ENGLISH IN SAUDI ARABIA
Royal Family and Government
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storming of Masmak Fortress by Abdul Aziz in 1902 to regain control of Riyadh
marks the beginning of modern Saudi history.
Kingdom and the Monarchy
Saudi Arabia officially came into being in 1932 as a result of the successful
efforts of the charismatic King Abdul Aziz, to unify tribes and territory throughout
much of the Arabian Peninsula. The Kingdom's name comes from Abdul Aziz's family
Saudi Arabia is ruled by a king, the line of succession is different from in the
West. All kings up till now have been sons of King Abdul Aziz, rather than the
crown passing from father to son to grandson.
official government emblem is the palm tree and two crossed swords. The former
symbolizes vitality, growth, and prosperity, and the latter strength and justice.
This emblem is also used by members of the Royal Family, whether or not they hold
Arabia's green flag has the Arabic text: "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed
is His messenger" over a single horizontal sword.
and the Government
is an integral part of the Saudi system of government, and the King is both a
religious and a secular leader.
system has produced stability in a region which has a history of political volatility.
King is also Prime Minister and appoints the Crown Prince who serves as Deputy
Council of Ministers
1953, the Council of Ministers was formed to cope with the problems of rapid modernization
as well as tribal and regional differences.
Council has both legislative and executive powers and is headed by the King. It
includes the Deputy Prime Minister (the Crown Prince) and the heads of each of
the 21 ministries, plus ministers without portfolio and specially appointed advisors.
serve an initial four-year term, but the King can grant four-year extensions by
Council of Ministers is, in effect, the government. Only resolutions passed by
a majority vote are binding. In the event of a tie, the King casts the deciding
citizens have the right to petition the King and government officials directly
and expect that appropriate action will be taken.
The Majlis Al-Shoura (Consultative Council)
majlis is an assembly of male relatives and associates, a classic Arab tradition,
providing advice to the ruling family.
This traditional method of governing was restructured by King Fahd, and the Majlis
Al-Shoura was inaugurated in 1993. The Consultative Council's primary purpose
is to advise the King. Groups set up by the Council sit regularly to study questions
relating to politics, economics, education, etc.
Council President and 60 members are selected for a four-year period by the King
from a cross-section of citizens throughout the country, including businessmen,
educators, former government officials and professional people.
Arabia is divided into 13 provinces, each of which is administrated by a Governor
(Amir) and regional officers.
advisory councils with 20 members appointed by the King are headed by a governor
and include at least 10 private citizens with special areas of expertise.
are various subcommittees and reports from provincial councils go to the Ministry
of Interior which then passes them to appropriate agencies for action.
Arabia's Provinces and their Capitals
| Riyadh Province
| Makkah Province||Makkah|
| Madinah Province
| Al Qasim||Buraida|
| Eastern Province||Dammam|
| Asir Province||Abha|
| Tabuk Province||Tabuk|
| Hail Province||Hail|
| Northern Border
| Jizan Province||Jizan|
| Najran Province||Najran|
| Al-Baha Province||Al-Baha|
| Al-Jouf Province||Sakakah|
- Ministry of Agriculture
of Defence and Aviation
of Haj (the pilgrimage)
of Higher Education
of Housing and Public Works
of Industry and Electricity
of Islamic Affairs
of Finance and National Economy
of Foreign Affairs
of Labour and Social Affairs
of Municipalities and Rural Affairs
of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
of Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones
of Women's Education
of Youth Welfare