Whenever I’m talking to other Arabs and even fellow Saudis about Saudi Arabia, occasionally the question why is Saudi Arabia called Saudi comes up. And of course the question is not asked for a real answer but rather in a condescending manner. As though it somehow hurts our dignity to be called after the person who unified us. My view is so what? It has always been so in the Middle East. Ottoman Empire is actually the name of the ruler who first unified it and before that Al Umwyeen who reached Spain and the list goes on…etc.
King Abdul-aziz al Saud dedicated his life to realize the largest country in the Arabian Gulf and that was before oil and all its riches. To have the country named after him is only natural, especially considering that that was the way it was back then.
Yes there is corruption and yes we have issues as does every other place on Earth. However when you consider the alternative, we could have done a lot worse. We were a people in the middle of a desert in which even the Turks were not interested, let alone Western colonist who at that time were grabbing land left and right. The majority was illiterate and each region was ruled by a different family. And then in 1902 came along King Abdulaziz who had a vision of a country that he fought for and eventually won in 1932. And that makes this September Saudi Arabia’s 77th birthday. For a 77 year old we have come a long way. In 77 years we have turned this desert into a beautiful and modern country. And that is an accomplishment that I’m proud of.
And if you are one of the run of the mill Saudi-bashers, please respect this occasion and refrain from commenting.