World: The House of Saud: Solidarity Forever

It is the world's largest royal family. It includes an estimated 5,000 princes, and its female members are, quite literally, uncounted. More than a clan, less than a tribe, the House of Saud has a solidarity that accounts in large measure for Saudi Arabia's political stability today.

The ruling family dates back to the 18th century, when the head of the tiny emirate of Dariyah (near Riyadh), Mohammed ibn Saud, formed an alliance with Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, the fiery leader of a puritanical Islamic movement; his Wahhabi sect still holds sway in Saudi...

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