IBN SEOUD, unified the fiercely independent Bedouin tribes, to create Saudi Arabia, under the rule of his dynasty. A real world power emerged from the desert, technically modern and strictly ruled under religious prescriptions of “Wahhabism”. He trained a disciplined and indoctrinated army, the “Ikhwans”, to settle the Bedouins as oasis farmers and to replace tribal identities by a national identity. In only one generation, he transformed a millenary lifestyle and started up a bold program to transform the desert. He had no rest until a vast layer of fossil water and huge oil deposits, deeply buried in the sands, were discovered and exploited. Because of Ibn Seoud, the torrid Arabian desert became covered with pipelines and an impressive network of roads, rails and air bases.
Copyright: Alice Labrèque and Jean Routier, Québec, 2018.