Arabia Saudita

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Reino de Arabia Saudita
??????? ??????? ????????
Al Mamlaka al-Arabiyya como-Su?diyya
Bandera Emblema
Lema : "?? ??? ??? ????, ???? ???? ????"
"No hay dios sino Dios, Muhammad es el Mensajero de Dios" ( Shahada ) [1]
Himno : " Al AASH Maleek "
"¡Viva el rey"

Capital
(Y ciudad más grande)
Riad
24 ° 39'N 46 ° 46'E / 24.65 ° N 46.767 ° E / 24.65, 46.767
El idioma oficial (s) Árabe
Lenguas que se hablan Árabe , Inglés
Gentilicio Arabia Saudita, Arabia (informal)
Gobierno Islámica monarquía absoluta
- Rey Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz
- Príncipe heredero Sultan bin Abdul Aziz
Legislatura Ninguno -. legislación por el Real Decreto [2] ( la Asamblea Consultiva no tiene poderes legislativos.)
Establecimiento
- Reino fundado 23 de septiembre 1932
Área
- Total 2.149.690 kilometros 2 ( 13 )
830.000 millas cuadradas
- De agua (%) 0.7
Población
- 2010 estiman 27136977 ( 46a )
- Densidad 12/kilómetro 2 ( 215a )
31/sq mi
PIB ( PPA ) 2010 estiman
- Total $ 621,993 mil millones [3]
- Per cápita 23.825 dólares [3]
PIB (nominal) 2010 estiman
- Total $ 443,691 mil millones [3]
- Per cápita $ 16.995 [3]
IDH (2010) aumento 0.752 [4] (alta) ( 55a )
Moneda Rial saudí (SR) ( SAR )
Huso horario AST ( UTC +3)
- Verano ( DST ) (No observada) ( UTC +3)
Unidades en el Derecho
ISO 3166 SA
Dominio Internet . SA , ????????.
Código de llamada 966

El Reino de Arabia Saudita ( en árabe : ??????? ??????? ???????? Al Mamlaka al Arabiyya como Su?diyya Acerca de este sonido Pronunciación árabe comúnmente conocida como Arabia Saudita ( Escuchar i / s ? a? d i ? e? r b i ? / o Escuchar i / s ? ? ? d i ? e? r b i ? / , en árabe : ??????? ???????? Al Arabiyya como Su?diyya) es el país más grande en el Medio Oriente por la superficie terrestre, constituyen el grueso de la Península Arábiga , y el tercero más grande de árabes país. Es confinado por Jordania y de Irak en el norte y noreste, Kuwait , Qatar y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos en el este, Omán en el sureste, y el Yemen en el sur. También se conecta a Bahrein por la Calzada del Rey Fahd . El Golfo Pérsico se encuentra en el noreste y el Mar Rojo al oeste. Arabia Saudita tiene una población estimada de 25,7 millones de los cuales 5,5 millones son no ciudadanos, [5] y su tamaño es de aproximadamente 2.149.690 kilometros cuadrados (830.000 millas cuadradas).

El Reino de Arabia Saudita fue fundada por Abdul-Aziz bin Saud (conocido en Occidente como Ibn Saud ) en 1932, a pesar de las conquistas que finalmente llevó a la creación del Reino comenzó en 1902 cuando capturó Riad , el hogar ancestral de su familia, la Casa de Saud , que se refiere el árabe como Al Saud. El gobierno de Arabia Saudita tiene la forma de un islámica monarquía absoluta . El reino es a veces llamado "La Tierra de las Dos Mezquitas Sagradas", en referencia a La Meca y Medina , los dos lugares más sagrados en el Islam . Las dos mezquitas son Masjid al-Haram (en La Meca ), y Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (en Medina ).

Arabia Saudita tiene el mundo de las mayores reservas de petróleo y es el mundo más grande exportador de petróleo . El petróleo representa más del 90% de las exportaciones y casi el 75% de los ingresos públicos, lo que facilita la creación de un estado de bienestar . [6] Sin embargo, los derechos humanos a grupos como Amnistía Internacional y Human Rights Watch han expresado reiteradamente su preocupación por el estado de los humanos derechos en Arabia Saudita .

Contenido

Etimología

Después de la unificación de los reinos de Hejaz y Nejd , el nuevo Estado fue nombrado al-Mamlaka al-Arabiyya como-Su?diyya (una transliteración de ??????? ??????? ???????? en árabe) por el Real Decreto el 23 de septiembre de 1932 por su fundador, el rey Abdul Aziz Al Saud . Normalmente, esto se traduce como "el Reino de Arabia Saudita" en Inglés, [7] a pesar de que literalmente significa "el reino saudita Arab". [8]

La palabra "Arabia" se deriva del elemento como Su?diyya-en el nombre árabe del país, que es un tipo de adjetivo se conoce como una nisba , formado por el nombre de la dinastía del rey de los Al Saud (?? ????). Su inclusión se indica que el país era la posesión personal de la familia real. [9] [10] Al Saud es un nombre árabe formada por la adición de la palabra de Al, que significa "familia de" o "House of", [11] a la nombre personal de un antepasado. En el caso de los Al Saud, este es el padre del fundador de la dinastía del siglo 18, Muhammad bin Saud (Muhammad, hijo de Saud). [12]

Para la etimología de Arabia, consulte la Península Arábiga y el árabe (etimología) .

Historia

Desde los primeros tiempos de la fundación de Arabia Saudí

El Imperio Otomano en 1914, incluyendo los territorios otomanos y vasallo nominal - la posición de Arabia había sido prácticamente los mismos de los últimos 400 años

En la Arabia preislámica , además de un pequeño número de asentamientos comerciales urbanas, como La Meca y Medina , ubicada en el Hiyaz , en el oeste de la Península Arábiga , la mayor parte de lo que se convertiría en Arabia Saudí estaba poblada por sociedades tribales nómadas o inhabitable desierto. [13] El Profeta del Islam , Mahoma , nació en La Meca hacia el año 570. En el siglo 7, Muhammad unido a los diferentes tribus de la península y ha creado un único sistema de gobierno religioso islámico. Tras su muerte en 632, sus seguidores se expandió rápidamente en el territorio bajo el dominio musulmán más allá de Arabia, conquistando grandes extensiones de territorio (de la Península Ibérica a la India ) en cuestión de décadas. De esta manera, Arabia pronto se convirtió en una región periférica de la política del mundo musulmán , como la atención se centró en las tierras conquistadas más desarrollados . [14] A partir del siglo 10 al siglo 20 a principios de La Meca y Medina estaban bajo el control de un gobernante árabe de la región conocido como el Sharif de la Meca , pero en la mayoría de veces el Sharif debían lealtad al jefe de uno de los grandes imperios islámicos con sede en Bagdad , El Cairo o Estambul . La mayoría del resto de lo que se convirtió en Arabia Saudita, volvió a las tradicionales reglas tribales . [15] [16]

En el siglo 16, los otomanos añadido el Mar Rojo y del Golfo Pérsico costas (el Hiyaz , Asir y Al-Hasa ) a su Imperio y reclamó soberanía sobre el interior. El grado de control sobre estas tierras variado a lo largo de los próximos cuatro siglos con la fuerza que fluctúa o debilidad de la autoridad central del Imperio. [17] [18] El surgimiento de lo que se convertiría en la familia real saudí, conocida como la Saud , comenzó en Nejd en el centro de Arabia en 1744, cuando Muhammad bin Saud , fundador de la dinastía, unió fuerzas con el líder religioso Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab , [19] el fundador de la wahabí movimiento de una forma estricta del Islam sunita puritannical. [20 ] Esta alianza se formó en el siglo 18 dio el impulso ideológico a la expansión de Arabia y sigue siendo la base de Arabia Saudita imperio dinástico en la actualidad. [21] El primer "Estado de Arabia Saudita estableció en 1744 en la zona de Riad , se expandió rápidamente y controlada brevemente más del actual territorio de Arabia Saudita, pero fue destruido en 1818 por el virrey otomano de Egipto , Mohammed Ali Pasha . 'Estado saudí' Un segundo mucho más pequeño, que se encuentra principalmente en Nejd , se estableció en 1824. A lo largo del resto del siglo 19, el Saud Al impugnada control del interior de lo que se convertiría en Arabia Saudita con otra familia gobernante de Arabia, el Al Rashid . En 1891, el Rashid Al salieron victoriosos y los Saud fueron conducidos al exilio. [22]

A principios del siglo 20, el Imperio Otomano continuó con el control o soberanía (aunque nominal) sobre la mayor parte de la península. Sin perjuicio de esta soberanía, Arabia fue gobernado por un mosaico de dirigentes tribales [23] [24] (como la Casa de Saud, que había regresado del exilio en 1902 [22] ) con el Sharif de La Meca con la preeminencia y la decisión del Hejaz . [25] En 1916, con el estímulo y el apoyo de Gran Bretaña (que estaba luchando contra los otomanos en la Primera Guerra Mundial ), el Sharif de la Meca , Hussein bin Ali , encabezó una rebelión pan-árabe contra el Imperio Otomano para crear un árabes unidos del estado. [26] A pesar de la revuelta árabe de 1916 a 1918 fracasó en su objetivo, Arabia fue liberado de la soberanía otomana y el control por la última derrota en la Primera Guerra Mundial [27]

Saudita sobre 1923. Mapa ampliable: Abdul Aziz de dominio es en azul con las fechas de la conquista. El Reino de los Hejaz , conquistada en 1925, es de color verde claro. (Los otros Hachemita reinos de Irak y Transjordania también en tonos de verde)

En 1902, Abdul-Aziz bin Saud , jefe de la Casa de Saud, se habían apoderado de Riad en Nejd de la Rashid Al -. el primero de una serie de conquistas que culminaron con la creación del estado moderno de Arabia Saudita en 1932 [22 ] El arma principal para el logro de estas conquistas fue el Ikhwan , el wahabí - beduinos tribales ejército dirigido por el Sultán ibn Biyad y Faisal Al-Dawish . [28] Desde el centro de Arabia Saudita en Nejd , y ayudado por el colapso del Imperio Otomano después de la Segunda Guerra, el Ikhwan había completado la conquista del territorio que se convertiría en Arabia Saudita a finales de 1925. [29] El 10 de enero 1926 , Abdul-Aziz declaró a sí mismo Rey de los Hejaz y, luego, el 27 de enero de 1927 se el título de rey de Nejd (su anterior título de haber sido 'Sultan'). [22] Después de la conquista del Hejaz , el Ikhwan líderes querían continuar con la expansión del reino wahabí en los protectorados británicos de Transjordania , Irak y Kuwait , y comenzaron a incursionar en esos territorios. Abdul-Aziz , sin embargo, se negó a aceptar esto, reconocer el peligro de un conflicto directo con los británicos. El Ikhwan por lo tanto, se rebelaron pero fueron derrotados en la Batalla de Sabilla en 1930, donde el Ikhwan liderazgo fueron masacrados. [30]

En 1932, los dos reinos de la Hejaz y Nejd se unieron en el Reino de Arabia Saudita. [22]

Desde la fundación del Estado hasta la actualidad

El nuevo reino fue uno de los países más pobres del mundo, dependen de la agricultura y los ingresos limitados de peregrinación. [31] Sin embargo, en 1938 las vastas reservas de petróleo fueron descubiertas en el Al-Hasa región a lo largo de la costa del Golfo Pérsico y completa desarrollo a gran escala de los yacimientos de petróleo comenzó en 1941. Petróleo de Arabia Saudita siempre con la prosperidad económica e influencia política importante a nivel internacional. La vida cultural se desarrolló rápidamente, principalmente en el Hiyaz , que fue el centro de prensa y radio. Sin embargo, la gran afluencia de extranjeros a trabajar en la industria del petróleo aumentó la propensión pre-existentes de la xenofobia . Al mismo tiempo, el gobierno se hizo cada vez más derrochador y extravagante. Por la década de 1950 esto ha dado lugar a grandes déficits gubernamentales y el endeudamiento externo excesivo. [22]

Abdul Aziz bin Saud primer rey de Arabia Saudita

Rey Saud sucedió en el trono a la muerte de su padre en 1953. Sin embargo, una intensa rivalidad entre el rey y su hermanastro, el príncipe Faisal surgió, impulsado por las dudas en la familia real sobre la competencia de Saud. Como consecuencia de ello, Saud fue depuesto en favor de Faisal en 1964. El evento más importante del rey Faisal reinado fue la crisis del petróleo de 1973 , cuando Arabia Saudita y otros productores árabes de petróleo, trató de presionar a los EE.UU. a retirar su apoyo a Israel a través de un embargo de petróleo. [22] Faisal fue asesinado en 1975 por su sobrino, el príncipe Faisal bin Musaid . [32]

Faisal fue sucedido por su hermanastro, el rey Khalid durante cuyo reinado el desarrollo económico y social avanzado a un ritmo muy rápido, la transformación de la infraestructura y el sistema educativo del país, [22] en la política exterior, los estrechos vínculos con los EE.UU. se han desarrollado. [ 32] En 1979, hubo dos acontecimientos que profundamente amenazado el régimen de Al Saud, [33] y tuvo una influencia a largo plazo sobre la política de Arabia extranjeros y nacionales. La primera fue la Revolución Islámica iraní . Se temía que el país minoría chiíta en la provincia oriental (que es también la ubicación de los yacimientos de petróleo) podría rebeldes bajo la influencia de sus correligionarios iraníes. De hecho, hubo varios levantamientos contra el gobierno de la región en 1979 y 1980. El segundo evento, fue la incautación de la Gran Mezquita en La Meca por parte de extremistas islámicos . Los militantes involucrados fueron, en parte, enojado por lo que considera que la corrupción y la naturaleza anti-islámicas del régimen saudí. [34] Parte de la respuesta de la familia real era hacer cumplir una observancia más estricta de las normas tradicionales religiosas y sociales en el país (por ejemplo, el cierre de las salas de cine) y para dar al Ulema un papel más importante en el gobierno. [35] Ni todo sucedió como el islamismo continuó creciendo en fuerza. [36]

El Reino de Arabia Saudita después de la unificación en 1932

Khalid fue sucedido por su hermano el rey Fahd en 1982, que continuó la estrecha relación con los Estados Unidos y el aumento de la compra de equipos militares estadounidenses y británicos. [22] A partir de 1976 Arabia Saudita se había convertido en el mayor productor de petróleo del mundo. [37] la enorme riqueza generada por los ingresos del petróleo y se canaliza a través del gobierno tuvo un profundo impacto en la sociedad saudita. Esto llevó a la urbanización, la educación pública masiva y la creación de nuevos medios de comunicación. Esta presencia y la de un gran número de trabajadores extranjeros en gran medida a cabo las normas tradicionales de Arabia y los valores. Aunque no hubo un cambio dramático en la vida social y económica del país, el poder político sigue siendo monopolizado por la familia real [22] que conducen a malestar entre muchos saudíes que comenzó a buscar una mayor participación en el gobierno. [38]

Después de la invasión iraquí de Kuwait en 1990 Arabia Saudita se unió a la coalición anti-Irak y el rey Fahd , por temor a un ataque de Irak, invitó a los soldados estadounidenses y de coalición que se destacará en Arabia Saudita. [22] Esta acción fue uno de los temas que ha condujo a un aumento en el terrorismo islámico en Arabia Saudita, así como los ataques terroristas islámicos en los países occidentales por parte de nacionales saudíes - el 9 / 11 . ataques en Nueva York es el ejemplo más prominente [39] Pero también muchos saudíes que no necesariamente el apoyo los islamistas terroristas estaban profundamente descontentos con la postura del gobierno. [40]

El islamismo no es la única fuente de hostilidad al régimen. Aunque ahora muy rico, la economía del país estaba cerca de estancamiento, lo que combinado con un crecimiento del desempleo, han contribuido a la inquietud en el país, y se reflejó en un aumento posterior en los disturbios civiles, y el descontento con la familia real. En respuesta, una serie de "reformas" se iniciaron limitada (por ejemplo, la Ley Fundamental ). Sin embargo, el dilema de la familia real era responder a la disidencia, mientras que la toma como pocos cambios reales en la situación actual como sea posible. Fahd dejó en claro que él no tenía la democracia en cuenta: "Un sistema basado en elecciones no es consistente con nuestras creencias islámicas , que [aprueba] el gobierno por la consulta [shura]. " [22]

En 1995, Fahd sufrió un derrame cerebral y el príncipe heredero, el príncipe Abdullah asumió el papel de actuar el rey, aunque su autoridad se vio obstaculizada por el conflicto con Fahd hermanos completo (conocido, con Fahd, como el " Sudairi Siete "). [41] Abdullah continuó con la política de la reforma leves y una mayor apertura, [42] sino que, además, adoptó una política exterior de distanciamiento en el reino de los EE.UU.. En 2003, Arabia Saudita se negó a apoyar los EE.UU. y sus aliados en la invasión de Irak . [22] Sin embargo, la actividad terrorista aumentó dramáticamente en 2003, con los atentados de Riad, compuesto y otros ataques , lo que llevó al gobierno a tomar medidas mucho más estrictas contra el terrorismo. [43]

En 2005, el rey Fahd murió y su medio hermano, Abdullah ascendió al trono. El rey posteriormente introdujo un nuevo programa de reforma moderada que incluía una serie de reformas económicas destinadas a reducir la dependencia del país de los ingresos petroleros: la desregulación limitada, el fomento de la inversión extranjera y la privatización. Él ha tomado medidas mucho más enérgicas para hacer frente a los orígenes de terrorismo islámico , y ha ordenado el uso de la fuerza por primera vez por los servicios de seguridad en contra de algunos extremistas. En febrero de 2009, Abdullah anunció una serie de cambios en el gobierno de la judicatura, las fuerzas armadas, y los diversos ministerios para la modernización de estas instituciones, incluyendo la sustitución de los nombramientos de alto nivel en la judicatura y la Mutaween (policía religiosa) con indiviuals más moderado y el nombramiento de los país viceministro primero las mujeres. [22]

A principios de 2011, el rey Abdullah manifestó su oposición a la protesta y las revoluciones que afectan al mundo árabe por dar asilo al depuesto presidente Zine El Abidine Ben Ali de Túnez y por teléfono al presidente Hosni Mubarak, de Egipto (antes de su declaración) para ofrecer su apoyo. [44] Arabia Saudí también ha sido afectado por sus propias protestas . [45] En respuesta, el rey Abdullah anunció una serie de beneficios para los ciudadanos un total de $ 10,7 mil millones. Estos fondos incluyen para compensar la alta inflación y ayudar a los jóvenes desempleados y los ciudadanos de Arabia estudiar en el extranjero, así como la cancelación de algunos préstamos. Los empleados estatales verán sus ingresos aumentar en un 15 por ciento, y dinero en efectivo adicional también ha sido puesto a disposición de los préstamos para vivienda. No hay reformas políticas fueron anunciados como parte del paquete, aunque algunos presos acusados ??de delitos financieros fueron perdonados. [46]

Política

Arabia Saudita es una monarquía absoluta , [47] , aunque, de acuerdo con la Ley Fundamental de Arabia Saudita, aprobado por Real Decreto en 1992, el rey debe cumplir con la Sharia (es decir, la ley islámica) y el Corán . El Corán y la Sunna (tradiciones de Mahoma) se declaran a la constitución del país. [48] No hay partidos políticos o las elecciones nacionales está permitido [47] y de acuerdo con The Economist 's 2010 el Índice de Democracia , el gobierno de Arabia Saudita es el séptimo régimen más autoritario de entre los 167 países evaluados. [49]

Monarquía y la familia real

El rey Abdullah de Arabia Saudita

La Ley Fundamental establece que el rey debe ser elegido de entre los hijos del primer rey, Abdul Aziz Al Saud , y sus descendientes varones [50] sujeto a la aprobación posterior de los líderes religiosos (los ulemas ). [47] En 2007, un " La lealtad del Consejo "se ha creado, compuesto por hijos sobrevivientes Abdul Aziz además de un nieto de su cada hijos fallecidos, para determinar qué miembro de la familia real será el heredero (el Príncipe), después el príncipe Sultán , quien es el actual príncipe heredero, muere o accede al trono. [51]

El rey combina las funciones legislativa, ejecutiva y judicial [52] y los decretos reales son la base de la legislación del país. [2] El rey es también el primer ministro, y preside el Consejo de Ministros (Majlis al-Wuzara ?) , que comprende el primer y segundo viceprimer ministros (por lo general, respectivamente, primero y segundo en la línea de sucesión) y 23 ministros con cartera y cinco ministros de Estado. [53] El rey nombra los despidos y del Consejo, que se encarga de ejecutivas y asuntos administrativos, política exterior e interior, defensa, finanzas, salud y educación, administrados a través de numerosos organismos independientes. [52] También hay una de 150 miembros de la Asamblea Consultiva , nombrado por el Rey, [54] , que puede proponer legislación para el Rey, pero no tiene poder legislativo. [55] Aunque, en teoría, el país es una monarquía absoluta , en la práctica las grandes decisiones políticas se toman fuera de las estructuras gubernamentales formales y no sólo por el rey. Las decisiones se toman mediante el establecimiento de un consenso dentro de la familia real (que comprende los numerosos descendientes del fundador del reino, Abdul Aziz ). Además, las opiniones de los miembros importantes de la sociedad saudita, entre ellos el ulema (eruditos religiosos), lo que los jeques tribales, y los jefes de las familias prominentes comercial que se consideren. [52]

El príncipe Bandar bin Sultan :. "Si usted me dice que la construcción de este país, y el gasto de $ 350 mil millones de los US $ 400 mil millones, que mal o se corrompe con $ 50 mil millones, les diré:" Sí "Pero voy a tomar que en cualquier momento. " [56]

La familia real domina el sistema político. Un gran número de la familia le permiten controlar la mayoría de los puestos importantes del reino y de tener una participación y presencia en todos los niveles de gobierno. [57] El número de los príncipes se estima que es cualquier cosa, desde 7.000 hacia arriba, con más poder e influencia que se ejerce por las 200 o más descendientes varones de Rey Abdul Aziz . [58] Los ministerios clave son generalmente reservados para la familia real, [47] al igual que las gobernaciones regionales trece años. [59] a largo plazo, las citas políticas y gubernamentales, tales como los de El rey Abdullah , que había sido comandante de la Guardia Nacional desde 1963 (hasta el año 2010, cuando nombró a su hijo para que lo sustituya [60] ), Corona Príncipe Sultán , ministro de Defensa y Aviación desde 1962, el príncipe Nayef , que ha sido el Ministro de Interior desde 1975, el príncipe Saud , que ha sido Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores desde 1975 [61] y el príncipe Salman , quien ha sido gobernador de la Riad Región desde 1962, [62] han dado lugar a la creación de "feudos de poder" de los príncipes de alto nivel. [63]

El gobierno de Arabia Saudita y la familia real a menudo, durante muchos años, fue acusado de corrupción. [64] En un país que se dice que "pertenecen" a la familia real y es llamado por ellos , [10] las líneas entre los bienes del Estado y la riqueza personal de los príncipes mayores se ven borrosos. [58] La extensión de la corrupción ha sido descrito como sistémica [65] y endémicas, [66] y su existencia fue reconocida [67] y defendió [68] por el príncipe Bandar bin Sultan ( un alto miembro de la familia real [69] ), en una entrevista en 2001. [56] A pesar de las acusaciones de corrupción han sido a menudo limitado a una amplia acusaciones indocumentados, [70] las denuncias concretas se hicieron en 2007, cuando se afirmó que la defensa británica contratista BAE Systems había pagado el príncipe Bandar EE.UU. $ 2 mil millones en sobornos relacionados con el acuerdo Al-Yamamah brazos . [71] El príncipe Bandar negó las acusaciones. [72] Las investigaciones realizadas por ambas autoridades de EE.UU. y Reino Unido, como resultado, en 2010, en acuerdo con el fiscal de acuerdos con la empresa, por la que pagó US $ 447 millones en multas, pero no admiten el soborno. [73] Transparencia Internacional en su informe anual la Corrupción Índice de Percepción de 2010 dio a Arabia Saudita una puntuación de 4,7 (en una escala del 0 al 10 donde 0 es " altamente corrupto "y 10 es" muy limpio "). [74]

Desde el 9 / 11 ataques en 2001, ha habido una creciente presión para reformar y modernizar la regla de la familia real, un programa promovido por el rey Abdullah, tanto antes como después de su adhesión en 2005. La creación del Consejo Consultivo en la década de 1990 no satisfizo las demandas de participación política, y, en 2003, un foro anual de diálogo nacional se anunció que permitiría a los profesionales seleccionados e intelectuales a debatir públicamente temas de actualidad nacional, dentro de ciertos parámetros prescritos. En 2005, las elecciones municipales se celebraron las primeras. En 2007, el Consejo de la lealtad se ha creado para regular la sucesión. [75] En 2009, el rey hizo cambios importantes de personal en el gobierno mediante el nombramiento de los reformistas en posiciones clave y la primera mujer en un puesto ministerial. [76] Sin embargo, los cambios han sido criticados por ser demasiado lento o simplemente estético, [77] y la familia real se informa, divididos sobre la velocidad y la dirección de la reforma. [78]

La ceniza de Al-Sheikh y el papel político de los ulemas

Arabia Saudita es casi el único en dar el ulema (el cuerpo de los líderes religiosos islámicos y juristas) un papel directo en el gobierno, [79] el único otro ejemplo es Irán . [80] No sólo es la sucesión al trono, el sujeto a la aprobación de los ulemas, [47] pero también lo son todas las nuevas leyes (decretos reales). [79] El ulema también han sido una influencia clave en las decisiones gubernamentales importantes, por ejemplo la imposición de la embargo de petróleo en 1973 y la invitación a los extranjeros tropas a Arabia Saudita en 1990 . [81] Además, han tenido un papel importante en los sistemas judiciales y la educación [82] y el monopolio de la autoridad en la esfera de la moral religiosa y social. [83]

Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh , gran mufti de Arabia Saudita, el país de la autoridad religiosa de más alto rango. [84]

Por la década de 1970, como resultado de la riqueza petrolera y la modernización del país iniciada por el rey Faisal, cambios importantes en la sociedad saudita se estaban llevando y el poder de los ulemas estaban en decadencia. [85] Sin embargo, esto cambió después de la toma de la Gran Mezquita en La Meca en 1979 por islamistas radicales. [86] La respuesta del gobierno a la crisis incluye el fortalecimiento de los poderes del ulema y aumentar su apoyo financiero: [35] , en particular, se les dio un mayor control sobre el sistema educativo [86] y permite reforzar la estricta observancia de las normas de comportamiento wahhabi moral y social. [35] Desde su ascenso al trono en 2005, el rey Abdullah ha tomado medidas para controlar los poderes de los ulemas, por ejemplo, la transferencia de su control sobre la educación de las niñas a el Ministerio de Educación. [87]

Los ulemas han sido históricamente liderado por el Al ash-Sheikh , [88] del país de la familia religiosa principal. [83] El Al ash-Sheikh son los descendientes de Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab , el fundador del siglo 18 de los wahabíes forma de Islam sunita que es hoy dominante en Arabia Saudí. [89] La familia es el segundo en prestigio sólo a los Saud (la familia real) [90] con los que formó un "pacto de apoyo mutuo" [91] y el acuerdo de poder compartido hace casi 300 años. [81] El pacto, que persiste hasta nuestros días, [91] se basa en los Saud Al mantener la autoridad de Al ash-Sheikh, en materia religiosa y la defensa y propagación de la doctrina wahabí. A cambio, el Al ash-Sheikh apoyo de las autoridades políticas de Al Saud [92] utilizando para ello sus religioso-moral autoridad para legitimar el gobierno de la familia real. [93] A pesar de la dominación de los Al ash-Sheikh de los ulemas ha disminuido en las últimas décadas, [94] que todavía ocupan los cargos religiosos más importantes y están estrechamente vinculados a Al Saud por un alto grado de endogamia. [83]

Proceso político y la oposición

En ausencia de las elecciones nacionales y los partidos políticos, [47] la política en Arabia Saudita se desarrolla en dos ámbitos distintos:. dentro de la familia real, los Saud, y entre la familia real y el resto de la sociedad saudita [95] La Real la familia se divide políticamente por las facciones sobre la base de lealtades de clan, ambiciones personales y diferencias ideológicas. [95] La facción del clan más poderoso que se conoce como el " Siete Sudairi ", que comprende la tarde del rey Fahd y sus hermanos completo y sus descendientes. [51] divisiones ideológicas incluir temas sobre la velocidad y dirección de la reforma, [78] y si el papel de los ulemas se debe aumentar o disminuir. También hay divisiones dentro de la familia sobre quién debería suceder al trono después de la adhesión o la muerte anterior de Príncipe Sultán (el actual Príncipe de la Corona) se ha producido. [96] [51]

Fuera de los Saud, la participación en el proceso político se limita a un segmento relativamente pequeño de la población y toma la forma de la familia real de consultoría con los ulemas, jeques tribales y miembros de importantes familias comerciales en las grandes decisiones. [52] Este proceso no es reportado por los medios saudíes. [97] En teoría, todos los varones de la edad núbil, tienen derecho a solicitar al rey directamente a través de la tradicional reunión tribal conocido como los majlis . [98] En muchos aspectos, el enfoque del gobierno es muy distinto del sistema tradicional de gobierno tribal. Identidad tribal sigue siendo fuerte y, fuera de la familia real, la influencia política se mide por la afiliación tribal, con jeques tribales mantener un considerable grado de influencia sobre los acontecimientos locales y nacionales. [52] Como se mencionó anteriormente, en los últimos años se han limitado medidas para ampliar la participación política, como la creación del Consejo Consultivo de la década de 1990 y el Foro de Diálogo Nacional en 2003. [75]

La regla de la Saud se enfrenta a la oposición política a partir de cuatro fuentes: sunitas islámicos activismo de los críticos liberales, la minoría chiíta - sobre todo en la provincia oriental , y desde hace mucho tiempo los opositores particulares tribales y regionales (por ejemplo, en el Hiyaz .) [ 99] , de los cuales los activistas islámicos han sido la amenaza más importante para el régimen y han perpetrado en los últimos años una serie de violentos o actos terroristas en el país . [43] Sin embargo, la protesta abierta contra el gobierno, aunque pacífica, es no se tolera. El 29 de enero de 2011, cientos de manifestantes se reunieron en la ciudad de Jeddah , en una rara muestra de las críticas contra la deficiente infraestructura de la ciudad después de las inundaciones mortales se extendió por la ciudad, matando a once personas. [100] La policía detuvo la manifestación después de 15 minutos y detuvo 30 a 50 personas. [101] Como parte de la ola de protestas y revoluciones que afectan al Medio Oriente y África del Norte a principios de 2011, una serie de incidentes y protestas ocurrieron en Arabia Saudí. Ver 2011 las protestas de Arabia Saudita para más detalles.

La ley y los derechos humanos

Versos del Corán. El Corán es la constitución oficial del país y una fuente principal del derecho. Arabia Saudita es el único en la consagración de un texto religioso como un documento político [102]

La principal fuente de legislación islámica es la Sharia derivado de las enseñanzas del Corán y la Sunnah (las tradiciones del Profeta). [2] la Sharia no es codificado y no existe un sistema de precedentes judiciales . Arabia jueces tienden a seguir los principios de la Hanbali la escuela de jurisprudencia (o el fiqh ) se encuentra en pre-modernos textos [103] y que destaca por su interpretación literal del Corán y hadices . [104] Sin embargo, debido a que el juez está facultado hacer caso omiso de las sentencias anteriores (ya sea propia o de otros jueces) y se aplicará a su personal interpretación de la Sharia en cualquier caso, las divergencias surgen juicios incluso en casos aparentemente idénticos. [105] reales decretos son la otra fuente principal de la ley, pero se conocen a los reglamentos en lugar de leyes, ya que están subordinados a la ley islámica. [2] Real decreto Sharia suplemento en áreas como la laboral, mercantil y societario. Además, la ley tribal tradicional y las costumbres siguen siendo significativas. [106]

The Sharia court system constitutes the basic judiciary of Saudi Arabia and its judges and lawyers form part of the ulema , the country's religious leadership. However, there are also extra-Sharia government tribunals which handle disputes relating to specific royal decrees. [ 107 ] Final appeal from both Sharia courts and government tribunals is to the King and all courts and tribunals follow Sharia rules of evidence and procedure. [ 108 ] The Saudi system of justice has been criticized for being slow, arcane, [ 109 ] lacking in some of the safeguards of justice and unable to deal with the modern world. [ 110 ] In 2007, King Abdullah issued royal decrees reforming the judiciary and creating a new court system, although the reforms have yet to be implemented. [ 111 ] The capabilities and reactionary nature of the judges have, in particular, been criticized [ 112 ] and, in 2009, the King made a number of significant changes to the judiciary's personnel at the most senior level by bringing in a younger generation. [ 109 ]

Saudi Arabia has long been criticized for its human rights record, with Western-based organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemning both the criminal justice system and its severe punishments. However, most Saudis reportedly support the system and say that it maintains a low crime rate. [ 113 ] There are no jury trials in Saudi Arabia and courts observe few formalities. [ 114 ] Human Rights Watch, in a 2008 report, noted that a criminal procedure code had been introduced for the first time in 2002, but it lacked some basic protections and, in any case, had been routinely ignored by judges. Those arrested are often not informed of the crime of which they are accused or given access to a lawyer and are subject to abusive treatment and torture if they do not confess. At trial, there is a presumption of guilt and the accused is often unable to examine witnesses and evidence or present a legal defense. Most trials are held in secret. [ 115 ]

Deera Square , central Riyadh. Known locally as "Chop-chop square", it is the location of public beheadings. [ 116 ]

The physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts, such as beheading, stoning , amputation and lashing, and the number of executions have been strongly criticized. [ 117 ] The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy , adultery, witchcraft and sorcery and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, stoning or firing squad, followed by crucifixion. [ 118 ] [ 119 ] The 345 reported executions between 2007 and 2010 were all carried out by public beheading. The last reported execution for sorcery took place in 2007 and three subsequent convictions for witchcraft did not result in execution. Although repeated theft can be punishable by amputation of the right hand, only one instance of judicial amputation was reported between 2007 and 2010. Homosexual acts are punishable by flogging or death. [ 118 ] [ 120 ] Lashings are a common form of punishment [ 121 ] and are often imposed for offences against religion and public morality such as drinking alcohol and neglect of prayer and fasting obligations. [ 118 ] Retaliatory punishments, or Qisas , are practised: for instance, an eye can be surgically removed at the insistence of a victim who lost his own eye. [ 112 ] Families of someone unlawfully killed can choose between demanding the death penalty or granting clemency in return for a payment of diyya , or blood money, by the perpetrator. [ 122 ]

Other human rights issues that have attracted strong criticism include the extremely disadvantaged position of women (see Women in Saudi society below), religious discrimination, the lack of religious freedom and the activities of the religious police (see Religion below). [ 117 ] Between 1996 and 2000, Saudi Arabia acceded to four UN human rights conventions and, in 2004, the government approved the establishment of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), staffed by government employees, to monitor their implementation. To date, the activities of the NSHR have been limited and doubts remain over its neutrality and independence. [ 123 ] Saudi Arabia remains one of the very few countries in the world not to accept the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights . 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. [ 124 ]

Relaciones extranjeras

Saudi Arabia joined the UN in 1945 [ 7 ] and is a founder member of the Arab League , Gulf Cooperation Council , Muslim World League , and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation ). [ 125 ] It plays a prominent role in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank , and in 2005 joined the World Trade Organization . [ 7 ] Saudi Arabia supports the intended formation of the Arab Customs Union in 2015 and an Arab common market [ 126 ] by 2020, as announced at the 2009 Arab League summit. [ 127 ] As a founding member of OPEC , its oil pricing policy has been generally to stabilize the world oil market and try to moderate sharp price movements so as to not jeopardise the Western economies. [ 7 ]

Between the mid-1970s and 2002 Saudi Arabia expended over $70 billion in "overseas development aid". [ 128 ] However, there is evidence that the vast majority was, in fact, spent on propagating and extending the influence of Wahhabism at the expense of other forms of Islam. [ 129 ] There has been an intense debate over whether Saudi aid and Wahhabism has fomented extremism in recipient countries. [ 130 ] The two main allegations are that, by its nature, Wahhabism encourages intolerance and promotes terrorism. [ 131 ] Former CIA director James Woolsey described it as "the soil in which Al-Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are flourishing." [ 132 ] However, the Saudi government strenuously denies these claims or that it exports religious or cultural extremism. [ 133 ]

Osama bin Laden (right) with a journalist (Hamid Mir) in 1997

In the Arab and Muslim worlds, Saudi Arabia is considered to be pro-Western and pro-American, [ 134 ] and it is certainly a long-term ally of the United States. [ 135 ] However, this [ 136 ] and Saudi Arabia's role in the 1991 Gulf War , particularly the stationing of US troops on Saudi soil from 1991, prompted the development of a hostile Islamist response internally. [ 137 ] As a result, Saudi Arabia has, to some extent, distanced itself from the US and, for example, refused to support or to participate in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. [ 52 ] Relations with the United States became strained following 9/11 . [ 138 ] American politicians and media accused the Saudi government of supporting terrorism and tolerating a jihadist culture. [ 139 ] Indeed, Osama bin Laden and fifteen out of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. [ 140 ] According to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton , "Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban , LeT and other terrorist groups. . . . Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." [ 141 ]

Saudi Arabia's increasing alarm at the rise of Iran is reflected in the reported private comments of King Abdullah [ 142 ] urging the US to attack Iran and "cut off the head of the snake". [ 143 ] Saudi Arabia has been seen as a moderating influence in the Arab-Israeli conflict , periodically putting forward a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians and condemning Hezbollah . [ 144 ] Following the wave of protests and revolutions affecting the Arab world in early 2011 Saudi Arabia offered asylum to deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and King Abdullah telephoned President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (prior to his deposition) to offer his support. [ 44 ]

Militar

The Saudi military consists of the Saudi Army , the Royal Saudi Air Force , the Royal Saudi Navy , the Royal Saudi Air Defense , the Saudi Arabian National Guard – the 'SANG' (an independent military force), and paramilitary forces, totaling nearly 200,000 active-duty personnel. In 2005 the armed forces had the following personnel: the army , 75,000; Royal Saudi Air Force , 18,000; air defense , 16,000; Royal Saudi Navy , 15,500 (including 3,000 marines); and the SANG had 75,000 active soldiers and 25,000 tribal levies. [ 145 ] In addition, there is a military intelligence service .

HMS "Makkah", an Al Riyadh class frigate.

The SANG is not a reserve but a fully operational front-line force, and originated out of Abdul Aziz's tribal military-religious force, the Ikhwan . 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. The SANG has been a counter-balance to the Sudairi faction in the royal family: Prince Sultan , the Minister of Defense and Aviation, is one of the so-called ' Sudairi Seven ' and controls the remainder of the armed forces. [ 146 ]

Spending on defense and security has increased significantly since the mid-'90s and was about US$25.4 billion in 2005. Saudi Arabia ranks among the top 10 in the world in government spending for its military, representing about 7 percent of gross domestic product in 2005. Its modern high-technology arsenal makes Saudi Arabia among the world's most densely armed nations, with its military equipment being supplied primarily by the US, France and Britain. [ 145 ] The United States sold more than $80 billion in military hardware between 1951 and 2006 to the Saudi military. [ 147 ] On 20 October 2010, US State Department notified Congress of its intention to make the biggest arms sale in American history – an estimated $60.5 billion purchase by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The package represents a considerable improvement in the offensive capability of the Saudi armed forces. [ 148 ] The UK has also been a major supplier of military equipment to Saudi Arabia since 1965. [ 149 ] Since 1985, the UK has supplied military aircraft – notably the Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft – and other equipment as part of the long-term Al-Yamamah arms deal estimated to have been worth £43 billion by 2006 and thought to be worth a further £40 billion. [ 150 ]

Geografía

Ecoregions as delineated by the WWF . The yellow line encloses the ecoregions Arabian Desert, East Sahero-Arabian xeric shrublands and two other smaller desert areas [ 151 ]

Saudi Arabia occupies about 80 percent of the Arabian peninsula , [ 152 ] lying between latitudes 16° and 33° N , and longitudes 34° and 56° E . Because the country's southern borders with the United Arab Emirates and Oman are not precisely defined or marked, the exact size of the country remains unknown. [ 152 ] The CIA World Factbook 's estimate is 2,149,690 km 2 (830,000 sq mi) and lists Saudi Arabia as the world's 13th largest state. [ 153 ]

Saudi Arabia's geography is dominated by the Arabian Desert and associated semi-desert and shrubland (see satellite image to right). [ 52 ] It is, in fact, a number of linked deserts and includes the 250,000 square mile (647,500 square km) Rub' al Khali (“Empty Quarter”) in the southern part of the country, the world's largest sand desert. [ 52 ] There are virtually no permanent rivers or lakes in the country, but wadis are numerous. [ 52 ] The few fertile areas are to be found in the alluvial deposits in wadis, basins, and oases. [ 52 ] The main topographical feature is the central plateau which rises abruptly from the Red Sea and gradually descends into the Nejd and toward the Persian Gulf. [ 52 ] On the Red Sea coast, there is a narrow coastal plain, known as the Tihamah parallel to which runs an imposing escarpment. [ 52 ] The southwest province of Asir is mountainous, and contains Mount Sawda , which is generally considered the highest point in the country. [ 52 ] Estimates of its elevation range from 10,279 to 10,522 feet (3,133 to 3,207 metres). [ 52 ]

The Nejd landscape: desert and the Tuwaiq Escarpment near Riyadh

Except for the south western province of Asir , Saudi Arabia has a desert climate with extremely high day-time temperatures and a sharp temperature drop at night. [ 154 ] Average summer temperatures are around 45°C, but can be as high as 54°C. [ 154 ] In the winter the temperature rarely drops below 0°C. [ 154 ] In the spring and autumn the heat is temperate, temperatures average around 29°C. [ 154 ] Annual rainfall is extremely low. [ 154 ] The Asir region differs in that it is influenced by the Indian Ocean monsoons , usually occurring between October and March. [ 154 ] An average of 300 millimetres of rainfall occurs during this period, that is about 60 percent of the annual precipitation. [ 154 ]

Animal life includes wolves, hyenas, mongooses, baboons, hares, sand rats, and jerboas. [ 52 ] Larger animals such as gazelles, oryx , and leopards were relatively numerous until the 1950s, when hunting from motor vehicles reduced these animals almost to extinction. [ 52 ] Birds include falcons (which are caught and trained for hunting), eagles, hawks, vultures, sand grouse and bulbuls . [ 52 ] There are several species of snakes, many of which are poisonous, and numerous types of lizards. There is a wide variety of marine life in the Persian Gulf . [ 52 ] Domesticated animals include camels, sheep, goats, donkeys, and chickens. [ 52 ] Reflecting the country's desert conditions, Saudi Arabia's plant life mostly consists of small herbs and shrubs requiring little water. [ 52 ] There are a few small areas of grass and trees in southern Asir. The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is widespread. [ 52 ]

Ciudades


view · talk · edit view · talk · edit Largest cities of Saudi Arabia
Source?
Riad
Riyadh

Jeddah
Jeddah

Rango Nombre de la ciudad Provincia Pop. La Meca
Mecca

Medina
Medina

1 Riyadh Riyadh 6,500,000
2 Jeddah Makkah 3,900,000
3 Mecca Makkah 1800000
4 Medina Al Madinah 1600000
5 Dammam Oriental 1,300,000
6 Tabuk, Saudi Arabia Tabuk 800000
7 Buraidah Al-Qassim 700000
8 Khamis Mushait 'Asir 600000
9 Abha 'Asir 500000
10 Al-Khobar Oriental 400000


Divisiones administrativas

Saudi Arabia is divided into 13 provinces [ 155 ] ( manatiq id?riyya , – singular mintaqah idariyya ). The provinces are further divided into governorates (Arabic: muhafazat, ????????, singular muhafazah), 118 in total. This number contains the provincial capitals, which have a different status as municipalities (amanah) headed by mayors (amin). The governorates are further sudivided into sub-governorates (marakiz, sing. markaz).

Provincia Capital
Provinces of Saudi Arabia
Al Bahah (or Baha) Al Bahah city
Northern Border Arar
Al Jawf (or Jouf) Sakaka city
Al Madinah Medina
Al Qasim Buraidah
Ha'il Ha'il city
Asir Abha
Eastern Province Dammam
Al Riyadh Riyadh city
Tabuk Tabuk city
Najran Najran city
Makkah Mecca
Jizan Jizan city

Economía

Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of petroleum in the world

Saudi Arabia's command economy is petroleum-based; roughly 75% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry. The oil industry comprises about 45% of Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product , compared with 40% from the private sector (see below). Saudi Arabia officially has about 260 billion barrels (4.1 × 10 10 m 3 ) of oil reserves , comprising about one-fifth of the world's proven total petroleum reserves. [ 156 ]

The government is attempting to promote growth in the private sector by privatizing industries such as power and telecommunications. Saudi Arabia announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies in 1999, which followed the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. Shortages of water and rapid population growth may constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.

In the 1990s, Saudi Arabia experienced a significant contraction of oil revenues combined with a high rate of population growth. Per capita income fell from a high of $11,700 at the height of the oil boom in 1981 to $6,300 in 1998. [ 157 ] Increases in oil prices since 2000 have helped boost per capita GDP to $17,000 in 2007 dollars, or about $7,400 adjusted for inflation. [ 158 ]

Oil price increases of 2008–2009 have triggered a second oil boom, pushing Saudi Arabia's budget surplus to $28 billion (110SR billion) in 2005. Tadawul (the Saudi stock market index) finished 2004 with a massive 76.23% to close at 4437.58 points. Market capitalization was up 110.14% from a year earlier to stand at $157.3 billion (589.93SR billion), which makes it the biggest stock market in the Middle East .?

OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) limits its members' oil production based on their "proven reserves." The higher their reserves, the more OPEC allows them to produce. [ citation needed ] Saudi Arabia's published reserves have shown little change since 1980, with the main exception being an increase of about 100 billion barrels (1.6 × 10 10 m 3 ) between 1987 and 1988. [ 159 ] Matthew Simmons has suggested that Saudi Arabia is greatly exaggerating its reserves and may soon show production declines (see peak oil ). [ 160 ]

Saudi Arabia is one of only a few fast-growing countries in the world with a relatively high per capita income of $20,700 (2007). Saudi Arabia will be launching six "economic cities" (eg King Abdullah Economic City ) [ 161 ] which are planned to be completed by 2020. These six new industrialized cities are intended to diversify the economy of Saudi Arabia, and are expected to increase the per capita income. The King of Saudi Arabia has announced that the per capita income is forecast, to rise from $15,000 in 2006 to $33,500 in 2020. [ 162 ] The cities will be spread around Saudi Arabia to promote diversification for each region and their economy, and the cities are projected to contribute $150 billion to the GDP.

However the urban areas of Riyadh and Jeddah are expected to contribute $287 billion dollars by the year 2020. [ 163 ]

Demografía

Population and language

Saudi Arabia population density (person per Km 2 )

Saudi Arabia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world . Its population as of July 2010 is estimated to be 25,731,776 including 5,576,076 non-nationals [ 5 ] Until the 1960s, a majority of the population was nomadic ; but presently more than 95% of the population is settled, due to rapid economic and urban growth. The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic . The three main regional variants spoken by Saudis are Hejazi Arabic (about 6 million speakers), Nejdi Arabic (about 8 million speakers) and Gulf Arabic (about 200,000 speakers). The large expatriate communities also speak their own languages, the most numerous being Tagalog (700,000), Urdu (380,000), and Egyptian Arabic (300,000). [ 164 ]

About 31% of the population is made up of foreign nationals living in Saudi Arabia. [ 165 ] Indian : 1.3 million, Pakistani : 900,000, Bangladeshi : 400,000, Filipino : 500,000, Egyptian : 900,000, Yemeni : 800,000, Indonesian : 250,000, Sri Lankan : 350,000, Sudanese : 250,000, Syrian : 100,000 and Turkish : 80,000. [ 166 ] There are around 100,000 Westerners in Saudi Arabia, most of whom live in compounds or gated communities .

Social issues

Saudi society has a number of issues and tensions. A rare independent opinion poll published in 2010 indicated that Saudis' main social concerns were unemployment (at 10% in 2010 [ 167 ] ), corruption and religious extremism. [ 168 ] [ 169 ] Crime is not a significant problem. [ 145 ] However, Saudi Arabia's objective of being both a modern and Islamic country, coupled with economic difficulties, has created deep social tensions, including the following. Connections to the West have caused some Saudis to desire the overthrow of the Al Saud. Others want a reformed and more open government and to have more influence in the political process. On the other hand, juvenile delinquency, drug-use and use of alcohol are getting worse. High unemployment and a generation of young males filled with contempt toward the West pose a significant threat to Saudi social stability. Some Saudis feel they are entitled to well-paid government jobs, and the failure of the government to satisfy this sense of entitlement has led to considerable dissatisfaction. [ 170 ] [ 171 ] [ 172 ] Additionally, the Shiite minority, located primarily in the Eastern Province, and who often complain of institutionalized inequality and repression, have created civil disturbances in the past. Terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia have made it clear that Saudi Arabia does harbor indigenous terrorists. [ 171 ]

According to a 2009 US State Department communication by Hillary Clinton , United States Secretary of State , (disclosed as part of the Wikileaks US 'cables leaks' controversy in 2010 ) "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide". [ 173 ] Part of this funding arises through the zakat (or religious tax) required to be paid by all Saudis to charities, and amounting to at least 2.5 percent of their income. Although many charities are genuine, others, it is alleged, serve as fronts for money laundering and terrorist financing operations. While many Saudis contribute to those charities in good faith believing their money goes toward good causes, it has been alleged that others know full well the terrorist purposes to which their money will be applied. [ 132 ]

According to a study conducted by Dr. Nura Al-Suwaiyan, director of the family safety program at the National Guard Hospital , one in four children is abused in Saudi Arabia. [ 174 ] The National Society for Human Rights reports that almost 45% of the country's children are facing some sort of abuse and domestic violence. [ 175 ] It has also been claimed that trafficking of women is a particular problem in Saudi Arabia as the country's large number of female foreign domestic workers and loopholes in the system cause many to fall victim to abuse and torture. [ 176 ]

Widespread inbreeding in Saudi Arabia, resulting from the traditional practice of encouraging marriage between close relatives, has produced high levels of several genetic disorders including thalassemia , sickle cell anemia , spinal muscular atrophy , deafness and muteness. [ 177 ] [ 178 ]

Religión

The tomb of Muhammad in Medina

There are about 25 million people who are Muslim , or 97% of the total population. [ 179 ] Data for Saudi Arabia comes primarily from general population surveys, which are less reliable than censuses or large-scale demographic and health surveys for estimating minority-majority ratios. [ 179 ] About 85–90% of Saudis are Sunni , while Shias represent around 10–15% of the Muslim population. [ 180 ] The official and dominant form of Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia is commonly known as Wahhabism (a name which some of its proponents consider derogatory, preferring the term Salafism [ 181 ] Wahhabism, founded in the Arabian peninsular by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the eighteenth century, is often described as 'puritanical', 'intolerant' or 'ultra-conservative'. However, proponents consider that its teachings seek to purify the practise of Islam of any innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his companions [ 182 ]

As noted earlier (see Politics ) Saudi Arabia is a source of Sunni Islamist activity, including violent or terrorist Islamist activity [ 43 ] and "donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide". [ 173 ]

In 2010, the US State Department stated that in Saudi Arabia "freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice" and that "government policies continued to place severe restrictions on religious freedom". [ 183 ] No faith other than Islam is permitted to be practised, although there are nearly a million Christians - nearly all foreign workers - in Saudi Arabia. [ 184 ] There are no churches or other non-Muslim houses of worship permitted in the country. [ 183 ] Even private prayer services are forbidden in practice and the Saudi religious police reportedly regularly search the homes of Christians. [ 184 ] Foreign workers have to observe Ramadan but are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter. [ 184 ] Conversion by Muslims to another religion ( apostasy ) carries the death penalty, although there have been no confirmed reports of executions for apostasy in recent years. [ 183 ] Proselytizing by non-Muslims is illegal, [ 183 ] and the last Christian priest was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1985. [ 184 ] Compensation in court cases discriminates against non-Muslims: once fault is determined, a Muslim receives all of the amount of compensation determined, a Jew or Christian half, and all others a sixteenth. [ 184 ]

According to Human Rights Watch, the Shia minority face systematic discrimination from the Saudi government in education, the justice system and especially religious freedom. [ 185 ] Restrictions are imposed on the public celebration of Shia festivals such as Ashura and on the Shia taking part in communal public worship. [ 186 ]

Women in Saudi society

A Saudi woman wearing a traditional niq?b

The US State department considers that “discrimination against women is a significant problem” in Saudi Arabia and that women have few political or social rights. [ 187 ] After her 2008 visit, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women noted the lack of women's autonomy and the absence of a law criminalizing violence against women. [ 187 ] The World Economic Forum 2010 Global Gender Gap Report ranked Saudi Arabia 129th out of 134 countries for gender parity. [ 188 ]

Every adult woman has to have a close male relative as her "guardian". [ 187 ] As a result, Human Rights Watch has described the position of Saudi women as no different to being a minor , with little authority over their own lives. [ 189 ] The guardian is entitled to make a number of critical decisions on a woman's behalf. [ 189 ] These include giving approval for the woman to travel, to hold some types of business licenses, to study at a university or college and to work if the type of business is not "deemed appropriate for a woman." [ 187 ] Even where a guardian's approval is not legally required, some officials will still ask for it. [ 190 ]

Women also face discrimination in the courts, where the testimony of one man equals that of two women, and in family and inheritance law . [ 187 ] Polygamy is permitted for men, [ 191 ] and men have a unlilateral right to divorce their wives ( talaq ) without needing any legal justification. [ 192 ] A woman can only obtain a divorce with the consent of her husband or judicially if her husband has harmed her. [ 193 ] In practice, it is very difficult for a Saudi woman to obtain a judicial divorce. [ 193 ] With regard to the law of inheritance, the Quran specifies that fixed portions of the deceased's estate must be left to the so-called Qu'ranic heirs . [ 194 ] Generally, female heirs receive half the portion of male heirs. [ 194 ] A Sunni Muslim can bequeath a maximum of a third of his property to non-Qu'ranic heirs. The residue is divided between agnatic heirs. [ 194 ]

Cultural norms impose restrictions on women when in public, [ 187 ] and these are enforced by the religious police, the mutawa . [ 195 ] They include requiring women to sit in separate specially designated family sections in restaurants, to wear an abaya (a loose-fitting, full-length black cloak covering the entire body) and to conceal their hair. [ 187 ] There is also effectively a ban on women driving. [ 196 ]

Female literacy is estimated to be around 70% compared to male literacy of around 85%. [ 197 ] Men can marry girls as young as ten in Saudi Arabia [ 198 ] and, quite apart from the other considerable damage to the children involved, [ 199 ] child marriage is believed to hinder the cause of women's education. The drop-out rate of girls increases around puberty, as they exchange education for marriage. Roughly 25% of college-aged young women do not attend college, and in 2005–2006, women had a 60% dropout rate. [ 200 ]

Leading Saudi feminist and journalist, Wajeha al-Huwaider , has said "Saudi women are weak, no matter how high their status, even the 'pampered' ones among them, because they have no law to protect them from attack by anyone. The oppression of women and the effacement of their selfhood is a flaw affecting most homes in Saudi Arabia." [ 201 ]

Although many Saudis would like more freedom in Saudi Arabia, there is evidence that many women do not want radical change. [ 202 ] Even many advocates of reform reject foreign critics, for "failing to understand the uniqueness of Saudi society." [ 203 ] [ 204 ] A number of Saudi women have risen to the top of some professions or otherwise achieved prominence, for example Dr. Ghada Al-Mutairi, heads a medical research center in California [ 205 ] and Dr. Salwa Al-Hazzaa , head of the ophthalmology department at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh and was the late King Fahad's personal ophthalmologist . [ 206 ]

Educación

Education is free at all levels. The school system is composed of elementary, intermediate, and secondary schools. A large part of the curriculum at all levels is devoted to Islam, and, at the secondary level, students are able to follow either a religious or a technical track. Girls are able to attend school, but fewer girls attend than boys. This disproportion is reflected in the rate of literacy, which exceeds 85 percent among males and is about 70 percent among females. [ 207 ] Classes are segregated by gender. Higher education has expanded rapidly, with large numbers of Universities and colleges being founded particularly since 2000 . Institutions of higher education include the country's first University, King Saud University founded in 1957, the Islamic University at Medina founded in 1961, and the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah founded in 1967. Other colleges and universities emphasize curricula in sciences and technology, military studies, religion, and medicine. Institutes devoted to Islamic studies, in particular, abound. Women typically receive college instruction in segregated institutions. [ 52 ]

The study of Islam dominates the Saudi educational system. In particular, the memorization by rote of large parts of the Qu'ran, its interpretation and understanding ( Tafsir ) and the application of Islamic tradition to everyday life is at the core of the curriculum. Religion taught in this manner is also a compulsory subject for all University students. [ 208 ] As a consequence, Saudi youth "generally lacks the education and technical skills the private sector needs" according to the CIA. [ 197 ] 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. That's not generally what Saudi Arabia's educational system delivers, steeped as it is in rote learning and religious instruction." [ 209 ]

A further criticism of the religious focus of the Saudi education system is the nature of the Wahhabi -controlled curriculum. The Islamic aspect of the Saudi national curriculum was examined in a 2006 report by Freedom House which concluded that "the Saudi public school religious curriculum continues to propagate an ideology of hate toward the “unbeliever,” that is, Christians , Jews , Shiites, Sufis, Sunni Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine, Hindus , atheists and others" [ 210 ] [ 211 ] The Saudi religious studies curriculum is taught outside the Kingdom in madrasah throughout the world. Critics have described the education system as 'medieval' and that its primary goal 'is to maintain the rule of absolute monarchy by casting it as the ordained protector of the faith, and that Islam is at war with other faiths and cultures'. [ 212 ]

The approach taken in the Saudi education system has been accused of encouraging Islamic terrorism , leading to reform efforts. [ 213 ] To tackle the twin problems of encouraging extremism and the inadequacy of the country's university education for a modern economy, the government is aiming to slowly modernise the education system through the 'Tatweer' reform program. [ 213 ] The Tatweer program is reported to have a budget of approximately US$2 billion and focuses on moving teaching away from the traditional Saudi methods of memorization and rote learning towards encouraging students to analyze and problem-solve. It also aims to create an education system which will provide a more secular and vocationally-based training. [ 214 ] [ 209 ]

Cultura

Saudi Arabia is a very conservative country with centuries-old attitudes and traditions, often derived from Arab tribal culture. This conservative tendency has been bolstered by the austerely puritanical Wahhabi form of Islam, which arose in the eighteenth century and now predominates in the country. The many limitations on behaviour and dress are strictly enforced both legally and socially. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited, for example, and there is no theatre or public exhibition of films. Public expression of opinion about domestic political or social matters is discouraged. There are no organizations such as political parties or labour unions to provide public forums.

Daily life is dominated by Islamic observance. Five times each day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques scattered throughout the country. Because Friday is the holiest day for Muslims, the weekend begins on Thursday. [ 52 ] [ 215 ] In accordance with Wahhabi doctrine, only two religious holidays are publicly recognized, ??d al-Fi?r and ??d al-A???. Celebration of other Islamic holidays, such as the Prophet's birthday and ??sh?r?? (an important holiday for Sh??ites), are tolerated only when celebrated locally and on a small scale. Public observance of non-Islamic religious holidays is prohibited, with the exception of September 23, which commemorates the unification of the kingdom. [ 52 ]

Islamic heritage sites

The Kaaba in Mecca overlooked by the Abraj Al Bait Towers hotel complex under construction (for which the historic Ajyad Fortress was demolished).

Saudi Arabia, and specifically the Hejaz , as the cradle of Islam, has many of the most significant historic Muslim sites including the two holiest sites of Mecca and Medina . [ 216 ] One of the King's titles is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques , the two mosques being Masjid al-Haram in Mecca , which contains Islam's most sacred place, the Kaaba , and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina which contains Muhammad's tomb. [ 217 ] [ 218 ]

However, Saudi Wahhabism is hostile to any reverence given to historical or religious places of significance for fear that it may give rise to 'shirk' (that is, idolatry). As a consequence, under Saudi rule, the Hejaz cities have suffered from considerable destruction of their physical heritage and, for example, it has been estimated that about 95% of Mecca's historic buildings, most over a thousand years old, have been demolished. [ 219 ] These include the mosque originally built by Muhammad's daughter Fatima , and other mosques founded by Abu Bakr (Muhammad's father-in-law and the first Caliph ), Umar (the second Caliph ), Ali (Muhammad's son-in-law and the fourth Caliph ), and Salman al-Farsi (another of Muhammad's companions). [ 220 ] Other historic buildings that have been destroyed include the house of Khadijah , the wife of the Prophet, demolished to make way for public lavatories; the house of Abu Bakr , now the site of the local Hilton hotel ; the house of Ali-Oraid, the grandson of the Prophet, and the Mosque of abu-Qubais, now the location of the King's palace in Mecca. [ 221 ]

Critics have described this as "Saudi vandalism" and claim that over the last 50 years 300 historic sites linked to Muhammad, his family or companions have been lost. [ 222 ] It has been reported that there now are fewer than 20 structures remaining in Mecca that date back to the time of Muhammad. [ 221 ]

Dress

Saudi Arabian dress strictly follows the principles of hijab (the Islamic principle of modesty , especially in dress). The predominantly loose and flowing, but covering, garments are suited to Saudi Arabia's desert climate. Traditionally, men usually wear an ankle length shirt woven from wool or cotton (known as a thawb ), with a keffiyeh (a large checkered square of cotton held in place by a cord coil) or a ghutra (a plain white square made of finer cotton, also held in place by a cord coil) worn on the head. For rare chilly days, Saudi men wear a camel -hair cloak ( bisht ) over the top. Women's clothes are decorated with tribal motifs, coins, sequins, metallic thread, and appliques. Women are required to wear an abaya or modest clothing when in public.

Entertainment, the arts, sport and cuisine

During the 1970s, cinemas were numerous in the Kingdom and were not considered un-Islamic, although they were seen as contrary to Arab tribal norms. [ 223 ] 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. However, with King Abdullah's reforms from 2005, some cinemas have re-opened. [ 224 ]

From the 18th century onward, Wahhabi fundamentalism discouraged artistic development inconsistent with its teaching. In addition, Sunni Islamic prohibition of creating representations of people have limited the visual arts, which tend to be dominated by geometric, floral, and abstract designs and by calligraphy. With the advent of oil-wealth in the 20th century came exposure to outside influences, such as Western housing styles, furnishings, and clothes. Music and dance have always been part of Saudi life. Traditional music is generally associated with poetry and is sung collectively. Instruments include the rab?bah, an instrument not unlike a three-string fiddle, and various types of percussion instruments, such as the ?abl (drum) and the ??r (tambourine). Of the native dances, the most popular is a martial line dance known as the ?ar?ah, which includes lines of men, frequently armed with swords or rifles, dancing to the beat of drums and tambourines. Bedouin poetry, known as naba??, is still very popular. [ 52 ]

Censorship has limited the development of Saudi literature, although several Saudi novelists and poets have achieved critical and popular acclaim in the Arab world – albeit generating official hostility in their home country. These include Ghazi Algosaibi , Abdelrahman Munif , Turki al-Hamad and Rajaa al-Sanea . [ 225 ] [ 226 ] [ 227 ]

Football (soccer) is extremely popular, as is scuba diving, windsurfing, and sailing. More traditional sports such as camel racing became more poular in the 1970s. A stadium in Riyadh holds races in the winter. The annual King's Camel Race, begun in 1974, is one of the sport's most important contests and attracts animals and riders from throughout the region. Falconry , another traditional pursuit, is still practiced. [ 52 ]

Cuisine in Saudi Arabia is similar to that of the surrounding Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, and has been heavily influenced by Turkish, Persian, and African food. Islamic dietary laws are enforced: pork is not consumed and other animals are slaughtered in accordance with halal . A dish consisting of a stuffed lamb, known as kh?z? , is the traditional national dish . Kebabs are popular, as is sh?warm? ( shawarma ), a marinated grilled meat dish of lamb, mutton, or chicken. As in the countries of the Gulf, machb?s ( kabsa ), a rice dish with fish or shrimp, is popular. Flat, unleavened bread is a staple of virtually every meal, as is dates and fresh fruit. Coffee, served in the Turkish style , is the traditional beverage. [ 52 ]

Véase también

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