Abd al-Aziz Al Sa’ud, the founder of Saudi Arabia

This article is also available in: Italiano

Just yesterday was celebrated the anniversary of the coronation of Abd al-Aziz ibn Al Sa’ud as king of the Hijaz and, consequently, of the whole Arabia, since then renamed Saudi. A key figure for the role he played in the birth of today’s Middle East. A key figure for the role he played in the birth of today’s Middle East.

The conquest of the Najd

Al Sa'ud
Ibn Al Sa’ud

Abd al Aziz was born in 1876 in Riyadh, the capital of the Najd region. His dynasty had already tried several times to found an Arab-Saudi kingdom in the region but never succeeded. In 1890 the city was conquered by the Al Rashid, an ancient rival family, this forced Abd al Aziz to take refuge in Kuwait where he waited for almost a decade. From 1901 it began a series of raids on its former territories which ended a year later with the reconquest of Riyadh. His dynasty had already tried several times to found an Arab-Saudi kingdom in the region but never succeeded. In 1890 the city was conquered by the Al Rashid, an ancient rival family, this forced Abd al Aziz to take refuge in Kuwait where he waited for almost a decade. From 1901 it began a series of raids on its former territories which ended a year later with the reconquest of Riyadh.

The Al Rashids then requested military aid from the Ottomans who responded promptly. The Saudis, however, did not lose heart and in 1906 the Ottoman-Rashida army was definitively defeated in the battle of Rawdat Muhanna. The Saudis, however, did not lose heart and in 1906 the Ottoman-Rashida army was definitively defeated in the battle of Rawdat Muhanna.

Saudi Arabia

In 1912 Al Sa’ud founded the Ikhwan, a Wahhabi religious militia that greatly increased its influence in the region, thus also securing religious support. During the First World War he began to make deals with the British Empire, which at the time was trying to stabilize the region, but supporting the Hashemite dynasty of Mecca and Medina. Al Sa’ud then took advantage of the resources obtained to permanently eliminate the remaining Al Rashid, thus further expanding its territory. During the First World War he began to make deals with the British Empire, which at the time was trying to stabilize the region, but supporting the Hashemite dynasty of Mecca and Medina. Al Sa’ud then took advantage of the resources obtained to permanently eliminate the remaining Al Rashid, thus further expanding its territory.

Al Sa'ud
Riyadh today

This allowed him to renegotiate agreements with England, making his conquests official in exchange for the recognition of British territories on the Persian Gulf. In 1925 Al Saud’s forces finally took Mecca and a year later Arabia officially became Saudi. In 1925 Al Saud’s forces finally took Mecca and a year later Arabia officially became Saudi.

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