History. – On the strength of its economic and financial prestige, the Saudi Arabia continued to propose itself as the guide of moderate and traditionalist Arabism: not an easy task, because the turmoil that agitates the Islamic world has repeatedly questioned the rigorous regime of Riyāḍ connecting with local opposition tendencies and manifesting itself in Mecca itself, eg. with the insurrection attempt in November 1979, which was severely repressed.
As regards the Palestinian question, to which the Saudi Arabia is particularly sensitive as the protector of Muslim interests, the initiative of the peace plan presented by Crown Prince Fahd on 7 August 1981 took on considerable importance, which in a certain sense represented, also a response to overflight by Israeli military aircraft (June 7) in the northern part of the country. The peace project, divided into 8 points, which envisages the creation of a Palestinian state and the de facto recognition of the state of Israel, would have been discussed at the Arab ” summit ” in Fez in November 1981 with an interlocutory outcome. After the death of King Khāled (June 13, 1982) and the assumption to the throne of his brother Fahd himself, the plan was adopted on September 9, 1982,
At the same time, the Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront in supporting ῾Irāq in the war against Iran: both by providing economic aid and by preparing military measures also within the Gulf Cooperation Council. A sign of this involvement was the expulsion from Mecca, in October, of a group of Iranian pilgrims, considered responsible for an anti-Saudi demonstration, and the signing with the United States, after long negotiations, of a contract for the purchase of ultra-modern AWACS radar aircraft. On the other hand, both in the framework of its own security and to develop commercial contacts, the Saudi Arabia has tried to initiate a certain balance in the system of its alliances: from here, despite the dissent for the Soviet policy in Afghānīstān, judged hostile to Islamic aspirations, various diplomatic initiatives towards the USSR (for example, in 1983 the visit to Moscow of the Foreign Minister, Fayṣal ibn Sa ῾ūd and, in August 1985, of Prince Faisal, brother of the sovereign).
According to Clothes Bliss, the various interventions adopted in relation to the economic trend were more incisive, marked by the decline in oil revenues due to the overabundance of raw materials on world markets and the consequent budgetary difficulties. On October 25, 1983, an alternation was made in the departments of Industry and Health, on the one hand to study an increase in production activities, and on the other to implement savings. Efforts were subsequently made to encourage domestic and foreign private investment (speech by the Minister of Industry Saudi Arabia Zamīl of January 22, 1984). Thirdly, in the face of the downward trend in the crude oil market and the controversy in OPEC, it was decided, on 29 October 1986, to replace the extrovert Sheikh Z. al-Yamānī, Minister of Oil, with I. al-Nāṣir. The whole of these measures, quite rigorous, although adopted with the usual caution, should favor the implementation of the fourth five-year development plan 1985-90. However, the prolongation of the Iran-῾Irāq war on the one hand, and the war efficiency that Israel continued to demonstrate, on the other, led the Saudi Arabia to continue investing large sums in armaments: from Great Britain planes, helicopters and other means were purchased for 25 billion dollars, from China ballistic missiles with a range of 2500 km, etc. With these and other measures, attempts have been made to cope with episodes of destabilization such as those caused once again in Mecca in the autumn of 1987 by large groups of Iranian pilgrims led by the spiritual leader M. Karrubj.
For all this, Riyāḍ welcomed the UN resolution of July 1987 to put an end to the conflict and, in order to put it into effect, developed discreet diplomatic initiatives towards the Arab countries better disposed towards Teherān. With the cessation of hostilities in August 1988, the Saudi Arabia has returned, as its primary interest, to the Palestinian knot, supporting the proclamation of the state voted in November by the PLO, as a constructive evolution of the aspirations of that population. With the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait in August 1990, fearing a military agreement against itself between ῾Irāq, Yemen and Jordan, the Saudi Arabia strengthened the agreement with the United States, directly taking part in the war operations of the January-February 1991.
Cinema. – Religious rigorism, which has gradually grown in recent years, has practically paralyzed the cinema of the Saudi Arabia Saudi. In the past, the country was limited to importing film products made abroad; Kung fu films have had a lot of followingand adventure in general. The actors B. Spencer and T. Hill are eg. well known in Saudi Arabia Saudi. The lack of a national film production was accompanied by a notable development of the television one, which in a short time reached a technical level of the highest quality. However, following the attack on the Mecca mosque in 1980, a tightening of religious censorship drastically limited television broadcasts to sporting events and religious services only. The cinematic situation is even more serious: the cinemas have been closed due to the Islamic prohibition of representing living beings in images; as a result, the sale of videotapes was also banned, even though they had a huge circulation in the country.