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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 and mountains.For much of the 10th century the Isma'ili-Shi'ite Qarmatians were the most powerful force in the Persian Gulf.In 930, the Qarmatians pillaged Mecca, outraging the Muslim world, particularly with their theft of the Black Stone.Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the Al Saud contested control of the interior of what was to become Saudi Arabia with another Arabian ruling family, the Al Rashid.By 1891, the Al Rashid were victorious and the Al Saud were driven into exile in Kuwait.Following the unification of the Hejaz and Nejd kingdoms, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah (a transliteration of المملكة العربية السعودية in Arabic) by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud (Ibn Saud).Although this is normally translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English, The word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, which is a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud (آل سعود).

Jubail Church is a 4th-century church building near Jubail, Eastern Province, discovered in 1986.The Jabrids took control of the region after overthrowing the Jarwanids in the 15th century and clashed with Hormuz for more than 2 decades over the region for its economic revenues, until finally agreeing to pay tribute in 1507.In the 16th century, the Ottomans added the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coast (the Hejaz, Asir and Al-Ahsa) to the Empire and claimed suzerainty over the interior.He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud.Saudi Arabia has since been an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamic lines.

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