Saudi Arabia is one of the main players in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Its stature is built on its prestige as the birthplace of Islam, and its status as a major oil producer. It is one of the wealthiest nations in the Middle East thanks to its vast oil resources. Saudi Arabia possesses 25 percent of the world’s proven petroleum reserves, ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The country was named after the ruling Al Saud family, which came to power in the 18th century. The modern state of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud who established a Saud monarchy after a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. Since his death in 1953, he has been succeeded by various sons. With increased demands for political reform, the country held its first municipal elections in 2005 as a limited exercise in democracy. But the Al Saud dynasty holds a monopoly of power, and political parties are banned.