ʿAsīr

saudi-arabia-771239

ʿAsīr (Arabic: عسير‎) is a province of Saudi Arabia located in the southwest of the country. It has an area of 81,000 km² and an estimated population of 1,563,000. It shares a short border with Yemen. Its capital is Abha. Other towns include Khamis Mushayt and Qal’at Bishah. The governor of the province is Faysal ibn Khalid (appointed May 16, 2007), a son of the late king of Saudi Arabia, Khalid ibn Abd al-Aziz. He replaced his cousin, Khalid al Faisal who, on the same date, was made governor of Makkah Province.

Medina

Medina (arab. المدينه) – is one of the 13 provinces of Saudi Arabia. Located on the west of the country, with access to the Red Sea.

Education

When the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932, education was not accessible to everyone and limited to individualized instruction at religious schools in mosques in urban areas. These schools taught Islamic law and basic literacy skills. By the end of the century, Saudi Arabia had a nationwide educational system providing free training from preschool through university to all citizens.

The primary education system began in Saudi Arabia in the 1930s. By 1945, King Abdulaziz bin Abdelrahman Al-Saud, the country’s founder, had initiated an extensive program to establish schools in the Kingdom. Six years later, in 1951, the country had 226 schools with 29,887 students. In 1954, the Ministry of Education was established, headed by then Prince Fahd bin Abdulaziz as the first Minister of Education. The first university, now known as King Saud University, was founded in Riyadh in 1957.

Today, Saudi Arabia’s nationwide public educational system comprises twenty universities, more than 24,000 schools, and a large number of colleges and other educational and training institutions. The system provides students with free education, books and health services and is open to every Saudi. Over 25 percent of the annual State budget is for education including vocational training. The Kingdom has also worked on scholarship programs to send students overseas to the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and other nations. Currently thousands of students are being sent to higher-educations programs every year.

Railway

The only rail line runs from the country after Riyadh Al Hofuf on the Arabian Gulf (on the Arabian peninsula should never be made in our common name “Persian Gulf” be used in Iran is opposed to mandatory). It was in the 30s by the English for the former king built and can now be used by anybody. The Riyadh station is very luxurious and well worth a visit. Other rail lines, partly by German firms built, are no longer used. Since 2004, a new rail link planned, the land between the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf will pass through. German companies play an important role. Thus, Siemens for 91 million USD of the essential parts for the signaling and telecommunications of the 1000 km long railway line and create supply. The total investment for this “desert train” is 1.3 billion USD. On the route Jeddah – Riyadjh – Dammam currently informs the website of the Saudi Railways Orginization also in English.

Climate

Extreme heat and aridity are characteristic of most of Saudi Arabia. It is one of the few places in the world where summer temperatures above 50 °C (122 °F) have been recorded], 51.7 °C (124 °F) being the highest ever recorded temperature. In winter, frost or snow can occur in the interior and the higher mountains, although this only occurs once or twice in a decade. Lowest ever recorded temperature is -12.0 °C recorded at Turaif. The average winter temperature range is 8° to 20 °C (47° to 68 °F) in January in interior cities such as Riyadh and 19° to 29 °C (66° to 83 °F) in Jeddah on the Red Sea coast.

The average summer range in July is 27° to 43 °C (81° to 109 °F) in Riyadh and 27° to 38 °C (80° to 100 °F) in Jeddah. Nighttime temperatures in the central deserts can be famously chilly even in summer, as the sand gives up daytime heat rapidly once the sun has set. Annual precipitation is usually sparse (up to 100 mm or 4 inches in most regions), although sudden downpours can lead to violent flash floods in wadis. Annual rainfall in Riyadh averages 100 mm (4 inches) and falls almost exclusively between January and May; the average in Jeddah is 54 mm (2.1 inches) and occurs between November and January.

History

Although the region in which the country stands today has an ancient history, the emergence of the Saudi dynasty began in central Arabia in 1744. That year, Muhammad ibn Saud, the ruler of the town of Ad-Dir’iyyah near Riyadh, joined forces with a cleric, Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, to create a new political entity. This alliance formed in the 18th century remains the basis of Saudi Arabian dynastic rule today. Over the next 150 years, the fortunes of the Saud family rose and fell several times as Saudi rulers contended with Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and other Arabian families for control on the peninsula (see First Saudi State and Second Saudi State). The third and current Saudi state was founded in the early 20th century by King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud (known internationally as Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud).

In 1902 at the age of only 22, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud re-captured Riyadh, the Al-Saud dynasty’s ancestral capital, from the rival Al Rashid family. Continuing his conquests, Abdul Aziz subdued Al-Hasa, Al-Qatif, the rest of Nejd, and Hejaz between 1913 and 1926. On 8 January 1926 Abdul Aziz bin Saud became the King of Hejaz. On 29 January 1927 he took the title King of Nejd (his previous Nejdi title was Sultan). By the Treaty of Jeddah, signed on 20 May 1927, the United Kingdom recognized the independence of Abdul Aziz’s realm, then known as the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz. In 1932, the principal regions of Al-Hasa, Qatif, Nejd and Hejaz were unified to form the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Abdul Aziz’s military and political successes were not mirrored economically until vast reserves of oil were discovered in March 1938. Development programmes, which were delayed due to the onset of the Second World War in 1939, began in earnest in 1946 and by 1949 production was in full swing. Oil has provided Saudi Arabia with economic prosperity and a great deal of leverage in the international community.

Prior to his death in 1953 Abdul Aziz, aware of the difficulties facing other regional absolute rulers reliant on extended family networks, attempted to regulate the succession.

Saud succeeded to the throne on his father’s death in 1953. However, by the early 1960s the Kingdom was in jeopardy due to Saud’s economic mismanagement and failure to deal effectively with a regional challenge from Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. As a consequence Saud was deposed in favour of Faisal in 1964.

Intra-family rivalry was one of the factors that led to the assassination of Faisal by his nephew, Prince Faisal bin Musa’id, in 1975. He was succeeded by King Khalid until 1982 and then by King Fahd. When Fahd died in 2005, his half-brother Abdullah ascended to the throne.

When to Go

The ideal time to visit Saudi Arabia is between November and February when the summer heat is over. Mid-April until October will see you sweltering with high humidity in the coastal regions. It”s appreciably milder in the mountains and around Taif year-round, which makes these places popular summer retreats. The Asir mountains are at their best a bit earlier and a bit later than the rest of the country – during winter they are often locked in fog.

The Kingdom’s Islamic holidays are another important factor in deciding when to go. Unless you’ve no choice, Ramadan is to be avoided at all costs: getting a daytime meal can be difficult, opening hours are kept to a minimum and officials can be decidedly (if understandably) surly. During the haj pilgrimage, most forms of transport and some accommodation are busier than normal and prices increase, although usually only in the Hejaz region.