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Territory in southwestern Asia, ruled since 1932 by the Āl Sa‘ūd family

Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA; Arabic: المملكة العربي السعودية‎ al-Mamlakah al-‘Arabīyah as-Sa‘ūdīyah), is a country in western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of approximately 2,150,000 km², Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East, geographically the fifth-largest in Asia, second-largest in the Arab world after Algeria and 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south. It is separated from Israel and Egypt by the Gulf of Aqaba. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its terrain consists of arid desert, lowland and mountains.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 24° N — Longitude: 45° E

Area: 2,149,690 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: SA

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 4.53, Rank: 157, Personal freedom: 3.02, Economic freedom: 6.64
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 6.95, Rank: 85
Saudi Arabia | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2024
2016: Status: Not Free, Aggregate Score: 10, Political Rights: 7, Civil Liberties: 7
Saudi Arabia confronted a number of domestic and regional challenges in 2015. King Abdullah died in late January and was succeeded by his brother Salman bin Abdulaziz, who began his reign with far-reaching changes to the line of succession and the cabinet that, among other things, empowered younger members of the royal family. Municipal elections held in December were the first in which women were eligible to vote and run for office.


Background of the Middle East Conflict, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, Oct 2003
Historical account of the Middle East and Northern Africa since Napoleon's invasion of Egypt at the end of 18th century to the liberation of Damascus near the end of World War I
Britain needed Arabs to spill their blood against the Turks. ... Arabs yearned for independence from the Turks ... Hussein Ali — the Grand Sherif of Mecca — was the Arab chieftain considered most likely to succeed in a military campaign. Indeed, Hussein and his sons had been planning rebellion for years ... On June 5, 1916, Hussein's sons led a revolt in Medina. Four days later, Sherif Hussein attacked the Turkish garrison at Mecca. One of the leaders of the Arabs was a British officer, Thomas Edward Lawrence ... Lawrence and one of Hussein's sons, Faisal, became fast friends and jointly led the large Arab fighting force.
Related Topics: Europe, Israel, Middle East, World War I
Background of the Middle East Conflict, Part 3, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, Dec 2003
Concludes the historical account of the Middle East from the 1930s to the establishement of Israel in 1948
Meanwhile, America had become entangled in the Middle East despite its isolationist tendencies. For example, in 1933, a joint venture between Standard Oil of California and Texaco received a 66-year oil concession in Saudi Arabia. The company became the Arab American Oil Company, known as Aramco. ... In early 1945, as World War II drew to a close, King Saud of Saudi Arabia met with Roosevelt. The king expressed his concern about the number of European Jews emigrating to Palestine; he suggested, instead, that displaced Jews be given part of Germany. Roosevelt assured King Saud that Arab interests would not be jeopardized.
Related Topics: Israel, Middle East
Iran: It's Not about Nuclear Weapons, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Nov 2013
Examines the 2013 Joint Plan of Action agreement between Iran P5+1 countries and the rationales of the deal's main opponents: the governments of Saudi Arabia and Israel
Look at the leading opponents of the agreement: Israel and Saudi Arabia. They are among the U.S. government's closest allies in the Middle East ... Saudi Arabia, which is well-equipped militarily by the United States, is an Arab Sunni Muslim kingdom. Iran is the large, influential Persian state dominated by the other side in the Islamic schism: Shiism (What Iran calls the Persian Gulf, Arabs call the Arabian Gulf.) ... Saudi Arabia, which enjoys protection under America’s nuclear umbrella, does not want to see Iran back in the good graces of the United States, since it would diminish its prominence in the Middle East.
Related Topics: Iran, Israel, Barack Obama
Mr. Bush's War, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Oct 1990
Starts off as a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the rationale for the Gulf War, but then delves into more serious reasons, including the Saudi, petroleum and Rockefeller connections
[W]hy the U.S. hatred of the cartelist Saddam and its great tenderness and concern for the cartelist Saudis? First, the long-term "friendship" with the "pro-West" despots of the Saud family. This "friendship" has been concretized into Aramco (the Arabian-American Oil Co.), the Rockefeller company that has total control of Saudi Arabian oil ... During the 1970s, Aramco was "nationalized" by Saudi Arabia, a process completed in 1980. But the nationalization was phony, because the same Aramco consortium immediately obtained a contract as a management corporation to run the old, nationalized Aramco.
Related Topics: George H. W. Bush, Iraq, Taxation, War
Trump’s Support and Praise of Despots Is Central to the U.S. Tradition, Not a Deviation From It, by Glenn Greenwald, 2 May 2017
Discusses recent criticism of Donald Trump that claims that his foreign policy towards known dictators and tyrants constitutes a major shift, when in fact that has been standard U.S. policy since at least the end of World War II
Henry Kissinger ... as Greg Grandin documented ... "began the U.S.'s arms-for-petrodollars dependency with Saudi Arabia ..." ... Saudi Arabia, long one of the most repressive regimes on the planet and one of the U.S.'s most cherished allies ... Obama, like Bush before him, repeatedly hosted Saudi despots at the White House. When the monstrous Saudi King died in 2015, Obama terminated his state visit to India in order to fly to Riyadh to pay homage to the close U.S. partner, where he was joined by a bipartisan cast of U.S. political stars ... Obama was not remotely shy about publicly lavishing the Saudi regime with praise.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Saudi Arabia" as of 4 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.