Saudi Arabia celebrates National Day every 23 September to commemorate the unification of the modern-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Saudi flags flying high over roadways, on public and private buildings, and on automobiles, as well as many events in Riyadh and across the country.
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In the 16th Century, Arabia was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, along with most of the rest of the Middle East. There was long unrest against Ottoman rule, but it was only after the Ottoman Empire was destroyed during World War I that the modern state of Saudi Arabia began to develop.
However, in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Ottomans, the four regions of modern Saudi Arabia – Hejaz, Najd, Al Ahsa and Asir – were divided. In 1921, Ibn Saud became the new Sultan of Najd in central Arabia. He engaged in various conquests of weaker Arab neighbours, gradually uniting the region, finally conquering Hejaz in western Arabia in 1925. He then became Sultan of two separate states, Hejaz and Nejd.
After five years of ruling both nations separately, he finally united them into the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” on 23 September 1932. Since that time, there have been seven kings of Saudi Arabia, and the date of the unification is now a national holiday.