Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon
The Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon was a League of Nations mandate founded after the First World War and the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire concerning Syria and Lebanon. The mandate system was supposed to differ from colonialism, with the governing country acting as a trustee until the inhabitants would be able to stand on their own. At that point, the mandate would terminate and an independent state would be born. During the two years that followed the end of the war in 1918—and in accordance with the Sykes-Picot Agreement signed by Britain and France during the war—the British held control of most of Ottoman Mesopotamia and the southern part of Ottoman Syria, while the French controlled the rest of Ottoman Syria, Lebanon and other portions of southeastern Turkey. In the early 1920s, British and French control of these territories became formalized by the League of Nations' mandate system, on 29 September 1923 France was assigned the League of Nations mandate of Syria, which included the territory of present-day Lebanon and Alexandretta in addition to Syria proper.
The administration of the region under the French was carried out through a number of different governments and territories, including the Syrian Federation, the State of Syria and the Syrian Republic, as well as smaller states: the State of Greater Lebanon, the Alawite State and Jabal Druze State. Hatay was annexed by Turkey in 1939; the French mandate lasted until 1943, when two independent countries emerged and Lebanon. French troops left Syria and Lebanon in 1946. With the defeat of the Ottomans in Syria, British troops, under General Sir Edmund Allenby, entered Damascus in 1918 accompanied by troops of the Arab Revolt led by Faisal, son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca. Faisal established the first new postwar Arab government in Damascus in October 1918, named Ali Rida Pasha ar-Rikabi a military governor; the new Arab administration formed local governments in the major Syrian cities, the pan-Arab flag was raised all over Syria. The Arabs hoped, with faith in earlier British promises, that the new Arab state would include all the Arab lands stretching from Aleppo in northern Syria to Aden in southern Yemen.
However, in accordance with the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement between Britain and France, General Allenby assigned to the Arab administration only the interior regions of Syria. Palestine was reserved for the British. On 8 October, French troops disembarked in Beirut and occupied the Lebanese coastal region south to Naqoura, replacing British troops there; the French dissolved the local Arab governments in the region. France demanded full implementation of the Sykes–Picot Agreement, with Syria under its control. On 26 November 1919, British forces withdrew from Damascus to avoid confrontation with the French, leaving the Arab government to face France. Faisal had travelled several times to Europe, since November 1918, trying to convince France and Britain to change their positions, but without success. France's determination to intervene in Syria was shown by the naming of General Henri Gouraud as high commissioner in Syria and Cilicia. At the Paris Peace Conference, Faisal found himself in an weaker position when the European powers decided to ignore the Arab demands.
In May 1919, elections were held for the Syrian National Congress. 80% of seats went to conservatives. However, the minority included dynamic Arab nationalist figures such as Jamil Mardam Bey, Shukri al-Kuwatli, Ahmad al-Qadri, Ibrahim Hanano, Riyad as-Solh; the head was moderate nationalist Hashim al-Atassi. In June 1919, the American King–Crane Commission arrived in Syria to inquire into local public opinion about the future of the country; the commission's remit extended from Aleppo to Beersheba. They visited 36 major cities, met with more than 2,000 delegations from more than 300 villages, received more than 3,000 petitions, their conclusions confirmed the opposition of Syrians to the mandate in their country as well as to the Balfour Declaration, their demand for a unified Greater Syria encompassing Palestine. The conclusions of the commission were ignored by Britain. Unrest erupted in Syria when Faisal accepted a compromise with French Prime Minister Clemenceau and Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann over the issue of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Anti-Hashemite demonstrations broke out, Muslim inhabitants in and around Mount Lebanon revolted in fear of being incorporated into a new Christian, state of Greater Lebanon. A part of France's claim to these territories in the Levant was that France was a protector of the minority Christian communities. In March 1920, the Congress in Damascus adopted a resolution rejecting the Faisal-Clemenceau accords; the congress declared the independence of Syria in her natural borders, proclaimed Faisal the king of all Arabs. Faisal invited Ali Rida al-Rikabi to form a government; the congress proclaimed political and economic union with neighboring Iraq and demanded its independence as well. On 25 April, the supreme inter-Allied council, formulating the Treaty of Sèvres, granted France the mandate of Syria, granted Britain the Mandate of Palestine, Iraq. Syrians reacted with violent demonstrations, a new government headed by Hashim al-Atassi was formed on 7 May 1920; the new government began forming an army.
These decisions provoked adverse reactions by Franc
The Lebanese people are the people inhabiting or originating from Lebanon. The term may include those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state; the religious groups among the Lebanese people are Shias, Maronites, Greek Orthodox, Druze, Protestants. There is a large diaspora in North America, South America, Europe and Africa; as the relative proportion of the various sects is politically sensitive, Lebanon has not collected official census data on ethnic background since the 1932 under the French Mandate. It is therefore difficult to have an exact demographic analysis of Lebanese society; the largest concentration of people of Lebanese ancestry may be in Brazil having an estimated population of 5.8 to 7 million, but it may be an exaggeration, given that an official survey conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics showed that less than 1 million Brazilians claimed any Middle-Eastern origin. The Lebanese have always traveled the world, many of them settling permanently, most notably in the last two centuries.
Reduced in numbers and estimated to have lost their status as a majority in Lebanon itself as a result of their emigration, Christians still remain one of the principal religious groups in the country. Descendants of Lebanese Christians make up the majority of Lebanese people worldwide, appearing principally in the diaspora; the people residing in Lebanon—both those who would become Muslim and the vast majority who would remain Christian, along with the tiny Jewish minority—still spoke Aramaic, or more a Western Aramaic language. However, since at least the 15th century, the majority of people of all faiths living in what is now Lebanon have been Arabic-speaking, or more speakers of Lebanese Arabic, although up until the 17th century, travellers in the Lebanon still reported on several Aramaic-speaking villages. Among the Lebanese Maronites, Aramaic still remains the liturgical language of the Maronite Church, although in an Eastern Aramaic form, distinct from the spoken Aramaic of Lebanon, a Western Aramaic language.
As the second of two liturgical languages of Judaism, Aramaic was retained as a language in the sphere of religion among Lebanese Jews, although here too in an Eastern Aramaic form. Among Lebanese Muslims, Aramaic was lost twice, once in the shift to Arabic in the vernacular and again in the religious sphere, since Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam; some Lebanese Christians Maronites, identify themselves as Lebanese rather than Arab, seeking to draw "on the Phoenician past to try to forge an identity separate from the prevailing Arab culture". They argue that Arabization represented a shift to the Arabic language as the vernacular of the Lebanese people, that, according to them, no actual shift of ethnic identity, much less ancestral origins, occurred. With their own histories and lore, that therefore they do not belong to the one pan-Arab ethnicity, thus such categorisation is erred or inapplicable. Certain portions of Lebanon's Christian population in particular tend to stress aspects of Lebanon's non-Arab prior history to encompass all Lebanon's historical stages, instead of considering the beginning of Lebanese history being with the Arab conquests.
In light of this "old controversy about identity", some Lebanese prefer to see Lebanon, Lebanese culture and themselves as part of "Mediterranean" and "Levantine" civilization, in a concession to Lebanon's various layers of heritage, both indigenous, foreign non-Arab, Arab. The total population of Lebanese people is estimated at 13-18 million. Of these, the vast majority, or 8.6 - 14 million, are in the Lebanese diaspora, 4.7 million in Lebanon itself. There are 4.7 million Lebanese citizens in Lebanon. In addition to this figure, there are an additional 1 million foreign workers, about 470,000 Palestinian refugees in the nation. Lebanon is a home to various ethnic minorities found refuge in the country over the centuries. Prominent ethnic minorities in the country include the Armenians, the Kurds, the Turks, the Assyrians, the Iranians and many European ethnicities. There are a small number of nomadic Dom Gypsies The Lebanese diaspora consists of 8.6 - 14 million, both Lebanese-born living abroad and those born-abroad of Lebanese descent.
The majority of the Lebanese in the diaspora are Christians, disproportionately so in the Americas where the vast majority reside. An estimate figure show. Lebanese abroad are considered "rich and influential" and over the course of time immigration has yielded Lebanese "commercial networks" throughout the world; the largest number of Lebanese is to be found in Brazil, where according to the Brazilian and Lebanese governments claim, there are 7 million Brazilians of Lebanese descent. These figures, may be an exaggeration given that, according to a 2008 survey conducted by IBGE, in 2008, covering only the states of Amazonas, Paraíba, São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso and Distrito Federal, 0.9% of white Brazilian respondents said they had family origins in the Middle EastLarge numbers reside elsewhere in North America, most notably
Riad Al Solh
Riad Al Solh was the first prime minister of Lebanon after the country's independence. Riad Al Solh written Riad el Solh or Riad Solh, was born in Sidon, south Lebanon, in 1894, his family was a prominent Sunni land-owning family from Sidon. His father, Reda Al Solh, was a reformist sub-governor in Nabatiyyah and in Saida and a leading nationalist Arab leader. In 1915 Reda Al Solh went into exile in Smyrna, Ottoman Empire, he served as an Ottoman governor in Salonica. He served as Minister of the Interior in Emir Faisal’s government in Damascus. Riad Al Solh studied law and political science at the University of Paris, he spent most of his youth in Istanbul. Solh served as prime minister of Lebanon twice, his first term was just after the Lebanon's independence. Solh was chosen by president Bishara Al Khouri to be his first Prime Minister. Solh and Khouri achieved and implemented the National Pact in November 1943 that provided an official framework to accommodate the confessional differences in Lebanon.
The National Pact was an unwritten gentleman's agreement. The Pact stated that president, prime minister and Speaker of the Parliament in Lebanon should be allocated to three major confessional groups based on the 1932 census, namely the Maronite Christians, the Sunni Muslims and the Shiite Muslims, respectively. During his first term, Solh served as the minister of supplies and reserves from 3 July 1944 to 9 January 1945. Solh held premiership again from 14 December 1946 to 14 February 1951 again under the presidency of Bishara Al Khouri. Solh was critical of King Abdullah and played a significant role in granting the blessing of the Arab League's political committee to the All-Palestine Government during his second term. Solh escaped unhurt from an assassination attempt in March 1950, it was perpetrated by a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. However, several months after leaving office, he was gunned down on 17 July 1951 at Marka Airport in Amman by members of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
The attack was perpetrated by three gunmen, who killed him in revenge for the execution of Anton Saadeh, one of the party's founding leaders. In the context of 1950s Mideast politics, assassinations were common, he secretly converted to Shia Islam since, compared to Sunni Islam, its inheritance laws meant that his daughters, his only children, could inherit a greater share of his wealth. Al Solh was married to Fayza Al Jabiri, the sister of two-time prime minister of Syria, Saadallah al-Jabiri, they had five daughters and a son, who died in infancy. His eldest daughter, continued in her father's path in the struggle for a free and secure Lebanon. Aliya propagated the rich cultural heritage of Lebanon abroad until her death in Paris. Lamia Al Solh is married to the late Prince Moulay Abdallah of King Mohammed VI's uncle, her children are Moulay Ismail and a daughter Lalla Zineb. Mona Al Solh was married to the Saudi Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, she is the mother of the Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, Prince Khalid bin Talal and Princess Reema bint Talal.
Bahija Al Solh Assad is married to Said Al Assad, the former Lebanese ambassador to Switzerland and a former member of parliament. They have two daughters, his youngest daughter, Leila Al Solh Hamade, was appointed as one of the first two female ministers in Omar Karami's government. Patrick Seale's book The Struggle for Arab Independence deals with the history of the Middle East from the final years of the Ottoman Empire up to the 1950s and focuses on the influential career and personality of Solh. A square in downtown Beirut, Riad al-Solh Square, was named after him
Muslim conquest of the Levant
The Muslim conquest of the Levant known as the Arab conquest of the Levant occurred in the first half of the 7th century, refers to the conquest of the region known as the Levant or Shaam to become the Islamic Province of Bilad al-Sham, as part of the Islamic conquests. Arab Muslim forces had appeared on the southern borders before the death of prophet Muhammad in 632, resulting in the Battle of Mu'tah in 629, but the real invasion began in 634 under his successors, the Rashidun Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab, with Khalid ibn al-Walid as their most important military leader. Syria had been under Roman rule for seven centuries prior to the Arab Muslim conquest and had been invaded by the Sassanid Persians on a number of occasions during the 3rd, 6th and 7th centuries. During the Roman period, beginning after the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70, the entire region was renamed Palaestina, subdivided into Diocese I and II; the Romans renamed an area of land including the Negev and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III or Palaestina Tertia.
Part of the area was ruled by the Arab vassal state of the Ghassanids' symmachos. During the last of the Roman-Persian Wars, beginning in 603, the Persians under Khosrau II had succeeded in occupying Syria and Egypt for over a decade before being forced by the victories of Heraclius to conclude the peace of 628. Thus, on the eve of the Muslim conquests the Romans were still in the process of rebuilding their authority in these territories, which in some areas had been lost to them for twenty years. Politically, the Syrian region consisted of two provinces: Syria proper stretched from Antioch and Aleppo in the north to the top of the Dead Sea. To the west and south of the Dead Sea lay the province of Palestine. Syria was a Syriac and Hellenized land with some Jewish presence and with a Arab population in its eastern and southern parts; the Syriac Christians and Arabs had been there since pre-Roman times, some had embraced Christianity since Constantine I legalized it in the fourth century and moved the capital from Italy to Byzantium, from which the name Byzantine is derived.
The Arabs of Syria were people of no consequence until the migration of the powerful Ghassan tribe from Yemen to Syria, who thereafter ruled a semi-autonomous state with their own king under the Romans. The Ghassan Dynasty became one of the honoured princely dynasties of the Empire, with the Ghassan king ruling over the Arabs in Jordan and Southern Syria from his capital at Bosra; the last of the Ghassan kings, who ruled at the time of the Muslim invasion, was Jabla bin Al Aiham. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, after re-capturing Syria from the Sassanians, set up new defense lines from Gaza to the south end of the Dead Sea; these lines were only designed to protect communications from bandits, the bulk of the Byzantine defenses were concentrated in Northern Syria facing the traditional foes, the Sassanid Persians. The drawback of this defense line was that it enabled the Muslims, advancing from the desert in the south, to reach as far north as Gaza before meeting regular Byzantine troops; the 7th century was a time of rapid military change in the Byzantine Empire.
The empire was not in a state of collapse when it faced the new challenge from Arabia after being exhausted by recent Roman–Persian Wars, but utterly failed to tackle the challenge effectively. Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was appointed Caliph and political successor at Medina. Soon after Abu Bakr's succession, several Arab tribes revolted against him in the Ridda wars; the Campaign of the Apostasy was completed during the eleventh year of the Hijri. The year 12 Hijri dawned, on 18 March 633, with Arabia united under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina. Whether Abu Bakr intended a full-out imperial conquest or not is hard to say. After successful campaigns against the Sassanids and the ensuing conquest of Iraq, Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq. While engaged with Sassanid forces, he confronted the Ghassanids, Arab clients of the Byzantines. Medina soon recruited tribal contingents from all over the Arabian peninsula. Only those who had rebelled during the Ridda wars were excluded from the summons and remained excluded from Rashidun armies until 636, when Caliph Umar fell short of manpower for the Battle of Yarmouk and the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah.
The tradition of raising armies from tribal contingents remained in use until 636, when Caliph Umar organised the army as a state department. Abu Bakr organised the army into each with its own commander and objective. Amr ibn al-A'as: Objective Palestine. Move on Elat route across Valley of Arabah. Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan: Objective Damascus. Move on Tabuk route. Shurahbil ibn Hasana: Objective Jordan. Move on Tabuk route after Yazid. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: Objective Emesa. Move on Tabuk route after Shurahbil. Not knowing the precise position of the Byzantine army, Abu Bakr ordered that all corps should remain in touch with each other so that they could render assist
Phoenicia was a thalassocratic, ancient Semitic-speaking Mediterranean civilization that originated in the Levant Lebanon, in the west of the Fertile Crescent. Scholars agree that it was centered on the coastal areas of Lebanon and included northern Israel, southern Syria reaching as far north as Arwad, but there is some dispute as to how far south it went, the furthest suggested area being Ashkelon, its colonies reached the Western Mediterranean, such as Cádiz in Spain and most notably Carthage in North Africa, the Atlantic Ocean. The civilization spread across the Mediterranean between 1500 BC and 300 BC. Phoenicia is an ancient Greek term used to refer to the major export of the region, cloth dyed Tyrian purple from the Murex mollusc, referred to the major Canaanite port towns, their civilization was organized in city-states, similar to those of ancient Greece, centered in modern Lebanon, of which the most notable cities were Tyre, Arwad, Berytus and Carthage. Each city-state was a politically independent unit, it is uncertain to what extent the Phoenicians viewed themselves as a single nationality.
In terms of archaeology, language and religion there was little to set the Phoenicians apart as markedly different from other residents of the Levant, such as their close relatives and neighbors, the Israelites. Around 1050 BC, a Phoenician alphabet was used for the writing of Phoenician, it became one of the most used writing systems, spread by Phoenician merchants across the Mediterranean world, where it evolved and was assimilated by many other cultures, including the Roman alphabet used by Western civilization today. The name Phoenicians, like Latin Poenī, comes from Greek Φοίνικες; the word φοῖνιξ phoînix meant variably "Phoenician person", "Tyrian purple, crimson" or "date palm" and is attested with all three meanings in Homer. The word may be derived from φοινός phoinós "blood-red", itself related to φόνος phónos "murder", it is difficult to ascertain which meaning came first, but it is understandable how Greeks may have associated the crimson or purple color of dates and dye with the merchants who traded both products.
Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a pre-Greek origin of the ethnonym; the oldest attested form of the word in Greek may be the Mycenaean po-ni-ki-jo, po-ni-ki borrowed from Ancient Egyptian: fnḫw, although this derivation is disputed. The folk etymological association of Φοινίκη with φοῖνιξ mirrors that in Akkadian, which tied kinaḫni, kinaḫḫi "Canaan" to kinaḫḫu "red-dyed wool"; the land was natively known as its people as the knʿny. In the Amarna letters of the 14th century BC, people from the region called themselves Kenaani or Kinaani, in modern English understood as/equivalent to Canaanite. Much in the sixth century BC, Hecataeus of Miletus writes that Phoenicia was called χνα khna, a name that Philo of Byblos adopted into his mythology as his eponym for the Phoenicians: "Khna, afterwards called Phoinix"; the ethnonym survived in North Africa until the fourth century AD. Herodotus's account refers to the myths of Europa. According to the Persians best informed in history, the Phoenicians began the quarrel.
These people, who had dwelt on the shores of the Erythraean Sea, having migrated to the Mediterranean and settled in the parts which they now inhabit, began at once, they say, to adventure on long voyages, freighting their vessels with the wares of Egypt and Assyria... The Greek historian Strabo believed. Herodotus believed that the homeland of the Phoenicians was Bahrain; this theory was accepted by the 19th-century German classicist Arnold Heeren who said that: "In the Greek geographers, for instance, we read of two islands, named Tyrus or Tylos, Aradus, which boasted that they were the mother country of the Phoenicians, exhibited relics of Phoenician temples." The people of Tyre in South Lebanon in particular have long maintained Persian Gulf origins, the similarity in the words "Tylos" and "Tyre" has been commented upon. The Dilmun civilization thrived in Bahrain during the period 2200–1600 BC, as shown by excavations of settlements and Dilmun burial mounds. However, some claim there is little evidence of occupation at all in Bahrain during the time when such migration had taken place.
Canaanite culture developed in situ from the earlier Ghassulian chalcolithic culture. Ghassulian itself developed from the Circum-Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex, which in turn developed from a fusion of their ancestral Natufian and Harifian cultures with Pre-Pottery Neolithic B farming cultures, practicing the domestication of animals, during the 6200 BC climatic crisis which led to the Neolithic Revolution in the Levant. Byblos is attested as an archaeological site from the Early Bronze Age; the Late Bronze Age state of Ugarit is considered quintessentially Canaanite archaeologically though the Ugaritic language does not belong to the Canaanite languages proper. The Canaanite-Phoenician alphabet consists of all consonants. Starting around 1050 BC, this script was used for the writing of Phoenician, a Northern Semitic language, it is believed to be one of the ancestors of modern alphabets. B
Saudi Arabia the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of 2,150,000 km2, Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second-largest in the Arab world, the fifth-largest in Asia, the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south, it is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, most of its terrain consists of arid desert and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia enjoys one of the world's youngest populations; the territory that now constitutes Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations. The prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world.
The world's second-largest religion, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of Arabia and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia and Europe; the area of modern-day Saudi Arabia consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz and parts of Eastern Arabia and Southern Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud, 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 a totalitarian absolute monarchy a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines.
The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam; the state's official language is Arabic. Petroleum was discovered on 3 March 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia has since become the world's second largest oil producer and the world's largest largest oil exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves; the kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human Development Index and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies. The state has attracted criticism for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to: its archaic treatment of women, its excessive and extrajudicial use of capital punishment, state-sponsored discrimination against religious minorities and atheists, its role in the Yemeni Civil War, sponsorship of Islamic terrorists, its strict interpretation of Sharia Law.
An autocratic monarchy, the kingdom has the world's third-highest military expenditure and, according to SIPRI, was the world's second largest arms importer from 2010 to 2014. Saudi Arabia is considered a middle power. In addition to the GCC, it is an active member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and OPEC. Following the unification of the Hejaz and Nejd kingdoms, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud. Although this is translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English, it means "the Saudi Arab kingdom", or "the Arab Saudi Kingdom"; the word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud. Its inclusion expresses the view. Al Saud is an Arabic name formed by adding the word Al, meaning "family of" or "House of", to the personal name of an ancestor.
In the case of the Al Saud, this is the father of the dynasty's 18th-century founder, Muhammad bin Saud. There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 125,000 years ago, it is now believed that the first modern humans to spread east across Asia left Africa about 75,000 years ago across the Bab-el-Mandeb connecting the Horn of Africa and Arabia. The Arabian peninsula is regarded as a central figure in our understanding of hominin evolution and dispersals. Arabia underwent an extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary that led to profound evolutionary and demographic changes. Arabia has a rich Lower Paleolithic record, the quantity of Oldwan-like sites in the region indicate a significant role that Arabia had played in the early hominin colonization of Eurasia. In the Neolithic period, prominent cultures such as al-Magar whose epicenter lay in mod
Sidon, known locally as Sayda, is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate. Tyre to the south and Lebanese capital Beirut to the north are both about 40 kilometres away. Sidon has a population of about 80,000 within city limits, while its metropolitan area has more than a quarter-million inhabitants; the Phoenician name Ṣīdūn meant "fishery" or "fishing town". It appears in Syriac as Ṣidon; this was hellenized as Sidṓn, Latinized as Sidon. The name appears in Classical Arabic as Ṣaydūn and in Modern Arabic as Ṣaydā; as a Roman colony, it was notionally refounded and given the formal name Colonia Aurelia Pia Sidon to honor its imperial sponsor. In the Book of Genesis, Sidon was the first-born son of Canaan, a son of Ham, thereby making Sidon a great-grandson of Noah. Sidon has been inhabited since early in prehistory; the archaeological site of Sidon II shows a lithic assemblage dating to the Acheulean, whilst finds at Sidon III include a Heavy Neolithic assemblage suggested to date just prior to the invention of pottery.
It was one of the most important Phoenician cities, it may have been the oldest. From there and other ports a great Mediterranean commercial empire was founded. Homer praised the skill of its craftsmen in producing glass, purple dyes, its women's skill at the art of embroidery, it was from here that a colonizing party went to found the city of Tyre. Tyre grew into a great city, in subsequent years there was competition between the two, each claiming to be the metropolis of Phoenicia. Glass manufacturing, Sidon's most important enterprise in the Phoenician era, was conducted on a vast scale, the production of purple dye was as important; the small shell of the Murex trunculus was broken in order to extract the pigment, so rare it became the mark of royalty. In AD 1855, the sarcophagus of King Eshmun’azar II was discovered. From a Phoenician inscription on its lid, it appears that he was a "king of the Sidonians," in the 5th century BC, that his mother was a priestess of ‘Ashtart, "the goddess of the Sidonians."
In this inscription the gods Eshmun and Ba‘al Sidon'Lord of Sidon' are mentioned as chief gods of the Sidonians. ‘Ashtart is entitled ‘Ashtart-Shem-Ba‘al'‘Ashtart the name of the Lord', a title found in an Ugaritic text. In the years before Christianity, Sidon had many conquerors: Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians and Romans. Herod the Great visited Sidon. Both Jesus and Saint Paul are said to have visited it, too; the city was conquered by the Arabs and by the Ottoman Turks. Like other Phoenician city-states, Sidon suffered from a succession of conquerors. At the end of the Persian era in 351 BC, it was invaded by the emperor Artaxerxes III and by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, when the Hellenistic era of Sidon began. Under the successors of Alexander, it enjoyed relative autonomy and organized games and competitions in which the greatest athletes of the region participated. In the Necropolis of Sidon, important finds such as the Alexander Sarcophagus, the Lycian tomb and the Sarcophagus of the Crying Women were discovered, which are now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul.
When Sidon fell under Roman domination, it continued to mint its own silver coins. The Romans built a theater and other major monuments in the city. In the reign of Elagabalus, a Roman colony was established there. During the Byzantine period, when the great earthquake of AD 551 destroyed most of the cities of Phoenice, Beirut's School of Law took refuge in Sidon; the town continued for the next century, until it was conquered by the Arabs in AD 636. On 4 December 1110 Sidon was captured, a decade after the First Crusade, by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem and King Sigurd I of Norway, it became the centre of the Lordship of Sidon, an important lordship in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Saladin captured it from the Crusaders in 1187, but German Crusaders restored it to Christian control in the Crusade of 1197, it would remain an important Crusader stronghold until it was destroyed by the Saracens in 1249. In 1260 it was again destroyed by the Mongols; the remains of the original walls are still visible. After Sidon came under Ottoman Turkish rule in the early 16th century, it became the capital of the Sidon Eyalet and regained a great deal of its earlier commercial importance.
During the Egyptian–Ottoman War, Sidon - like much of Ottoman Syria - was occupied by the forces of Muhammad Ali of Egypt. His ambitions were opposed by the British Empire; the British Admiral Charles Napier, commanding a mixed squadron of British and Austrian ships, bombarded Sidon on September 26, 1840, landed with the storming column. Sidon capitulated in two days, the British went on to Acre; this action was recalled in two Royal Navy vessels being named "HMS Sidon". After World War I it became part of the French Mandate of Lebanon. During World War II the city, together with the rest of Lebanon, was captured by British forces fighting against the Vichy French, following the war it became a major city of independent Lebanon. Following the Palestinian exodus in 1948, a considerable number of Palestinian refugees arrived in Sidon, as in other Lebanese cities, were settled at the large refugee camps of Ein el-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh. At first these consisted of enormous rows of tents, but houses were constructed.
The refugee camps constituted de facto neighborhoods of Sidon, but had a separate legal