Saudi crown prince a ‘psychopath’, says exiled intelligence officer


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Arabia is the historical name for that peninsula and region, and the people who came from there and surrounding areas (the original Muslims) were Arabs. The region of Arabia historically includes two smaller areas, Nejd (the central/east part) and Hejaz (the west part). Hejaz contains Mecca and Medina, the first and second holiest cities in Islam.

For a good chunk of the Islamic Golden Age (medieval era, pre-Mongol invasion) Arabia was controlled by various caliphates (the heads of Sunni, then Shia Islam were called Caliph), while also being run by smaller tribes, and occasional other empires (the Qarmatians and Seljuks). Finally, the Ottoman Empire (Caliphate) conquered most of Arabia by the 16th century.

Eventually, the house of Saud rose up in the 1740s, named after the founder of the house, and created the Emirate of Diriyah, also known as the First Saudi State, conquering what is virtually the same borders as current Saudi Arabia. Eventually, after a few years of Ottoman re-control in the early 1800s, the Second Saudi State, the Emirate of Nejd was founded, going until the 1890s when they were overthrown by the Rashidi Emirate.

After about 10 years, in the early 1900s, the Saudis came back with the Third Saudi State, starting with the Emirate of Riyadh, which grew to control all of Nejd, then became the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd after it conquered the Hashimite-run Hejaz in 1925, in the spree you're talking about. They took the Saudi Arabia name in 1932 after they unified the two kingdoms.

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