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tiistai 7. heinäkuuta 2015

Saudi-Arabia, Cool Facts #42

<= 41. Iraq                                                                                                                        43. Yemen => 


1. Flag 

The shahada in the flag says in Arabic:

 "There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet/messenger of God."

The Saudi-Arabian flag can't be lifted at half-mast because that would be blasphemy because no mortal goes above Allah even while dying.

It's prohibited to use the flag in commercial use, such as in t-shirts or souvenirs.

This shirt would be very illegal !!


2. Geography

- Saudi Arabia is the 13th biggest country in the world
- 75% of the land area is covered by sand deserts
- Only 1% of the land is arable
- Saudi Arabia has coast on the Persian Gulf and on the Red Sea
- The Persian Gulf side area is more important while the capital Riyadh and the oil deposits are there
- The Red Sea side is more important considering the events in world history

Arabian Peninsula from the space

3. Saudi Aramco 

Saudi Aramco is the world's most valuable company.

Comparison between state-owned Aramco and Top5 public companies of world in 2015

Aramco: 1,25-7,0 Trillion (estimated value)

1. Apple: 725B
2. Exxon Mobil: 357B
3. Berkshire Hathaway: 357B
4. Google: 346B
5. Microsoft: 334B

Oil was found in 1938 in Saudi Arabia and that revolutionized the life in the country. The Americans established Aramco with the name of Arabian American Oil Company. In 1944 the name was changed into Aramco. In 1980 Saudi Arabia nationalized the company and acquired 100% of the shares buying out the Americans. In 1988 the company changed its name to Saudi Aramco. 

25% of the known oil reserves are in Saudi Arabia and it's the world's biggest oil producer. 
Western experts run the oil business and the Asian migrant workers do the hard work 
Due to the oil revenue, there are no income taxes, healthcare and social services are free

Oil reserves in the world


4. King of Saudi Arabia

The king is the political and spiritual leader in the country. There are no political parties nor parliament and the country is run by the declarations of the king and the islamic rule, sharia. 

The founder of Saudi Arabia, ibn Saud died in 1953. He was the father of 45 sons and he had at least 22 wives. All the five following kings have been his sons. There have been fierce fights inside the family over the power. 


King ibn Saud, founder of Saudi Arabia


5. Law in Saudi-Arabia

- In 2005 women got the right to work, but only in some professions
- In 2012 the first Saudi women were allowed to participate the Olympics
- Dancing and alcohol are prohibited, even for foreigners
- A Saudi-Arabian can only be a Moslem
- Entry permit to the country are not granted to people without a religion
- Foreigners aren't allowed to practice their religion, even at their home
- Religious police mutaween monitors that people follow the Sharia-law
- Blasphemy and homosexual relations can lead to death sentence
- Crusifiction, whipping, amputations of eyes and limbs are still used as punishments
- Shops and offices are shut down during the five prayers of the day
- Legal trials are secret 

First Saudi female athletes in 2012


Timeline

570 The founder of Islam, Mohammad is born in Mecca 600s Islam is born in Saudi Arabia when Mohammad gets the revelations from God in a cave
632 Mohammad dies, the four Caliphs Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali start spreading Islam from Medina to the whole Middle East and Persia
661 After the murder of Ali, Othman's relative Muawija becomes the Caliph and creates the Umayyad Caliphate moving the capital from Medina to Damascus
750 The Abbasid Dynasty overthrows the Umayyads and moves the capital from Damascus to Baghdad
929 Cordoba Caliphate separates from Abbasid Caliphate
1258 Abbasid Caliphate falls during the Mongol conquests and at the same time the Turkish Mamluks rise in Power in Cairo and control also Mecca and Medina
1500s Ottoman Empire controls the area while the Arab emirs have a quite independent position. The al-Saud family is in power in Diriyah, near Riad
1744 Marriage between the al-Saud family and the al-Wahhab, the current ruling dynasty of Saudi Arabia was born
1800 The first Saudi state is born, Diriyah Emirate
1818 Ali Pasha of Egypt conquers Hejaz and destroys Diriyah
1824 The Saudis found the Nejd Emirate with Riad as capital
1836 Jabal Shammar Emirate is founded by the Bedouin dynasty al-Rashid, who are the biggest rivals of the al-Saud dynasty
1840 Egypt loses its power in Hejaz
1891 Rashids conquer Riad and banish the Saudis and Wahhabites to Kuwait, a British base then
1902 Backed by the British, the Saudis fight back and conquer Riad establishing the third Saudi state
1921 Saudi army defeats finally the Jabal Shammar Emirate, the Saudis gain control over the whole Arabian Peninsula, their are is called the Nejd Sultanate
1926 The Saudis conquer Mecca and Medina from the Hashemites, Bin Saud declared himself the king of Hejaz
1932 The kingdoms of Nejd and Hejaz are united into one state called Saudi-Arabia, according to the leading Saud Dynasty
1938 Oil findings which were to revolutionize the life of the then poor country
1953 Founder of Saudi-Arabia, king Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, dies. All the succeeding 5 kings have been his sons
1990 Iraq attacks Kuwait, Saudi-Arabia supports the US led union which prevented the conquest. Afterwards the Americans establish many big military bases in Saudi-Arabia which was seen as sacrilege by the Moslem opposition
2005 The first local elections are held

Sources: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Arabia 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudi_Aramco
Maailman liput maat ja historia by Kimmo Kiljunen

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