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PUBLISHEDThe oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a challenging country for photographers and reporters to chronicle, is now under intense scrutiny in the October 2nd disappearance and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The arc of Saudi history held in the National Geographic image archives spans from early 20th-century Islamic pilgrims visiting Mecca to a culture transformed by the discovery of vast oil reserves in the 1930s and beyond. Recent additions include portraits of Saudi women navigating the slow reforms of a society that only recently granted them the right to vote and drive—and that the West has long considered authoritarian and repressive.

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