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Current Map: Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia”

With a population of 32 million, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is known for its close ties with Western economies through its booming oil industry. The Kingdom spans a vast area of 2.24 million square kilometres – making the country the largest nation in the region. 

Mecca, the custodian birthplace of Islam (and Muhammad the prophet), is situated within Saudi Arabia, making it one of the largest destinations for yearly pilgrimages around the world – only Muslims are allowed to enter the city. Saudi Arabia is known for its puritan Sunni Islam governing by a dynasty, not democracy, and is currently led by King Mohammed bin Salman – the current de facto ruler with a dubious role in the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

Alongside immense wealth and capitalist-driven development, Saudi Arabia still holds a poor human rights record, with women's rights and freedom of speech close to non-existent, and death penalties executed in vast numbers. 

One of the darkest, ongoing chapters of Saudi Arabian human rights abuses and war crimes, is the Saudi-led war in Jemen. Airstrikes have killed thousands of civilians at weddings, funerals and on school buses, aided by American-supplied bombs and intelligence.

But a more insidious form of warfare is also being waged in Yemen: an economic war that is causing a far greater toll on civilians and tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions.

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