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It sometimes seems that heroes are simply the creations of myth, that only through the eloquence of storytellers and poets can mere men be elevated to heroic status. It takes the singer of songs to enhance reality till the mundane can aspire to the epic.

The story told in this resource is therefore all the more remarkable. It describes, in brief, the life of a man whose early years, spent in exile, seemed inauspicious but who set about, as little more than a lad, restoring his family’s birthright, dignity and fortune and who went on, against all the odds, despite conflicting tribal loyalties and the machinations of colonial powers, to build a Kingdom more or less the size of Western Europe.

The story has still more remarkable features. The man who is the subject of this resource lived not some hundreds or thousands of years ago - but in our own century. And, unlike other powerful figures of our century, he did not found a vicious, oppressive dictatorship but a benign monarchy, founded upon consultation and consensus, with basic human rights guaranteed against all human manipulation by strict adherence to his religion - Islam.

Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud (Ibn Saud) in 1910