world. However, it has a surprising amount of power around the Arab world due to its exportation of natural gas and oil, particularly liquefied natural gas. Qatar is also home to the Al Jazeera Media Network, the region’s largest and most influential network. It was a significant factor in the Arab Spring rebellions, during which many Arab nations cut ties with Qatar. The People of Arabia People across the Arabian Peninsula are primarily Muslim (93% in Saudi Arabia, 70.3% in Bahrain, and 66.5% in Qatar). Each nation discussed in this chapter follows a relatively strict interpretation of Islam and is ruled under an uncompromising autocratic leadership, including kings and emigres. Both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been accused of severe human rights violations, including terrorism sponsorship. Qatar’s

Shariah Law, the legal system of Islam, forbids the intermingling of unrelated men and women.

Middle Eastern


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