Eastern Province

Historical Background

The history of human settlement in the Eastern Province goes back to nearly 5000 years. The distinctive and natural features that attract this region are its location. Located near the Arabian Gulf with more than 700 kilometers of coastline, it is a kind of bridge connecting its surrounding areas to the outside world. Old cemeteries found in the Eastern province give a clear indication that its human settlements and business activities go back to thousands of years. The region's long history attests to the existence of a sizeable community and advanced civilization. The remains of ancient buildings, ruins of cities, potteries, sculptures and others artifacts are a testimony for the high degree of accomplishments achieved by its former inhabitants. As excavations also demonstrate, the region was at the crossroads between of many cultures and activities. The region was greatly affected by slave trade from 3000 to 2000 BC. Its culture was also influenced by Mesopotamia, Indus Basin civilization, Greeks and Persians, and more recently, by the Ottoman culture. The Portuguese built castles in the Tarot area, which expressed their interest in this part of the world. They settled here, but only for a while when compared with other settlers.

These waves of cultures marked their presence through relics of gold ornaments, semi-precious stones, stone structures, statutes and other historical monuments. The Ottomans came to the region in 960 AH (i.e., 1553). They remained until the return of the region to Bani Khalid control for a while. Then it returned to Ottoman control until the creation of the first Saudi state in the first half of the thirteen century of Hijra.

That situation lasted for a quarter of a century in which the region enjoyed security and stability. Then the Ottoman Empire sent a military expedition led by its governor of Egypt Mohammad Ali Pasha, who occupied Al Hassa in 1233 AH (i.e., 1818).

The region went through periods of stability and instability till King Abdulaziz Bin Abdurrahman Al-Saud conquered it at midnight, Monday, the 25th of Jumada I, 1313 AH (i.e., May 8th, 1913). The next morning, the Ottomans in charge of Al-Ahsa surrendered with all the soldiers in the garrison. King Abdululaziz assured their safety. He ordered that they be deported by the Ageer Road. Then King Abdulaziz launched a successful campaign on Qatif. With the recovery of this town, the entire region returned back to the Saudi Regime and joined the other regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.