AskDefine | Define asir

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. to grab; to seize
    asir a
  2. to cling to


Extensive Definition

ʿAsīr (Arabic: عسير) is a province of Saudi Arabia located in the southwest of the country. It has an area of 81,000 km² and an estimated population of 1,563,000. It shares a short border with Yemen. Its capital is Abha. Other towns include Khamis Mushayt and Qal'at Bishah. The governor of the province is Faysal ibn Khalid (appointed May 16, 2007), a son of the late king of Saudi Arabia, Khalid ibn Abd al-Aziz. He replaced his cousin, Khalid al Faisal who, on the same date, was made governor of Makkah Province.


Geographically, the 'Asir region is situated on a high plateau that receives more rainfall than the rest of the country and contains the country's highest peaks, which rise to almost 3,000 metres at Jebel Akhbar near Abha. Though data is exceedingly sparse and unreliable, the average annual rainfall in the highlands probably ranges from 300 to 500 millimetres (12 to 20 inches) falling in two rainy seasons, the chief one being in March and April with some rain in the summer. Temperatures are very extreme, with diurnal temperature ranges in the highlands the greatest in the world. It is common for afternoon temperatures to be over 30 °C (85 °F) yet mornings can be extremely frosty and fog can cut visibility to near zero percent. As a result, there is much more natural vegetation in 'Asir than in any other part of Saudi Arabia, with sheltered areas even containing areas of dense coniferous forests, though more exposed ridges still are very dry. 'Asir is home to many farmers who chiefly grow wheat and fruit crops, though irrigation has greatly expanded production in modern times.


The population belongs almost entirely to ancient tribes native to the area such as Bal-Garn, Rijal Alma, Shamran, Shehr, Shahran, Qahtan, Bal-Asmar, and Bal-Ahmar, as well as a large confederation of tribes known as the 'Asiris (or 'Asaryah), after whom the region was named. Their religion is chiefly Sunni Muslim, and they speak several distinct but closely related dialects of Arabic collectively known in Saudi Arabia as "jenubi" (lit. "southern"). Most tribes in 'Asir are divided into three sub-parts based on their geographical location. The tribes of the central highlands are called sarat, the tribes of the western coastal plain are called tihama, and the tribes of the eastern desert region of 'Asir are referred to as badiyah. Thus each tribe is divided into sarat, tihama, and badiyah components.
The region's culture shares much in common with neighboring Yemen due to the common geographical features. This is most notable in the dress and architectural styles, which are adapted to cope with the occasional very heavy downpours by deflecting them from houses. Also, 'Asir has been much less affected by the oil boom than has the rest of Saudi Arabia, and the modern urban development of cities like Riyadh is largely absent except to some extent in Abha, which serves as a resort town for many Saudis during the extremely hot summers. Tribal laws and customs are still exceedingly strong among the peoples of this region.


At the rise of the First Saudi State in the 18th century, the towns of 'Asir were goverened by local clans in a fashion similar to that of Nejd, while the large tribal confederations maintained a high degree of autonomy. 'Asir was brought under Saudi sovereignty in 1801 after some resistance, yet the region converted quickly to the Wahhabi cause espoused by the Al Saud clan and assigned Prince Abdulwahab Al-Mathami as governer.After Abdulwahab deceased,his cousin Prince Tami Bin Shuib ruled until he got caught by the Turks and was executed in Instanbul.When the First Saudi State was destroyed by the Egyptians in 1818, the 'Asiris continued to fight the Egyptian forces in their region tenaciously. However, when the Second Saudi State appeared in Najd in 1824, 'Asir enjoyed an ambivalent relationship with it, with the 'Asiri leaders generally allying themselves with the Saudis without formally entering under their command. The modern state of Saudi Arabia, led by Abd Al-Aziz Ibn Saud, began annexing 'Asir and its neighboring regions in the mid-1920s , deposing the local dynasties there, and later successfully fought off a rival claim for the region by the Zaydi Imam of neighboring Yemen in 1934.


asir in Arabic: عسير
asir in German: Asir
asir in Spanish: Asir
asir in French: 'Asir
asir in Indonesian: Provinsi 'Asir
asir in Italian: 'Asir
asir in Lithuanian: Asiras
asir in Dutch: Asir
asir in Polish: Asir
asir in Portuguese: 'Asir
asir in Russian: Асир (провинция)
asir in Finnish: Asir
asir in Swedish: Assir
asir in Turkish: Asir
asir in Volapük: Lasiriän
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1