Within the Arab world there are many great resources that have provided the country with a great deal of money. The key resource here is oil. Oil has been something that, upon being discovered, changed forever the path of some key Arab countries. And yet, many of the citizens in these countries continue to live in misery while the country itself brings in a great deal of profit. Much the same as any country which has enjoyed a great deal of economic development and wealth, there are disparities which exist between the classes.
In Saudi Arabia, the discovery of oil has brought with it a great deal of wealth, power, and change, especially for such a new country. Saudi Arabia was not proclaimed a kingdom until 1931. There was no stability in the area at the time which would have made the search for oil a very difficult process. Before 1938 oil had been discovered in Persia but geological information claimed that there was no oil to be found around Saudi Arabia. There was a high demand of roil during the First World War which hindered the ability of many countries to produce the aircraft, engines, and automobile stay needed. And of course, the Great Depression took place in Saudi Arabia during which time pilgrims going to the holy cities were taxed heavily, which brought the number of pilgrims down from 40,000 to 10,000. The economy was greatly hurt and an alternative source of income needed to be found.
It was this need and these three factors combined which caused the king to start search for oil in 1922. Through many companies and partnerships, oil was eventually found in 1932 in Bahrain. Negations began for this area. A subsidiary company was established on the ground and by 1943; the oil companies on the ground were under Saudi control. The search for oil expanded and brought with it a great increase in government revenue for the top tier officials. Pipelines were created to increase transportation and production of oil in the area.
Today the growth of oil money has brought increased changes for women, for social sectors, and for education. These improvements have helped all of the citizens in theory, but the class systems and disparities between the ruling classes and those who are laborers will always remain.
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