Portal:Saudi Arabia

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The Saudi Arabia Portal - بوابة المملكة العربية السعودية

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Coat of Arms of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia's location on a map of the world.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or Saudi Arabia is the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Jordan on the north, Iraq on the north and north-east, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates on the east, Oman on the south and south-east, and Yemen on the south, with the Persian Gulf to its north-east and the Red Sea to its west. It is called "the land of the two holy mosques", a reference to Mecca and Medina, Islam's two holiest places. It is also referred to as Saudi Arabia (pronounced in English /ˈsɒdɪ əˈɹeɪ̯bɪə/), السعودية /ælʕɑrɑˈbiː æsːæʕuːˈdijːæ/ or, less commonly, KSA.

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The First Saudi State was established in the year 1744 (1157 A.H.) when Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab settled in Diriyah and Prince Muhammad ibn Saud (of Diriyah) agreed to support and espouse Wahhab's cause, with a view of cleansing the Islamic faith from what they considered to be distortions of Islamic practice (see Wahhabism). The House of Saud and its allies rose to become the dominant state in Arabia, first subduing Nejd, then extending their influence over the eastern coast from Kuwait down to the borders of Oman. The Saudis also brought the highlands of 'Asir under their suzerainty, and their forces conducted raids on the frontiers of Iraq and Syria, culminating in the sacking of the Shi'a holy city of Karbala in 1801.

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Abraj Al Bait, in Mecca, is the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia. With a height of 601m, it is considered the 2nd tallest building in the world.

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Kaaba, Al-Masjid Haram
Photo credit: Bluemangoa2z

The Kaaba or Ka'aba also referred as Kaaba Muazzama (Grand Kaaba), is a building at the center of Islam's most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

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This Portal is maintained by WikiProject Saudi Arabia.

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Jeddah-afternoon.JPG

Jeddah is the major urban center in western Saudi Arabia, the largest in the Western Province, and the second largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city Riyadh. The population of the city currently stands at over 3.4 million. It is considered as the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia and the wealthiest city in the Middle East and western Asia.

Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, the holiest city of Islam, which able-bodied Muslims are required to visit at least once in a lifetime.

Jeddah was for centuries the main city of the historic Hejaz province and historic port for pilgrims arriving by sea on their pilgrimage or hajj to Mecca.

At the end of the 17th century, the Ottoman Turks conquered Hejaz, including the holy city of Mecca and Jeddah. The Ottomans rebuilt the city walls of Jeddah following their victory over Lopo Soares de Albergaria's armada in the Red Sea.

During World War I, Sharifs of Hejaz whom were the Ottoman commanders of the area had revolted against Turkish empire seeking independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.

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Sultan bin Salman

Prince Sultan bin Salman was a colonel in the Royal Saudi Air Force and astronaut. He is a grandson of King Ibn Saud and is the only Saudi citizen to travel in space. He was also the first Arab, the first Muslim and the first member of royalty in space.

Prince Sultan was born 27 June 1956, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the second son of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz. He completed his elementary and secondary education in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He obtained master'sdDegree in social and political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, USA. He is a certified civil pilot (FAA, USA-1976) and a fighter pilot, Colonel (retired)- Royal Saudi Air Force.

In 1982, he was appointed to the position of researcher in the Department of International Communications at the Ministry of Information in Saudi Arabia.

In 1984, he served as Deputy Director for the Saudi Arabian Olympic Information Committee at the Olympics in Los Angeles, California. Later that year, when the Department of Advertising was created at the Ministry of Information, he was appointed its Acting Director.

In 1985, he flew as a Payload Specialist on STS-51-G Discovery (17-24 June 1985). As one of a seven member international crew, which also included American and French astronauts, he represented the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (ARABSAT) in deploying their satellite, ARABSAT-1B.

Upon conclusion of his space flight, he helped in founding the Association of Space Explorers, an international organization comprising all astronauts and cosmonauts who have been in space, and served on its Board of Directors for several years.

In 1985, he was commissioned as an officer into the Royal Saudi Air Force. He holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and is qualified in several military and civilian aircraft.

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