Saudi Arabia

From Encyc
Map of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is a monarchist dictatorship in the Middle East, on the Arabian Peninsula. It is mostly desert, and has large reserves of petroleum. It borders Iraq and Yemen. The capital is Riyadh.

It includes a city known as Mecca, which is critical to the Muslim belief system. Anywhere in the world, Muslims pray facing Mecca. There is a pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims must make at least once in their lives.

Saudi Arabia was the training site for the 1990 Invasion of Iraq by the United States. The creation of military bases on Saudi Arabia as the prelude to that war was the justification by Osama bin Laden for the creation of the terrorist organisation known as Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden was a resident of Saudi Arabia at the time.

Saudi Arabia is a relatively wealthy nation which is an Arab Muslim country, due to the sparse population and large income from oil exports. Were there to ever be a united Arab Muslim country, its capital city would probably be Mecca.