Hejaz (also Hijaz, Hedjaz) is a region in the northwest of present-day Saudi Arabia; its main city is Jeddah, but it is probably better-known for the holy city of Mecca. 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 Arab and Islamic historical and political landscape.
Under the control of regional powers such as Egypt or the Ottoman Empire through most of its history, Hejaz enjoyed 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 Husain ibn Ali, the Sherif of Makkah. In 1924, however, ibn Ali's own authority was usurped by ibn Saud of the neighboring nation of Nejd. This annexation was instrumental in the creation of the Saudi Arabian state.
HEJAZ (HIJAz), a Turkish vilayet and a province of Western Arabia, extending along the Red Sea coast from the head of the Gulf of Akaba in 29° 30' N. to the south of Taif in 20° N. It is bounded N. by Syria, E. by the Nafud desert and by Nejd and S. by Asir.
The name Hejaz, which signifies "separating," is sometimes limited to the region extending from Medina in the north to Taif in the south, which separates the island province of Nejd from the Tehama (Tihama) or coastal district, but most authorities, both Arab and European, define it in the wider sense.
Hejaz, together with the other provinces of Arabia which on the overthrow of the Bagdad Caliphate in 1258 had fallen under Egyptian domination, became by the conquest of Egypt in 1517 a dependency of the Ottoman empire.
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