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Saudi Arabia and Its Neighbors
Ottoman Empire in 1914
Saudi Arabia and Its Neighbors
Saudi Arabian Physical Environment
Arabian Family Trees
Origin of the Saudi State The Arabian Peninsula was originally the home of isolated nomads, warring tribes Only the west, the Hijaz region, was under control of a political authority, the Ottoman Empire One of the nomadic tribes was the Saud In the 18 th Century, the leader of the Saud tribe, Muhammad ibn Saud became determined to extend his rule over larger areas of the region.
Origin of the Saudi State Muhammad ibn Saud established a partnership with a religious scholar, Abdul al-Wahhab who lived in an oasis near current day Riyadh. He embraced the strict Wahhabi school of Islam and Abdul al. Wahhab endorsed Muhammad as the leader of the Islamic world and declared a jihad against his rivals. The Saudi/Wahhabis captured Mecca and Medina from the Ottomans in the early 1800's, and also large areas of the Arabian peninsula and the parts of what is now Iraq before finally being driven back into the desert by Ottoman forces. By 1890, other nomadic tribes in the area opposed to Wahabbism had become stronger and the al-Rashid clan defeated the Saudis and captured their capital, Riyadh. The Saudi leader at that time, Abdul al-Rahman, fled to Kuwait, a town on the Persian gulf that was under the protection of the British, taking with him his 10 year old son Abdul al-Aziz.
Origin of the Saudi State In 1901, the 21 year old Abdul al-Aziz and 40 members of his family and followers infiltrated back into Arabia intent of capturing Riyadh. They scaled the walls under cover of darkness and waited on the rooftops for the Rashidi governor to come out of his fort for morning prayers at the mosque. When the governor emerged from the mosque after prayers, Abdul al-Aziz attacked, killing the governor. The Rashidi garrison surrendered without further fight and the people of Riyadh welcomed the return of the Saudi reign. Abdul al-Aziz became known as ibn Saud, father of the Saudis.
Origin of the Saudi State Over the next three decades, with the help of fundamentalist Wahhabi fighters known as the Ikhwan (the brothers), Abdul al-Aziz steadily expanded his territory. During WWI, he allied himself with the British against the Ottomans. By 1920 he had defeated the last remnants of the al-Rashid family and by 1925 he had also overcome the forces of Sharif Hussein, who had served under the Ottomans as “protector of the Holy Places” and ruler of the western lands or the Hijez. Abdul al-Aziz took the title of Guardian of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. In 1932 the country of Saudi Arabia was created from the lands under control of Abdul al-Aziz ibn Saud.
King Abdul Aziz Ibn Sa’ud • 1879 -1953 King 1932 -53 • Ibn Saud established the basic structure of the modern Saudi state. • The country would be governed as an absolute monarchy with rulers always being chosen from the Saud family. Political parties were outlawed. • Ibn Saud died in 1953. He had already witnessed the beginning of rapid change in his country because of oil. In 1950 he received $200, 000 total for oil revenues but by the time he died three years later he was receiving $2, 500, 000 per week. • Ibn Saud fathered 37 sons by 16 wives. His number of wives is put at 22, though never more than three or four simultaneously
King Sa’ud bin Abdul Aziz • 1902 -1969 • King 1953 -1964 • Forced out by his family, replaced by his brother Faisal; died in exile in Greece
King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz 1906 -1975 King 1964 -1975 Important “modernizer, ” anticommunist Faisal was assassinated by his halfbrother's son. The murder occurred at a majlis, (Arabic for "sitting") an event where the king or leader opens up his residence to the citizens to enter and petition the king. The stated reason was revenge for the assassin’s brother, who had been killed by Saudi Defense Force members while taking part in a demonstration in 1965.
King Khalid bin Abdul Aziz 1912 -1982 King 1975 - 1982 Khalid was named Crown Prince in 1965, after his older brother (and only full brother) Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud declined a place in the succession. Represented Saudi Arabia in the UN, brought in foreign labor, created Gulf Cooperation Council. In poor health, in 1976 underwent open-heart surgery in Cleveland, Ohio. Gave effective control of the country to his brother Crown Prince Fahd. Died of heart problems in 1982
King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz • 1921 -2005 • King from 1982 to 2005, but after a stroke in 1995, the Kingdom was run by his brother Abdullah.
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz • Born 1923 or 24; • Succeeded King Fahd, his halfbrother, in 2005. Was head of the National Guard. • Has been projecting a more assertive role for Saudi foreign policy. • 2000 Peace Plan for Arab – Israeli conflict: All 27 members of Arab League agree to establish normalized relations with Israel if Israel withdraws from Arab lands taken in the 1967 war. • Labeled US occupation in Iraq “illegitimate. ”
Current Saudi Governing Authorities Chief of State: King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 1 August 2005); the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government Heir Apparent Crown Prince SULTAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (half brother of the monarch, born 5 January 1928); Cabinet: Council of Ministers is appointed by the monarch every four years and includes many royal family members Elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; note a new Allegiance Commission created by royal decree in October 2006 established a committee of Saudi princes that will play a role in selecting future Saudi kings, but the new system will not take effect until after Crown Prince Sultan becomes king
Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud • Born 1926 in Riyadh. Is the Crown Prince (next in line). Deputy Prime Minister. • Prince Sultan was appointed Governor of Riyadh in 1947. He became Minister of Agriculture in 1953 and Minister of Communications in 1955. He became the Minister of Defense and Aviation in 1962. • His son is Prince Bandar, who served as ambassador to the U. S. 1983 – 2005.
Prince Bandar • Born 1949 • Saudi Ambassador to US 19832005 • Son of the Crown Prince, Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz. Currently is the kingdom’s national security chief. • Has received education and military training in the U. K. and U. S.
Ambassador Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir • Born February 1, 1962 • Attended schools in the Kingdom, Germany, Yemen, Lebanon, and the U. S. • Not from the royal family. • He obtained a B. A. summa cum laude in political science and economics from the University of North Texas in 1982, and an M. A. in international relations from Georgetown University in 1984. • Appointed Jan. , 2007
The Saudi Governing System The King is an absolute monarch but his powers are limited by the Sharia and Islamic teachings and by the need for consensus within the royal family and among religious leaders of the Ulema. Since 1953 the executive level of the Saudi government is a Council of Ministers, appointed by, and responsible to, the King. The council consists of a prime minister, a first and a second deputy prime minister and 20 ministers. The enaction of legislation is by resolution of the Council of Ministers, ratified by royal decree. Must be compatible with the Sharia. The country is subdivided into 13 provinces governed by princes or other close relatives to the King. All governors are appointed by the king.
The Saudi Governing System In 1992 an 83 -article “Organic Law, ” comparable in many ways to a western constitution, was proposed by the Council of Ministers. It was approved by the King in 1993. Does not include references to political, civil, and social rights of the ordinary people. Since 1993 there has been a Consultative Counsel (called the Majlis ash shoura) consisting of 90 members chosen by the King. It advises but has little real political influence. Justice is administered by a system of religious courts whose judges are appointed by the King. The King is the highest court of appeal. Religious Police (al Mutawa’een) are empowered to arrest anyone violating sharia law or Wahabbi religious standards. The King still holds daily majlis meetings open to any Saudi citizen.
The Saudi Governing System Current King Abdullah has appointed his half brother, Sultan, as the Crown Prince of the kingdom. There are, at least, three brothers (Bandar, Musa'id, Mishaal) who are older than Sultan and have either stepped aside or have been sidelined for health reasons or by family consensus or by their unwillingness to participate in governing. In October 2006, King Abdullah announced the creation of a council to be made up of the sons and senior grandsons of the Kingdom's founder. The Council's function is to ensure the smooth transition of power in the event of the King's, and Crown Prince's, incapacitation or death and the selection of an heir. This, along with an earlier decree by King Fahd, also has opened the possibility of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud's grandsons being considered viable candidates.
Key Factors in Saudi Royal Politics Ability to garner support within the Al Saud family Tenure in government Tribal affiliations and origins of a candidate's mother Religious persona Acceptance by the Ulema Support by the merchant community Popularity among the general Saudi citizenry.
Surviving Sons of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud The following surviving sons of Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, in order of age precedence, are considered candidates to the Line of Succession, following Crown Prince Sultan: Abd al-Rahman bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1931) Mutaib bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1931) Badr bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1933) Nayef bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1933) Salman bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1936) Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1940) Sattam bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1941) Muqran bin Abdul Aziz (Born 1945)
The People Population: 28, 146, 656 Includes 5, 576, 076 non-nationals (July 2008 est. ) Age structure: 0 -14 years: 38% 15 -64 years: 59. 5% 65 years and over: 2. 4% (2008 est. ) Ethnic groups: Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10% Religions: Muslim 100%
Wahhabism The name Wahhabi is derived from Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, who died in 1792. He grew up in an oasis town in central Arabia where he studied Hanbali law, usually considered the strictest of Islamic legal schools, with his grandfather. While still a young man, he left home and continued his studies in Medina and then in Iraq and Iran. When he returned from Iran to Arabia in the late 1730 s, he attacked as idolatry many of the customs followed by tribes in the area who venerated rocks and trees. He extended his criticism to practices of the Shia, such as veneration of the tombs of holy men. He focused on the central Muslim principle that there is only one God and that this God does not share his divinity with anyone. From this principle, his students began to refer to themselves as muwahhidun (sing. , muwahhid), or "unitarians. " Their detractors referred to them as "Wahhabis. "
Wahhabism Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab considered himself a reformer and looked for a political figure to give his ideas a wider audience. He found this person in Muhammad ibn Saud, the amir of Ad Diriyah, a small town near Riyadh. In 1744 the two swore a traditional Muslim pledge in which they promised to work together to establish a new state (which later became present-day Saudi Arabia) based on Islamic principles. The limited but successful military campaigns of Muhammad ibn Saud caused Arabs from all over the peninsula to feel the impact of Wahhabi ideas. When Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia and father of the current rulers, conquered the peninsula in the 1920 s, he used the Wahhabis to drive out his Hashemite rivals, who now rule Jordan.
Wahhabism is still a major force in Saudi life today. The Saudi religious establishment - the ulema have imposed strict segregation of the sexes, an absolute prohibition of the sale and consumption of alcohol, a ban on women driving and many other social restrictions. The rules are enforced by the "mutawa", or religious police, who patrol the streets and shopping centers on the look-out for anyone breaking the rules. Wahhabi thought opposes all that is not orthodox in Islam, it particularly opposes non-Muslim elements such as the increasing European and American presence in the Persian Gulf.
Wahhabism The religious clerics in Saudi Arabia control all education. Saudi Arabia private and public schools curriculum is prescribed by the government. The religious curriculums are written and monitored and taught by Wahhab Saudis only. Other Sunni schools and Shias cannot teach in Saudi Arabia. Puritanical Wahhabi schools indoctrinate young men in radical militancy. Between the ages of 7 and 15, they are taught the fundamentals of strict Islam and religious obligations. Between the ages of 15 and 25, these young men are prepared for the jihad, or holy war — in this case conquest of Wahhabi Islam over not only the Islamic world, but all mankind. The Wahhabs also control any religious material that is public. Saudi television or any books that you find in the library, only represent Wahhab understanding of Islam. Most Muslims and Koranic scholars denounce this radical interpretation of Islamic precepts as one that distorts Islam’s holiest text into a guide for violent action.
Wahhabism The Wahhabi movement flourishes in every Muslim country and in many western nations. This has given Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization an international ideological and operational network. Saudi Arabia, either directly, or indirectly through non-governmental organizations, has financed all these Wahhabi movements.
Terrorism and the Saudi Regime Saudi Arabia has faced several serious terrorist attacks, targeting primarily Western expatriates and also Saudi security forces. The common motivation is resentment of the perceived pro-Western stance of the King and royal family, and their acceptance of Westerners in Saudi Arabia. The militants believe that the Prophet Muhammad commanded that non-Muslims should be expelled from the Arabian peninsula. The militants were especially outraged at the presence of the U. S. military in Saudi Arabia after the 1991 Gulf War.
Main Terrorist Events in Saudi Arabia 1979: Grand Mosque Seizure - number of militants took over the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca to protest the House of Saud's policies of westernization. 1995: car bomb killed five US citizens and two Indians at the offices of the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh. 1996: the Khobar Towers apartment complex is hit by a large truck bomb. Nineteen US soldiers are killed and 372 wounded by the blast. 2003: 35 are killed and over 200 wounded during a suicide attack on the Vinnell Compound in Riyadh. There is a rumor that National Guard collusion was involved. 2004: Seven people (two US citizens, two Britons, an Australian, a Canadian, and a Saudi) are killed in a rampage at the premises of a petroleum company in Yanbu by three brothers. All the attackers, dressed in military uniforms, are killed. 2005: Four insurgents dressed as women attempt to bluff their way past a security checkpoint near the holy city of Mecca. Two militants and two security officers were killed in the resulting shootout, an unknown number were wounded. 2006: Attempted suicide attack at the largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia (more than 60% of Saudi production).
The U. S. - Saudi Connection The foundations of Saudi foreign policy laid down on 14 February 1945 at a meeting between Ibn Saud and President Franklin D Roosevelt which was the beginning of a long-term alliance based on common interests. Ibn Saud counted on the US to guarantee the kingdom’s territorial integrity against the ambitions of the Hashemite regimes in Iraq and Jordan in the 1940 s, against Nasser in the 1950 s, and against the appeal of the Iranian revolution in 1979. In return, Saudi Arabia was to guarantee oil at prices ”fair to consumers. ” Throughout the cold war, Saudi Arabia was a key player in the anti-Soviet camp, funding movements that had nothing to do with Islam, like Unita in Angola and the Contras in Nicaragua. In Afghanistan it played a crucial role in supplying aid to the mujahedin and contributing largely to the Russian defeat in the 1980 s.
The U. S. –Saudi Connection Saudi oil history dates back to 1933, when the Government of Saudi Arabia signed a concessionary agreement with Standard Oil of California allowing them to explore Saudi Arabia for oil. In 1936 the Texas Oil Company purchased a 50% stake of the concession. The new company was known as Aramco, an acronym for Arabian American Oil Company. In 1973 the Saudi Arabian government acquired a 25% share of Aramco, increased this to 60% by 1974 and finally acquired full control of Aramco by 1980. In November 1988 the company changed its name from Arabian American Oil Company to Saudi Arabian Oil Company (or Saudi Aramco).
Oil Reserves as of 2007 Country Reserves 1 Production 2 Reserve life 3 109 bbl 106 bbl/d Saudi Arabia 260 8. 8 81 Canada 179 2. 7 182 Iran 136 3. 9 96 Iraq 115 3. 7 85 Kuwait 99 2. 5 108 United Arab Emirates 97 2. 5 106 Venezuela 80 2. 4 91 Russia 60 9. 5 17 Libya 42 1. 8 63 Nigeria 36 2. 3 43 United States 21 4. 9 11 Mexico 12 3. 2 10 1, 137 48. 2 65 Total of top twelve reserves years Notes: 1 Claimed or estimated reserves in billions (10 9) of barrels (converted to billions of cubic metres). (Source: Oil & Gas Journal, January, 2007) 2 Production rate in millions (10 6) of barrels per day (converted to thousands of cubic metres per day) (Source: US Energy Information Authority, September, 2007)  3 Reserve to Production ratio (in years), calculated as reserves / annual production. (from above)
U. S. Oil Imports by Country
The Kaaba in Mecca
The Mosque at Medina The Prophet’s Mosque contains the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad. The first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, are also buried there.
Saudi’s Neighbors Qatar, 824, 789 (July 2008 est. ); 20% Shia; only 40% are citizens Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al-Thani, ruler British protectorate from 1916 until 1971 Strongly Allied with Saudi Arabia but since 1982 has primarily relied on United States security guarantees. US Maintains 30 Fighter Aircraft and prepositioned tanks and artillery for an entire armored brigade in Qatar supported US in Persian Gulf war in 1991 but Shaykh Hamad bin Khalifa is critical of current US policy towards Palestinians, Iraq and Iran Economy based on oil but is rapidly shifting to natural gas Water supply a problem; dependent upon desalination plants Adhere to strict Wahhabi sect school of Sunni Islam as in Saudi Arabia, but not as strict in enforcing rules on foreigners and women.
U. S. Bases in Qatar
Saudi’s Neighbors + + + + U. A. E. , 4, 621, 399; only 2. 1 Million are citizens; 16% Shia British protectorate until 1971 Federation of seven emirates Common Defense organization, currency Defense cooperation agreement with U. S. since 1994 Abu Dhabi largest emirate, capital of U. A. E. Sheik of Abu Dhabi is the President, currently KHALIFA bin Zayid Al-Nuhayyan Dubai is number 2; Sheik of Dubai is Vice President - Dubai is the port; - Dubai has strategic development plan to become non-dependent on petroleum Goal is to have 90% of GDP non-petroleum and by 2010 Becoming an important free trade area. Aspires to be the Hong Kong of the Middle East. Huge Shopping mall, duty free goods, attracts shoppers from all over the region and from places like Russia Middle man for Iraqi and Iranian commerce
Saudi’s Neighbors - - Kuwait, 2, 596, 799, includes 1, 291, 354 non-nationals (July 2008 est. ); 30% are Shia Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah, ruler Under British Influence from 1899; independent in 1961 10% world petroleum reserves (94 billion barrels) Bahrain, 718, 306, includes 235, 108 non-nationals (July 2008 est. ); 70% Shia; low intensity violence by pro Iranian Hizbollah King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa, ruler Under British influence until 1971 Oil production declining; imports 70, 000 barrels per day to maintain refineries Oman, 3, 311, 640, includes 577, 293 non-nationals (July 2008 est. ); local sect of Shia predominant religion Sultan Qaboos bin Said is ruler. British educated; fought civil war with Imam for control over Oman with British assistance 5. 2 billion barrels petroleum reserves; strategic location at gateway to Persian Gulf Yemen, 23 million, 46% under age of 15; 55% Shia Unified in 1990; a Republic, President Ali Abdallah SALIH (since 22 May 1990, the former president of North Yemen