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The House of Saud Saudi Arabia’s Ruling Family The Land Harsh and arid Cities develop around oases 5,000 years ago Dilmun people inhabited Many Tribes The Rise of the Sauds 1750, Sheik, Muhammad Bin Saud allies with radical Islamic cleric, Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab Religious & Political power fused… Wahhabism Uses Koran PLUS Wahhabi Students at a Madrassa Wahhab’s book Kitab al-Tawhib Literal interpretation Puritanical in Faith, against change in worship All non-Wahhabi’s are ENEMIES OF GOD The Saud’s Power Grows Abdul Aziz Al-Saud (Ibn Saud) starts to expand tribal lands from interior 1901-gets Riyadh 1914 – WWI breaks out, UK needs allies against Ottomans Lawrence of Arabia UK sends T.E. Lawrence into Arabia to encourage sheiks to fight against Ottoman Turks. NATIONALISM BORN!!! Unity??? Saudi Arabia Created 1932 After the war, UK recognizes Ibn Saud as rightful ruler Saud continues to 1932, unites tribes intogather land, Mecca SAUDI ARABIA in 1925 By 1932, all Arabian Peninsula united by Sauds Wahhabism Grows Saudi Arabia Comes of King Faisal leads Age coup against ½ brother in 1964 Begins modernization of the kingdom Social & Economic Reform Develop OIL!!! On the International Stage – Backs royal family in Yemeni civil War Uses oil money to prop up royal families who lost war against Israel 1973 – Helps create OPEC, anti-USA 1967 Chaos at the Helm… & Friendship with the USA? – Faisal killed by nephew 1975 ½ brother Khalid rules King Fahd (1982) rethinks US position to help stabilize region from Iran-Iraq War and Gulf War The Cost of Friendship… Saudi’s let US keep troops in the “Holy Land” after wars for stability Wahhabis & Bin Laden angry over infidel troops in land of Mohammed Fahd has stroke, ’95 King Abdullah today Troubling Demographics ½ Why a Problem? the 26.5 MM Saudis in two cities AND under 25!!! 1/3 unemployed In last 20 years, per Capita GDP dropped from $28.5K to $6.8K Movie theaters, dance and night clubs banned Women can’t drive Religious police keep eye on people Public Executions Social Rigidity The Modern Wahhabi/Saudi Threat? Using Oil wealth, Saudi’s have been creating Wahhabi schools globally… Bin Laden & Taliban Wahhabis 15 of the19 9/11 hijackers Saudi Wahhabis Saudi Arabia – Friend or Foe???