Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by King Abdul Al-Aziz ibn Saud. The country remains a monarchy ruled by a king chosen from, and by, members of the Al-Saud family. Since King Abdul Aziz's death in 1953, he has been succeeded by various sons. King Fahd is Saudi Arabia's present head of state; however, since he had a series of strokes in 1995 his half brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, has effectively been in control. Bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia is a large country of 1,960,582 square kilometers. It shares borders with Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, and Jordan. The Kingdom has a harsh climate with extreme temperatures and mostly consists of uninhabited desert, with less than 3% of its land being arable. It has a population of 24 million people (July 2003 estimate), and the workforce is mainly ...