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The Struggle for Power in Arabia: Ibn Saud, Hussein and Great Britain, 1914-1924

The Struggle for Power in Arabia: Ibn Saud, Hussein and Great Britain, 1914-1924 (Hardback)

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In June 1916 outside the Grand Mosque at Mecca, the Arab Revolt was proclaimed by the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein ibn Ali, with Britain's full backing of his authority and leadership. Ten years later, on the very same spot, Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud was inaugurated as the Sultan of Najd and King of the Hijaz. In this book the authority of these two leaders, Hussein of the Hijaz and Ibn Saud of Najd, is examined and related to Britain's role in the region during the Great War. The author argues that foreign intervention may affect the political structure of a country, but cannot for long sustain its leader in power if the leader does not have a supportive political base with its operating machinery. In the setting of Arabia in the early 20th century one key requisite in gaining power was the leader's ability to mobilise the various social groups to work for the interest of the state. Ibn Saud successfully induced his social groups to identify their interests with those of his religio-political state, whereas Hussein alienated his social groups by neglecting his religious role as Sharif and adopting pan-Arabism as his state's ideology.

In the contest for power between these two leaders, Ibn Saud's political strategy triumphed and established him as the master of the whole of Arabia. Drawing on a wealth of documentary sources, Dr Haifa Alangari provides an original comparative study of the struggle for power in Arabia against major political forces that reshaped Arabia and the map of the Middle East.

Haifa Alangari gained her Ph.D. in politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. Though a successful businesswoman living in Jeddah, she devotes part of her time to writing.

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