Skip to content

Cradle of Islam: The Hijaz and a Quest for Arabian Identity

Image of several copies of Cradle of Islam book

In 1932, the Al Saud family officially incorporated the Kingdom of the Hijaz into the new Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Hijazis became a people without a country of their own.

Cradle of Islam focuses on contemporary Hijazi life and culture made subservient to the dominant national rules of Saudi Arabia, as dictated by a political and religious elite rooted in the central Najd region of the country.

Image of an archaeological site located in Hejaz

World of the Hijazis

Centralisation was not enough to assimilate or tame Saudi Arabia’s distinct regional cultures. The Al Saud family could rule but not fully integrate. This book is an insider’s account of the hidden world of the Hijazis, including their rituals which have helped to preserve Hijazi identity until now.