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A guide to the kingdom

FLAG
The flag of Saudi Arabia bears the Muslim creed: 'There is no god but God- Muhammad is the Messenger of God." The official emblem is a date palm, representing vitality and growth, and two crossed swords, symbolizing justice and strength rooted in faith.

HISTORY
The history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia dates back to about 1747 when the ruler of the central Arabian Peninsula, Muhammad Bin Saud, formed an alliance with the Muslim scholar and reformer Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahhab, a partnership that led to the founding of the modem state.
The Al-Saud family ruled much of the Arabian Peninsula throughout the 19th century. In 1902, Abdul A & Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Saud succeeded in recapturing Riyadh from Al-Rashid and in the following thirty years united the numerous and disparate tribes into one nation.
The foundation of the modem Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took place on September 23, 1932, a day that is commemorated as National Day.

GEOGRAPHY
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with an area of about 865,000 square miles, occupies the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, located in the southwest of Asia.Saudi Arabia lies at the crossroads of three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. It extends from the Red Sea in the west to the Arabian Gulf in the east. To the north, it borders on Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait, and to the south, on Yemen and Oman. To the east lie the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.
Saudi Arabia's terrain is varied but on the whole fairly barren and harsh, with salt flats, gravel plains and dunes and only a few lakes or permanent streams- In the south is the Rub Al-Khali (Empty Quarter), the largest sand desert in the world. In the southwest the mountain ranges of Asir Province rise to over 9,000 feet.

CLIMATE
From June through August midday temperature in the desert can soar to over 100 deg. F. Humidity in the coastal regions may approach 100 percent at times. In contrast weather in other areas of the country may be mild throughout the year. Winter temperatures in northern and central regions may drop to below freezing. Rainfall ranges 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. 

RULERS
Promoting Islam and the national development of the Kingdom have been the major tasks of the rulers of Saudi Arabia, beginning with King Abdul Aziz, the founder, followed by his sons who succeeded him: King Saud (1953-64), King Faisal (1964-75), King Khalid (1975-82) and the current ruler, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz. King Fahd has served his country in a variety of ways, first as advisor to his father and as a member of the delegation to the inauguration of the United Nations, and then as Minister of Education in the 1950s and Minister of the Interior in the 1960s. Appointed Second Deputy Prime Minister in 1967, he became king in 1982.
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