About KSA
09/07/2015
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is the Largest Islamic and Arabic Country. It is also called The land of the Two Holy Mosques; in reference to Makkah and Madinah. In English, it is called Saudi Arabia.
The history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is divided into two periods; the First Saudi State and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The First Saudi State was founded in 1744.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1902 when king Abdul-Aziz handed over the ancestral home of Riyadh and culminated in 1932 with the proclamation and recognition of Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a rich Petroleum country and is considered as the leading petroleum exporter in the world. Petroleum is the main resource in KSA with oil accounts for 90 percent of the total exports of the Kingdom.
Petroleum represents about 75 percent of the government revenues helping making the Kingdom a welfare state.

Flag

The flag of Saudi Arabia is a simple one of two colors; green and white. Green is the background of the flag with white letters of (La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul-ul-Allah) or (There is no God But Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) underlined by a white Sword.

Location

KSA is the largest country in the Arabian Peninsula in the southeast of Asia at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. From west, the Kingdom is bordered by the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf in the east. The Kingdom shares the borders with Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait on north and Yemen and Oman on the south and United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain on the East. The location of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies a great commercial importance since it is considered the main commercial road from west to east and vice versa.

Climate

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can be divided into many regions according to climate; regions of arid climate and others of moist climate.
The first regions as Riyadh and the latter as Jazan.
in general, the climate of KSA is very hot in summer and very cold in winter; June through August, over 110 Fahrenheit midday in the desert; humidity in the coastal regions up to 100 percent; elsewhere, mild; possible winter temperatures in the northern and central regions dropping below freezing; rainfall, from none at all for up to 10 years in the Rub Al-Khali, to 20 inches a year in the mountains of Asir Province.

Population

The population of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2008 is 24,600,000 including an estimated 5,576,076 resident foreigners. Until 1960s, the majority of the Kingdom was nomadic but, due to rapid economic and urban growth, 95% of population is settled at the time present. The birth rate of KSA is 29.56 births per 1,000 people.
Death rate is 2.62 deaths per 1,000 people. Some main cities and oases have densities of more than 1,000 people square kilometer (2,600 Sq mi).

Religion

Islam (which literally means submission to God and obedience to Him) is the religion of all Saudi Arabians. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam.
The Prophet Muhammad, may peace and prayers be upon him, was born in the city of Makkah, in the western region of Arabia in 571.
In 610 the Prophet started preaching the revealed word of God. To become a Muslim takes but a simple affirmation of faith, repeating the Shahada: There is no god but the God and Muhammad is his worshiper, and last messenger.
Prophet Muhammad brought his message to the Arabs of Makkahh, the idolaters whose confused animistic and totemic religious practices were repugnant to him.
He also hoped that Christians and Jews would join in believing his message, since it was their God as well as his from whom the message came.
Prophet Muhammad found much resistance and hatred from the people of Makkah, but he was able to convert most Arabs to Islam before he finally defeated the Makkians and became the undisputed leader in Arabia.
The revealed words of God are recorded in the Qur’ran, which is considered by Muslims to be the exact words of God, (Allah in Arabic) and the first source of Islam.
Muhammad’s life and statements(Sunnah) are considered the second source of Islam.
There are five basic pillars of Islam: (1) declaring the oneness of God and of Muhammad as his worshiper, and last messenger; (2) the five daily prayers; (3) fasting during the month of Ramadan; (4) giving alms to the poor; and (5) making pilgrimage to Makkah once in a person’s life if he or she has the physical and financial resources to make the trip.
Islam also preaches justice and equality among people and considers it a major sin not to treat your parents and relatives with kindness and respect.
Scholars have repeatedly stressed the impact of Islamic teachings on the social and psychological orientation of the Muslims.
This is due to the nature of Islam as a religion deeply involved in the social life of the community.
As Islam spread and was accepted by many other cultures, and with the passage of time, the original interpretation of Islam has become somewhat distorted.
In the early 1700s, Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab attempted to return the pure Islam of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions.
Those who supported Abdul Wahhab are known as Mmvahidin, since the fundamental principle of Islam, as emphasized by Abdul Wahhab, is the oneness of God (in the Western literature they are known as Wahhabbis, following the name of Abdul Wahab).
Since its foundation, this movement has been concerned with assuring that the strictest Islamic practices, rituals, and moral conduct be observed.
The conversion of Muhammad Ibn Saud in 1745 afforded Wahhabism the political base upon which it [Saudi Arabia] has since been built.
Another factor accounting for the role of Islam in Saudi Arabia is the existence on its soil of the two holiest cities of Islam: Makkah and Madinah.
Islamic law, which Saudi Arabia declares as its constitution and fundamental law, embraces the entire range of personal and social life of the Muslims.
It tells the individual how to live righteously and in peace with himself, his God, and in the community at large.
It also tells the community as a whole how to conduct its affairs, both spiritually and temporally.
Thus Saudi Arabian kings are bound to rule in accordance with the Qur’an and the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.
The power of the king is legitimized by a contractual agreement between him and the people, called bay’ah, i.e., oath, in which the king promises to uphold the Shariah and rule in accordance with its precepts.
Kings are acceptable because everyone, including the king, must subject himself to God’s law.
Although the Saudi government has never claimed to rule by divine right, its policies represent broad-based Islam accentuated by a strong realism.
Thus Islam is the religion, the ideology, and the source of political legitimacy both to the Saudi people and the political system.
In the words of King Faisal, who ruled from 1964 to 1975, We do not need to import foreign tradition.
We have a history and a glorious past.
We led the Arabs and the world. With what did we lead them? The words of God and the Shariah of His prophet.

Language

Arabic; English widely spoken in urban areas.

Rulers

King Abdul-Aziz bin Abdurrahman Al-Saud, the founder (1932-1963), followed by his sons: King Saud (1953-64), King Faisal (1964-75), King Khalid (1975-82), King Fahd (1982-2005) and the current ruler, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, seen on the left with the late King Fahd and current Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz.

Government

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic-based state; the main constitution (Shari`ah) of the kingdom id derived from the Two Holy Books; Quran and Sunnah. The system in the kingdom is divided into three systems; the Provincial Council System, Consultative Council and Council of Ministers.

Calendar

Islamic (Hijrah), dating from emigration of the Prophet Muhammad from Makkah to Madinah; weekend, Thursday and Friday.
The 12 months of the Islamic lunar year
Muharram, Safar, Rabi’ Al-Awal, Rabi’ Al-Akher, Jumada Al-Awal, Jumada Al-Akher, Rajab, Sha’ban, Ramadan, Shawwal. Dhu Al-Qadah , Dhu Al-Hajjah .Holiday
The main holidays of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are Eid Al-Fitr, the feast of the breaking of the fast, from the evening of the last day of Ramadan through the third day of Shawwal; and Eid Al-Adha, the culmination of the Hajj, from the tenth through twelfth of Dhu Al-Hajjah. During these days, there are a closure of all offices and schools.

Business

Government offices Saturday through Wednesday from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm; private businesses from 8:00 am to noon and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; general banking from 8:00 am until noon and from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm and markets and shops from 8:00 am until 10:00 pm.

Currency

The currency of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is Riyal (SR) pegged to US Dollar ($1=SR3.745). the banknotes of the kingdom, in Arabic and English, are in denominations of 1,5,10,50,100 and 500 Riyals. The coins of KSA are in denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 halalahs, with 100 halalahs equal to one riyal; metric system in use.

The Saudi dietary is Islamic-based dietary; it forbids eating pork and drinking alcohol. Khobz or unleavened bread is eaten with all meals.
Other staples include lamb, grilled chicken, falafel, shawarma, and Ful medames.
Saudi coffee and tea are the main drink in KSA which used in both casual and formal meetings between friends, family and even strangers. the tea is drunk black without milk and with herbal flavoring that comes in many variations.

Dress

The formal dress for men is Thawb (usually wear an ankle-length shirt woven from wool or cotton) and Keffiyeh (a large checkered square of cotton held in place by a cord coil) or Gutrah (a plain white square made of finer cotton, also held in place by a cord coil) worn on head.
For chilly days, bisht (Saudi men wear a camel-hair cloak) is put on.
For women, Abaya is the formal wear when in public. Otherwise, she can wear clothes that are decorated with motifs, coins, sequins, metallic thread, and appliqués.

Culture

Islam is the main resource of culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Makkah and Madinah are the holiest two cities in the Islamic world not only in KSA.
The five prayers in mosque is the main daily actions by Muslims in Saudi Arabia.

Development

During the last few years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed huge developments.
KSA is considered the fastest growing country in the world with a high per capita income of $20,700 (2007).
The Custodian of Two Holy Mosques is launching six economic cities helping diversifying the Saudi economy and increasing the income per capita.
It is expected that the per capita income will reach $33,500 in 2020.

  • Saudi Arabia is a Kingdom. It is an Arab and Islamic State and its religion is Islam.
  • The responsibilities and structure are promulgated in the Basic System of Government.
  • The Council of Ministers is responsible for all policies and general affairs of state. It is the final authority for the nation’s financial, executive, and administrative affairs: The King presides over the Council as Prime Minister and presently there are a total of 27 ministers.
  • The King’s executive office is the Royal Diwan where most royal business is taken care of. The King also holds his Majlis in the Diwan, where ordinary citizens ask for the King’s intervention to redress a grievance or assist with bureaucracy.
  • The Consultative Council is an assembly of 120 experienced, wise and learned citizens who can give advice and recommendations to the King. The responsibilities of the Council include review and comment on all matters of pub he interest.
  • It can and does request both government documents and the presence of government officials. The Council’s authority has been expanding.
  • There are 13 provincial governments, each with a governor and regional officers. Each province also has a Consultative Council, which has budget, development and oversight responsibilities.