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Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca) and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam.
The state has a total population of 28.7 million, of which 20 million are Saudi nationals and 8 million are foreigners.
From the 10th century to the early 20th century Mecca and Medina were under the control of a local Arab ruler known as the Sharif of Mecca, but at most times the Sharif owed allegiance to the ruler of one of the major Islamic empires based in Baghdad, Cairo or Istanbul.
Most of the remainder of what became Saudi Arabia reverted to traditional tribal rule.
It originally belonged to the Church of the East, an ancient Nestorian branch of Eastern Christianity in the Middle East. The Dilmun encompassed the east large side of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
One of the earliest inscriptions naming Dilmun is that of King Ur-Nanshe of Lagash (c.
Al-Magar is where the first domestication of animals occurred, particularly the horse, during the Neolithic period.
Jubail Church is a 4th-century church building near Jubail, Eastern Province, discovered in 1986.
In 930, the Qarmatians pillaged Mecca, outraging the Muslim world, particularly with their theft of the Black Stone.2300 BC) discovered in a door-socket: "The ships of Dilmun brought him wood as tribute from foreign lands Thamud is the name of an ancient civilization in the Hejaz known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad.