Saudi Arabia Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in Saudi Arabia? Come and learn about this country's geography, history and culture, and find out special fun facts.

Location of Saudi Arabia

What is flat, hot and dry, but oily at the same time? Saudi Arabia, of course! Almost 95% of the entire country is a desert. So, where does the 'oily' part of the riddle come from? The oil is beneath the ground. In fact, Saudi Arabia has close to a quarter of the world's supply of oil. This enormous oil supply has made Saudi Arabia one of the richest countries in the world. Think about it - everyone needs oil, right? Therefore, Saudi Arabia is able to sell their oil to other countries in order to make money.

Saudi Arabia is located in a part of the world known as the Middle East, which is the region between Egypt and Western Asia. Saudi Arabia also has a few large cities. The largest city is the capital of Riyadh (pronounced ree-add) with a population of about 3 million people. Additionally, Saudi Arabia is home to Mecca, the holiest site in the Islam religion, which is the religion of all Saudi Arabians.

The temple in Mecca
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History

Did you know that Saudi Arabia did not become its own country until 1932? However, people have been living there for thousands of years. About 1,500 years ago, it became one of the most important places in the Islamic world when a prophet, or a teacher of religion, named Muhammad began teaching his messages to the city of Mecca. He controlled the entire Arabian Peninsula (which included Saudi Arabia), and the entire region began to practice Islam. After Muhammad passed away, no other person was able to take control, so it was no longer considered to be the center of Islam.

Many years later, in the 1700s, a group of people known as the Saudis led the Wahhabi movement, which focused on bringing traditional Islam back to the Arabian Peninsula. After many years, a man named Ibn Saud became the first king of Saudi Arabia when it became an official country in 1932.

Ibn Saud
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Saudi Arabia has also been involved in terrorism. Out of the 19 terrorists that were involved in the September 11th attacks of the United States, 15 of them came from Saudi Arabia. As a result, Saudi Arabia has had strained relations with the United States.

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