Acknowledgments

A number of acknowledgments are in order, as I have acquired various intellectual and personal debts while working on this book. I thank ABC-CLIO editors Lynn Jurgensen, Evan Brown, and Christian Green, who brought this book to life; Spencer Tucker, who had previously convinced me to work with him on other large encyclopedia projects for ABC-CLIO; and the copyediting team.

I could never have undertaken this book without the generosity of many individuals, scholars, and officials who live in Saudi Arabia or are connected to the Saudi Arabian diplomatic corps. Among them I want to thank the perennially supportive Hassan al-Hussaini, my former classmate and fellow Bruin Abdullah al-Askar, the faculty and members of the Diplomatic Institute in the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elizabeth Hall, Dr. Abdullah Musa Al-Tayer, Elham Al Ateeq, Afaf Alhamdan, Huda Al-Jeraisy, Dr. Abdulmohsin Al-Akkas, Mohamed Ayaz, Desmond Carr, Abdulrahman al-Hadlag, Khalil al-Khalil, Muhammad Al Eissa, Sherry Cooper, Kay Campbell, Nadia al-Baeshen, and others not named here. When I arrived at the U.S. Army War College, I was supposed to embark on a large research project on Iraq. My supervisor prevented me from writing what I had intended to write, and I decided to work on a brief study of Saudi Arabia and its significance to the U.S. defense and political sectors. My interests deepened, and I began a more detailed case study of the Islamist opposition movement in Saudi Arabia, only to be forbidden from publishing it there. They say that when God closes a door, he opens a window, and so other venues for my work presented themselves, allowing me to review many special materials on Saudi Arabia. As I explored Saudi Arabia’s culture and circumstances, I felt strongly that the Saudi bashing in the U.S. media was

-xvii-

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Saudi Arabia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About the Author xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Chapter 1 - Geography 1
  • Chapter 2 - History 17
  • Chapter 3 - Government and Politics 79
  • Chapter 4 - Economy 137
  • Chapter 5 - Society 175
  • Chapter 6 - Culture 245
  • Chapter 7 - Contemporary Issues 355
  • Glossary 385
  • Facts and Figures 399
  • Major Saudi Arabian Holidays 415
  • Country-Related Organizations 419
  • Annotated Bibliography 445
  • Thematic Index 495
  • Index 519
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