Royal send-off for trek across Arabian desert in British explorer’s footsteps

On arriving in Riyadh, which was at the time a tiny, dust-blown desert village rather than the sprawling metropolis it is today, he met the tribal leader Ibn Saud who went on to become King Abdulaziz, the first king of modern Saudi Arabia. Philby, who impressed his hosts by dressing and eating as they did, converted to Islam and became a trusted adviser to Ibn Saud.

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