Uppercase connotes family or belonging to, as in Al Saud
(q.v.), or Al Sudairi; lowercase represents the definite
article the, as in Rub al Khali.
- Al Saud
Literally, the House of Saud; the patrilineal descendants
of Muhammad ibn Saud.
Strictly speaking, commander. In Saudi Arabia, amir often
means prince, but can mean governor of a province.
- barrels per day (bpd)
Production of crude oil and petroleum products is frequently
measured in barrels per day and often abbreviated as bpd.
A barrel is a volume measure of forty-two United States gallons.
Conversion of barrels to tons depends on the density of the
specific product. About 17.3 barrels of average crude oil
weigh one ton. Light products such as gasoline and kerosene
would average close to eight barrels per ton.
- Divided Zone
Originally a shared area between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Each country annexed its half of the zone in 1966 but continued
to respect the other country's right to the national resources
in the whole zone.
The oil industry views the production, processing, transportation,
and sale of petroleum products as a flow process starting
at the wellhead. Downstream includes any stage between the
point of reference and the sale of products to the consumer.
Upstream is the converse. Upstream of the wellhead includes
exploration and drilling of wells.
An authoritative legal interpretation by a mufti or religious
jurist that can provide the basis for court decision or government
- fiscal year (FY)
Initially based on Islamic lunar year (see Preface). Since
December 1986 based on Gregorian calendar. Fiscal year begins
31 December and runs through following 30 December.
- GDP (gross domestic product)
A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services
produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year.
Only output values of goods for final consumption and investment
are included because the values of primary and intermediate
production are assumed to be included in final prices. GDP
is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning
that indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these
have been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The
word gross indicates that deductions for depreciation
of physical assets have not been made. See also GNP.
- GNP (gross national product)
The gross domestic product (q.v.) plus the net income
or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries.
For Saudi Arabia, GNP in the 1970s and early 1980s was significantly
larger than GDP because of surplus oil revenues. GNP is the
broadest measurement of the output of goods and services by
an economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include
indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies
are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor
cost by removing indirect taxes and subsidies.
Tradition based on the precedent of the Prophet Muhammad's
words and deeds that serves as one of the sources of Islamic
Literally, to migrate, to sever relations, to leave one's
tribe. Throughout the Muslim world, hijra refers
to the migration to Medina of Muhammad and his early followers.
In this sense, the word has come into European languages as
- hujar (collective pl.)
Refers to the agricultural settlements of the Ikhwan (q.v.),
which combined features of religious missions, farming communities,
and army camps. Word from same root as hijra; has
sense of separation from previous affiliation.
The brotherhood of desert warriors, founded by Abd al Aziz,
who were settled in the hujar (q.v.).
A word used in several senses. In general use, it means the
leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies no ordination
or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient education to
carry out this function. It is also used figuratively by many
Sunni (q.v.) Muslims to mean the leader of the Islamic
community. Among Shia (q.v.) the word takes on many
complex meanings; in general, however, and particularly when
capitalized, it indicates that particular descendant of the
House of Ali who is believed to have been God's designated
repository of the spiritual authority inherent in that line.
The identity of this individual and the means of ascertaining
his identity have been major issues causing divisions among
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Established along with the World Bank (q.v.) in
1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the
United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international
exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF
is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized
and developing countries) when they experience balance of
payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions
that require substantial internal economic adjustments by
the recipients, most of which are developing countries.
Tribal council; in some countries the legislative assembly.
Also the audience of the king, amir (q.v.), or shaykh
(q.v.) open to all citizens for the purposes of adjudication.
Literally, those who volunteer or obey; sometimes known by
popular name of Committees for Public Morality, or more formally,
as the Committees for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention
- riyal (SR)
Saudi Arabia's currency unit. Riyal is pegged to the International
Monetary Fund (q.v.) special drawing rights (SDR--a
unit consisting of a basket of international currencies) as
SR4.28 = SDR1. In May 1993 the exchange rate was SR3.75 =
US$1, a rate that had not changed since June 1, 1986.
- sharif (Arabic pl., ashraf)
Specifically, one who has descent from Muhammad through his
daughter Fatima. Literally, noble, exalted, having descent
from illustrious ancestors. Frequently used as an honorific.
Leader or chief. Applied either to political leaders of tribes
or towns or learned religious leaders. Also used as an honorific.
- Shia (from Shiat Ali, the Party of Ali)
A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam.
The Shia supported the claims of Ali and his line to presumptive
right to the caliphate and leadership of the Muslim community,
and on this issue they divided from the Sunni (q.v.)
in the major schism within Islam. Later schisms have produced
further divisions among the Shia over the identity and number
of imams (q.v.). Most Shia revere Twelve Imams, the
last of whom is believed to be hidden from view.
- spot oil
Oil sold on the open market without any precontractual arrangement.
The larger of the two great divisions of Islam. The Sunni,
who rejected the claims of Ali's line, believe that they are
the true followers of the sunna, the guide to proper behavior
set forth by Muhammad's personal deeds and utterances.
Name used outside Saudi Arabia to designate adherents to
Name used outside Saudi Arabia to designate official interpretation
of Islam in Saudi Arabia. The faith is a puritanical concept
of unitarianism (the call to the oneness or unity of God--ad
dawa lil tawhid) that was preached by Muhammad ibn Abd
al Wahhab, whence his Muslim opponents derived the name.
In Muslim law, a permanent endowment or trust, usually of
real estate, in which the proceeds are spent for purposes
designated by the benefactor. Usually devoted to charitable
- World Bank
Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated
international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association
(IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD,
established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing
loans to developing countries for productive projects. The
IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the
staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to
the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than
those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956,
supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance
specifically designed to encourage the growth of productive
private enterprises in the less developed countries. The MIGA,
founded in 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing
countries against various noncommercial risks. The president
and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions
in the IFC. The four institutions are owned by the governments
of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate
in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).