This is my entry for the new Map of the Fortnight challenge on Althistoria
. I only made it in a few days, so the backstory is a bit lighter than most of my other maps. I have seen many scenarios where Arabia was united under Ottoman or British (or even Roman) imperialism, but very few where it was united by the Arabs themselves, so I thought this concept would be interesting.
After Muhammad Ali successfully drove the Ottomans out from Egypt, Arabia, and the Sudan, he attempted to take Constantinople itself. However, this attempt would ultimately fail and leave him to found the Alid empire. Ali and his successors implemented many reforms to try and strengthen the new empire's economy and military, but always with the goal of finishing the conquest of the Ottomans in mind. While they succeeded in that front, they completely failed to stomp down on growing dissent until it was too late.
Because of their own Albanian ancestry, the rulers of the empire (and even Muhammad Ali himself) looked down on their Arab subjects and denied them many government posts. To make matters worse, it was often the Arabic citizens who dealt with the worst side effects of early industrialization. This is why when a popular revolt broke out in the late 19th century, several important houses and clans quickly joined its cause. Among them were the House of Hashim, or Hashemites, who ruled the Emirate of Mecca.
Abdul Hussein, the head of the family, quickly took the lead of the new revolution. He had been educated in the West, and exposed to many of its nationalist ideals. Once it became clear the Alid dynasty would fall, Hussein wanted to do more than simply swap one imperial ruler with another. Instead, he envisioned the unification of all Arabic peoples under a single banner, just as the Germans, Italians, and Greeks had done or tried to do a generation before.
Because of this dream, the Hashemites focused on not on conquering Constantinople (which was under Russian occupation at the time), but on pushing out east and west to bring the other clans and nations to heel. Helping their cause was the establishment of a new Caliph, whose title had gone unclaimed since the collapse of the Ottomans. Although Hussein himself did not live to see it, his dynasty would eventually come to encompass nearly all of the Arabic world (with the major exception of large swaths of North Africa), and become the dominant power in the Islamic world.
In time, the nation would continue to grow in wealth and prestige. Their control of over 60% of the world's oil supply gave them the money needed for large scale projects, such as the new Qattara Sea, which in turn became large industrial centers. Ironically, while they exported so much oil, many of the new projects were focused on harnessing hydroelectric, and later solar, energy.
Today, the nation maintains a great deal of economic, geopolitical, and religious importance. While Arabs have much of the demographic and political power, there are also many ethnic and religious minorities in the nation, such as the Kurds, Assyrians, Dinka, Jews, Druze, Tigrinya, and more.