[493] In the state school system, about half of the material taught is religious. [524] During the Islamic revival movement in the 1980s, and as a political response to an increase in Islamist activism including the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the government closed all cinemas and theaters. The migrants lack proper living condition, provision of food and water. A number of prominent Saudi Arabian princes, government ministers, and businesspeople, including Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, were arrested in Saudi Arabia in November 2017. [109], The new kingdom was reliant on limited agriculture and pilgrimage revenues. He was succeeded by his brother, King Fahd, who added the title "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" to his name in 1986 in response to considerable fundamentalist pressure to avoid use of "majesty" in association with anything except God. [200] Families of someone unlawfully killed can choose between demanding the death penalty or granting clemency in return for a payment of diyya (blood money), by the perpetrator. Tribal identity remains strong and, outside of the royal family, political influence is frequently determined by tribal affiliation, with tribal sheikhs maintaining a considerable degree of influence over local and national events. [384] Taking into account the impact of the real oil price changes on the Kingdom's real gross domestic income, the real command-basis GDP was computed to be 330.381 billion 1999 USD in 2010. [468][f], Islam is the state religion of Saudi Arabia and its law requires that all citizens be Muslims. [554] With regard to the law of inheritance, the Quran specifies that fixed portions of the deceased's estate must be left to the Qur'anic heirs[555] and generally, female heirs receive half the portion of male heirs. [403], The Kingdom's most dramatic agricultural accomplishment, noted worldwide, was its rapid transformation from importer to exporter of wheat. This map was created by a user. Its modern existence, however, is attributable to it being effectively Abdullah's private army since the 1960s and, unlike the rest of the armed forces, is independent of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation. [31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38], The kingdom spends 8% of its GDP on the military (highest in the world after Oman)[39], which places it as the world's third biggest military spender behind the United States and China[40], and the world's largest arms importer from 2015 to 2019, receiving half of all the US arms exports to the Middle East. The relations have the potential of evolving into a crisis at any moment. (In the privacy of the home behavior can be far looser, and reports from the Daily Mail and WikiLeaks indicate that the ruling Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself, indulging in parties, drugs and sex. "[282], The pressure on Saudi to reveal the insights about Khashoggi's disappearance from the US and other European countries has increased. In addition, students are required to take six science subjects which are Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology and Computer. Subject to this suzerainty, Arabia was ruled by a patchwork of tribal rulers,[101][102] with the Sharif of Mecca having pre-eminence and ruling the Hejaz. [557] As of 2015[update], Saudi women constitute 13% of the country's native workforce despite being 51% of all university graduates. In response to the continuing criticism of its human rights record, the Saudi government points to the special Islamic character of the country, and asserts that this justifies a different social and political order. [3] Similarly, The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote in 2010 that "the country needs educated young Saudis with marketable skills and a capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship. [3][559], Obesity is a problem among middle and upper class Saudis who have domestic servants to do traditional work but, until 2018, were forbidden to drive and so are limited in their ability to leave their home. Saudi Arabia has since been a totalitarian absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines. Saudi Arabia is a major exporter of fruits and vegetables to its neighbors. The creation of the Consultative Council in the early 1990s did not satisfy demands for political participation, and, in 2003, an annual National Dialogue Forum was announced that would allow selected professionals and intellectuals to publicly debate current national issues, within certain prescribed parameters. With the help of the Ikhwan, the Kingdom of Hejaz was conquered in 1924–25 and on 10 January 1926, Ibn Saud declared himself King of Hejaz. [270] Saudi Arabia was also involved in the CIA-led Timber Sycamore covert operation to train and arm Syrian rebels. Al-Magar statues were made from local stone, and it seems that the statues were fixed in a central building that might have had a significant role on the social and religious life of the inhabitants. As a result, they turned against Ibn Saud and, after a two-year struggle, were defeated in 1929 at the Battle of Sabilla, where their leaders were massacred. [citation needed], Royal decrees are the other main source of law; but are referred to as regulations rather than laws because they are subordinate to the Sharia. [528] [98], The first "Saudi state" established in 1744 in the area around Riyadh, rapidly expanded and briefly controlled most of the present-day territory of Saudi Arabia,[99] sacking Karbala in 1802 and capturing Mecca in 1803, but was destroyed by 1818 by the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali Pasha.