Chapter 5
'Abdullah I ibn Sa'ud

A T the beginning of 1814, after the failure of an expedition by Ahmad Tusun to reduce the oasis of Turaba to submission during the winter, Muhammad 'Ali Pasha in person was directing operations for the stabilising of the situation in the Hijaz and other provinces of the Red Sea littoral. The port of Qunfidha, south of Jidda, was occupied by sea-borne reinforcements sent from Egypt: but the Egyptian camp was attacked by the 'Asiri leader, Tami ibn Shu'aib, and the troops forced back to their boats, in which the survivors escaped to Jidda, leaving all their paraphernalia to the Arabs. Meanwhile Tusun was posted at Taïf to watch the desert between there and Turaba, where the disgruntled Sharif Rajih had joined the Wahhabi forces rather than trust the blandishments of the Egyptian Viceroy, who had thought to use his influence in seducing the tribes from the enemy's cause. Similarly another Sharif, Yahya ibn Surur, had left Mecca on the pretext of attacking tribes hostile to the Egyptians, but had made good his escape to the 'Asir Tihama.

The failure at Turaba was to some extent offset in January by the successful resistance of elements of the Harb tribe, generally favourable to the invaders, at Hanakiya to a joint attack by the forces of al Qasim and Haïl. But in the same month the same tribe had suffered a defeat at the hands of the Imam Sa'ud's eldest son, 'Abdullah, in the lava country around Sufaina. This operation was little more than a raid of the traditional sort, though no doubt intended as a warning to the Badawin against cooperation with the enemy. 'Abdullah at any rate was not tempted by his success to linger on the marches of enemy-occupied territory; and it was on his arrival at the Khanuqa wells near Dawadami on his homeward march that he received the news of his father's death. His was now to be the burden of defending the land of his ancestors against a powerful and determined enemy during a reign which was destined to be short and full of tribulation. And his first actions seemed to

-128-

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Saudi Arabia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Barony of Dar'iya 8
  • Chapter 2 - Muhammad ibn Sa'ud 33
  • Chapter 3 - 'Abdul-'Aziz I ibn Sa'ud 60
  • Chapter 4 - Sa'ud II ibn Sa'ud 101
  • Chapter 5 - 'Abdullah I ibn Sa'ud 128
  • Chapter 6 - Turki ibn Sa'ud 147
  • Chapter 7 - Faisal ibn Sa'ud 169
  • Chapter 8 - 'Abdullah II and Sa'ud III abna Sa'ud 218
  • Chapter 9 - 'Abdul-'Aziz II ibn Sa'ud 237
  • Chapter 10 - Expansion and Consolidation 265
  • Chapter 11 - Arabia Felix 292
  • Index 361
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