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TODAY'S SAUDI ARABIA is the third kingdom created by the al-Saud and al-Wahhab families. In the mid-18th century, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad ibn Saud created the first Saudi kingdom. These two joined the sword of ibn Saud to the revival movement taught by al-Wahhab. The first kingdom was destroyed in 1818 by an Egyptian led Ottoman army.

In the mid-19th century, the second Saudi kingdom arose, based as before in central Arabia. It was suppressed by Muhammad ibn Rashid, amir of a Shammar tribe. In 1891, Abd al-Rahman, the head of the al-Saud dynasty, fled Riyadh in the night with his family. In 1902 his son, Abd al-Aziz ibn abd al-Rahman al-Saud, recaptured the city of Riyadh in a daring dawn raid. The young ...

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