The ʿAsir Region
'difficult') is a region of Saudi Arabia
located in the southwest of the country that is named after the ʿAsīr tribe. It has an area of 76,693 square kilometres (29,611 sq mi) and an estimated population of 2,211,875 (2017).
It shares a short border with the Saada Governorate
The ʿAsir Region is situated on a high plateau that receives more rainfall than the rest of the country and contains the country's highest peaks, which rise to almost 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) at Jabal Sawda
near Abha. Though data is exceedingly sparse and unreliable, the average annual rainfall in the highlands probably ranges from 300 to 500 millimetres (12 to 20 in). It falls in two rainy seasons, the chief one being in March and April, with some rain in the summer. Temperatures are very extreme, with diurnal temperature ranges in the highlands the greatest in the world. It is common[clarification needed]
for afternoon temperatures to be over 30 °C (86 °F), yet mornings can be extremely frosty and fog
can cut visibility to near zero percent. As a result, there is much more natural vegetation in ʿAsir than in any other part of Saudi Arabia, with sheltered areas even containing areas of dense coniferous forests, though more exposed ridges still are very dry.
ʿAsir is home to many farmers who chiefly grow wheat and fruit crops. Irrigation has greatly expanded production in modern times.
Asir National Park
was established in 1981, and extends from the Red Sea coast through the western foothills to the Asir escarpment.
The region is divided into sixteen governorates (with 2010 Census populations
- Abha (+366,551)
- Muhayil (+228,979)
- An-Namas (+54,119)
- Billasmar (+34,080)
- Billahmar (+25,709)
- Bareq (+74,391)
- Bishah (+205,346)
- Khamis Mushayt (+512,599)
- Rijal Alma (+65,406)
- Zahran Al-Janub (+63,119)
- Tathlith (+59,188)
- Sarat Abidah (+67,120)
- Ahad Rifaydah (+113,043)
- Al-Majardah (+103,531)
- Al-Harajah [ar]
In 25 B.C. Aelius Gallus
marched his legions south from Egypt
on a 1,300-mile expedition to take control of the ancient overland trade routes between the Mediterranean and what is now Hadhramaut
in Yemen. The Romans
wanted control of those routes because they were desperate for money and hoped to raise some by capturing Ma'rib
, capital of Sabaʾ
, and taking control of the trade in incense - then a priceless commodity - and other valuable aromatics. As it turned out, however, the expedition was a disaster and little information about ʿAsir emerged.
By 1920, however, Ibn Saud
the founder of Saudi Arabia
had begun to recoup the losses of the House of Saʿud and to unify most of the peninsula
under his rule. As part of this campaign, he sent his Bedouin warriors also known as the Ikhwan
to occupy ʿAsir, and from then on ʿAsir was controlled by the House of Saʿud - a situation formalized in 1934 with the signing of the Treaty of Taʾif
between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Even then the region was still largely unknown to the West. In 1932, St John Philby
, one of the first Europeans to explore and map the peninsula, did enter ʿAsir, but as he did not publish his observations until 1952, the area remained one of the blank spots on the world's map.
In 2019, the Saudi government launched an infrastructure development project in ʿAsir Region. The project is expected to cost more than 1 billion Saudi Riyals. The provided projects will include health care, transportation and municipal services.
The project is in line with the Saudi Vision 2030
to diversify non-petroleum income and activate new resources in Saudi Arabia.
List of governors
- ^ "Population Characteristics surveys" (PDF). General Authority for Statistics. 2017.
- ^ "A number of Royal Orders Issued 9 Riyadh". Saudi Press Agency. 27 December 2018.
- ^ Saudi Arabia: Regions and Cities
- ^http://www.data.gov.sa/ar/node/1729/download[permanent dead link]
- ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 83. Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- ^ a b Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 84. Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 86. Archived from the original on 2016-12-27. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 85. Archived from the original on 2016-11-15. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- ^ Prothero, G.W. (1920). Arabia. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 99. Archived from the original on 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
- ^ a b "Saudi Arabia to launch plan for multibillion infrastructure projects in Asir". Arab News. 2019-03-11. Retrieved 2019-03-12.
Last edited on 18 April 2021, at 08:02
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