al-Hejaz (also Hijaz, Hedjaz; _ar. الحجاز "al-Ḥiǧāz", literally "the barrier") is a region in the west of present-day
Saudi Arabia. Defined mostly by the Red Sea, it extends from Haqlon the Gulf of Aqabato Jizan. Its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better-known for the Islamic holy cities of Meccaand Medina. As a region, "The Hijaz", as it is often referred to, because of being the site of Islam's holy places, has significance in the Araband Islamic historical and political landscape. In Arabic, Hejaz means literally "the barrier" as it separates the land of Najdin the east from the land of Tihamahin the west.
Evidence suggests the Hejaz (or parts of it) was part of the Roman province of Arabia [cite web |url= http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/200103/well.of.good.fortune.htm |title= Well of Good Fortune |first= Piney |last= Kesting |work=
Saudi Aramco|date= May/June 2001 |accessdate= 2007-03-20] . Under the control of regional powers such as Egyptor the Ottoman Empirethrough most of its history, the Hejaz had a brief period of political independence in the early 20th century. It was one of several regions of the Ottoman Empire provoked into rebellion by T. E. Lawrence("of Arabia") of the British during World War I. In 1916 its independence was proclaimed by Sherif Hussein ibn Ali, the Sherif of Makkah. In 1924, however, ibn Ali's authority was usurped by Ibn Saudof the neighboring region of Nejdand became known as the Kingdom of Hijaz and Nejd and later the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Even today, Hejazis adhere to a more moderate interpretation of Islam than does the
Wahhabisect that arose in Nejd. [James Minahan (2002), "Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups Around the World" (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press).]
The Biblical story of the
Garden of Edenis in Genesis2:11: "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdelliumand the onyxstone." Havilahis usually associated with either the Arabian Peninsula or north-west Yemen, but in the work associated with the Garden of Eden by Juris Zarins, the Hejaz mountains appear to satisfactorily meet the description. The Hejaz includes both the Cradle of Gold at Mahd adh Dhahab(coord|23|30|12.96|N|40|51|34.92|E|) and a potential source of the now dried out Pishon River that used to flow 600 miles north east to the Persian Gulf via the Wadi Al-Batinsystem. Archaeological research lead by Farouk El-Baz of Boston Universityindicates that the river system, now prospectively known as the Kuwait River, was active 2,500-3000BC [ [http://focusmagazine.org/Articles/pishonriver.htm The Pishon River - Found. by C.A. Salabach at Focus Magazine] ] . Bdellium plants are also abundant in the Hijaz.
Geographically, the region is located along the
Great Rift Valley. The region is also known for it darker more volcanic sand. Depending on the previous definition, Hejaz includes the high mountains of Sarawatwhich topographically separate Najd from Tehamah.
Yanbu' al Bahr
* Badr Hunayn
* Hejazi Accent
Kingdom of Hejaz
* "Hijaz" is also the name of a mode (
maqam) in Arabic music.
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Hejaz — [he jaz′, hējaz′; hejäz′, hējäz′] region of Saudi Arabia: formerly a kingdom … English World dictionary
HEJAZ — (Ar. Ḥijāz), a region N.W. of present day saudi arabia , from the Gulf of Aqabah in the north to Asir in the south along the Red Sea. The narrow coastal stripe (Tihāmah) is a dry, barren land, while the mountain chain (2100–2400 m and peaks… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Hejaz — /hee jaz /; Arab. /he zhahz /, n. Hijaz. Also, Hedjaz. * * * Arabic Al Ḥijāz Region of western Saudi Arabia. It occupies an area of 134,600 sq mi (348,600 sq km) along the Red Sea coast of the Arabian Peninsula, from Jordan to ʽAsīr province. Its … Universalium
Hejaz — (al Hijāz) ► Región del O de Arabia Saudí, en la costa del mar Rojo; 2 000 000 h. Cap., La Meca. Dátiles y cereales. Además de La Meca, en ella se halla la también c. sagrada de Medina. * * * o Heyaz árabe Al FONT face=TahomaḤijāz Región… … Enciclopedia Universal
Hejaz — /hiˈdʒæz/ (say hee jaz) noun a former independent kingdom in western Arabia, bordering on the Red Sea, now forming a part of Saudi Arabia; the holy cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina are in Hejaz. About 388 500 km2. Capital: Mecca. Arabic, Al… … Australian English dictionary
Hejaz — or Al Ḩijāz geographical name region W Saudi Arabia on Red Sea; a viceroyalty capital Mecca area 134,600 square miles (348,614 square kilometers), population 1,400,000 … New Collegiate Dictionary
Hejaz — Hedjaz Le Hedjaz est une région du nord ouest de l actuelle Arabie saoudite ; sa principale ville est Djeddah, mais la cité la plus connue est La Mecque, ainsi que Médine. Cette région fut contrôlée tour à tour durant la majeure partie de… … Wikipédia en Français
Hejaz — noun The mountainous area of northwest Saudi Arabia which gave rise to early Islam and which contains the sites of many holy places … Wiktionary
HEJAZ, EL — the holy land of the Moslems, a district of Arabia Felix, and so called by containing the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Hejaz — div., W Saudi Arabia; 150,000 sq. mi.; pop. 1,754,000; cap. Mecca … Webster's Gazetteer