People of Hejaz, who feel particularly connected to the holy places of Mecca and Medina, have probably the most strongly articulated identity of any regional grouping in Saudi Arabia. Their place of origin alienates them from the Saudi state, which invokes different narratives of the history of the Arabian Peninsula. Thus, they experienced tensions with people of Najd.[7] Being primarily the adherents of the mainstream and tolerant Maliki branch of Sunni Islam (with a Shia minority in Medina and Mecca), the people of Hejaz have never fully accommodated to puritanical Saudi and extremist Wahhabi rule. Many consider themselves more cosmopolitan because Hejaz was for centuries a part of the great empires of Islam from the Umayyads to the Ottomans.[18] This is compensated, however, by huge oil income, with all the oil found in the opposite end of Saudi Arabia.
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