by Morley Evans
SAUDI ARABIA BECAME IMPORTANT when oil started being developed in 1950. (I was three years old then.) Before that, Arabia was a worthless sandbox. It was not part of the Ottoman Empire. They didn't want it. Sharif Hussein bin Ali fought with the British in WW I, supporting General Allenby in Cairo and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) in Sinai and the Levant. Unlike the movie, which does not differentiate, the Arabians in Nejd were not fighting for their independence. They were already independent. The Arabians in Hejaz were fighting for Sharif Hussein bin Ali who proclaimed himself king of Hejaz at the end of WW I. Hashemites became the kings of Jordan and Iraq when those were created by the British after WW I. The Saudis still had little power at the time. Ibn Saud, the chief rival for the rule of Arabia, annexed Hejaz in 1925. (Hejaz borders the eastern shore of the Red Sea. Mecca and Medina are located in Hejaz.)
Some essential background is in order. What we have today is the Third Saudi kingdom — founded by Ibn Saud in 1902, keeping the same, previous [ob]noxious alliance with troglodyte Wahhabi clerics. Ibn Saud only ruled Najd in the beginning; then, in 1913, he annexed Shi’ite Eastern Arabia (that’s where the oil is), and up to 1926 Hejaz, on the Red Sea coast. A “United” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed only in 1932.
In case you missed it, Saudi oil started being developed in 1950!
Everyone confuses money with wisdom. They tell themselves, "He's rich so he must be smart. Smarter than I am, at least. He's richer than I ever will be."