The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula. It shares borders with seven Arab nations: Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait to the north, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to the east, and Yemen and Oman to the south. Much of the country has a desert climate, averaging less than a few inches of percipitation per year, and temperatures often reach well above 100[degrees]F. Despite its parched landscape, Saudi Arabia is a key provider of one of the world's most important commodities.Just four years after Ibn Saud unified Saudi Arabia in 1932, the country's first productive oil well was established. Since that time, Saudi Arabia has become the world's leading petroleum producer and exporter. In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been thrust into the limelight by allowing Western and Arab nations to use the country to deploy their forces during the First Gulf War in 1991 and by being a place where the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda established a base for its operations.
Publisher: Chelsea House Publishers