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Rashidi

From Academic Kids

The Rashidi were a historic house of the Arabian Peninsula they were the most formidable enemies of the House of Saud. They were centered in Ha'il, a city in Najd that derived its wealth from being on the route of the Hadj.

The House of Saud and the House of Rashid, are the two most powerful houses in central Arabia. In the seventeenth century the alliance between the Saudis and the Wahhabi religious sect made them paramount.

The Rashidi came to power in the nineteenth century, leading a revolt against the prince of Ha'il.

In the 1860s internal disputes in the House of Saud allowed a Rashidi/Ottoman alliance to oust them. The Rashidi occupied the Saudi capital of Riyadh in 1865 and forced the leaders of the House of Saud into exile.

Rashidi rule was insecure, however, their Ottoman allies were unpopular and weakening. Internal divisions within the family lead to bloody infighting. In the last years of the nineteenth century six Rashidi leaders died violently. This left an opening for the young ibn Saud to return from exile with a small force and retake Riyadh in 1904.

Over the next twenty years the peninsula saw a long running series of wars as the Saudis and their allies sought to unite the peninsula. While the Rashidi rallied a number of other tribes to their side the effort proved futile and by 1921 Ha'il surrendered to Ibn Saud's army.

Some members of the Rashid family left the country and went into voluntary exile, mostly to Iraq. By the 1990's only a handful were still outside Saudi Arabia.

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