895,616)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 342,020/female 302,005) (2006 est.)

Median age:
total: 21.4 years
male: 22.9 years
female: 19.4 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:
2.18% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:
29.34 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:
2.58 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:
-4.94 migrant's /1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.33 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female
total population: 1.2 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

 

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Sources :

http://saudiembassy.net

http://www.wikipedia.org

Images : http://www.schools-ksa.com

 

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