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The ARABIAN PENINSULA, simplified ARABIA (Arabic : شبه الجزيرة العربية‎‎ _Shubh al-jazīra al-ʿarabiyya_, « Arabian island ») is a peninsula of Western Asia
Western Asia
situated northeast of Africa
Africa
on the Arabian plate . From a geological perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia
Asia
.

It is the largest peninsula in the world, at 3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 sq mi). The Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
consists of the countries Yemen
Yemen
, Oman
Oman
, Qatar
Qatar
, Bahrain
Bahrain
, Kuwait
Kuwait
, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
, and parts of Jordan
Jordan
and Iraq
Iraq
. The peninsula formed as a result of the rifting of the Red Sea
Red Sea
between 56 and 23 million years ago, and is bordered by the Red Sea
Red Sea
to the west and southwest, the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
to the northeast, the Levant
Levant
to the north and the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
to the southeast. The Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
plays a critical geopolitical role in the Middle East
Middle East
and the Arab world due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas .

Before the modern era, it was divided into four distinct regions: Hejaz
Hejaz
, Najd
Najd
, Southern Arabia ( Hadhramaut
Hadhramaut
) and Eastern Arabia . Hejaz
Hejaz
and Najd
Najd
make up most of Saudi Arabia. Southern Arabia consists of Yemen
Yemen
and some parts of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
(Najran , Jizan , Asir ) and Oman
Oman
( Dhofar ). Eastern Arabia consists of the entire coastal strip of the Persian Gulf.

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography

* 1.1 Political boundaries

* 1.2 Population

* 1.2.1 Y-chromosome

* 1.3 Landscape * 1.4 Land and sea

* 2 Etymology

* 3 History

* 3.1 Pre-Islamic Arabia * 3.2 Rise of Islam
Islam
* 3.3 The Middle Ages

* 3.4 Modern history

* 3.4.1 Late Ottoman rule and the Hejaz
Hejaz
Railway * 3.4.2 The Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
and the unification of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
* 3.4.3 Oil reserves * 3.4.4 Civil war in Yemen
Yemen
* 3.4.5 Gulf War
Gulf War

* 4 Transport and industry * 5 See also * 6 References * 7 External links

GEOGRAPHY

See also: Geography of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
Africa, Arabian subcontinent (Asia), and Eurasia.

The Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
is located in the continent of Asia
Asia
and bounded by (clockwise) the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
on the northeast, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman
Oman
on the east, the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
on the southeast and south, the Gulf of Aden
Gulf of Aden
on the south, the Bab-el-Mandeb strait on the southwest and the Red Sea
Red Sea
, which is located on the southwest and west. The northern portion of the peninsula merges with the Syrian Desert
Desert
with no clear border line, although the northern boundary of the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
is generally considered to be the northern borders of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Kuwait
Kuwait
.

The most prominent feature of the peninsula is desert , but in the southwest there are mountain ranges, which receive greater rainfall than the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. Harrat ash Shaam is a large volcanic field that extends from the northwestern Arabian Peninsula into Jordan
Jordan
and southern Syria
Syria
.

POLITICAL BOUNDARIES

The Arabian Peninsula.

The peninsula's constituent countries are (clockwise north to south) Kuwait
Kuwait
, Bahrain
Bahrain
, Qatar
Qatar
, and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
(UAE) on the east, Oman
Oman
on the southeast, Yemen
Yemen
on the south and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
at the center. The island nation of Bahrain
Bahrain
lies off the east coast of the peninsula.

Six countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman) form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). However, this is a disputed term. Iranians assert that it is a historical and internationally recognized convention to name it the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
, while Arab States, and most notably the six GCC member countries, have been claiming that the Gulf is Arabian since its shallow marine depths are a geological continuity of the Arabian peninsula's Eastern low-lying coasts, from Kuwait
Kuwait
to the UAE
UAE
's Northern Emirates.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
covers the greater part of the peninsula. The majority of the population of the peninsula live in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen. The peninsula contains the world's largest reserves of oil. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and the UAE
UAE
are economically the wealthiest in the region. Qatar
Qatar
, a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
on the larger peninsula, is home of the Arabic-language television station Al Jazeera and its English-language subsidiary Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
English . Kuwait
Kuwait
, on the border with Iraq, is an important country strategically, forming one of the main staging grounds for coalition forces mounting the invasion of Iraq
Iraq
in 2003. Distribution of J1 haplogroup

POPULATION

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1950 9,481,713 —

1960 11,788,232 +24.3%

1970 15,319,678 +30.0%

1980 23,286,256 +52.0%

1990 35,167,709 +51.0%

2000 47,466,523 +35.0%

2010 63,364,000 +33.5%

2014 77,584,000 +22.4%

Political Definition: Gulf Cooperation Council and Yemen Sources:1950-2000 2000-2014

HISTORICAL POPULATION

YEAR POP. ±%

1950 356,235 —

1970 1,329,168 +273.1%

1990 4,896,491 +268.4%

2010 11,457,000 +134.0%

2014 17,086,000 +49.1%

4 smallest states (area) of Gulf Cooperation Council with entire coastline in Persian Gulf: UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait Sources:1950-2000 2000-2014

Though historically lightly populated, political Arabia is noted for a high population growth rate - as the result of both very strong inflows of migrant labor as well as sustained high birth rates. The population tends to be relatively young and heavily skewed gender ratio dominated by males. In many states, the number of South Asians exceeds that of the local citizenry. The four smallest states (by area), which have their entire coastlines on the Persian Gulf, exhibit the world's most extreme population growth, roughly tripling every 20 years.

In 2014, the estimated population of the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
was 77,983,936 (including expatriates).

Y-chromosome

Listed here are the human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups in Arabia (Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates)

Haplogroup J is the most abundant component in the Arabian peninsula, embracing more than 50% of its Y-chromosomes. Its two main subclades (J1-M267 and J2-M172 ), show opposite latitudinal gradients in the Middle East. J1-M267 is more abundant in the southern areas, reaching a frequency around 73% in Yemen, whereas J2-M172 is more common in the Levant.

J (L222.2) Accounts for the majority of (L147.1) in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
. It seems to be an exclusively Adnani marker. Haplogroup J 54.8% Haplogroup E 17.5% R 11.6% Haplogroup T-M184 5.1%

HAPLOGROUP %

n 618

A 0.16

B 0.81

C 0.97

DE 0.81

E-M33 0.32

E-M2 5.66

E-M35 1.94

E-M78 0.49

E-V12 -

E-V32 -

E-V13 0.32

E-V22 2.43

E-V65 -

E-M81 0.16

E-M34 5.66

F-M89 1.29

G-M201 2.91

H-M69 2.1

I -

J1-M267 44.01

J2-M172 11.32

KT 4.37

L 2.27

N -

O 0.65

P,R 0.32

Q 1.46

R1a1 6.31

R1b-M343 0.16

R1b-V88 -

R1b-M269 2.43

R2 0.16

T 2.49 *

LANDSCAPE

A caravan crossing the ad- Dahna Desert
Desert
in central Saudi Arabia. Ras Aljinz, southeastern Arabia (Oman) also known as the 'Turtle Beach'. AR-Arabian Plate, velocities with respect to Africa
Africa
in millimeters per year. Salalah is a famous tourist destination in Arabia for its annual khareef season.

Geologically, this region is perhaps more appropriately called the _Arabian subcontinent_ because it lies on a tectonic plate of its own, the Arabian Plate , which has been moving incrementally away from the rest of Africa
Africa
(forming the Red Sea) and north, toward Asia, into the Eurasian plate (forming the Zagros mountains ). The rocks exposed vary systematically across Arabia, with the oldest rocks exposed in the Arabian-Nubian Shield near the Red Sea, overlain by earlier sediments that become younger towards the Persian Gulf. Perhaps the best-preserved ophiolite on Earth, the Semail Ophiolite , lies exposed in the mountains of the UAE
UAE
and northern Oman.

The peninsula consists of:

* A central plateau, the Najd
Najd
, with fertile valleys and pastures used for the grazing of sheep and other livestock * A range of deserts: the Nefud
Nefud
in the north, which is stony; the Rub\' al Khali or Great Arabian Desert
Desert
in the south, with sand estimated to extend 600 ft (180 m) below the surface; between them, the Dahna * In Hejaz
Hejaz
, ranges of mountains, paralleling the Red Sea
Red Sea
coast on the west (e.g. Asir province) but also at the southeastern end of the peninsula (Oman). The mountains show a steady increase in altitude westward as they get nearer to Yemen, and the highest peaks and ranges are all located in Yemen
Yemen
The highest, Jabal an Nabi Shu\'ayb in Yemen, is 3666 m high * Stretches of dry or marshy coastland with coral reefs on the Red Sea side ( Tihamah ) * Oases and marshy coast-land in Eastern Arabia on the Persian Gulf side

Arabia has few lakes or permanent rivers. Most areas are drained by ephemeral watercourses called wadis , which are dry except during the rainy season. Plentiful ancient aquifers exist beneath much of the peninsula, however, and where this water surfaces, oases form (e.g. Al-Hasa and Qatif
Qatif
, two of the world's largest oases ) and permit agriculture, especially palm trees , which allowed the peninsula to produce more dates than any other region in the world. In general, the climate is extremely hot and arid , although there are exceptions. Higher elevations are made temperate by their altitude, and the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
coastline can receive surprisingly cool, humid breezes in summer due to cold upwelling offshore. The peninsula has no thick forests. Desert-adapted wildlife is present throughout the region.

According to NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data (2003 - 2013) analysed in a University of California, Irvine (UCI) -led study published in Water Resources Research on 16 June 2015, the most over-stressed aquifer system in the world is the Arabian Aquifer System , upon which more than 60 million people depend for water. Twenty-one of the thirty seven largest aquifers "have exceeded sustainability tipping points and are being depleted" and thirteen of them are "considered significantly distressed."

A plateau more than 2,500 feet (760 m) high extends across much of the Arabian Peninsula. The plateau slopes eastwards from the massive, rifted escarpment along the coast of the Red Sea, to the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf. The interior is characterised by _cuestas_ and valleys, drained by a system of _wadis_. A crescent of sand and gravel deserts lies to the east.

LAND AND SEA

Coconut palms line corniches of Oman
Oman
(Al Hafa). Red sea coral reefs.

Most of the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
is unsuited to agriculture, making irrigation and land reclamation projects essential. The narrow coastal plain and isolated oases, amounting to less than 1% of the land area, are used to cultivate grains, coffee and tropical fruits . Goat, sheep, and camel husbandry is widespread elsewhere throughout the rest of the Peninsula. Some areas have a summer humid tropical monsoon climate , in particular the Dhofar and Al Mahrah areas of Oman
Oman
and Yemen. These areas allow for large scale coconut plantations. Much of Yemen
Yemen
has a tropical monsoon rain influenced mountain climate. The plains usually have either a tropical or subtropical arid desert climate or arid steppe climate . The sea surrounding the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
is generally tropical sea with a very rich tropical sea life and some of the world's largest, undestroyed and most pristine coral reefs. In addition, the organisms living in symbiosis with the Red Sea coral, the protozoa and zooxanthellae , have a unique hot weather adaptation to sudden rise (and fall) in sea water temperature. Hence, these coral reefs are not affected by coral bleaching caused by rise in temperature as elsewhere in the indopacific coral sea. The reefs are also unaffected by mass tourism and diving or other large scale human interference. However, some reefs were destroyed in the Persian Gulf , mostly caused by phosphate water pollution and resultant increase in algae growth as well as oil pollution from ships and pipeline leakage. Terraced fields in Yemen.

The fertile soils of Yemen
Yemen
have encouraged settlement of almost all of the land from sea level up to the mountains at 10,000 feet (3,000 m). In the higher reaches, elaborate terraces have been constructed to facilitate grain, fruit, coffee, ginger and khat cultivation.

The Arabian peninsula is known for its rich oil, i.e. petroleum production due to its geographical location.

ETYMOLOGY

Main article: Arab (etymology)

During the Hellenistic period, the area was known as _Arabia_ or _Aravia_ (Greek : _Αραβία_). The Romans named three regions with the prefix "Arabia", encompassing a larger area than the current term "Arabian Peninsula":

* Arabia Petraea : for the area that is today southern modern Syria , Jordan
Jordan
, the Sinai Peninsula
Peninsula
and northwestern Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
. It was the only one that became a province , with Petra
Petra
as its capital. * Arabia Deserta (" Desert
Desert
Arabia"): signified the desert interior of the Arabian peninsula. As a name for the region, it remained popular into the 19th and 20th centuries, and was used in Charles M. Doughty 's _Travels in Arabia Deserta _ (1888). * Arabia Felix ("Fortunate Arabia"): was used by geographers to describe what is now Yemen
Yemen
, which enjoys more rainfall, is much greener than the rest of the peninsula and has long enjoyed much more productive fields.

The Arab inhabitants used a north-south division of Arabia: Al Sham-Al Yaman, or Arabia Deserta-Arabia Felix. Arabia Felix had originally been used for the whole peninsula, and at other times only for the southern region. Because its use became limited to the south, the whole peninsula was simply called Arabia. Arabia Deserta was the entire desert region extending north from Arabia Felix to Palmyra and the Euphrates, including all the area between Pelusium on the Nile and Babylon. This area was also called Arabia and not sharply distinguished from the peninsula.

The Arabs and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
considered the west of the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
region where the Arabs lived 'the land of the Arabs' – Bilad al-Arab (Arabia), and its major divisions were the bilad al-Sham (Syria), bilad al-Yaman (the Land of the southern Peninsula), and Bilad al- Iraq
Iraq
and modern-day Kuwait
Kuwait
(the Land of the River Banks). The Ottomans used the term Arabistan in a broad sense for the subcontinent itself starting from Cilicia
Cilicia
, where the Euphrates river makes its descent into Syria
Syria
, through Palestine , and on through the remainder of the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas.

_The provinces of Arabia were:_ Al Tih, the Sinai peninsula, Hedjaz, Asir, Yemen, Hadramaut, Mahra and Shilu, Oman, Hasa, Bahrain, Dahna, Nufud, the Hammad, which included the deserts of Syria, Mesopotamia and Babylonia.

HISTORY

Ancient coins from Failaka Island
Failaka Island
, Kuwait
Kuwait
.

The history of the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
goes back to the beginnings of human habitation in Arabia up to 130,000 years ago. The region has twice in world history had a global impact. The first was in the 7th century when it became the cradle of Islam
Islam
. The second was from the mid-20th century when the discovery of vast oil deposits propelled it into a key economic and geo-political role. At other times, the region existed in relative obscurity and isolation, although from the 7th century the cities of Mecca
Mecca
and Medina
Medina
had the highest spiritual significance for the Islamic world , Mecca
Mecca
being the destination for the Hajj
Hajj
annual pilgrimage.

PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA

Main article: Pre-Islamic Arabia Sabaean inscription addressed to the god Almaqah
Almaqah
, mentioning five Ancient Yemeni gods, two reigning sovereigns and two governors, 7th century BC. The old city of Sana\'a , Yemen
Yemen
.

There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 106,000 to 130,000 years ago. However, the harsh climate historically prevented much settlement in pre-Islamic Arabian peninsula, apart from a small number of urban trading settlements, such as Mecca
Mecca
and Medina
Medina
, located in the Hejaz
Hejaz
in the west of the peninsula.

However, archaeology has revealed the existence of many civilizations in pre-Islamic Arabia (such as Thamud ), especially in South Arabia
South Arabia
. South Arabian civilizations include Sheba
Sheba
, Himyarite Kingdom , Kingdom of Awsan , Kingdom of Ma\'īn and Sabaean Kingdom . Central Arabia was the location of kingdom of Kinda in the 4th, 5th and early 6th centuries AD. Eastern Arabia was home to the Dilmun civilization . The earliest known events in Arabian history are migrations from the Peninsula
Peninsula
into neighbouring areas.

The Arabian peninsula has long been accepted as the original _ Urheimat _ of the Semitic languages by a majority of scholars.

"Shamir of Dhu-Raydan and Himyar had called in the help of the clans of Habashat for against the kings of Saba; but Ilmuqah granted... the submission of Shamir of Dhu-Raydan and the clans of Habashat."

RISE OF ISLAM

Main articles: Early Muslim conquests and Islamic Golden Age Age of the Caliphs Expansion under Muhammad
Muhammad
, 622–632/A.H. 1–11 Expansion during Rashidun Caliphate , 632–661/A.H. 11–40 Expansion during the Umayyad
Umayyad
Caliphate
Caliphate
, 661–750/A.H. 40–129 Approximate locations of some of the important tribes and Empire of the Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
at the dawn of Islam
Islam
(approximately 600 CE / 50 BH).

The seventh century saw the introduction of Islam
Islam
to the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
, was born in Mecca
Mecca
in about 570 and first began preaching in the city in 610, but migrated to Medina
Medina
in 622. From there he and his companions united the tribes of Arabia under the banner of Islam
Islam
and created a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the Arabian peninsula.

He established a new unified polity in the Arabian peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad
Umayyad
Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Arab power well beyond the Arabian peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Arab Empire with an area of influence that stretched from the northwest Indian subcontinent , across Central Asia , the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula
Peninsula
, to the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
.

Muhammad
Muhammad
began preaching Islam
Islam
at Mecca
Mecca
before migrating to Medina
Medina
, from where he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity. With Muhammad's death in 632 AD, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab , a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr , who was Muhammad's intimate friend and collaborator. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph . This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib , his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated his successor. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to avenge a recent defeat by Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire ) forces, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode known as the Ridda wars , or "Wars of Apostasy".

Following Muhammad's death in 632, Abu Bakr became leader of the Muslims as the first Caliph
Caliph
. After putting down a rebellion by the Arab tribes (known as the Ridda wars , or "Wars of Apostasy"), Abu Bakr attacked the Byzantine
Byzantine
Empire . On his death in 634, he was succeeded by Umar
Umar
as caliph, followed by Uthman ibn al-Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib . The period of these first four caliphs is known as _al-khulafā' ar-rāshidūn_: the Rashidun or "rightly guided" Caliphate
Caliphate
. Under the Rashidun Caliphs, and, from 661, their Umayyad successors , the Arabs rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim control outside of Arabia. In a matter of decades Muslim armies decisively defeated the Byzantine
Byzantine
army and destroyed the Persian Empire , conquering huge swathes of territory from the Iberian peninsula to India. The political focus of the Muslim world then shifted to the newly conquered territories.

Nevertheless, Mecca
Mecca
and Medina
Medina
remained the spiritually most important places in the Muslim world . The Qur\'an requires every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, as one of the five pillars of Islam
Islam
, to make a pilgrimage, or Hajj
Hajj
, to Mecca
Mecca
during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah at least once in his or her lifetime. The Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque) in Mecca
Mecca
is the location of the Kaaba
Kaaba
, Islam's holiest site, and the Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque) in Medina
Medina
is the location of Muhammad
Muhammad
tomb; as a result, from the 7th century, Mecca
Mecca
and Medina
Medina
became the pilgrimage destinations for large numbers of Muslims from across the Islamic world .

THE MIDDLE AGES

Despite its spiritual importance, in political terms Arabia soon became a peripheral region of the Islamic world , in which the most important medieval Islamic states were based at various times in such far away cities as Damascus
Damascus
, Baghdad
Baghdad
, and Cairo
Cairo
.

However, from the 10th century (and, in fact, until the 20th century) the Hashemite Sharifs of Mecca
Mecca
maintained a state in the most developed part of the region, the Hejaz
Hejaz
. Their domain originally comprised only the holy cities of Mecca
Mecca
and Medina
Medina
but in the 13th century it was extended to include the rest of the Hejaz
Hejaz
. Although, the Sharifs exercised at most times independent authority in the Hejaz , they were usually subject to the suzerainty of one of the major Islamic empires of the time. In the Middle Ages, these included the Abbasids
Abbasids
of Baghdad
Baghdad
, and the Fatimids , Ayyubids and Mamluks of Egypt.

MODERN HISTORY

Ottoman territories acquired between 1481 and 1683 (See: list of territories ).

The provincial Ottoman Army for Arabia (Arabistan Ordusu) was headquartered in Syria, which included Palestine, the Transjordan region in addition to Lebanon (Mount Lebanon was however a semi-autonomous mutasarrifate ). It was put in charge of Syria, Cilicia, Iraq, and the remainder of the Arabian Peninsula. The Ottomans never had any control over central Arabia, also known as the Najd
Najd
region.

The Damascus
Damascus
Protocol of 1914 provides an illustration of the regional relationships. Arabs living in one of the existing districts of the Arabian peninsula, the Emirate of Hejaz
Hejaz
, asked for a British guarantee of independence. Their proposal included all Arab lands south of a line roughly corresponding to the northern frontiers of present-day Syria
Syria
and Iraq. They envisioned a new Arab state, or confederation of states, adjoining the southern Arabian Peninsula. It would have comprised Cilicia
Cilicia
İskenderun and Mersin
Mersin
, Iraq
Iraq
with Kuwait
Kuwait
, Syria
Syria
, Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate
Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate
, Jordan
Jordan
, and Palestine .

In the modern era, the term bilad al-Yaman came to refer specifically to the southwestern parts of the peninsula. Arab geographers started to refer to the whole peninsula as 'jazirat al-Arab', or the peninsula of the Arabs.

Late Ottoman Rule And The Hejaz
Hejaz
Railway

The Arabian Peninsula
Peninsula
in 1914.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Ottomans embarked on an ambitious project: the construction of a railway connecting Istanbul
Istanbul
, the capital of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and the seat of the Islamic Caliphate
Caliphate
, and Hejaz
Hejaz
with its holiest shrines of Islam
Islam
which are the yearly pilgrimage destination of the Hajj
Hajj
. Another important goal was to improve the economic and political integration of the distant Arabian provinces into the Ottoman state, and to facilitate the transportation of military troops in case of need.

The Hejaz
Hejaz
Railway was a narrow gauge railway (1050 mm) that ran from Damascus
Damascus
to Medina
Medina
, through the Hejaz
Hejaz
region of Arabia. It was originally planned to reach the holy city of Mecca
Mecca
, but due to the interruption of the construction works caused by the outbreak of World War I, it eventually only reached Medina. It was a part of the Ottoman railway network and was built in order to extend the previously existing line between Istanbul
Istanbul
and Damascus
Damascus
(which began from the Haydarpaşa Terminal ).

The railway was started in 1900 at the behest of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II and was built largely by the Turks , with German advice and support. A public subscription was opened throughout the Islamic world to fund the construction. The railway was to be a waqf , an inalienable religious endowment or charitable trust.

The Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
And The Unification Of Saudi Arabia

The major developments of the early 20th century were the Arab Revolt during World War I and the subsequent collapse and partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
. The Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
(1916–1918) was initiated by the Sherif Hussein ibn Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo
Aleppo
in Syria
Syria
to Aden
Aden
in Yemen. During World War I, the Sharif Hussein entered into an alliance with the United Kingdom and France against the Ottomans in June 1916.

These events were followed by the unification of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
under King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud . In 1902, Ibn Saud had captured Riyadh
Riyadh
. Continuing his conquests, Abdulaziz subdued Al-Hasa , Jabal Shammar , Hejaz
Hejaz
between 1913 and 1926 founded the modern state of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
. The Saudis absorbed the Emirate of Asir , with their expansion only ending in 1934 after a war with Yemen
Yemen
. Two Saudi states were formed and controlled much of Arabia before Ibn Saud was even born. Ibn Saud, however, established the third Saudi state.

Oil Reserves

The second major development has been the discovery of vast reserves of oil in the 1930s. Its production brought great wealth to all countries of the region, with the exception of Yemen
Yemen
.

Civil War In Yemen

The North Yemen
Yemen
Civil War was fought in North Yemen
Yemen
between royalists of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen
Yemen
and factions of the Yemen
Yemen
Arab Republic from 1962 to 1970. The war began with a coup d\'état carried out by the republican leader, Abdullah as-Sallal , which dethroned the newly crowned Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Badr and declared Yemen
Yemen
a republic under his presidency. The Imam escaped to the Saudi Arabian border and rallied popular support.

The royalist side received support from Saudi Arabia, while the republicans were supported by Egypt
Egypt
and the Soviet Union. Both foreign irregular and conventional forces were also involved. The Egyptian President , Gamal Abdel Nasser , supported the republicans with as many as 70,000 troops. Despite several military moves and peace conferences, the war sank into a stalemate. Egypt's commitment to the war is considered to have been detrimental to its performance in the Six-Day War of June 1967, after which Nasser found it increasingly difficult to maintain his army's involvement and began to pull his forces out of Yemen.

By 1970, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
recognized the republic and a truce was signed. Egyptian military historians refer to the war in Yemen
Yemen
as their Vietnam.

Gulf War

In 1990, Iraq
Iraq
invaded Kuwait. The invasion of Kuwait
Kuwait
by Iraqi forces led to the 1990–91 Gulf War
Gulf War
. Egypt
Egypt
, Qatar
Qatar
, Syria
Syria
and Saudi Arabia joined a multinational coalition that opposed Iraq. Displays of support for Iraq
Iraq
by Jordan
Jordan
and Palestine resulted in strained relations between many of the Arab states. After the war, a so-called " Damascus
Damascus
Declaration" formalized an alliance for future joint Arab defensive actions between Egypt, Syria, and the GCC member states.

TRANSPORT AND INDUSTRY

The extraction and refining of oil and gas are the major industrial activities in the Arabian Peninsula. The region also has an active construction sector, with many cities reflecting the wealth generated by the oil industry. The service sector is dominated by financial and technical institutions, which, like the construction sector, mainly serve the oil industry. Traditional handicrafts such as carpet-weaving are found in rural areas of Arabia.

SEE ALSO

* Ancient history of Yemen
Yemen
* Arab League * Araby * European exploration of Arabia * Iram of the Pillars * Kingdom of Aksum * List of Arabian cities by population * Mashriq
Mashriq

REFERENCES

* ^ _Merriam Webster\'s Geographical Dictionary_. _Merriam-Webster _ (Third ed.). 2001. p. 61. ISBN 0877795460 . * ^ McColl, R. W. (2014-05-14). _Encyclopedia of World Geography_. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9780816072293 . * ^ "Arabian Peninsula". _World News_. Retrieved 2017-04-15. * ^ Geopolitics
Geopolitics
of the World System - Page 337, Saul Bernard Cohen - 2003 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Arabia". _Britannica Online Encyclopedia_. Retrieved 2011-05-21. * ^ Weinstein, Y. (1 January 2007). "A transition from strombolian to phreatomagmatic activity induced by a lava flow damming water in a valley". _Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research_. 159 (1–3): Pages 267–284. doi :10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2006.06.015 . * ^ A.S. Alsharhan, Z. A. Rizk, A. E. M. Nairn , 2001, Hydrogeology of an Arid Region, Elsevier. * ^ "International Programs". _census.gov_. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Asia: Population Statistics in Maps and Charts for Cities, Agglomerations and Administrative Divisions of all Countries in Asia". _citypopulation.de_. * ^ "International Programs". _census.gov_. * ^ "The World Fact book". Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
. 2007-08-07. Archived from the original on 12 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-12. * ^ " Yemen
Yemen
- Ancestral Genography Atlas". * ^ " Oman
Oman
- Ancestral Genography Atlas". * ^ " Qatar
Qatar
- Ancestral Genography Atlas". * ^ " Kuwait
Kuwait
- Ancestral Genography Atlas". * ^ _A_ _B_ " Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
- Ancestral Genography Atlas". * ^ " United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
- Ancestral Genography Atlas". * ^ Bekada A, Fregel R, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Pestano J, et al. (2013) Introducing the Algerian Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome Profiles into the North African Landscape. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56775. doi :10.1371/journal.pone.0056775 * ^ Table S6. Y-chromosome haplogroup frequencies (%) in the studied populations. doi :10.1371/journal.pone.0056775.s006 (XLS) * ^ Abu-Amero, Khaled K; Hellani, Ali; González, Ana M; Larruga, Jose M; Cabrera, Vicente M; Underhill, Peter A (22 September 2009). "Saudi Arabian Y-Chromosome diversity and its relationship with nearby regions" . _BMC Genet_. 10: 59. PMC 2759955  _. PMID 19772609 . doi :10.1186/1471-2156-10-59 . * ^ "The Genetic Atlas". www.thegeneticatlas.com_. Retrieved 2015-10-11. * ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). _Arabia_. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 15. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Study: Third of Big Groundwater Basins in Distress", _NASA_, 16 June 2015, retrieved 26 June 2015 * ^ See _Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt_, David Frankfurter, BRILL, 1998, ISBN 90-04-11127-1 , page 163 * ^ Salibi, Kamal Suleiman (1988). "A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered". _google.com_. University of California Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-520-07196-4 . * ^ See for example Palestine: The Reality, Joseph Mary Nagle Jeffries, Published by Longmans, Green and co., 1939, Page 4 * ^ see Review of Reviews and World's Work: An International Magazine, Albert Shaw ed., The Review of Reviews Corporation, 1919, page 408] * ^ "New International Encyclopedia - 2nd Edition, Dodd, Mead, Co., 1914". _google.com_. p. 795. * ^ Saudi Embassy (US) Website Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine . retrieved 20 January 2011 * ^ Gordon, Matthew (2005). _The Rise of Islam_. p. 4. ISBN 0-313-32522-7 . * ^ Robert D. Burrowes (2010). _Historical Dictionary of Yemen_. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 319. ISBN 0810855283 . * ^ Kenneth Anderson Kitchen (2003). _On the Reliability of the Old Testament_. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 0802849601 . * ^ Philip Khuri Hitti (2002), History of the Arabs, Revised: 10th Edition * ^ Gray, Louis Herbert (2006) _Introduction to Semitic Comparative Linguistics_ * ^ Courtenay, James John (2009) _The Language of Palestine and Adjacent Regions_ * ^ Kienast, Burkhart. (2001). _Historische semitische Sprachwissenschaft_. * ^ Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1995) _The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia_ * ^ Stuart Munro-Hay. _Aksum: A Civilization of Late Antiquity_. Edinburgh: University Press. 1991. pp. 66.

* ^ See:

* Holt (1977a), p.57 * Hourani (2003), p.22 * Lapidus (2002), p.32 * Madelung (1996), p.43 * Tabatabaei (1979), p.30–50

* ^ See: Holt (1977a), p.57, Hourani (2003), p.22, Lapidus (2002), p.32, Madelung (1996), p.43, Tabatabaei (1979), p.30–50 * ^ L. Gardet; J. Jomier. "Islam". _Encyclopaedia of Islam
Islam
Online_.

* ^ Farah, Caesar (1994). Islam: Beliefs and Observances (5th ed.), pp.145–147 ISBN 978-0-8120-1853-0 * ^ Goldschmidt, Jr., Arthur; Lawrence Davidson (2005). A Concise History of the Middle East
Middle East
(8th ed.), p.48 ISBN 978-0-8133-4275-7 * ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online: History of Arabia retrieved 18 January 2011 * ^ see History of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and Modern Turkey, Stanford J. Shaw, Ezel Kural Shaw, Cambridge University Press, 1977, ISBN 0-521-29166-6 , page 85 * ^ The Politics of Interventionism in Ottoman Lebanon, 1830–1861, by Caesar E. Farah, explains that Mount Lebanon was in the jurisdiction of the Arabistan Army, and that its headquarters was briefly moved to Beirut. * ^ As cited by R, John and S. Hadawi's, Palestine Diary, pp. 30–31, the ' Damascus
Damascus
Protocol' stated: "The recognition by Great Britain of the independence of the Arab countries lying within the following frontiers: North: The Line Mersin_Adana to parallel 37N. and thence along the line Birejek-Urga-Mardin-Kidiat-Jazirat (Ibn 'Unear)-Amadia to the Persian frontier; East: The Persian frontier down to the Persian Gulf; South: The Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
(with the exclusion of Aden, whose status was to be maintained). West: The Red Sea
Red Sea
and the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
back to Mersin. The abolition of all exceptional privileges granted to foreigners under the capitulations. The conclusion of a defensive alliance between Great Britain _and the future independent Arab State_. The grant of economic preference to Great Britain." see _King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz_, By Randall Baker, Oleander Press, 1979, ISBN 0-900891-48-3 , pages 64–65 * ^ Salibi, Kamal Suleiman (1988). _A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered,_. University of California Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-520-07196-4 . * ^ King Hussein And The Kingdom of Hejaz, Randall Baker, Oleander Press 1979, ISBN 0-900891-48-3 , page 18 * ^ Aboul-Enein, Youssef (2004-01-01). "The Egyptian- Yemen
Yemen
War: Egyptian perspectives on Guerrilla warfare". _Infantry Magazine_ (Jan–Feb, 2004). Retrieved October 3, 2008. * ^ see Richard Schofield, Kuwait
Kuwait
and Iraq: Historical Claims and Territorial. Disputes, London: Royal Institute of International Affairs 1991, ISBN 0-905031-35-0 and The Kuwait
Kuwait
Crisis: Basic Documents, By E. Lauterpacht, C. J. Greenwood, Marc Weller, Published by Cambridge University Press, 1991, ISBN 0-521-46308-4 * ^ Egypt's Bid for Arab Leadership: Implications for U.S. Policy, By Gregory L. Aftandilian, Published by Council on Foreign Relations, 1993, ISBN 0-87609-146-X , pages 6–8

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikivoyage has a travel guide for ARABIAN PENINSULA _.

_

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