For 20 years St. John Philby had dreamed of crossing the unknown Empty Quarter. Finally, in1931. King Ibn Sa'ud spoke the longed-for words. He could set out.
New hotels are springing up almost as fast as oil derricks these days, as businessmen and tourists jet into the lands where many say hospitality was first invented.
The Nazzall Family: Five Generations of Arab InnkeepersTwo Big Ones For Saudi Arabia
"Praise be to God, who hath ordained peace to be a blessing to His creatures," began the 1820 treaty between Britain and some Arab tribal chiefs.
The waqf, or charitable endowment, is one of the oldest legal traditions in Islam. The settler may be anyone, the trustee is God, and the beneficiary is mankind.
Artists of the 18th and 19th centuries were fascinated by the Middle East's colorful peoples, its ruins and holy places. A London art collector shares that fascination.
Ghawar, in eastern Saudi Arabia, is the largest known oil field in Aramco's concession area. It also happens to be the largest—and the most productive—in the world.