Saudi Arabia History  

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SAUDI ARABIA

The Arabian peninsula is best known for being the birthplace of Islam in the 7th century. By the time of Mohammed's death in 632, all of Arabia was Islamic. In the early 16th century the Ottoman Empire tried to take Arabia but were never truly successful in establishing complete dominance. The house of Saud took control at Riyadh in 1902 and a decade later led a revolt against the Ottomans, assisted by the British. Eventually, the Sauds took over the entire peninsula and the country was named Saudi Arabia in 1932. As an absolute monarchy the House of Saud has been in control ever since, with only occasional blips of instability over the years, including the assassination of King Faisal by a nephew in 1975. Saudi Arabia, conservative and always worried about left-leaning opponents and neighbors has been viewed as a friend of the West for decades, a friendship which was protected during the Gulf War in 1991.

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