Baku (Azerbaijani: Bakı, IPA: [bɑˈcɯ]) is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal parts: the downtown and the old Inner City (21.5 ha). Baku's urban population at the beginning of 2009 was estimated at just over two million people.[3] Officially, about 25 percent of all inhabitants of the country live in the metropolitan city area of Baku. TOSHIBA Satellite 2805-s201 Laptop Keyboard

Baku is divided into eleven administrative districts (raions) and 48 townships. Among these are the townships on islands in the Baku Bay and the town of Oil Rocks built on stilts in the Caspian Sea, 60 km (37 mi) away from Baku. The Inner City of Baku along with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. According to the Lonely Planet's ranking, Baku is also among the world's top ten destinations for urban nightlife.[4] TOSHIBA Satellite 1800-921 Laptop Keyboard

The city is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of Azerbaijan. Many sizeable Azerbaijani institutions have their headquarters there, including SOCAR, one of the world's top 100 companies andothers.[5] The Baku International Sea Trade Port, sheltered by the islands of the Baku Archipelago to the east and the Absheron Peninsula to the north, is capable of handling two million tons of general and dry bulk cargoes per year.[6] Baku hosted the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 and will host the 2015 European Games. SONY Vaio PCG-K315Z Laptop Keyboard

The name Baku is widely believed to be derived from the old Persian names of the city باد-کوبه Bād-kube, meaning "Wind-pounded city", in which bād means "wind" and kube is rooted in the verb کوبیدن kubidan, "to pound", thus referring to a place where wind is strong and pounding. Indeed, IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R52 1870 Laptop Keyboard

the city is renowned for its fierce winter snow storms and harsh winds.[7] A less probable folk etymology explains the name as deriving from Baghkuy, meaning "God's town". Baga (now بغ bagh) and kuy) are the Old Persian words for "god" and "town" respectively; the name Baghkuy may be compared with Baghdād ("God-given") in which dād is the Old Persian word for "give". Arabic sources refer to the city as Baku, Bakukh, Bakuya, and Bakuye, all of which seem to come from a Persian name. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Various different politically motivated hypotheses have been also proposed to explain the etymology of the word Baku to suit a given political agenda . According to L.G.Lopatinski[8] and Ali Huseynzade,[9] for example, Baku is derived from Turkic word for "hill". Caucasian history specialist Kerope Patkanov also explains the name as "hill" but in the Lak language.[9] HP G62-361TX Laptop Keyboard

The Turkish Islamic Encyclopedia presents the origin of the word Baku as being derived from the words Bey-Kyoy, which mean "the main city" in Turkic. Another theory suggests that the name Baku is derived from the ancient Caucasian Albanian city which was called Baguan. HP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

The first written evidence for Baku dates to the 1st century AD.[10]

The city became important after an earthquake destroyed Shamakhy in the 12th century, when the ruling Shirvanshah, Akhsitan I, chose Baku as the new capital. In 1501, Safavid Shah Ismail I laid siege to Baku. At this time the city was enclosed within the lines of strong walls, which were washed by the sea on one side and protected by a wide trench on land. In 1540 Baku was again captured by the Safavid troops. In 1604 the Baku fortress was destroyed by Safavid Shah Abbas I. HP G62-b70SP Laptop Keyboard

On 26 June 1723, after a long siege and cannon fire, Baku surrendered to the Russians. According to Peter the Great's decree the soldiers of two regiments (2,382 people) IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

were left in the Baku garrison under the command of Prince Baryatyanski, the commandant of the city. In 1795, Baku was invaded by Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar to defend against tsarist Russia's ambitions to subjugate the South Caucasus. In the spring of 1796, by Catherine II's order, General Zubov's troops began a major campaign in Transcaucasia. Baku surrendered after the first demand of Zubov, HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

who had sent 6,000 troops to capture the city. On 13 June 1796 the Russian flotilla entered Baku Bay and a garrison of Russian troops was placed in the city. General Pavel Tsitsianovwas appointed Baku's commandant. Later, however, Czar Paul I ordered him to cease the campaign and withdraw Russian forces. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

In March 1797 the tsarist troops left Baku, but a new tsar, Alexander I, began to show a special interest in capturing Baku. In 1803, Tsitsianov reached an agreement with the Baku khan to a compromise, but the agreement was soon annulled. On 8 February 1806, upon the surrendering of Baku, Huseyngulu khan of Baku stabbed and killed Tsitsianov at the gates of the city. HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

Baku is a city founded upon oil, for to its inexhaustible founts of naphtha it owes its very existence, its maintenance, its prosperity.... At present Baku produces one-fifth of the oil that is used in the world, and the immense output in crude petroleum from this single city far surpasses that in any other district where oil is found. Verily, the words of the Scriptures find illustration here: 'the rock poured me out rivers of oil.'HP Pavilion dv6-2020sa Laptop Keyboard

Oil is in the air one breathes, in one's nostrils, in one's eyes, in the water of the morning bath (though not in the drinking water, for that is brought in bottles from distant mineral springs), in one's starched linen – everywhere. This is the impression one carries away from Baku, and it is certainly true in the environs.[11]  DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

The first oil well was mechanically drilled in the Bibi-Heybat suburb of Baku in 1846, though a number of hand-dug wells predate it. Large-scale oil exploration started in 1872, when Russian imperial authorities auctioned the parcels of oil-rich land around Baku to private investors. Within a short period of time Swiss, British, French, Belgian, German, Swedish and American investors appeared in Baku. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

Among them were the firms of theNobel brothers together with the family von Börtzell-Szuch (Carl Knut Börtzell, who also owned the Livadia Palace) and the Rothschild family. An industrial oil belt, better known as Black City, was established near Baku. By the beginning of the 20th century almost half of world production was being extracted in Baku.[12] DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

In 1917, after the October revolution and amidst the turmoil of World War I and the breakup of the Russian Empire, Baku came under the control of the Baku Commune, which was led by veteran Bolshevik Stepan Shaumyan. HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Seeking to capitalize on the existing inter-ethnic conflicts, by spring 1918, Bolsheviks inspired and condoned civil warfare in and around Baku. During the infamous March Days, Bolsheviks and Dashnaks seeking to establish control over the Baku streets, were faced with armed Muslim groups. Muslims suffered a crushing defeat by the united forces of the Baku Soviet and were massacred by Dashnak teams. Acer eMachines G730ZG laptop keyboard

On 28 May 1918, the Azerbaijani faction of the Transcaucasian Sejm proclaimed the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) in Ganja. Shortly after, Azerbaijani forces, with support of theOttoman Army of Islam led by Nuru Pasha, started their advance into Baku, eventually capturing the city from the loose coalition of Bolsheviks, Esers, Dashnaks, Mensheviks and British forces under the command of General Lionel Dunsterville on 15 September 1918. Baku became the capital of the ADR. SONY VAIO VGN-NR31E/S laptop keyboard

On 28 April 1920, the 11th Red Army invaded Baku and reinstalled the Bolsheviks, making Baku the capital of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic.

During the continuing Nazi German invasion of the southwestern Soviet Union, capturing the oil fields of Baku would have been one of the ultimate goals ofOperation Edelweiss, carried out between May and November 1942. HP G62-452SL laptop keyboard

The German Army's closest approach to Baku was no closer than some 530 kilometers (330 miles) northwest of Baku in November 1942, falling far short of the city's capture before being driven back during the Soviet Operation Little Saturn in mid-December 1942. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

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With the initiatives for saving the city in the 21st century, Baku embarked on a process of restructuring on a scale unseen in its history.[13] Thousands of buildings from Soviet period were demolished to make way for a green belt on its shores; parks and gardens were built on the land reclaimed by filling up the beaches of the Baku Bay. Improvements were made in the general cleaning, maintenance, and garbage collection, SONY VAIO VGN-AR870 laptop keyboard

and these services are now at Western European standards. The city is growing dynamically and developing at full speed on an east-west axis along the shores of the Caspian Sea. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5165 laptop keyboard

Baku has a subtropical semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk) with warm and dry summers, cool and occasionally wet winters, and strong winds all year long. However, unlike many other cities with this climate, Baku does not see extremely hot summers. This is largely because of its northerly latitude and the fact that it is located on a peninsula on the shore of the Caspian Sea. Baku and the Absheron Peninsula on which it is situated, SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

is the most arid part of Azerbaijan (precipitation here is around or less than 200 mm (8 in) a year). The majority of the light annual precipitation occurs in seasons other than summer, but none of these months are particularly wet. During Soviet times, Baku with its long hours of sunshine and dry healthy climate, was a vacation destination where citizens could enjoy beaches or relax in now-dilapidated spa complexes overlooking the Caspian Sea. The city's past as a Soviet industrial center has left it as one of the most polluted cities in the world.[14] TOSHIBA V000130380 laptop keyboard

At the same time Baku is noted as a very windy city throughout the year, and gale-force winds, the cold northern windkhazri and the warm southern wind gilavar are typical here in all seasons. Indeed, the city is renowned for its fierce winter snow storms and harsh winds.[7] The speed of the khazri sometimes reaches 144 kph (89 mph), which can cause damage to crops, trees and roof tiles.[15] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The daily mean temperature in July and August averages 26.4 °C (79.5 °F), and there is very little rainfall during that season. During summer the khazrisweeps through, bringing desired coolness. Winter is cool and occasionally wet, with the daily mean temperature in January and February averaging 4.3 °C(39.7 °F). During winter the khazri sweeps through; driven by masses of polar air; temperatures on the coast frequently drop below freezing and make it feel bitterly cold. Winter snow storms are occasional, snow usually remains only for a few days after each snowfall. HP Pavilion dv6-3006ax laptop keyboard

Until 1988 Baku had very large Russian, Armenian, and Jewish populations which contributed to cultural diversity and added in various ways (music, literature, architecture and progressive outlook) to Baku's history. With the onset of the Karabakh War and the pogrom against Armenians starting in January 1990, the city's large Armenian population was expelled.[35][36] Under Communism, SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

the Soviets took over the majority of Jewish property in Baku and Kuba. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev returned several synagogues and a Jewish college, nationalized by the Soviets, to the Jewish community. He encouraged the restoration of these buildings and was well liked by the Jews of Azerbaijan. Renovation has begun on seven of the original 11 synagogues, including the Gilah synagogue, built in 1896, and the large Kruei Synagogue.[37] SONY VGN-FE41S laptop keyboard

The urban landscape of Baku is shaped by many communities. The religion with the largest community of followers is Islam. The majority of the Muslims are Shia Muslims, and the Republic of Azerbaijan has the second highest Shia population percentage in the world after Iran.[42] Zoroastrianism had a long history in Azerbaijan, DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

evident in sites such as the Fire Temple of Baku[43] or ceremonies like Nowruz, along with Manichean. The city's notable mosques includeJuma Mosque, Bibi-Heybat Mosque, Muhammad Mosque and Taza Pir Mosque. TOSHIBA Satellite L750D-BT5N22 laptop keyboard

There are some other faiths practiced among the different ethnic groups within the country. By article 48 of itsConstitution, Azerbaijan is a secular state and ensures religious freedom. Religious minorities include Russian Orthodox Christians, Catholic Levantines, Ashkenazi Jews and Sufi Muslims. SONY KFRMBA221A laptop keyboard

Today the vast majority of the population of Baku are ethnicAzerbaijanis (more than 90%). The intensive growth of the population started in the middle of the 19th century when Baku was a small town with a population of about 7,000 people. The population increased again from about 13,000 in the 1860s to 112,000 in 1897 and 215,000 in 1913, making Baku the largest city in the Caucasus region.[38] GATEWAY MT6709 laptop keyboard

Baku has been a cosmopolitan city at certain times during its history, meaning ethnic Azerbaijanis did not constitute the majority of population.[39] In 2003 Baku additionally had 153,400 internally displaced persons and 93,400 refugees.[40] TOSHIBA Satellite P305D-S8995E laptop keyboard

Baku's largest industry is petroleum, and its petroleum exports make it a large contributor to Azerbaijan's balance of payments. The existence of petroleum has been known since the 8th century. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

In the 10th century, the Arabian traveler, Marudee, reported that both white and black oil were being extracted naturally from Baku.[45] By the 15th century, oil for lamps was obtained from hand-dug surface wells. Commercial exploitation began in 1872, and by the beginning of the 20th century the Baku oil fields were the largest in the world. Towards the end of the 20th century much of the onshore petroleum had been exhausted, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

and drilling had extended into the sea offshore. By the end of the 19th century skilled workers and specialists flocked to Baku. By 1900 the city had more than 3,000 oil wells, of which 2,000 were producing oil at industrial levels. Baku ranked as one of the largest centres for the production of oil industry equipment before World War II. The World War II Battle of Stalingrad was fought to determine who would have control of the Baku oil fields. Fifty years before the battle, Baku produced half of the world's oil supply.[46] ACER Aspire 9300-5317 laptop keyboard

Currently the oil economy of Baku is undergoing a resurgence, with the development of the massive Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field (Shallow water Gunashli by SOCAR, deeper areas by a consortium led by BP), development of the Shah Deniz gas field, the expansion of the Sangachal Terminal and the construction of the BTC Pipeline. SONY VAIO VGN-N330FH/W laptop keyboard

The Baku Stock Exchange is Azerbaijan's largest stock exchange, and largest in the Caucasian region by market capitalization. A relatively large number of transnational companies are headquartered in Baku. One of the more prominent institutions headquartered in Baku is the International Bank of Azerbaijan, which is run by Dr. Jahangir Hajiyev and employs over 1,000 people. International banks with branches in Baku include HSBC, Société Générale andCredit Suisse.[47] HP Pavilion DV6-1210sa laptop keyboard

Baku is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Caucasus, with hotels in the city earning 7 million euros in 2009.[48] Many sizable world hotel chains have a presence in the city. Baku has many popular tourist and entertainment spots, such as the downtown Fountains Square, the One and Thousand Nights Beach, ACER TravelMate 6252 laptop keyboard

Shikhov Beach and Oil Rocks. Baku's vicinities feature Yanar Dag, an ever-blazing spot of natural gas. On 2 September 2010, with the inauguration of National Flag Square, Baku became home to the world's tallest flagpole, according to the Guinness Book of Records.[49][50] SONY VAIO VGN-N17C laptop keyboard

Baku has several shopping malls; the two most famous city center malls are AF MALL and Park Bulvar. The retail areas contain shops from chain stores up to high-end boutiques. TOSHIBA Satellite m505 laptop keyboard

The city is listed 48th in the 2011 list of the most expensive cities in the world conducted by the Mercer Human Resource Consulting.[51] Its Nizami streetis one of the most expensive streets in the world. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JA07 Laptop Keyboard

Baku has wildly varying architecture, ranging from the Old City core to modern buildings and the spacious layout of the Baku port. Many of the city's most impressive buildings were built during the early 20th Century, when architectural elements of the European styles were combined in eclectic style.[55] Baku thus has an original and unique appearance, earning it a reputation as the 'Paris of the East'.[56] SAMSUNG R518 laptop keyboard

Late modern and postmodern architecture began to appear in the early 2000s. With economic development, old buildings such as Atlant House were razed to make way for new ones. Buildings with all-glass shells have appeared around the city, the most prominent examples being the Azerbaijan Tower, Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Flame Towers, Baku Crystal Hall, Baku White City and SOCAR Tower. These projects also brought the attention of international media as notable programs as Discovery Channel's Extreme Engineering featured changes in the city.[57] SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

The Old City of Baku, also known as the Walled City of Baku, refers to the ancient Baku settlement. Most of the walls and towers, strengthened after the Russian conquest in 1806, survived. This section is picturesque, with its maze of narrow alleys and ancient buildings: the cobbled streets past the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, SONY VGN-FE865E/H laptop keyboard

two caravansaries, the baths and the Juma Mosque (which used to house the Azerbaijan National Carpet and Arts Museum but is now a mosque again). The old town core also has dozens of small mosques, often without any particular sign to distinguish them as such. SONY VGN-FE865E laptop keyboard

In 2003, UNESCO placed the Inner City on the List of World Heritage in Danger, citing damage from a November 2000 earthquake, poor conservation as well as "dubious" restoration efforts.[58] HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

Baku has large sections of greenery either preserved by the National Government or designated as green zones. The city, however, continues to lack a green belt development as economic activity pours into the capital, resulting in massive housing projects along the suburbs.[59] HP Pavilion dv5-1138tx laptop keyboard

Baku Boulevard is a pedestrian promenade that runs parallel to Baku's seafront. The boulevard contains an amusement park, yacht club, musical fountain, statues and monuments. The park is popular with dog-walkers and joggers, and is convenient for tourists. It is adjacent to the newly built International Center of Mugham and the musical fountain. HP Pavilion DV9286EA laptop keyboard

Other prominent parks and gardens include Heydar Aliyev Park, Samad Vurgun Park, Narimanov Park, Alley of Honor and theFountains Square. The Martyrs' Lane, formerly the Kirov Park, is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives during the Nagorno-Karabakh War and also to the 137 people killed on Black January. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The music scene in Baku can be traced back to ancient times and villages of Baku, generally revered as the fountainhead of meykhana and mugham in the Azerbaijan.[63][64]

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Following the victory of Azerbaijan's representative Eldar & Nigar at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, Baku hosted theEurovision Song Contest 2012.[65][66]

2005 was a landmark in the development of jazz in the city. Its been home to legendary jazz musicians like Vagif Mustafazadeh, Aziza Mustafa Zadeh, Rafig Babayev and Rain Sultanov.[67][68] Among Baku's prominent annual fairs and festivals is Baku International Jazz Festival, which includes the world's most identifiable jazz names.[69][70] HP Pavilion dv6-2140ed laptop keyboard

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Baku also has a thriving International Center of Mugham, which is located in Baku Boulevard, Gulustan Palace and Buta Palace, one of the principal performing arts centers and music venues in the city.[71]  IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

The majority of Azerbaijan's media companies (including television, newspaper and radio, such as ANS, Azad Azerbaijan TV, Ictimai TV and Lider TV) are headquartered in Baku. The films The World Is Not Enough and The Diamond Arm are set in the city, while Amphibian Man includes several scenes filmed inOld City. SONY VAIO VGN-FS620P/W laptop keyboard

Out of the city's radio stations ANS ChM, Ictimai Radio, Radio Antenn, Burc FM, and Lider FM Jazz are some of the more influential competitors with large national audiences. ANS ChM was one of the first private and independent FM radio broadcasting service in the Caucasus and Central Asia regions when it was established in May 1994.[72] SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B laptop keyboard

Some of the most influential Baku newspapers include the daily Zaman (The Time), Bakinskiy Rabochiy (The Baku Worker), Echo and the English-language Baku Today.

Baku is also featured in the Battlefield 4's gameplay mission.[73] HP Pavilion dv6-2158et laptop keyboard

In the Azerbaijan Basketball League, Baku is represented by Gala BC Baku, BC Aztop Baku, NTD Devon Baku whose home is the Palace of Hand Games.[74] The city also is home of the volleyball clubs such as Rabita Baku, Azerrail Baku,Lokomotiv Baku, Igtisadchi Baku and VC Baku. HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

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First class sporting facilities were built for the indoor games, including the Palace of Hand Games and Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex. It hosted many sporting events, including FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships in 2007 and 2009, 2005 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1216 laptop keyboard

2007 FILA Wrestling World Championships and 2010 European Wrestling Championships, 2011 World Amateur Boxing Championships, 2009 Women's Challenge Cup and European Taekwondo Championships in 2007.[75][76] Since 2011 the city annually hosts WTA tennis event called Baku Cup.[77] In 2012 City Challenge GmbH brought its first motorsports event to the city. DELL NSK-D8001 laptop keyboard

Baku is also one of world's leading chess centres, having produced famous grandmasters like Teimour Radjabov, Vugar Gashimov, Garry Kasparov, and Rauf Mammadov, as well as the arbiter Faik Hasanov. The city also annually hosts the international tournaments such as Baku Chess Grand Prix, President's Cup, Baku Open and currently bidding to host 42nd Chess Olympiad in 2014.[78][79] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The Synergy Baku Cycling Project participates in the Tour d'Azerbaïdjan a 2.2 multi-stage bicycle race on the UCI Europe Tour.

Baku will host the 2015 European Games which will be the first European Games to be held.

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80] However, Baku failed to become a Candidate City both times.[81]

Throughout history the transport system of Baku used the now-defunct horsecars, trams and narrow gauge railways. As of 2011, 1000 black cabs are ordered by Baku Taxi Company, and as part of a programme originally announced by the Transport Ministry of Azerbaijan, there is a plan to introduce London cabs into Baku.[83][84] The move was part of £16 million agreement between Manganese Bronze and Baku Taxi Company.[85][86] HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Local transport includes the Baku Metro, a rapid-transit system notable for its art, murals, mosaics, and ornate chandeliers. Baku Metro was opened in November 1967 and includes 22 stations at present; 170 million people used Baku Metro over the past five years.[87] In 2008, the Chief of the Baku Metro, Taghi Ahmadov, announced plans to construct 41 new stations over the next 17 years. These will serve the new bus complex as well as the international airport.[88] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5361 laptop keyboard

Plans are afoot to introduce a single Smart Card for payment on all types of city transport. The metro is now the only form of transport in Baku to use any type of card-based fare-payment system.[89]  HP G71t-400 CTO laptop keyboard

Baku's Central Railway Station is the terminus for national and international rail links to the city. The Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway, which will directly connect Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, began to be constructed in 2007 and is scheduled for completion in 2013.[90] The completed branch will connect Baku with Tbilisi in Georgia, and from there trains will continue to Akhalkalaki, and Kars in Turkey.[91] SONY Vaio VGN-AW270Y laptop keyboard

Sea transport is vital for Baku, as the city is practically surrounded by the Caspian Sea to the east. Shipping services operate regularly from Baku across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk) in Turkmenistan and to Bandar Anzali and Bandar Nowshar in Iran.[92] The commuter ferries, along with the high-speed catamaran Seabus(Deniz Avtobusu), also form the main connection between the city and the Absheron peninsula.[93] SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

The Baku Port was founded in 1902 and since then has been the largest Caspian Sea port. It has six facilities: the main cargo terminal, the container terminal, the ferry terminal, the oil terminal, the passenger terminal and the port fleet terminal. The port's throughput capacity reaches 15 million tons of liquid bulk and up to 10 million tons of dry cargoes.[94] Beginning in 2010, the Baku International Sea Trade Port is being reconstructed. FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

The construction will take in three stages and will be completed by 2016. The estimated costs are 400 Million US$.[95] From April to November the Baku Port is accessible to ships loading cargoes for direct voyages from Western European and Mediterranean ports. DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

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The State Road M-1 and the European route E60 are the two main motorway connections between Europe and Azerbaijan. The motorway network around Baku is well developed and is constantly being extended. COMPAQ Presario C702TU Laptop Keyboard

The Heydar Aliyev International Airport is the only commercial airport serving Baku. The new Baku Cargo Terminal was officially opened in March 2005. It was constructed to be a major cargo hub in the CIS countries and is actually now one of the biggest and most technically advanced in the region.[96] There are also several smaller military airbases near Baku, such as Baku Kala Air Base, intended for private aircraft, helicopters and charters.[97] HP G42-357TU Laptop Keyboard

Baku hosts many universities, junior colleges, and vocational schools. Baku State University, the first established university in Azerbaijan was opened in 1919 by the government of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. HP G42-354TU Laptop Keyboard

In the early years of the Soviet era, Baku already had Azerbaijan State Oil Academy,Azerbaijan Medical University, and Azerbaijan State Economic University. In the post-WWII period, a few more universities were established such asAzerbaijan Technical University, Azerbaijan University of Languages, and Azerbaijan Architecture and Construction University. After 1991 when Azerbaijan gained independence from the Soviet Union, SAMSUNG NP-N150-JA07 Laptop Keyboard

the fall of communism led to the development of a number of private institutions, including Qafqaz Universityand Khazar University which are the most prestigious ones currently. Apart from the private universities, the government established Academy of Public Administration, Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy and various military academies. ACER TravelMate 3002WTMi laptop keyboard

The largest universities according to the student population are Baku State University and Azerbaijan State Economic University. In addition, there are Baku Music Academy and Azerbaijan National Conservatoire in Baku established in early 1920s. Publicly run kindergartens and elementary schools (years 1 through 11) are operated by local wards or municipal offices. TOSHIBA Satellite L775-S7140 laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, the main state research organization in Azerbaijan is locating in Baku as well. Moreover, Baku has numerous libraries, many of which contain vast collections of historic documents from the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Soviet periods, as well as from other civilisations of the past. ACER Aspire 2021 laptop keyboard

The most important libraries in terms of historic document collections include the Nizami Museum of Azerbaijan Literature,National Library of Azerbaijan, Mirza Alakbar Central Library, Samad Vurgun Library and Baku Presidential Library. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

Because of its intermittent periods of great prosperity as well as being the largest city in the Caucasus and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse in the Soviet Union, Baku prides itself on having produced a disproportionate number of notable figures in the sciences, arts and other fields. Some of the houses they resided in display commemorative plaques. Some of the many prestigious residents include: TOSHIBA Tecra A9 laptop keyboard

Academy Award winners Rustam Ibrahimbeyov and Vladimir Menshov, one of the founders and head of the Soviet space program Kerim Kerimov, Nobel Prize winner and physicist Lev Landau and famous musicians such as Gara Garayev, Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Muslim Magomayev, Vagif Mustafazadeh, and Alim Qasimov. World-famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich was born and raised in Baku, as was world famous chess player, Gary Kasparov. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

From the 1st century AD till the 7th century, Baku bay was dry and the islands in the bay joined the land. InPtolemy’s map Baku was described far from the sea. After the 7th century began the rising of water level of the Caspian Sea till the 9th century and since then formation of Baku bay began.[1] Severe changes happened at the end of the 8th century, when the Caspian Sea raised up to more than ten meters. Mario Sanuto, COMPAQ Presario C710BR Laptop Keyboard

Italian geographer of the 14th century sadly noted that: "Water level of the Caspian Sea rises each year and most cities have flooded.", and according to words of Abd ar-Rashid al-Bakuvi, the geographer, in 1403 the Caspian Sea flooded the part of Baku and water stood near a mosque. At that time the sea was waving near foot of the Maiden Tower, which confirms a legend about a girl, who threw herself from the top of the tower. HP AETT3U00010 Laptop Keyboard

At that timeSabayil Castle, which was built on the rock in Baku bay, was totally located under water. During the next 600 years level of the sea was hesitatingly stood high till the beginning of the 20th century, when it began to sink. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

According to a statement of a representative of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources there are a lot of reasons of pollution of Baku bay. Wastes from industrial, dwelling and domestic objects located on the seashore and also exploitation of vessels, oil and gas deposits are the main factors that worsen the ecological condition. Works on investigation of depth of Baku bay began after 1996, and later works on extraction of metallic constructions and sunk vessels from water were began. In 2007-2009’s, DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

large scale works on cleansing of the bay from sunk vessels, metallic constructions and non-exploited hydrotechnical constructions, non-serviceable subsea pipelines were began.[2] In whole 4500 tons of scrap metal and approximately 412 tons of wooden wastes were extracted from the sea.[3] SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

Trade port is stretched along the northern and western shores of Baku bay. The port is fully re-equipped, all loading and unloading works in it are mechanized. There is a port for ferry quay in the north-western part of Baku bay.[4] There is discussion on the need of construction of a bridge through Baku bay, - from Lokbatan to Zikh highway.[5] It is considered that length of the bridge over the sea, ACER K032130A1 Laptop Keyboard

from Shikh to Zigis 14,5 km.[6] Total length of the bridge, which will be connected with encircling highway is 26 km. The sea bridge will be constructed on high piers, for not impeding movement of vessels. It is planned to deliver the bridge until 2015. Automobile highway through Baku bay will be paid. construction works will last for 3,5 years. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Foreign companies plan to open a recreational center in Boyuk Zira and Pirallahi islands of Baku bay. In Azerbaijani newspapers is reported that a Turkish company which is preparing an appropriate project will hold the construction of the recreational center in Nargin Island. It is planned to open modern hotels, DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

entertainment places and other buildings in the island. It is also planned to open one of the biggest lunaparks in the CIS, which will be constructed by German specialists. It is expected that the island will be one of the centers of tourism in the future. DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, island, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance.[1] The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 states parties[2] which are elected by their General Assembly.[3] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

The programme: catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage ofhumanity. Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage,[4] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972. Since then, 190 states parties have ratified the Convention, making it one of the most adhered to international instruments. Only the Bahamas, Liechtenstein, Nauru, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu are not Party to the Convention. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

As of June 24, 2011 in Saint Petersburg, 962 sites are listed: 745 cultural, 188 natural, and 29 mixed properties, in 157 states.[5][6] By sites ranked by country, Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites with 48 sites, followed bySpain (44) Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

and China (43). UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions. As a result, the identification numbers exceed 1,200 even though there are fewer on the list. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

While each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located, UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site. ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

In 1954, the government of Egypt decided to build the Aswan Dam (Aswan High Dam), an event that would deluge a valley containingtreasures of ancient Egypt such as the Abu Simbel temples. UNESCO then launched a worldwide safeguarding campaign. The Abu Simbel and Philae temples were taken apart, moved to a higher location, and put back together piece by piece and the Temple of Dendurwas moved to New York City[7] while the Temple of Debod was moved to Madrid. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The cost of the project was US$ 80 million, about $ 40 million of which was collected from 50 countries. The project was regarded as a success, and led to other safeguarding campaigns, saving Venice and its lagoon in Italy, the ruins of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, and the Borobodur Temple Compounds in Indonesia. UNESCO then initiated, with the International Council on ACER Aspire One AO532 laptop keyboard

Monuments and Sites, a draft convention to protect the common cultural heritage of humanity.

The United States initiated the idea of cultural conservation with nature conservation.[citation needed] A White House conference in 1965 called for a ‘World Heritage Trust’ to preserve "the world's superb natural and scenic areas and historic sites for the present and the future of the entire world citizenry."  ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

The International Union for Conservation of Nature developed similar proposals in 1968, and they were presented in 1972 to the United Nations conference on Human Environment in Stockholm. SONY VAIO VGN-FS215E laptop keyboard

Under the World Heritage Committee signatory countries are required to produce and submit periodic data reporting providing the World Heritage Committee with an overview of each participating nation's implementation of the World Heritage Convention and a "snapshot" of current conditions at World Heritage properties. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

A single text was agreed on by all parties, and the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.  TOSHIBA Satellite M35X-SP349 laptop keyboard

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 was the 57th annual Eurovision Song Contest. Following Ell & Nikki's win at the 2011 Contest, the festival was brought to the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. The two semi-finals were held on 22 and 24 May 2012, and the final was held on 26 May 2012 at the newly constructed Baku Crystal Hall.[6] Forty-two countries announced their participation in the contest, with Montenegro returning, having last taken part in 2009, and Poland and Armenia withdrawing.[7][8] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Several human rights groups protested against the restraints to express their concerns with the government regime within Azerbaijan.[9] Armenia withdrew from the contest due to security fears over the unresolvedNagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan.[8] TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

The design of the contest was built around the motto "Light your fire!", inspired by the nickname "Land of Fire", by which Azerbaijan is commonly known.[10] The televoting system reverted to the 15-minute window format, used between the 1998 Contest and 2009 Contest, in which the phone and SMS lines open after all songs have been performed. Each country votes were decided by 50:50 system; TOSHIBA G83C0000E510 laptop keyboard

they were split between televoting and a national jury. The contest was won by singer Loreen from Sweden with the song "Euphoria" which was written by Thomas G:son and Peter Boström. "Euphoria" earned a total of 372 points, placing it in the top spot. Russia finished in second place, with Serbia finishing in third. HP Pavilion dv3-2155ee laptop keyboard

They were followed by the host country, Azerbaijan, which reached the 4th place. Albania achieved its first top 5 placing, and finished 5th. Germany, Italy and Spain were the three members of the "Big Five" that managed to rank within the top 10, finishing in 8th, 9th and 10th places respectively.[11] HP 605344-001 laptop keyboard

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Azerbaijan's first Eurovision appearance was in 2008, and the nation has participated in the contest every year since. On 14 May 2011, Azerbaijan won the 2011 contest with "Running Scared" sung by Ell and Nikki.[12][13] Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasusregion, was named the host city for the contest. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal parts: the downtown and the old Inner City (21.5 ha). Baku's urban populationat the beginning of 2009 was estimated at just over two million people.[14] Officially, about 25 percent of all inhabitants of the country live in the metropolitan city area of Baku. HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

Shortly after Azerbaijan's victory, officials announced that a new 23,000 seat concert venue was to be built near National Flag Square in Baku, as a potential venue for the event.[15][16] Three days later, other venue options were also revealed by organisers, such as the 37,000-seat Tofiq Bahramov Stadium and the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex.[17] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

On 2 August 2011, Alpine Bau Deutschland AG was awarded the contract to construct the new venue, now known as Baku Crystal Hall. Preparations for construction began in the area shortly after the announcement.[18] Even though the full cost of the contract was not named, the government allocated 6 million AZN for the construction of the venue. ACER Aspire 7738G laptop keyboard

On 8 September 2011, Azad Azerbaijan TV (ATV) reported that Baku Crystal Hal would be the venue of the contest, but no formal confirmation was made at the time by the EBU. On 31 October 2011, Ismayil Omarov, the director general of Azerbaijani national broadcaster İctimai Television announced that a decision on the venue choice would be taken by the steering committee in January 2012.[20] DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

On 25 January 2012, it was confirmed that the Baku Crystal Hall would be the venue of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.[21] Even though the venue had an extended capacity of 23,000 people, only 16,000 people were able to attend each show.[21] Tickets for the festival became available online for purchase on 28 February 2012.[22][23] revert to the 15-minute window format, used between the 1998 Contest and 2009 Contest, Compaq Presario CQ57-310 Laptop Keyboard

in which the phone and SMSlines open after all songs have been performed (instead of opening before the show starts, which was the system used between 2010 and 2011). The results format of each show remained the same with each country's votes being decided on a 50:50 split between televoting and a national jury. Each participating country had their own national jury, which consisted of five professional members of the music industry.[25] DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

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Under the official rules released on 24 November 2011, the number of participants in the final was raised to 26, including the host nation, the "Big Five", and the ten qualifiers from each semi-final. This was the second time in the Eurovision Song Contest that 26 countries were in the final, the first being the 2003 Contest.[25][26][27] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The draw that determined the semi-final running order was held on 25 January 2012 at the Buta Palace. The participating countries, excluding the automatic finalists (Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), were split into six pots, based upon how those countries voted in past contests. From these pots, HP G61-410EL Laptop Keyboard

half (or as close to half as possible) competed in the first semi-final on 22 May 2012. The other half in that particular pot competed in the second semi-final on 24 May 2012.[28] This draw also acts as an approximate running order, in order for the delegations from the countries to know when their rehearsals would commence and determine which semi-final the automatic finalists would be allowed to vote in.[29][30] SONY VAIO VGN-FS840 Laptop Keyboard

Each introductory video postcard begins with a shot of the artist and performers, followed with the flag and country name in a handwritten font with a background resembling the yellow, orange and red fire of the 2012 theme art.[31] The postcards consisted of various shots of Azerbaijan, with a caption displaying 'Azerbaijan' and underneath 'Land of ...' (e.g. Land of Abundance; Land of Poetry etc.), HP G61-304NR Laptop Keyboard

which were then followed by the name of a town or geographic feature, showing the landscape and culture of the country.[31] Some postcards focus on the host city of Baku with text changing to 'Baku' and underneath 'City of ...' (e.g. City of Jazz; City of Leisure etc.). The postcards finish with a shot of the Crystal Hall displayed in the colours of the performing country's flag. These postcards acted as a tourismmechanism to present the country to a wider audience.[31][32] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

The artist, song and number graphics as well as tables and voting graphics are kept the same as those used in 2011, with a slight updates to incorporate the 2012 theme art.[31] The lower points (1-7) were highlighted in red squares while the top points (8, 10, 12) were highlighted in orange squares with each square increasing in size in relation to the point value. Both sets of graphics were designed by London brand design agency Turquoise Branding.[33][34] HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

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Azerbaijan's large investment in hosting the Eurovision contest was widely discussed in Western media as an attempt to "mitigate misgivings about its poor democracy and human rights record".[39][40] Elnur Majidli, an activist imprisoned during the Arab Spring-inspired 2011 Azerbaijani protests, was released in an apparent effort to soften Azerbaijan's image ahead of the contest, but many political prisoners remained.[40] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Human Rights Watch reported a "violent crackdown on protesters" on the eve of the contest,[41] and Amnesty International condemned the "stern crackdown of freedom of expression, dissent, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), critical journalists, in fact anyone who criticises the Aliyev regime too strongly" that continued up to the contest.[9] Packard Bell Easynote TM80 laptop keyboard

Human Rights Watch also criticised the Azerbaijani government and the Baku City Authority for carrying out forced evictions against local residents, in order to allow for the demolition of flats to make way for construction in the neighbourhood where the Baku Crystal Hall was built.[42] The Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy, a transparency and economic rights campaign group, has described the evictions as a "violation of human rights",HP Pavilion dv6-2114sa laptop keyboard

and as having "no legal authority". However, in a statement to the BBC, Eurovision said that on a recent visit to Baku they had observed "that the construction of the concert hall [which] media reports refer to is already well under way on a clean construction site and thus there are no demolitions needed".[43] The EBU cited the "apolitical" nature of the contest and the Azerbaijani government's claim that the construction is not tied to the Eurovision Song Contest.[42] HP Pavilion zv5320us laptop keyboard

The festival's winner Loreen met local human rights activists during the contest, the only entrant to do so. She later told reporters, "Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things."[9] An Azerbaijan government spokesman criticized her in response, saying that the contest should not "be politicised"[9] and requested the EBU prevent such meetings.[44] Swedish diplomats replied that the EBU, Swedish TV and Loreen had not acted against the competition's rules.[45] SONY VAIO VGN-NW120J laptop keyboard

On 26 May, a flash mob of anti-government protesters was quickly dispersed by police.[39] Activists expressed fears that they would face a crackdown when the international spotlight left Azerbaijan again at the end of the contest.[40] Before submitting the results of the German vote, Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

the presenter from Germany Anke Engelke gave a live statement that alluded to the human rights issues in Azerbaijan, saying: "Tonight nobody could vote for their own country. But it is good to be able to vote. And it is good to have a choice. Good luck on your journey, Azerbaijan. Europe is watching you."[46][47] ACER Aspire One A110-1588 laptop keyboard

Iranian officials objected to Azerbaijan hosting Eurovision 2012 song contest. Iranian clerics Ayatollah Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari and Ayatollah Ja'far Sobhani condemned Azerbaijan for "anti-Islamic behaviour", claiming that Azerbaijan was going to host a gay parade.[48] This led to protests in front of Iranian embassy in Baku, where protesters carried slogans mocking the Iranian leaders. Ali Hasanov TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

, head of the public and political issues department in Azeribaijani President's administration, said that gay parade claims were untrue, and advised Iran not to meddle in Azerbaijan's internal affairs.[49] In response, Iran recalled its ambassador from Baku,[50] while Azerbaijan demanded a formal apology from Iran for its statements in connection with Baku's hosting of the Eurovision song contest,[51] and later also recalled its ambassador from Iran.[52] Lenovo 3000 Y500 7761 laptop keyboard

On 30 May, Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan announced that they had thwarted a series of planned terror attacks against the Eurovision Song Contest, among the targets being Baku Crystal Hall, as well as Marriot and Hilton hotels in Baku.[53] On 22 August, The Daily Telegraph reported that according to Western intelligence services, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally gave orders to the elite Quds Force unit to launch terrorist attacks against the West and its allies, including Azerbaijan during the Eurovision Song Contest.[54]  HP Pavilion dv6-2125el laptop keyboard

Four artists returned in this year's contest. Kaliopi for Macedonia who previously participated in the 1996 contest with the song "Samo ti", which placed in 26th position in the pre-qualifying round.[56][57] Jónsi for Iceland[58] and Željko Joksimović for Serbia[59] both previously participated in 2004. Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

Joksimović had represented Serbia and Montenegro in 2004 with the song "Lane moje" which placed second in that year. Jónsi performed "Heaven" in 2004, which placed 19th.[60] For a second consecutive year Jedward participated for Ireland, after their 8th place finish at the 2011 Contest with the song "Lipstick".[61][62] SONY KFRMBA152A laptop keyboard

On 17 January 2012, the EBU announced that forty-three countries would take part in the 2012 contest.[7] The 57th edition saw the return of Montenegro, who was previously represented by Andrea Demirović in 2009.[55] Armenia, who had originally planned to participate, later withdraw their application due to security fears of the continuous Nagorno-Karabakh War with Azerbaijan.[8] Poland also withdrew from the competition, TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5804 laptop keyboard

due to the financial burden of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (which Poland co-hosted with Ukraine) and Summer Olympics.[7] The Caspian Sea (Azerbaijani: Xəzər dənizi, Kazakh: Каспий теңізі, Persian: دریای خزر Daryā-i Xazar, دریای مازندرانDaryā-i Māzandarān‎, Russian: Каспийское море, Turkmen: Hazar deňizi) is the largest enclosed inland body of wateron Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.[2][3] The sea has a surface area of 371, SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (not including Garabogazköl Aylagy) and a volume of 78,200 km3(18,800 cu mi).[4] It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) and is bounded to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan, to the south by Iran, to the southeast by Turkmenistan, and to the northeast by Kazakhstan. TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6114 laptop keyboard

The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and seeming boundlessness. It has a salinity of approximately 1.2%, about a third the salinity of most seawater. Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

The word Caspian is derived from the name of the Caspi (Persian: کاسپی‎), ancient people who lived to the south-west of the sea in Transcaucasia.[5] Strabowrote that "to the country of the Albanians belongs also the territory called Caspiane, which was named after the Caspian tribe, as was also the sea; TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5359 laptop keyboard

but the tribe has now disappeared".[6] Moreover, the Caspian Gates, which is the name of a region in Tehran province of Iran, is another possible piece of evidence that they migrated to the south of the sea. The Iranian city Qazvin shares the root of its name with that of the sea. In fact, the traditional Arabic name for the sea itself is, Bahr al-Qazwin (Sea of Qazvin).[7] DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard

In classical antiquity among Greeks and Persians it was called the HyrcanianOcean.[8] In Persian antiquity, as well as in modern Iran, it is known as theMazandaran sea (Persian: دریای مازندران‎). In Iran, it is also referred as Daryā-i Xazar sometimes.[9] Among Indians it was called Kashyap Sagar. In Turkic speaking countries it is known as the Khazar Sea. Old Russian sources call it the Khvalyn or Khvalis Sea (Хвалынское море / Хвалисское море) after the name of Khwarezmia.[10] Ancient Arabic sources refer to it as Baḥr Gīlān (بحر جیلان) meaning "the Gilan Sea".SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

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Turkic languages use a consistent nomenclature that is different from the Indo-European languages above. For instance, in Turkmen, the name is Hazar deňizi, inAzeri, it's Xəzər dənizi, and in modern Turkish, it's Hazar denizi. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

The Caspian Sea, like the Aral Sea and Black Sea, is a remnant of the ancientParatethys Sea. It became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to tectonic uplift and a fall in sea level. During warm and dry climatic periods, the landlocked sea has all but dried up, depositing evaporitic sediments like halite that have become covered by wind-blown deposits and were sealed off as an evaporite sink[11] HP Compaq G50-133US Laptop Keyboard

when cool, wet climates refilled the basin.[12] Due to the current inflow of fresh water, the Caspian Sea is a freshwater lake in its northern portions. It is more saline on the Iranian shore, where the catchment basin contributes little flow. Currently, the mean salinity of the Caspian is one third that of the Earth's oceans. The Garabogazköl embayment, which dried up when water flow from the main body of the Caspian was blocked in the 1980s but has since been restored, routinely exceeds oceanic salinity by a factor of 10.[2] SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world and accounts for 40 to 44% of the total lacustrine waters of the world.[13] The coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan,Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct physical regions: the Northern, Middle, and Southern Caspian.[14]  HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The Northern–Middle boundary is the Mangyshlak Threshold, which runs through Chechen Island and Cape Tiub-Karagan. The Middle–Southern boundary is the Apsheron Threshold, a sill of tectonic origin between the Eurasian continent and an oceanic remnant,[15] that runs through Zhiloi Island and Cape Kuuli.[16] The Garabogazköl bay is the saline eastern inlet of the Caspian, which is part of Turkmenistan and at times has been a lake in its own right due to the isthmus which cuts it off from the Caspian. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

Divisions between the three regions are dramatic. The Northern Caspian only includes the Caspian shelf,[17] and is very shallow; it accounts for less than 1% of the total water volume with an average depth of only 5–6 metres (16–20 ft). The sea noticeably drops off towards the Middle Caspian, where the average depth is 190 metres (620 ft).[16] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

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The Southern Caspian is the deepest, with oceanic depths of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The Middle and Southern Caspian account for 33% and 66% of the total water volume, respectively.[14] The northern portion of the Caspian Sea typically freezes in the winter, and in the coldest winters ice forms in the south as well.[18] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Over 130 rivers provide inflow to the Caspian, with the Volga River being the largest. A second affluent, the Ural River, flows in from the north, and the Kura River flows into the sea from the west. In the past, the Amu Darya(Oxus) of Central Asia in the east often changed course to empty into the Caspian through a now-desiccated riverbed called the Uzboy River, as did the Syr Darya farther north. ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

The Caspian also has several small islands; they are primarily located in the North and have a collective land area of roughly 2,000 km2 (770 sq mi). Adjacent to the North Caspian is the Caspian Depression, a low-lying region 27 metres (89 ft) below sea level. The Central Asiansteppes stretch across the northeast coast, while the Caucasus mountains hug the Western shore. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The biomes to both the north and east are characterized by cold, continental deserts. Conversely, the climate to the southwest and south are generally warm with uneven elevation due to a mix of highlands and mountain ranges; the drastic changes in climate alongside the Caspian have led to a great deal of biodiversity in the region.[2] HP G62-b10EV laptop keyboard

The Caspian Sea has numerous islands throughout, all of them near the coasts. There are none in the deeper parts of the Sea. Ogurja Ada is the largest island. The island is 37 km long, with gazelles roaming freely on it. In the North Caspian, the majority of the islands are small and uninhabited, like the Tyuleniy Archipelago, an Important Bird Area (IBA), although some of them have human settlements. LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

The Caspian has characteristics common to both seas and lakes. It is often listed as the world's largest lake, although it is not a freshwater lake. The Caspian was once part of the Tethys Ocean but became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to plate tectonics.[13] The Volga River (about 80% of the inflow) and the Ural Riverdischarge into the Caspian Sea, but it has no natural outflow other than by evaporation. IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

Thus the Caspian ecosystemis a closed basin, with its own sea level history that is independent of the eustatic level of the world's oceans. The level of the Caspian has fallen and risen, often rapidly, many times over the centuries. Some Russian historians[who?] claim that a medieval rising of the Caspian, perhaps caused by the Amu Darya changing its inflow to the Caspian from the 13th century to the 16th century, caused the coastal towns of Khazaria, such as Atil, to flood. In 2004, the water level was 28 m (92 ft) below sea level. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard

Over the centuries, Caspian Sea levels have changed in synchrony with the estimated discharge of the Volga, which in turn depends on rainfall levels in its vast catchment basin. Precipitation is related to variations in the amount of North Atlantic depressions that reach the interior, Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

and they in turn are affected by cycles of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Thus levels in the Caspian sea relate to atmospheric conditions in the North Atlanticthousands of miles to the northwest. These factors make the Caspian Sea a valuable place to study the causes and effects of global climate change.[citation needed] SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

The last short-term sea-level cycle started with a sea-level fall of 3 m (9.84 ft) from 1929 to 1977, followed by a rise of 3 m (9.84 ft) from 1977 until 1995. Since then smaller oscillations have taken place.[19] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Sturgeon inhabit the Caspian Sea in great numbers, and yield roe (eggs) that are processed into caviar. Overfishing has depleted a number of the historic fisheries including the economic exhaustion of the tuna fishery.[21] In recent years overfishing has threatened the sturgeon population to the point that environmentalists advocate banning sturgeon fishing completely until the population recovers. However, the high price of sturgeon caviar allows fisherman to afford bribes to ensure the authorities look the other way, making regulations in many locations ineffective.[22] Caviar harvesting further endangers the fish stocks, since it targets reproductive females. HP Pavilion dv6-2105et laptop keyboard

The zebra mussel is native to the Caspian and the Black Sea, and has also been accidentally introduced and become an invasive species elsewhere.

The native range of the common carp extends to the Caspian Sea as well as the Black Sea and Aral Sea. Like the Zebra mussel it also has become an invasive species where it has been introduced. SONY VAIO VGN-N11M laptop keyboard

The area has given its name to several species, including the Caspian gull and the Caspian tern. The Caspian seal(Pusa caspica) is endemic to the Caspian Sea, and is one of very few seal species that live in inland waters. There are several species and subspecies of fish endemic to the Caspian Sea, including the kutum (also known as the Caspian white fish), Caspian marine shad, Caspian roach, Caspian bream (some report that the bream occurring in the Aral Sea is the same subspecies), and a Caspian "salmon" (a subspecies of trout, Salmo trutta caspiensis), which iscritically endangered.[22] Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

Many rare and endemic plant species of Russia are associated with the tidal areas of the Volga delta and riparian forests of the Samur River delta. The shoreline is also a unique refuge for plants adapted to the loose sands of the Central Asian Deserts. The principal limiting factors to successful establishment of plant species are hydrological imbalances within the surrounding deltas, water pollution, HP 431416-001 laptop keyboard

and various land reclamation activities. The water level change within the Caspian Sea is an indirect reason for which plants may not get established. This affects aquatic plants of the Volga delta, such as Aldrovanda vesiculosa and the native Nelumbo caspica. About 11 plant species are found in the Samur River delta these include the unique liana forests that dates back to theTertiary period. HP Compaq G50-133US laptop keyboard

With an increase in the level of the Caspian Sea between 1994–96, there has been a large reduction in the number of habitats for rare species of aquatic vegetation. This has been attributed to a general lack of seeding material in newly-formed coastal lagoons and water bodies. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The earliest human remains around Caspian are from Dmanisi dating back to around 1.8 Ma and yielded a number of skeletal remains of Homo erectus or Homo ergaster. More later evidence for human occupation of the region come from a number of caves in Georgia and Azerbaijan such as Kudaro and Azykh Caves. There is evidence for Lower Palaeolithic human occupation at south of Caspian from western Alburz. TOSHIBA Satellite P10 Series laptop keyboard

These are Ganj Par and Darband Cave sites.Neanderthal remains also have been discovered at a cave site in Georgia. Discoveries in the Huto cave and the adjacent Kamarband cave, near the town of Behshahr, Mazandaran south of the Caspian in Iran, suggest human habitation of the area as early as 11,000 years ago.[23][24]  HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

The Caspian area is rich in energy resources. Wells were being dug in the region as early as the 10th century.[25]By the 16th century, Europeans were aware of the rich oil and gas deposits around the area. English traders Thomas Bannister and Jeffrey Duckett described the area around Baku as “a strange thing to behold, SONY Vaio VGN-AW290J laptop keyboard

for there issueth out of the ground a marvelous quantity of oil, which serveth all the country to burn in their houses. This oil is black and is called nefte. There is also by the town of Baku, another kind of oil which is white and very precious (i.e.,petroleum)."[26] SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

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In 1950 the construction of Main Turkmen Canal was started under the orders of Joseph Stalin. The waterway, which would be used for shipping not irrigation, would run from Nukus on the Amu-Darya to Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea thus connecting the Amu-Darya and the Aral Sea to the Caspian. However the project was abandoned soon after the death of Stalin. The project was dropped in favor of the Qaraqum Canal, which runs on a more southerly route but does not reach the Caspian.[27] HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

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is the largest country in the Caucasus region located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe.[5] It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, while having a short borderline withTurkey to the northwest.  SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan has an ancient and historic cultural heritage, including the distinction of being the first Muslim-majority country to have operas, theater and plays.[6] The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established in 1918, but was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1920.[7][8] Azerbaijan regained independence in 1991. Shortly thereafter, during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, neighboring Armenia occupiedNagorno-Karabakh, TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1216 laptop keyboard

its surrounding territories and the enclaves of Karki, Yukhary Askipara, Barkhudarly andSofulu. The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which emerged in Nagorno-Karabakh, continues to be not diplomatically recognized by any nation and the region is still considered a de jure part of Azerbaijan, despite being de facto independent since the end of the war.[9][10][11][12] DELL NSK-D8001 laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan is a unitary constitutional republic. It is one of the six independent Turkic states as well as an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations.[13] It is one of the founding members ofGUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)[14] and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. A member of the United Nations since 1992, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly on May 9, 2006 (the term of office began on June 19, 2006).[15] The country is also a member of the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the NATOPartnership for Peace (PfP) program. Azerbaijan is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union and member of the Non-Aligned Movement and holds observer status in World Trade Organization.[13][16] SONY VAIO VGN-FS295XP laptop keyboard

The Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion, and all major political forces in the country are secular nationalist, but the majority of people and some opposition movements adhere to Shia Islam.[17] TOSHIBA Satellite L750D-BT5N22 laptop keyboard

Relative to other Eastern European and CIS states, Azerbaijan has reached a high level of human development,[18] economic development[19] and literacy,[20] as well as a low rate of unemployment[21] andintentional homicide.[22][23] On 1 January 2012, the country started a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.[24] SONY KFRMBA221A laptop keyboard

The name "Āzar" (Persian: آذر‎) means Fire and baijan was originally known as "Pāyegān" (Persian: پایگان‎) meaning Guardian/Protector (Āzar Pāyegān = "Guardians of Fire") (Persian: آذر پایگان‎). Such name roots back to the Zoroastrianism era of Persia (Iran). After the Muslim conquest of Persia many Persian words lost their original form as in Arabic there are no letter for pronouncing "G / P / ZH / CH"; hence, "Azar Paigān" came to be known as Azarbaijan (e.g., the Persian language in Persian is now both known as Pārsi (Persian: پارسی‎) and Fārsi due to the Arab invasion of Greater Iran and the great resistance of Iranians around the north. GATEWAY MT6709 laptop keyboard

According to an alternate etymology, the name of Azerbaijan derives from that of Atropates,[25][26] a Persian[27][28][29] satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, who was later reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander the Great.[30][31] TOSHIBA Satellite P305D-S8995E laptop keyboard

The original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrian religion. In the Avesta, Frawardin Yasht ("Hymn to the Guardian Angels"), there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, which literally translates from Avestan as "we worship the Fravashi of the holy Atropatene".[32] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Atropates ruled over the region of Atropatene (present Iranian Azerbaijan). The name "Atropates" itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old Iranian, probably Median, compounded name with the meaning "Protected by the (Holy) Fire" or "The Land of the (Holy) Fire".[33] The Greek name is mentioned byDiodorus Siculus and Strabo. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Over the span of millennia the name evolved to Āturpātākān then to Ādharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān and present-dayAzerbaijan. The word is translatable as "The Treasury" and "The Treasurer" of fire or "The Land of the Fire"[33] in Modern Persian.[34] ACER Aspire 9300-5317 laptop keyboard

The earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates to the late Stone Age and is related to the Guruchay culture of the Azykh Cave.[35] The Upper Paleolithic and late Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı, Zar, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe. SONY VAIO VGN-N330FH/W laptop keyboard

Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC.[33] Following the Scythians, Iranian Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras.[31] The Medes forged a vast empire between 900–700 BC, which was integrated into the Achaemenids Empire around 550 BC. The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading to the spread of Zoroastrianism.[36] Later it became part of Alexander the Great's Empire and its successor, HP Pavilion DV6-1210sa laptop keyboard

the Seleucid Empire. The Romans also settled in the area during the time of the Roman empire. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of the area, established an independent kingdom around the 4th century BC. During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Caucasus and Atropatene. Ancient Azerbaijanis spoke the Old Azari language. ACER TravelMate 6252 laptop keyboard

The Persian Sassanids turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state in AD 252, while King Urnayr officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century. Despite numerous conquests by the Sassanids and Byzantines, Albania remained an entity in the region until the 9th century. SONY VAIO VGN-N17C laptop keyboard

The Islamic Umayyad Caliphate repulsed both the Sassanids and Byzantines from the region and turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state after the Christian resistance, led by King Javanshir, was suppressed in 667. The power vacuum left by the decline of the Abbasid Caliphatewas filled by numerous local dynasties such as the Sallarids, TOSHIBA Satellite m505 laptop keyboard

Sajids, Shaddadids, Rawadids and Buyids. At the beginning of the 11th century, the territory was gradually seized by waves of Turkic Oghuz tribes from Central Asia. The first of these Turkic dynasties established was the Ghaznavids, which entered the area now known as Azerbaijan by 1030. HP G42-354TU Laptop Keyboard

The pre-Turkic Azerbaijani population spoke an Iranian language called the Old Azari language, which was gradually replaced by a Turkic language, now known as the Azerbaijani language from the 11th century onward until it became completely extinct in the 16th century.[37] To distinguish it from the Turkic Azerbaijani or Azeri language, this Iranian language, is designated as the Azari language (or Old Azari language), SAMSUNG NP-N150-JA07 Laptop Keyboard

because the Turkic language and people are also designated as "Azari" in the Persian language. However some linguists have also designated the Tati dialects of Iranian Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan, like those spoken by the Tats, as a remnant of Azari.[38][39] Locally, the possessions of the subsequent Seljuq Empire were ruled by atabegs, who were technically vassals of the Seljuq sultans, ACER TravelMate 3002WTMi laptop keyboard

being sometimes de facto rulers themselves. Under the Seljuq Turks, local poets such asNizami Ganjavi and Khagani Shirvani gave rise to a blossoming of Persian literature on the territory of present-day Azerbaijan. The next ruling state of the Jalayirids was short-lived and fell under the conquests of Timur. TOSHIBA Satellite L775-S7140 laptop keyboard

The local dynasty of Shirvanshahs became a vassal state of Timur's Empire, and assisted him in his war with the ruler of the Golden Horde Tokhtamysh. Following Timur's death two independent and rival states emerged: ACER Aspire 2021 laptop keyboard

Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu. The Shirvanshahs returned, maintaining a high degree of autonomy as local rulers and vassals from 861 until 1539. During their persecution by the Iranian Safavids, the last dynasty imposed Shia Islam upon the formerly Sunni population,[40][41][42] as it was battling against the Sunni Ottoman Empire.[43] SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

After the Safavids, the area was ruled by the Iranian dynasties of Afshar and Zand and briefly by the Qajars. However de factoself-ruling khanates[45][46][47][48][49] emerged in the area, especially following the collapse of the Zand dynasty and in the early Qajar era. The brief and successful Russian campaign of 1812 was concluded with the Treaty of Gulistan, in which the shah's claims to some of the Khanates of the Caucasus were dismissed by Russia on the ground that they had been de factoindependent long before their Russian occupation.[50] TOSHIBA Tecra A9 laptop keyboard

The khanates exercised control over their affairs via international trade routes between Central Asia and the West.[51] Engaged in constant warfare, these khanates were eventually incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1813, HP Pavilion dv5-1138tx laptop keyboard

following the two Russo-Persian Wars. The area to the North of the river Aras, among which the territory of the contemporary republic of Azerbaijan were Iranian territory until they were occupied by Russia.[7][52][53][54][55][56] Under the Treaty of Turkmenchay, Persiarecognized Russian sovereignty over the Erivan Khanate, the Nakhchivan Khanate and the remainder of the Lankaran Khanate. HP Pavilion DV9286EA laptop keyboard

In 2007, during the construction of a stadium, constructors discovered the Guba mass grave. Studies by Azerbaijani and foreign scientists have confirmed the human remains found there to be of local residents of various nationalities, including Jews andLezgians who were killed in the 1918 massacre carried out by Armenians.[57] To date, the remains of 600 people have been found, including about 50 children and 100 women.[58] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

After the collapse of the Russian Empire during World War I, Azerbaijan, together withArmenia and Georgia became part of the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic. When the republic dissolved in May 1918, Azerbaijan declared independence as theAzerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR).  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The ADR was the first modern parliamentary republicin the Muslim world.[7][59][60] Among the important accomplishments of the Parliament was the extension of suffrage to women, making Azerbaijan the first Muslim nation to grant women equal political rights with men.[59] Another important accomplishment of ADR was the establishment of Baku State University, which was the first modern-type university founded in Muslim East.[59] HP Pavilion dv6-2140ed laptop keyboard

By March 1920, it was obvious that Soviet Russia would attack the much-needed Baku. Vladimir Lenin said that the invasion was justified as Soviet Russia could not survive without Baku's oil.[61][62] Independent Azerbaijan lasted only 23 months until the Bolshevik 11th Soviet Red Army invaded it, HP Pavilion DV7T-4100 laptop keyboard

establishing the Azerbaijan SSR on April 28, 1920. Although the bulk of the newly formed Azerbaijani army was engaged in putting down an Armenian revolt that had just broken out in Karabakh, Azeris did not surrender their brief independence of 1918–20 quickly or easily. As many as 20,000 Azerbaijani soldiers died resisting what was effectively a Russian reconquest.[63]  IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

On October 13, 1921, the Soviet republics of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed an agreement with Turkey known as the Treaty of Kars. The previously independent Naxicivan SSR would also become an autonomous ASSR within the Azerbaijan SSR by the treaty of Kars. On the other hand, Armenia was awarded the region of Zangezur and Turkey agreed to return Gyumri (then known as Alexandropol). SONY VAIO VGN-FS620P/W laptop keyboard

During World War II, Azerbaijan played a crucial role in the strategic energy policy of Soviet Union, with most of the Soviet Union's oil on the Eastern Front being supplied by Baku. By the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in February 1942, the commitment of more than 500 workers and employees of the oil industry of Azerbaijan was awarded orders and medals. SONY VAIO VGN-FS515B laptop keyboard

Operation Edelweiss carried out by the German Wehrmacht targeted Baku because of its importance as the energy (petroleum) dynamo of the USSR.[7] A fifth of all Azerbaijanis fought in the Second World War from 1941 to 1945. Approximately 681,000 people with over 100,000 of them women went to the front, HP Pavilion dv6-2158et laptop keyboard

while the total population of Azerbaijan was 3.4 million at the time.[64] Some 250,000 people from Azerbaijan were killed on the front. More than 130 Azerbaijanis were named Heroes of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijani Major-General Azi Aslanovwas twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union.[65] HP G61-400SP laptop keyboard

Following the politics of glasnost, initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev, civil unrest and ethnic strife grew in various regions of the Soviet Union, includingNagorno-Karabakh,[66] a region of the Azerbaijan SSR. The disturbances in Azerbaijan, in response to Moscow's indifference to already heated conflict, resulted in calls for independence and secession, which culminated in Black January in Baku.[67] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

Later in 1990, the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijan SSRdropped the words "Soviet Socialist" from the title, adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Azerbaijan Republic and restored flag of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic as a state flag. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard68]

The early years of independence were overshadowed by the Nagorno-Karabakh War with neighboring Armenia. By the end of hostilities in 1994, Armenians controlled up to 16 percent of Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh itself.[69][70] An estimated 30,000 people had been killed and more than a million had been displaced.[71] Four United Nations Security Council Resolutions (822, 853, 874, and 884) Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

demands for "the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan."[72] Many Russians and Armenians left Azerbaijan during the 1990s.[73] According to the 1970 census, there were 510,000 ethnic Russians and 484,000 Armenians in Azerbaijan.[74] The single most prominent example was the Khojaly Massacre, ruled a genocide by the Memorial Human Rights Center, Human Rights Watch and other international observers.[75][76] HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

In 1993, democratically elected president Abulfaz Elchibey was overthrown by a military insurrection led by ColonelSurat Huseynov, which resulted in the rise to power of the former leader of Soviet Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev.[77] In 1994, Surat Huseynov, by that time a prime minister, attempted another military coup against Heydar Aliyev, but Huseynov was arrested and charged with treason.[78] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

In 1995, another coup attempt against Aliyev, by the commander of the OMON special unit, Rovshan Javadov, was averted, resulting in the killing of the latter and disbanding of Azerbaijan's OMON units.[79][80] At the same time, the country was tainted by rampant corruption in the governing bureaucracy.[81] In October 1998, Aliyev was reelected for a second term. Despite the much improved economy, particularly with the exploitations of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil field and Shah Deniz gas field, Aliyev's presidency was criticized due to suspected vote fraud and corruption.[82] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijan is in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, straddling Western Asia and Eastern Europe. It lies between latitudes 38° and 42° N, and longitudes 44° and 51° E. The total length of Azerbaijan's land borders is 2,648 km (1,645 mi), of which 1007 kilometers are with Armenia, 756 kilometers with Iran, HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

480 kilometers with Georgia, 390 kilometers with Russia and 15 kilometers with Turkey.[83] The coastline stretches for 800 km (497 mi), and the length of the widest area of the Azerbaijani section of the Caspian Sea is 456 km (283 mi).[83] The territory of Azerbaijan extends 400 km (249 mi) from north to south, and 500 km (311 mi) from west to east. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5361 laptop keyboard

Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country's center. There are also three mountain ranges, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, together covering approximately 40 percent of the country.[84] The highest peak of Azerbaijan is mount Bazardüzü (4,466 m),  HP G71t-400 CTO laptop keyboard

while the lowest point lies in the Caspian Sea (−28 m). Nearly half of all the mud volcanoes on Earth are concentrated in Azerbaijan, which was also among nominees for New7Wonders of Nature.[85] SONY Vaio VGN-AW270Y laptop keyboard

The main water sources are the surface waters. However, only 24 of the 8,350 rivers are greater than 100 km (62 mi) in length.[84] All the rivers drain into the Caspian Sea in the east of the country.[84] The largest lake is Sarysu (67 km²), and the longest river is Kur (1,515 km), which is transboundary. Azerbaijan's four main islands in the Caspian Sea have a combined area of over thirty square kilometer. SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

Since the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991, the Azerbaijani government has taken drastic measures to preserve the environment of Azerbaijan. But national protection of the environment started to truly improve after 2001 when the state budget increased due to new revenues provided by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Within four years protected areas doubled and now make up eight percent of the country's territory. Since 2001 the government has set up seven large reserves and almost doubled the sector of the budget earmarked for environmental protection.[86] FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

zerbaijan is home to a vast variety of landscapes. Over half of Azerbaijan's land mass consists of mountain ridges, crests, yailas, and plateaus which rise up to hypsometric levels of 400–1000 meters (including the Middle and Lower lowlands), TOSHIBA Satellite l20-c430 Laptop Keyboard

in some places (Talis, Jeyranchol-Ajinohur and Langabiz-Alat foreranges) up to 100–120 meters, and others from 0–50 meters and up (Qobustan, Absheron). The rest of Azerbaijan's terrain consist of plains and lowlands. Hypsometric marks within the Caucasus region vary from about −28 meters at the Caspian Sea shoreline up to 4,466 meters (Bazardüzü peak).[87] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

The formation of climate in Azerbaijan is influenced particularly by cold arctic air masses of Scandinaviananticyclone, temperate of Siberian anticyclone, and Central Asian anticyclone.[88] Azerbaijan's diverse landscape affects the ways air masses enter the country.[88] The Greater Caucasus protects the country from direct influences of cold air masses coming from the north. That leads to the formation of subtropical climate on most foothills and plains of the country. Meanwhile, plains and foothills are characterized by high solar radiation rates. COMPAQ Presario C702TU Laptop Keyboard

9 out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan.[89] Both the absolute minimum temperature (−33 °C or −27.4 °F ) and the absolute maximum temperature ( 46 °C or 114.8 °F ) were observed in Julfa andOrdubad.[89] The maximum annual precipitation falls in Lankaran (1,600 to 1,800 mm or 63 to 71 in) and the minimum in Absheron (200 to 350 mm or 7.9 to 14 in).[89] HP G42-357TU Laptop Keyboard

Rivers and lakes form the principal part of the water systems of Azerbaijan, they were formed over a long geological timeframe and changed significantly throughout that period. This is particularly evidenced by remnants of ancient rivers found throughout the country. The country's water systems are continually changing under the influence of natural forces and human introduced industrial activities. TOSHIBA G83C0000E510 laptop keyboard

Artificial rivers (canals) and ponds are a part of Azerbaijan's water systems. From the water supply point, Azerbaijan is below the average in the world with approximately 100,000 cubic meters per year of water per square kilometer (9.1 million cubic feet per year per square mile).[89] All big water reservoirs are built on Kur. The hydrography of Azerbaijan basically belongs to the Caspian Sea basin. HP 605344-001 laptop keyboard

There are 8,350 rivers of various lengths within Azerbaijan. Only 24 rivers are over 100 kilometers long.[90] The Kura and Aras are the most popular rivers in Azerbaijan, they run through the Kura-Aras Lowland. The rivers that directly flow into the Caspian Sea, originate mainly from the north-eastern slope of the Major Caucasus and Talysh Mountains and run along the Samur-Devechi and Lenkeran lowlands. HP Mini 110-3505tu laptop keyboard

Yanar Dag, translated as "burning mountain"), is a natural gas fire which blazes continuously on a hillside on the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian Seanear Baku, which itself is known as the "land of fire." Flames jet out into the air from a thin, porous sandstone layer. It is a tourist attraction to visitors to the Baku area. HP Pavilion dv3-2155ee laptop keyboard

The first reports on the richness and diversity of animal life in Azerbaijan can be found in travel notes of Eastern travelers. Animal carvings on architectural monuments, ancient rocks and stones survived up to the present times. The first information on the animal kingdom of Azerbaijan was collected during the visits of naturalists to Azerbaijan in 17th century.[84] Unlike fauna, the concept of animal kingdom covers not only the types of animals, but also the number of individual species. HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

There are 106 species of mammals, 97 species of fish, 363 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 52 species of reptiles which have been recorded and classified in Azerbaijan.[84] The national animal of Azerbaijan is the Karabakh horse, a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse endemic to Azerbaijan. The Karabakh horse has a reputation for its good temper, speed, elegance and intelligence. It is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient world. However today the horse is an endangered species.[91] HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan's flora consists of more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much richer in the number of species than the flora of the other republics of the South Caucasus.[92] About 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The structural formation of Azerbaijan's political system was completed by the adoption of the new Constitution on 12 November 1995. According to the Article 23 of Constitution, the state symbols of the Azerbaijan Republic are the flag, the coat of arms and the national anthem. The state power in Azerbaijan is limited only by law for internal issues, but for international affairs is additionally limited by the provisions of international agreements. ACER Aspire 7738G laptop keyboard

The government of Azerbaijan is based on the separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicialbranches. The legislative power is held by the unicameral National Assembly and the Supreme National Assembly in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Parliamentary elections are held every five years, on the first Sunday of November. TheYeni Azerbaijan Party, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

and independents loyal to the ruling government, currently hold almost all of the Parliament's 125 seats. During the 2010 Parliamentary election, the opposition parties, Musavat and Azerbaijani Popular Front Party, failed to win a single seat. European observers found numerous irregularities in the run up to the election and on election day.[93] COMPAQ Presario C710BR Laptop Keyboard

The executive power is held by the President, who is elected for a 5-year term by direct elections. The president is authorized to form the Cabinet, an inferior executive body, subordinated to him. The Cabinet of Azerbaijan consists primarily of the Prime Minister, his Deputies and Ministers. HP AETT3U00010 Laptop Keyboard

The president does not have the right to dissolve the National Assembly, but he has the right to veto its decisions. To override the presidential veto, the parliament must have a majority of 95 votes. The judicial power is vested in the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and the Economic Court. The President nominates the judges in these courts. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The Security Council is the deliberative body under the president, and he organizes it according to the Constitution. It was established on 10 April 1997. The administrative department is not a part of the president's office but manages the financial, technical and pecuniary activities of both the president and his office. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Although Azerbaijan has held several elections since regaining its independence and it has many of the formal institutions of democracy, it remains classified as "not free" (on border with "partly free") in Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2009 survey.[94] SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

The short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with six countries, sending diplomatic representatives to Germany and Finland.[95] The process of international recognition of Azerbaijan's independence from the collapsing Soviet Union lasted roughly one year. ACER K032130A1 Laptop Keyboard

The most recent country to recognize Azerbaijan was Bahrain, on November 6, 1996.[96] Full diplomatic relations, including mutual exchanges of missions, were first established with Turkey, Pakistan, the United States, Iran[95] and Israel.[97] Azerbaijan has placed a particular emphasis on its "Special Relationship" with Turkey.[98][99] HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries so far and holds membership in 38 international organizations.[13] It holds observer status in the Non-Aligned Movement and World Trade Organization and is a correspondent at the International Telecommunication Union.[13] On 9 May 2006 Azerbaijan was elected to membership in the newly established Human Rights Council by the United Nations General Assembly. The term of office began on 19 June 2006.[15] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Foreign policy priorities of Azerbaijan include: first of all, the restoration of its territorial integrity; elimination of the consequences of the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven other regions of Azerbaijan;[100][101]integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structure; contribution to international security; cooperation with international organizations; regional cooperation and bilateral relations; DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

strengthening of defense capability; promotion of security by domestic policy means; strengthening of democracy; preservation of the ethnic and religious tolerance; scientific, educational and cultural policy and preservation of moral values; economic and social development; enhancing internal and border security; migration, energy and transportation security policy.[100] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

The Azerbaijani Government, in late 2007, stated that the long-standing dispute over the Armenian-occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is almost certain to spark a new war if it remains unresolved.[100] The Government is in the process of increasing its military budget. Furthermore, economic sanctions by Turkey to the west and by Azerbaijan itself to the east have combined to greatly erode Armenia's economy, leading to steep increases in prices for basic commodities and a great decline in the Armenian state revenues.[102] HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijan is an active member of international coalitions fighting international terrorism. The country is contributing to peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Azerbaijan is an active member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program. It also maintains good relations with the European Union and could potentially one day apply for membership.[100] SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

The history of the modern Azerbaijan army dates back to Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in 1918, when the National Army of the newly formed Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was created on June 26, 1918.[104][105] When Azerbaijan gained independence after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan were created according to the Law on the Armed Forces of October 9, 1991.[106] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

The original date of the establishment of the short-lived National Army is celebrated as Army Day (26 June) in today's Azerbaijan.[107] As of 2002, Azerbaijan had 95,000 active personnel in its armed forces. There are also 17,000 paramilitary troops.[108] The armed forces have three branches: the Land Forces, theAir Forces and the Navy. Additionally the armed forces embrace several military sub-groups that can be involved in state defense when needed. Packard Bell Easynote TM80 laptop keyboard

These are theInternal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Service, which includes the Coast Guard as well.[69] The Azerbaijan National Guard is a further paramilitary force. It operates as a semi-independent entity of the Special State Protection Service, an agency subordinate to the President.[109] HP Pavilion dv6-2114sa laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan adheres to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and has signed all major international arms and weapons treaties. Azerbaijan closely cooperates with NATO in programs such as Partnership for Peace and Individual Partnership Action Plan. Azerbaijan has deployed 151 of its Peacekeeping Forces in Iraq and another 184 in Afghanistan.[110] HP Pavilion zv5320us laptop keyboard

The military expenditures of Azerbaijan for 2011 are set at US$4,46 billion.[111] Azerbaijani defense industry manufactures small arms, artillery systems, tanks, armors and noctovision devices, aviation bombs, pilotless vehicles, various military vehicles and military planes and helicopters. SONY VAIO VGN-NW120J laptop keyboard

After gaining independence in 1991, Azerbaijan became a member of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, theEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.[116] The banking system of Azerbaijan consists of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, commercial banks and non-banking credit organizations. Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The National (now Central) Bank was created in 1992 based on the Azerbaijan State Savings Bank, an affiliate of the former State Savings Bank of the USSR. The Central Bank serves as Azerbaijan's central bank, empowered to issue the national currency, the Azerbaijani manat, and to supervise all commercial banks. Two major commercial banks are the state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan, which is run by Dr. Jahangir Hajiyev, and the UniBank. ACER Aspire One A110-1588 laptop keyboard

Pushed up by spending and demand growth, the 2007 Q1 inflation rate reached 16.6%.[117] Nominal incomes and monthly wages climbed 29% and 25% respectively against this figure, but price increases in non-oil industry encouraged inflation in the country.[117] Azerbaijan shows some signs of the so-called "Dutch disease" because of the fast growing energy sector, which causes inflation and makes non-energy exports more expensive. ACER Aspire One AO532 laptop keyboard

In the early years of this century the chronically high inflation was brought under control and this led to the launch of a new currency, the new Azerbaijani manat, on January 1, 2006, to cement the acquisition of the economic reforms and erase the vestiges of an unstable economy.[118][119]  ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

In 2008, Azerbaijan was cited as one of the top 10 reformers by the World Bank's Doing Business Report.[120]

Azerbaijan led the world as the top reformer in 2007/08, with improvements on seven out of 10 indicators of regulatory reform. Azerbaijan started operating a one-stop shop in January 2008 that halved the time, cost and number of procedures to start a business. Business registrations increased by 40% in the first six months. SONY VAIO VGN-FS215E laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan also eliminated the minimum loan cutoff of $1,100, more than doubling the number of borrowers covered by the credit registry. Also, taxpayers can now file forms and pay their taxes online. Azerbaijan’s extensive reforms moved it far up the ranks, from 97 to 33 in the overall ease of doing business. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Two thirds of Azerbaijan is rich in oil and natural gas.[122] The region of the Lesser Caucasus accounts for most of the country's gold, silver, iron, copper, titanium, chromium, manganese, cobalt, molybdenum, complex ore and antimony.[122]In September 1994, a 30-year contract was signed between the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and 13 oil companies, among them Amoco,  TOSHIBA Satellite M35X-SP349 laptop keyboard

BP, ExxonMobil, Lukoil and Statoil.[116] As Western oil companies are able to tap deepwater oilfields untouched by the Soviet exploitation, Azerbaijan is considered one of the most important spots in the world for oil exploration and development.[123] Meanwhile the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan was established as an extra-budgetary fund to ensure the macroeconomic stability, transparency in the management of oil revenue, and the safeguarding of resources for future generations. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Tourism is an important part of the economy of Azerbaijan. The country was a well-known tourist spot in the 1980s, yet, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Nagorno-Karabakh War during the 1990s, damaged the tourist industry and the image of Azerbaijan as a tourist destination.[129] TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

It was not until the 2000s that the tourism industry began to recover, and the country has since experienced a high rate of growth in the number of tourist visits and overnight stays.[130] In the recent years, Azerbaijan has also becoming a popular destination for religious, spa, and health care tourism.[131] During winter, the skiing resorts such as Shahdag Winter Complex are popular with foreign visitors. Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

The Government of Azerbaijan has set the development of Azerbaijan as an elite tourist destination a top priority. It is a national strategy to make tourism a major, if not the single largest, contributor to the Azerbaijani economy.[132]These activities are regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5359 laptop keyboard

The convenient location of Azerbaijan on the crossroad of major international traffic arteries, such as the Silk Road and the South-North corridor, highlights the strategic importance of transportation sector for the country’s economy.[133] The transport sector in the country includes roads, railways, aviation, and maritime transport. DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan is also an important economic hub in the transportation of raw materials. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) became operational in May 2006 and extends more than 1,774 kilometers through the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. The BTC is designed to transport up to 50 million tons of crude oil annually and carries oil from the Caspian Sea oilfields to global markets.[134] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

The South Caucasus Pipeline, also stretching through the territory of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, became operational at the end of 2006 and offers additional gas supplies to the European market from the Shah Deniz gas field. Shah Deniz is expected to produce up to 296 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.[135] Azerbaijan also plays a major role in the EU-sponsored Silk Road Project. HP Pavilion dv6-2020sa Laptop Keyboard

In 2002, the Azerbaijani government established the Ministry of Transport with a broad range of policy and regulatory functions. In the same year, the country became a member of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.[136] The highest priority being; upgrading the transport network and transforming transportation services into one of the key comparative advantages of the country, as this would be highly conducive to the development of other sectors of the economy. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

In 2012, the construction of Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway expected to provide transportation between Asia and Europe through connecting the railways of China and Kazakhstan in the east with Turkey's Marmaray to the European railway system in the west.[137] Broad gauge railways in 2010 stretched for 2,918 km (1,813 mi) and electrified railways numbered 1,278 km (794 mi). By 2010, there were 35 airports and one heliport.[69] HP Compaq G50-133US Laptop Keyboard

In the 21st century, a new oil and gas boom helped to improve the situation in the Azerbaijan's science and technology sectors, and the government launched a campaign aimed at modernization and innovation. The government estimates that profits from the information technology and communication industry will grow and become comparable with those from oil production.[138] SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijan has a large and steadily growing Internet sector, mostly uninfluenced by the global financial crisis; rapid growth is forecast for at least five more years.[139]

The country has also been making progress in developing its telecoms sector. The Ministry of Communications & Information Technologies (MCIT), as well as being an operator through its role in Aztelekom, is both a policy-maker and regulator.  HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Public pay phones are available for local calls and require the purchase of a token from the telephone exchange or some shops and kiosks. Tokens allow a call of indefinite duration. As of 2009, there were 1,397,000 maintelephone lines[140] and 1,485,000 internet users.[141] There are five GSM providers: Azercell, Bakcell, Azerfon (Nar Mobile), Aztrank, Catel mobile network operators and one CDMA. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

In the 21st century a number of prominent Azerbaijani geodynamics and geotectonics scientists, inspired by the fundamental works of Elchin Khalilov and others, designed hundreds of earthquake prediction stations and earthquake-resistant buildings that now constitute the bulk of The Republican Center of Seismic Service.[142][143][144] DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

The Azerbaijan National Aerospace Agency launched its first satellite AzerSat 1 into orbit in 7 February 2013 from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana at orbital positions 46° East.[145][146][147] The satellite will cover Europe and significant part of Asian countries and Africa and will have transmission for TV, radio broadcasting and the internet.[148] The launch of its own satellite on orbit is Azerbaijan's first action in realizing prospective projects to turn itself into a country with a space industry.[149][150] Compaq Presario CQ57-310 Laptop Keyboard

From the total population of 9,165,000 people as of July 2011, nearly 52% was urban population, the remaining 48% was the rural population.[152] 51% of the total population were female.[152] The sex ratio for total population in that year was therefore 0.97 males per female.[69] DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

The 2011 population growth rate was 0.85%, compared to 1.09% worldwide.[69] A significant factor restricting the population growth is rather a high level of migration. An estimated 3 million Azerbaijanis, many of them guest workers, live inRussia.[153] In 2011 Azerbaijan saw migration of −1.14/1,000 persons.[69] With 800,000 ethnic Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijan has the largest internally displaced population in the region, and, as of 2006, had the highest per capita IDP population in the world.[154] TOSHIBA Satellite l20-121 Laptop Keyboard

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The Azerbaijani diaspora is found in 42 countries[155] and in turn there are many centers for ethnic minorities inside Azerbaijan, including the German cultural society "Karelhaus", Slavic cultural center, Azerbaijani-Israeli community, Kurdish cultural center, International Talysh Association, Lezgin national center "Samur", Azerbaijani-Tatar community, Crimean Tatars society, etc.[156] HP G61-410EL Laptop Keyboard

The ethnic composition of the population according to the 2009 population census: 91.60% Azerbaijanis, 2.02% Lezgians, 1.35% Armenians (almost all Armenians live in the break-away region of Nagorno-Karabakh), 1.34% Russians, 1.26% Talysh, 0.56% Avars, 0.43% Turks, 0.29% Tatars, 0.28% Tats, 0.24%Ukrainians, 0.14% Tsakhurs, 0.11% Georgians, 0.10% Jews, 0.07% Kurds, other 0.21%.SONY VAIO VGN-FS840 Laptop Keyboard

Iranian Azerbaijanis are the largest minority in Iran. The CIA World Factbook estimates Iranian Azerbaijanis as comprising nearly 16% of Iran's population.[157]

The official language is Azerbaijani, which belongs to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia, primarily in Azerbaijan and Iranian Azerbaijan. HP G61-304NR Laptop Keyboard

The Azerbaijani language is divided into two varieties, North Azerbaijani[159] and South Azerbaijani,[160] and a large number of dialects. Turkic Khalaj,[161] Qashqa'i,[162] andSalchuq[163] are considered by some[164] to be separate languages in the Azerbaijani language group. Azerbaijani served as a lingua franca throughout most parts of Transcaucasia (except the Black Sea coast), in SouthernDagestan,[165][166][167] eastern Turkey, and Iranian Azerbaijan from the 16th century to the early 20th century.[168][169] HP G62-b10EV laptop keyboard

Although Azerbaijani (also called Azeri) is the most widely spoken language in the country and is spoken by less than a quarter of the population of Iran, there are 13 other languages spoken natively in the country.[170] Some of these languages are very small communities, others are more vital.[171] Azerbaijani is mutually intelligible with Turkish and Gagauz. The northern variety of the language is written with a modified Latin alphabet today, LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

but was earlier written in the Perso-Arabic alphabet (until 1929), in the Uniform Turkic Alphabet (1929–1939), and in the Cyrillic alphabet (1939–1991).[172] The changes in alphabet have been largely molded by religious and political forces. IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

Around 95 percent of the population are Muslims.[174] 85% of the Muslims are Shia Muslims and 15% Sunni Muslims,[175]and the Republic of Azerbaijan has the Second highest Shia population percentage after Iran.[176] In Baku there is theHindu[177] Fire Temple of Baku ("ateshgah" in Persian) with an "old" structure[178] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard

which, according to travellers, has been a place of visit for Hindu priests for more than a millennium.[179] The place is often "misrepresented as a Zoroastrian fire-temple" due to frequent association of "fire temple" with the Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism.[177]Other faiths are practised by the country's various ethnic groups. Under article 48 of its Constitution, SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan is a secular state and ensures religious freedom. Of the nation's religious minorities, Christians are mostly Russian andGeorgian Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic (almost all Armenians live in the break-away region of Nagorno-Karabakh).[69] Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

In 2003, there were 250 Roman Catholics.[180] Other Christian denominations as of 2002 include Lutherans, Baptists andMolokans.[181] There are also Jewish, Bahá'í, Hare Krishna and Jehovah's Witnesses communities, as well as adherents of the Nehemiah Church, Star in the East Church and the Cathedral of Praise Church.[181] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

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Main article: Education in Azerbaijan

A relatively high percentage of Azerbaijanis have obtained some form of higher education, most notably in scientific and technical subjects.[182] In the Soviet era, literacy and average education levels rose dramatically from their very low starting point, despite two changes in the standard alphabet, Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

fromPerso-Arabic script to Latin in the 1920s and from Roman to Cyrillic in the 1930s. According to Soviet data, 100 percent of males and females (ages nine to forty-nine) were literate in 1970.[182] According to the United Nations Development Program Report 2009, the literacy rate in Azerbaijan is 99.5 percent.[183] SONY VAIO VGN-N11M laptop keyboard

Since independence, one of the first laws that Azerbaijan's Parliament passed to disassociate itself from the Soviet Union was to adopt a modified-Latin alphabet to replace Cyrillic.[184] Other than that the Azerbaijani system has undergone little structural change. Initial alterations have included the reestablishment of religious education (banned during the Soviet period) HP 431416-001 laptop keyboard

and curriculum changes that have reemphasized the use of the Azerbaijani language and have eliminated ideological content. In addition to elementary schools, the education institutions include thousands of preschools, general secondary schools, and vocational schools, including specialized secondary schools and technical schools. Education through the eighth grade is compulsory. HP Compaq G50-133US laptop keyboard

The culture of Azerbaijan has developed as a result of many influences. Today, Western influences, including globalizedconsumer culture, are strong. National traditions are well preserved in the country. Some of the main elements of the Azerbaijani culture are: music, literature, folk dances and art, cuisine, architecture, cinematography and Novruz Bayram. The latter is derived from the traditional celebration of the New Year in the ancient Persian religion ofZoroastrianism. Novruz is a family holiday.[185] TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan folk consists of Azerbaijanis, the representative part of society, as well as of nations and ethnic groups, compactly living in various areas of the country. Azerbaijani national and traditional dresses are the Chokha andPapakhi. There are radio broadcasts in Russian, Armenian, Georgian, Kurdish, Lezgian and Talysh languages, Lenovo 3000 Y500 7761 laptop keyboard

which are financed from the state budget.[156] Some local radio stations in Balakan and Khachmaz organize broadcasts in Avar andTat.[156] In Baku several newspapers are published in Russian, Kurdish (Dengi Kurd), Lezgian (Samur) and Talysh languages.[156] Jewish society "Sokhnut" publishes the newspaper Aziz.[156]  HP Pavilion dv6-2125el laptop keyboard

Music of Azerbaijan builds on folk traditions that reach back nearly a thousand years.[186] For centuries Azerbaijani music has evolved under the badge of monody, producing rhythmically diverse melodies.[187] Azerbaijani music has a branchy mode system, where chromatization of major and minor scales is of great importance.[187] Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

Among national musical instruments there are 14string instruments, eight percussion instruments and six wind instruments.[188] According to The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, "in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion the Azeri are musically much closer to Iran than Turkey."[189] SONY KFRMBA152A laptop keyboard

Mugham, meykhana and ashiq art are one of the many musical traditions of Azerbaijan. Mugham is usually a suite with poetry and instrumental interludes. When performing Mugham, the singers have to transform their emotions into singing and music. In contrast to the mugham traditions of Central Asian countries, Azeri mugham is more free-form and less rigid; it is often compared to the improvised field of jazz.[190] TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5804 laptop keyboard

UNESCO proclaimed the Azerbaijani mugham tradition a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 7 November 2003. Meykhana is a kind of traditional Azeri distinctive folk unaccompanied song, usually performed by several people improvising on a particular subject. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Ashiq combines poetry, storytelling, dance and vocal and instrumental music into a traditional performance art that stands as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture. It is a mystic troubadour or traveling bard who sings and plays the saz. This tradition has its origin in the Shamanistic beliefs of ancient Turkic peoples.[191] Ashiqs' songs are semi-improvised around common bases. Azerbaijan’s ashiq art was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO on September 30, 2009.[192] TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6114 laptop keyboard

Since the mid-1960s, Western-influenced pop music, in its various forms, that has been growing in popularity in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani pop and folk music arose with the international popularity of performers like Alim Qasimov, Rashid Behbudov, Vagif Mustafazadeh, Muslim Magomayev, Shovkat Alakbarova and Rubaba Muradova.[193] SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

Azerbaijan made its debut appearance at the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest. The country's entry gained the third place in 2009 and fifth the following year.[194] Ell and Nikki won the first place at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011with the song "Running Scared", entitling Azerbaijan to host the contest in 2012, in Baku.[195][196] ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

There are dozens of Azerbaijani folk dances. They are performed at formal celebrations and the dancers wear national clothes like the Chokha, which is well preserved within the national dances. Most dances have a very fast rhythm. The national dance shows the characteristics of the Azerbaijani nation. HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

Classical literature in Azerbaijani was formed in 14th century based on the various dialect Early Middle Ages dialects of Tabriz and Shirvan. Among the poets of this period were Gazi Burhanaddin,Haqiqi (pen-name of Jahan-shah Qara Qoyunlu), and Habibi.[199] The end of 14th century was also the period of starting literary activity of Imadaddin Nesimi,[200] one of the greatestTurkic[201][202][203] ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard

Hurufi mystical poets of the late 14th and early 15th centuries[204] and one of the most prominent early Divan masters in Turkic literary history,[204] who also composed poetry in Persian[202][205] and Arabic.[204] The Divan and Ghazal styles were further developed by poetsQasim al-Anvar, 

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Fuzuli and Khatai (pen-name of Safavid Shah Ismail I). The acclaimed Book of Dede Korkut consists of two manuscripts copied in the 16th century,[206] was not written earlier than the 15th century.[207][208] It is a collection of 12 stories reflecting the oral tradition of Oghuz nomads.[208] The 16th century poet, Muhammed Fuzuli produced his timeless philosophical and lyrical Qazals in Arabic, Persian, and Azeri. Benefiting immensely from the fine literary traditions of his environment,  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

and building upon the legacy of his predecessors, Fizuli was destined to become the leading literary figure of his society. His major works include The Divan of Ghazals and The Qasidas. In the same century, Azerbaijani literature further flourished with the development of Ashik (Azerbaijani: Aşıq) poetic genre of bards. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

During the same period, under the pen-name of Khatāī (Arabic: خطائی‎ for sinner) Shah Ismail I wrote about 1400 verses in Azeri,[209] which were later published as his Divan. A unique literary style known as qoshma (Azerbaijani: qoşma for improvization) was introduced in this period, and developed by Shah Ismail and later by his son and successor, Shah Tahmasp I. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

In the span of the 17th and 18th centuries, Fizuli's unique genres as well Ashik poetry were taken up by prominent poets and writers such as Qovsi of Tabriz, Shah Abbas Sani, Agha Mesih Shirvani, Nishat, Molla Vali Vidadi, Molla Panah Vagif, Amani, Zafar and others. Along with Turks, Turkmens andUzbeks, Azeris also celebrate the Epic of Koroglu (from Azerbaijani: kor oğlu for blind man's son), a legendary folk hero.[210] Several documented versions of Koroglu epic remain at the Institute for Manuscripts of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan.[198] FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

Modern literature in Azerbaijan is based on the Shirvani dialect mainly, while in Iran it is based on the Tabrizi one. The first newspaper in Azerbaijani,Akinchi was published in 1875. In mid-19th century, it was taught in the schools of Baku, Ganja, Shaki, Tbilisi, and Yerevan. Since 1845, it has also been taught in the University of Saint Petersburg in Russia. DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijanis have a rich and distinctive culture, a major part of which is decorative and applied art. This form of art is represented by a wide range of handicrafts, such as chasing, jeweler, engraving in metal, carving in wood, stone and bone, carpet-making, lasing, pattern weaving and printing, knitting and embroidery. HP Pavilion ze4130 Laptop Keyboard

Each of these types of decorative art, evidence of the and endowments of the Azerbaijan nation, is very much in favor here. Many interesting facts pertaining to the development of arts and crafts in Azerbaijan were reported by numerous merchants, travelers and diplomats who had visited these places at different times. HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

The Azerbaijani carpet is a traditional handmade textile of various sizes, with dense texture and a pile or pile-less surface, whose patterns are characteristic of Azerbaijan’s many carpet-making regions. In November 2010 the Azerbaijani carpet was proclaimed a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage by UNESCO.[211][212] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5150 Laptop Keyboard

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Azerbaijan has been since the ancient times known as a center of a large variety of crafts. The archeological dig on the territory of Azerbaijan testifies to the well developed agriculture, stock raising, metal working, pottery and ceramics, and last but not least carpet-weaving that date as far back as to the 2nd millennium BC. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijani carpets can be categorized under several large groups and a multitude of subgroups. The true scientific research of the Azerbaijani carpet is connected with the name of Latif Kerimov, a prominent scientist and artist. It was his classification that related the four large groups of carpets with the four geographical zones of Azerbaijan, Guba-Shirvan, Ganja-Kazakh, Karabakh and Tabriz.[213]  ASUS F3H Laptop Keyboard

The traditional cuisine is famous for an abundance of vegetables and greens used seasonally in the dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, cilantro (coriander), dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, leeks, chives, thyme, marjoram, green onion, and watercress, are very popular and often accompany main dishes on the table. Climatic diversity and fertility of the land are reflected in the national dishes, which are based on fish from the Caspian Sea, SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

local meat (mainly mutton and beef), and an abundance of seasonal vegetables and greens. Saffron-rice plov is the flagship food in Azerbaijan andblack tea is the national beverage.[214] Azerbaijanis often use traditional armudu (pear-shaped) glass as Azerbaijan have very strong tea culture.[215][216] Popular traditional dishes include bozbash (lamb soup that exists in several regional varieties with the addition of different vegetables), qutab (fried turnover with a filling of greens or minced meat) and dushbara (sort of dumplings of dough filled with ground meat and flavor). ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

Azerbaijani architecture typically combines elements of East and West.[217] Many ancient architectural treasures such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs in the Walled City of Bakusurvive in modern Azerbaijan. Entries submitted on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list include the Ateshgah of Baku, Momine Khatun Mausoleum, Hirkan National Park, Binegadi National Park, Lok-Batan Mud Volcano, Baku Stage Mountain, Caspian Shore Defensive Constructions, Susha National Reserve, Ordubad National Reserve and the Palace of Shaki Khans.[218][219] HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Among other architectural treasures are Quadrangular Castle in Mardakan, Parigala in Yukhary Chardaglar, a number of bridges spanning the Aras River, and several mausoleums. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, little monumental architecture was created, but distinctive residences were built in Baku and elsewhere. Among the most recent architectural monuments, the Baku subways are noted for their lavish decor.[220] HP Pavilion dv6-2160es laptop keyboard

The task for modern Azerbaijani architecture is diverse application of modern aesthetics, the search for an architect's own artistic style and inclusion of the existing historico-cultural environment. Major projects such as Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, Flame Towers, Baku Crystal Hall, Baku White City andSOCAR Tower have transformed the country's skyline and promotes its contemporary identity.[221][222] HP Pavilion dv2-1044ca laptop keyboard


Main articles: Cinema of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani animation, and Television in Azerbaijan

The film industry in Azerbaijan dates back to 1898. In fact, Azerbaijan was among the first countries involved in cinematography.[223] Therefore It's not surprising that this apparatus soon showed up in Baku – at the start of the 20th century, this bay town on the Caspian was producing more than 50 percent of the world's supply of oil. Just like today, the oil industry attracted foreigners eager to invest and to work.[224] TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

In 1919, during the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, a documentary The Celebration of the Anniversary of Azerbaijani Independence was filmed on Azerbaijan's independence day, May 28, and premiered in June 1919 at several theatres in Baku.[225] After the Soviet power was established in 1920, Nariman Narimanov, Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee of Azerbaijan, signed a decree nationalizing Azerbaijan's cinema. This also influenced the creation of Azerbaijani animation.[225] TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

In 1991, after Azerbaijan gained its independence from the Soviet Union, the first Baku International Film Festival East-West was held in Baku. In December 2000, the former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, signed a decree proclaiming August 2 professional holiday of filmmakers of Azerbaijan. Today Azerbaijani filmmakers are again dealing with issues similar to those faced by cinematographers prior to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1920. Once again, both choice of content and sponsorship of films are largely left up to the initiative of the filmmaker.[223] HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

There are 3 state-owned television channels: AzTV, Idman TV and Medeniyyet TV. One public channel, Ictimai TV and 7 private channels: ANS TV, Space TV,Lider TV, Azad Azerbaijan TV, Xazar TV and CBC.

Sport in Azerbaijan has ancient roots, and even now, both traditional and modern sports are still practiced. Freestyle wrestling has been traditionally regarded as Azerbaijan's national sport, in which Azerbaijan won up to 14 medals, including 4 golds since joining the National Olympic Committee. Even though today, the most popular sports in Azerbaijan are football andchess. SONY VAIO VGN-SZ770N laptop keyboard

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The national football team of Azerbaijan demonstrates relatively low performance in the international arena compared to the nation football clubs. It is mainly because of the foreign footballers playing in the clubs. However, the newly openedAzerbaijan Football Academy in February 2009 is a huge step in the development of the youth football.[226] The most successful Azerbaijani football clubs are Neftchi Baku, ACER Aspire One A110-1626 laptop keyboard

FC Baku, Inter Baku, FK Qarabağ and Khazar Lankaran. In 2012, Neftchi Baku became the first Azerbaijani team to advance to the group stage of a European competition, beating APOEL of Cyprus 4-2 on aggregate in the play-off round of the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League.[227][228] In 2012, country also hosted the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.[229] Futsal is another popular sport in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan national futsal team reached the fourth place in 2010 UEFA Futsal Championship, while domestic club Araz Naxçivan clinched bronze medals at 2009–10 UEFA Futsal Cup.[230] COMPAQ Presario V6103EA laptop keyboard

Backgammon plays a major role in Azerbaijani culture.[231] This game is very popular in Azerbaijan and is widely played among the local public.[232] There are also different variations of backgammon developed and analyzed by Azerbaijani experts.[233]Azerbaijan is known as one of the chess superpowers; Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, chess is still extremely popular.[234] Notable Azerbaijani chess players include Teimour Radjabov, Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Vladimir Makogonov, Garry Kasparov, Vugar Gashimov and Zeinab Mamedyarova. Azerbaijan has also hosted many international chess tournaments and competitions and became European Team Chess Championship winners in 2009.[235][236] TOSHIBA Satellite 1410-S173 laptop keyboard

Other well-known Azerbaijani athletes are Namig Abdullayev, Toghrul Asgarov, Rovshan Bayramov, Sharif Sharifov, Mariya Stadnik and Farid Mansurov inwrestling, Hayle Ibrahimov in athletics, Elnur Mammadli and Movlud Miraliyev in judo, Rafael Aghayev in karate, Valeriya Korotenko and Natalya Mammadovain volleyball, Nizami Pashayev, Intiqam Zairov and Sardar Hasanov in weightlifting and K-1 fighter Zabit Samedov. DELL Inspiron 1564 laptop keyboard

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and to some extent Western Asia. It has a population of around 30 million inhabiting an area of approximately 647,500 km2 (250,001 sq mi), making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and the east, Iran in the west,Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan has been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migration. Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation from as far back as the Middle Paleolithic. Urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3,000 to 2,000 BCE.[10] Sitting at an important geostrategic location that connects the Middle East culture with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent,[11] HP Mini 110-3501tu Laptop Keyboard

the land has been home to various peoples through the ages[12] and witnessed many military campaigns, notably byAlexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and in modern era Western forces.[10] The land also served as a source from which the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Hephthalites, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khiljis,Timurids, Mughals, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.[13] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ220 Laptop Keyboard

The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan begins in 1709, when the Hotaki dynasty was established in Kandahar followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani's rise to power in 1747.[3][14][15] In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between the British and Russianempires.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Following the 1919 Anglo-Afghan War, King Amanullah began a European style modernization of the country but was stopped by the ultra-conservatives. During the Cold War, after the withdrawal of the British from neighboring India in 1947, the United States and the Soviet Union began spreading influences in Afghanistan,[16] SONY VAIO VGN-CS160J/W laptop keyboard

which led to a bloody war between the US-backed mujahideen forces and the Soviet-backed Afghan government in which over a million Afghans lost their lives.[17][18] This was followed by the 1990s civil war, the rise and fall of the extremist Taliban government and the 2001–present war.[19] In December 2001, the United Nations Security Council authorized the creation of theInternational Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to help maintain security in Afghanistan and assist theKarzai administration.[20] SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP0C laptop keyboard

Three decades of war made Afghanistan one of the world's most dangerous countries,[21] including the largest producer of refugees and asylum seekers. While the international community is rebuilding war-torn Afghanistan, terrorist groups such as the Haqqani Network and Hezbi Islami[22] are actively involved in a nationwide Taliban-led insurgency,[23] which includes hundreds of assassinations and suicide attacks.[24] According to the United Nations, the insurgents were responsible for 80% of civilian casualties in 2011 and 2012.[25][26] TOSHIBA Satellite M105-S3004 laptop keyboard

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The name Afghānistān (Persian: افغانستان‎, [avɣɒnestɒn])[27] means "Land of the Afghans",[28] which originates from theethnonym "Afghan". Historically, the name "Afghan" mainly designated the Pashtun people, the largest ethnic group of Afghanistan.[29] This name is mentioned in the form of Abgan in the 3rd century CE by the Sassanians[30] and asAvagana (Afghana) in the 6th century CE by Indian astronomer Varahamihira.[29] A people called the Afghans are mentioned several times in a 10th-century geography book, Hudud al-'alam, particularly where a reference is made to a village: "Saul, a pleasant village on a mountain. In it live Afghans."[31] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Al-Biruni referred to them in the 11th century as various tribes living on the western frontier mountains of the Indus River, which would be the Sulaiman Mountains.[32] Ibn Battuta, a famous Moroccan scholar visiting the region in 1333, writes: Compaq Presario CQ71-410EP laptop keyboard

"We travelled on to Kabul, formerly a vast town, the site of which is now occupied by a village inhabited by a tribe of Persians called Afghans. They hold mountains and defiles and possess considerable strength, and are mostly highwaymen. Their principle mountain is called Kuh Sulayman."[33] SAMSUNG N150 laptop keyboard

One prominent 16th-century Persian scholar explains extensively about the Afghans. For example, he writes:

"The men of Kábul and Khilj also went home; and whenever they were questioned about the Musulmáns of the Kohistán (the mountains), and how matters stood there, they said, "Don't call it Kohistán, but Afghánistán; for there is nothing there but Afgháns and disturbances." Thus it is clear that for this reason the people of the country call their home in their own language Afghánistán, and themselves Afgháns."[34] SONY VAIO VGN-FS485B laptop keyboard

—Firishta, 1560–1620 AD

It is widely accepted that the terms "Pashtun" and Afghan are synonyms.[29] In the writings of the 17th-century Pashto poetKhushal Khan Khattak it is mentioned: SONY VAIO VGN-FS215B laptop keyboard

"Pull out your sword and slay any one, that says Pashtun and Afghan are not one! Arabs know this and so do Romans: Afghans are Pashtuns, Pashtuns are Afghans!"[35]

The last part of the name, -stān is a Persian suffix for "place". The name "Afghanistan" is described by the 16th century Mughal Emperor Babur in his memoirs as well as by the later Persian scholar Firishta and Babur's descendants, referring to the traditional ethnic Pashtun territories between the Hindu Kush mountains and the Indus River.[36] Compaq Presario CQ62-215DX laptop keyboard

In the early 19th century, Afghan politicians decided to adopt the name Afghanistanfor the entire Afghan Empire after its English translation had already appeared in various treaties with Qajarid Persia and British India.[37] In 1857, in his review of J.W. Kaye's The Afghan War, Friedrich Engels describes "Afghanistan" as: SONY Vaio VGN-AW190 laptop keyboard

"an extensive country of Asia ... between Persia and the Indies, and in the other direction between the Hindu Kush and the Indian Ocean. It formerly included the Persian provinces of Khorassan and Kohistan, together with Herat, Beluchistan, Cashmere, and Sinde, and a considerable part of the Punjab ... Its principal cities are Kabul, the capital, Ghuznee, Peshawer, and Kandahar."[38] HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

The Afghan kingdom was sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Kabul, as mentioned by the British statesman and historian Mountstuart Elphinstone.[39]Afghanistan was officially recognized as a sovereign state by the international community after the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 was signed.[40][41] SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

A landlocked mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest, Afghanistan is described as being located within South Asia[8][11][42][43] or Central Asia.[9] It is part of the Greater Middle East Muslim world, which lies between latitudes 29° N and 39° N, and longitudes 60° E and 75° E. The country's highest point is Noshaq, at 7,492 m (24,580 ft) above sea level. It has a continental climate with very harsh winters in the central highlands, FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

the glaciated northeast (around Nuristan) and the Wakhan Corridor, where the average temperature in January is below−15 °C (5 °F), and hot summers in the low-lying areas of the Sistan Basin of the southwest, the Jalalabad basin in the east, and the Turkestan plains along the Amu River in the north, where temperatures average over 35 °C (95 °F) in July.[citation needed] TOSHIBA P205-S6267 Laptop Keyboard

Despite having numerous rivers and reservoirs, large parts of the country are dry. The endorheic Sistan Basin is one of the driest regions in the world.[44]Aside from the usual rain falls, Afghanistan receives snow during winter in theHindu Kush and Pamir Mountains, and the melting snow in the spring season enters the rivers, lakes, and streams.[45][46] HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

However, two-thirds of the country's water flows into neighboring countries of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan. The state needs more than US$2 billion to rehabilitate its irrigation systems so that the water is properly managed.[47] HP Mini 110-3098nr Laptop Keyboard

The northeastern Hindu Kush mountain range, in and around the Badakhshan Province of Afghanistan, is in ageologically active area where earthquakes may occur almost every year.[48] They can be deadly and destructive sometimes, causing landslides in some parts or avalanche during winter.[49]  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The last strong earthquakes were in1998, which killed about 6,000 people in Badakhshan near Tajikistan.[50] This was followed by the 2002 Hindu Kush earthquakes in which over 150 people of various regional countries were killed and over 1,000 injured. The 2010 earthquake left 11 Afghans dead, over 70 injured and more than 2,000 houses destroyed. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

The country's natural resources include: coal, copper, iron ore, lithium, uranium, rare earth elements, chromite,gold, zinc, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, marble, precious and semi-precious stones, natural gas, and petroleumamong other things.[51][52] In 2010, US and Afghan government officials estimated that untapped mineral deposits located in 2007 by the US Geological Survey are worth between $900 bn and $3 trillion.[53][54][55] FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

At 652,230 km2 (251,830 sq mi),[56] Afghanistan is the world's 41st largest country,[57] slightly bigger than France and smaller than Burma, about the size of Texas in the United States. It borders Pakistan in the south and east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far east. HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, and that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world.[58][59] An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites.[60] TOSHIBA Satellite L505D-S6948 Laptop Keyboard

The country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and often fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire and the Sassanid Empire. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Many kingdoms have also risen to power in what is now Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans,Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids, Mughals, and finally theHotaki and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state. ACER Aspire 2023WLMi Laptop Keyboard

After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic people from Central Asia began moving south into Afghanistan, among them were many Indo-European-speaking Indo-Iranians.[58] These tribes later migrated further south to India, west to what is now Iran, and towards Europe via the area north of the Caspian.[62] The region as a whole was called Ariana.[58][63][64] SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21S Laptop Keyboard

The ancient religion of Zoroastrianism is believed by some to have originated in what is now Afghanistan between 1800 and 800 BCE, as its founder Zoroaster is thought to have lived and died in Balkh.[65][66][67] Ancient Eastern Iranian languages may have been spoken in the region around the time of the rise of Zoroastrianism. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

By the middle of the 6th century BCE, the Achaemenid Persians overthrew the Medes and incorporated Afghanistan (Arachosia, Aria and Bactria) within its boundaries. An inscription on the tombstone of King Darius I of Persia mentions the Kabul Valley in a list of the 29 countries that he had conquered.[68] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived to the area of Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year earlier in the Battle of Gaugamela.[65] Following Alexander's brief occupation, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

the successor state of the Seleucid Empirecontrolled the area until 305 BCE when they gave much of it to the Indian Maurya Empire as part of an alliance treaty.

"Alexander took these away from the Aryans and established settlements of his own, but Seleucus Nicator gave them toSandrocottus (Chandragupta), upon terms of intermarriage and of receiving in exchange 500 elephants."[69] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

—Strabo, 64 BCE – 24 CE

The Mauryans brought Buddhism from India and controlled the area south of the Hindu Kush until about 185 BCE when they were overthrown.[70] Their decline began 60 years after Ashoka's rule ended, leading to the Hellenistic reconquest of the region by the Greco-Bactrians. Much of it soon broke away from the Greco-Bactrians and became part of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. The Indo-Greeks were defeated and expelled by the Indo-Scythians in the late 2nd century BCE. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-SP4132 Laptop Keyboard

During the 1st century BCE, the Parthian Empire subjugated the region, but lost it to their Indo-Parthian vassals. In the mid-to-late 1st century CE the vast Kushan Empire, centered in modern Afghanistan, became great patrons of Buddhist culture. The Kushans were defeated by the Sassanids in the 3rd century CE. Although various rulers calling themselves Kushanshas (generally known as the Indo-Sassanids) continued to rule at least parts of the region, they were probably more or less subject to the Sassanids.[71] HP 535689-001 Laptop Keyboard

The late Kushans were followed by the Kidarite Huns[72] who, in turn, were replaced by the short-lived but powerful Hephthalites, as rulers.[73] The Hephthalites were defeated by Khosrau I in 557 CE, who re-established Sassanid power in Persia. However, in the 6th century CE, the successors to the Kushans and Hepthalites established a small dynasty in Kabulistan called Kabul Shahi. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Arab Muslims brought the message of Islam to Herat and Zaranj in 642 AD and began spreading eastward, some of the native inhabitants they encountered accepted it while others revolted.[77] The people of Afghanistan was multi-religious, which included Zoroastrians,Buddhists, worshippers of the sun, Hindus, Christians, HP Compaq NC8430 Laptop Keyboard

Jews, and others.[78] The Zunbil and Kabul Shahi were defeated in 870 AD by the Saffarid Muslims of Zaranj. Later, the Samanidsextended their Islamic influence into south of the Hindu Kush. It is reported that Muslims and non-Muslims still lived side by side in Kabul before the Ghaznavids rose to power. HP 9J.N0Y82.H01 Laptop Keyboard

"Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there are Musulmáns, and it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind."[79]

—Istahkrí, 921 ADASUS A8M Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan became one of the main centers in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age.[80][58] By the 11th century Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni had finally Islamized all of the remaining non-Muslim areas, with the exception of the Kafiristanregion. The Ghaznavids were replaced by the Ghurids who expanded and advanced the already powerful empire. DELL V119525BS1 Laptop Keyboard

His troops are said to have annihilated the Khorasanian cities of Herat and Balkh as well as Bamyan.[81] Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

The destruction caused by the Mongols depopulated major cities and forced many of the locals to revert to an agrarian rural society.[82] Mongol rule continued with the Ilkhanatein the northwest while the Khilji dynasty controlled the Afghan tribal areas south of the Hindu Kush, until the invasion of Timur who established the Timurid dynasty in 1370.[83]During the Ghaznavid, Ghurid, and Timurid eras, Afghanistan produced many fine Islamic architectural monuments as well as numerous scientific and literary works. HP G72-a10SV Laptop Keyboard

Babur, a descendant of both Timur and Genghis Khan, arrived from Fergana and captured Kabul from the Arghun dynasty, and from there he began to seize control of the central and eastern territories of Afghanistan. He remained in Kabulistan until 1526 when he and his army invaded Delhi in India to replace the Afghan Lodi dynasty with the Mughal Empire. From the 16th century to the early 18th century, Afghanistan was part of three regional kingdoms: the Khanate of Bukhara in the north, the Shi'a Safavids in the west and the remaining larger area was ruled by the Mughal Empire. LENOVO IdeaPad S10 20015 Laptop Keyboard

Hotaki dynasty and Durrani Empire

Mir Wais Hotak, seen as Afghanistan's George Washington,[84] successfully rebelled against the Persian Safavids in 1709. He overthrew and killed Gurgin Khan, and made the Afghan region independent from Persia. By 1713, Mir Wais had decisively defeated two larger Persian armies, one was led by Khusraw Khán (nephew of Gurgin) and the other by Rustam Khán. The armies were sent by Sultan Husayn, SONY VAIO VGN-FZ220E/B Laptop Keyboard

the Shah in Isfahan (now Iran), to re-take control of the Kandahar region.[85] Mir Wais died of a natural cause in 1715 and was succeeded by his brother Abdul Aziz, who was killed by Mir Wais' son Mahmud as a national traitor. In 1722, Mahmud led an Afghan army to the Persian capital of Isfahan, sacked the city after the Battle of Gulnabadand proclaimed himself King of Persia.[85] The Persians were disloyal to the Afghan rulers, DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

LENOVO 25-011427 Laptop Keyboard

and after the massacre of thousands of religious scholars, nobles, and members of the Safavid family, the Hotaki dynasty was ousted from Persia after the 1729Battle of Damghan.[86] HP Mini 110-3105tu Laptop Keyboard

In 1738, Nader Shah and his Afsharid forces captured Kandahar from Shah Hussain Hotaki, at which point the incarcerated 16 year old Ahmad Shah Durrani was freed and made the commander of Nader Shah's four thousand Abdali Afghans.[87] From Kandahar they set out to conquer India, passing through Ghazni, Kabul, Peshawar, and Lahore, and ultimately plundering Delhi after the Battle of Karnal. HP G62-371DX Laptop Keyboard

Nader Shah and his army abandoned Delhi but took with them huge treasure, which included the Koh-i-Noor and Darya-ye Noor diamonds.[88] After the death of Nader Shah in 1747, the Afghans chose Ahmad Shah Durrani as their head of state. Regarded as the founder of modern Afghanistan,[89][90][91] Durrani and his Afghan army conquered the entire present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Khorasan and Kohistan provinces of Iran, along with Delhi in India.[38] He defeated the Indian Maratha Empire, one of his biggest victories was the 1761 Battle of Panipat. DELL 1R28D Laptop Keyboard

In October 1772, Ahmad Shah Durrani died of a natural cause and was buried at a site now adjacent to the Shrine of the Cloak in Kandahar. He was succeeded by his son, Timur Shah, who transferred the capital of Afghanistan from Kandahar to Kabul in 1776. After Timur Shah's death in 1793, the Durrani throne was passed down to his son Zaman Shah followed by Mahmud Shah, Shuja Shah and others. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

HP Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Afghan Empire was under threat in the early 19th century by the Persians in the west and the Sikhs in the east. The western provinces of Khorasan and Kohistan were taken by the Persians in 1800. Fateh Khan, leader of the Barakzai tribe, had installed 21 of his brothers in positions of power throughout the empire. After his death, HP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

they rebelled and divided up the provinces of the empire between themselves. During this turbulent period, Afghanistan had many temporary rulers until Dost Mohammad Khan declared himself emir in 1826.[92] HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

The Punjab region was lost to Ranjit Singh, who invaded Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in 1834 captured the city of Peshawar. In 1837, Akbar Khanand the Afghan army crossed the Khyber Pass to defeat the Sikhs at the Battle of Jamrud, killing Hari Singh Nalwa before retreating to Kabul.[93][94] By this time the British were advancing from the east and the First Anglo-Afghan War, one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, was initiated.[95] HP Mini 110-3105tu laptop keyboard

Following the 1842 Massacre of Elphinstone's Army and victory of Afghan forces, led by Akbar Khan, the British establisheddiplomatic relations with the Afghan government but withdrew all forces from the country. They returned during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in the late 1870s for about two-year military operations, which was to defeat Ayub Khan and assist Abdur Rahman Khan establish authority. The United Kingdom began to exercise a great deal of influence after this and even controlled the state's foreign policy. HP Pavilion DV3560ev laptop keyboard

In 1893, Mortimer Durand made Amir Abdur Rahman Khan sign a controversial agreementin which the ethnic Pashtun and Baloch territories were divided by the Durand Line. This was a standard divide and rulepolicy of the British and would lead to strained relations, especially with the later new state of Pakistan. COMPAQ Presario V3132TU laptop keyboard

After the Third Anglo-Afghan War and the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, KingAmanullah Khan declared Afghanistan a sovereign and fully independent state. He moved to end his country's traditional isolation by establishing diplomatic relations with the international community and, following a 1927–28 tour of Europe and Turkey, introduced several reforms intended to modernize his nation. TOSHIBA Satellite A15-SP1002 laptop keyboard

A key force behind these reforms was Mahmud Tarzi, an ardent supporter of the education of women. He fought for Article 68 of Afghanistan's 1923 constitution, which made elementary education compulsory. The institution of slavery was abolished in 1923.[96] SONY VAIO VGN-AR270 laptop keyboard

Some of the reforms that were actually put in place, such as the abolition of the traditionalburqa for women and the opening of a number of co-educational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders. Faced with overwhelming armed opposition, Amanullah Khan was forced to abdicate in January 1929 after Kabul fell to rebel forces led by Habibullah Kalakani. HP G61-420CA laptop keyboard

 Prince Mohammed Nadir Shah, Amanullah's cousin, in turn defeated and killed Kalakani in November 1929, and was declared King Nadir Shah. He abandoned the reforms of Amanullah Khan in favor of a more gradual approach to modernisation but was assassinated in 1933 by Abdul Khaliq, a Hazara school student.[97] TOSHIBA Satellite L675D-S7015 laptop keyboard

Mohammed Zahir Shah, Nadir Shah's 19-year-old son, succeeded to the throne and reigned from 1933 to 1973. Until 1946 Zahir Shah ruled with the assistance of his uncle, who held the post of Prime Minister and continued the policies of Nadir Shah. Another of Zahir Shah's uncles, Shah Mahmud Khan, SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

became Prime Minister in 1946 and began an experiment allowing greater political freedom, but reversed the policy when it went further than he expected. He was replaced in 1973 by Mohammed Daoud Khan, the king's cousin and brother-in-law. Daoud Khan sought a closer relationship with theSoviet Union and a more distant one towards Pakistan. Afghanistan remained neutral and was neither a participant in World War II, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

nor aligned with either power bloc in the Cold War. However, it was a beneficiary of the latter rivalry as both the Soviet Union and the United States vied for influence by building Afghanistan's main highways, airports and other vital infrastructure. In 1973, while King Zahir Shah was on an official overseas visit, Daoud Khan launched a bloodless coup and became the first President of Afghanistan. ASUS X88S Laptop Keyboard

In April 1978, the communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power in Afghanistan in the Saur Revolution. Within months, opponents of the communist government launched an uprising in eastern Afghanistan that quickly expanded into a civil war waged by guerrilla mujahideen against government forces countrywide. The Pakistanigovernment provided these rebels with covert training centers, SONY 148738121 Laptop Keyboard

while the Soviet Union sent thousands of military advisers to support the PDPA government.[98] Meanwhile, increasing friction between the competing factions of the PDPA — the dominant Khalq and the more moderate Parcham — resulted in the dismissal of Parchami cabinet members and the arrest of Parchami military officers under the pretext of a Parchami coup. By mid-1979, the United States had started a covert program to assist the mujahideen.[99]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

In September 1979, Khalqist President Nur Muhammad Taraki was assassinated in a coup within the PDPA orchestrated by fellow Khalq member Hafizullah Amin, who assumed the presidency. Distrusted by the Soviets, Amin was assassinated by Soviet special forces in December 1979. A Soviet-organized government, HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

led by Parcham's Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions, filled the vacuum. Soviet troops were deployed to stabilize Afghanistan under Karmal in more substantial numbers, although the Soviet government did not expect to do most of the fighting in Afghanistan. As a result, however, the Soviets were now directly involved in what had been a domestic war in Afghanistan.[100] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

At the time some believed the Soviets were attempting to expand their borders southward in order to gain a foothold in the Middle East. The Soviet Union had long lacked a warm water port, and their movement south seemed to position them for further expansion towardPakistan in the East, and Iran to the West. American politicians, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Republicans and Democrats alike, feared the Soviets were positioning themselves for a takeover of Middle Eastern oil. Others believed that the Soviet Union was afraid Iran's Islamic Revolution and Afghanistan's Islamization would spread to the millions of Muslims in the USSR. The PDPA prohibited usury, made statements on women's rights by declaring equality of the sexes[101] and introducing women to political life.[101] SONY VAIO VGN-NR21E/S Laptop Keyboard

After the invasion, President Jimmy Carter announced what became known as the Carter Doctrine: that the U.S. would not allow any other outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf. He terminated the Soviet Wheat Deal in January 1980, which was intended to establish trade with USSR and lessen Cold War tensions. The grain exports had been beneficial to people employed in agriculture, COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

and the Carter embargo marked the beginning of hardship for American farmers. That same year, Carter also made two of the most unpopular decisions of his entire Presidency: prohibiting American athletes from participating in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, and reinstating registration for the draft for young males. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

Following the Soviet invasion, the United States supported diplomatic efforts to achieve a Soviet withdrawal. In addition, generous U.S. contributions to the refugee program in Pakistan played a major part in efforts to assistAfghan refugees. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

The Reagan administration increased arming and funding of the mujahideen as part of the Reagan Doctrine, thanks in large part to the efforts of Charlie Wilson and CIA officer Gust Avrakotos. Early reports estimated $6–20 billion[102]but more recent reports suggest that up to $40 billion were provided by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to Pakistan.[103][104]This was in the forms of cash and weapons, which included over two thousand FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The 10-year Soviet war resulted in the deaths of over 1 million Afghans, mostly civilians.[17][18][105] About 6 million fled to Pakistan and Iran, and from there tens of thousands began emigrating to the European Union, United States, Australia and other parts of the world.[106] Faced with mounting international pressure and great number of casualties, the Soviets withdrew in 1989 but continued to support Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah until 1992.[107] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Foreign interference and war

In addition, Saudi Arabia and Iran – as competitors for regional hegemony – supported Afghan militias hostile towards each other.[110] According to Human Rights Watch, Iran was backing the Shia Hazara Hezb-i Wahdat forces of Abdul Ali Mazari to "maximize Wahdat's military power and influence".[108][110][111] HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia supported the Wahhabite Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and his Ittihad-i Islami faction.[108][110] A publication by the George Washington University suggests "outside forces saw instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to press their own security and political agendas".[112] Conflict between the two militias soon escalated into a full-scale war. HP Mini 210-1070NR Laptop Keyboard

Due to the sudden initiation of the war, working government departments, police units or a system of justice and accountability for the newly created Islamic State of Afghanistan did not have time to form. Atrocities were committed by individuals of the different armed factions while Kabul descended into lawlessness and chaos as described in reports by Human Rights Watch and the Afghanistan Justice Project. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 Laptop Keyboard

 [108][113] Because of the chaos, some leaders increasingly had only nominal control over their (sub-)commanders.[114] For civilians there was little security from murder, rape and extortion.[114] An estimated 25,000 people died during the most intense period of bombardment by Hekmatyar's Hezb-i Islami and the Junbish-i Milli forces of Abdul Rashid Dostum, who had created an alliance with Hekmatyar in 1994.[113] Half a million people fled Afghanistan.[114] Human Rights Watch writes: Compaq Presario CQ57-311 Laptop Keyboard

 Southern and eastern Afghanistan was under the control of local commanders such as Gul Agha Sherzai and others. In 1994, the Taliban (a movement originating from Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-run religious schools for Afghan refugees in Pakistan) also developed in Afghanistan as a political-religious force.[115] When the Taliban took control of the city in 1994, they forced the surrender of dozens of local Pashtun leaders.[114] In 1994, the Taliban took power in several provinces in southern and central Afghanistan. HP Mini 110-1199EV laptop keyboard

In late 1994, most of the militia factions (Hezb-i Islami, Junbish-i Milli and Hezb-i Wahdat) which had been fighting in the battle for control of Kabul were defeated militarily by forces of the Islamic State's Minister of Defense Ahmad Shah Massoud. Bombardment of the capital came to a halt.[113][116][117] HP Pavilion dv6-2143ca laptop keyboard

The Islamic State government took steps to restore law and order.[118] Courts started to work again.[118] Massoud tried to initiate a nationwide political process with the goal of national consolidation and democratic elections, also inviting the Taliban to join the process but they refused as they did not believe in a democratic system.[119] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The Taliban started shelling Kabul in early 1995 but were defeated by forces of the Islamic State government under Ahmad Shah Massoud.[116][120] Amnesty International, referring to the Taliban offensive, wrote in a 1995 report: "This is the first time in several months that Kabul civilians have become the targets of rocket attacks and shelling aimed at residential areas in the city."[116] HP Pavilion DV6-1108sl laptop keyboard

The Taliban's early victories in 1994 were followed by a series of defeats that resulted in heavy losses which led analysts to believe the Taliban movement had run its course.[114] But Pakistan provided increased support to the Taliban.[110][121] Many analysts like Amin Saikal describe the Taliban as developing into a proxy force for Pakistan's regional interests.[110] On 26 September 1996, TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S8832 laptop keyboard

as the Taliban with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia prepared for another major offensive, Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul.[122] The Taliban seized Kabul on 27 September 1996, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed on the parts of Afghanistan under their control their political and judicial interpretation of Islam issuing edicts especially targeting women.[123] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ360P/C laptop keyboard

According to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), "no other regime in the world has methodically and violently forced half of its population into virtual house arrest, prohibiting them on pain of physical punishment."[123] HP COMPAQ NC6120 laptop keyboard

After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on 27 September 1996, Ahmad Shah Massoud and Abdul Rashid Dostum, two former enemies, created the United Front(Northern Alliance) against the Taliban that were preparing offensives against the remaining areas under the control of Massoud and those under the control of Dostum.[124] Lenovo 3000 Y510a 15303 laptop keyboard

The United Front included beside the dominantly Tajik forces of Massoud and the Uzbek forces of Dostum, Hazara factions under the command of leaders such as Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq and Pashtun forces under the leadership of commanders such as Abdul Haq or Haji Abdul Qadir. The Taliban defeated Dostum's Junbish forces militarily by seizing Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998. Dostum subsequently went into exile. HP Pavilion dv6-3351sf laptop keyboard

According to a 55-page report by the United Nations, the Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians.[125][126] UN officials stated that there had been "15 massacres" between 1996 and 2001 and that "[t]hese have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the [Taliban] Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar himself. HP G62-a40EV laptop keyboard

"[125][126] The Taliban especially targeted people of Shia religious or Hazara ethnic background.[125][126] Upon taking Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998, 4,000–6,000 civilians were killed by the Taliban and many more reported tortured.[127][128] The documents also reveal the role of Arab and Pakistani support troops in these killings.[125][ HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

126] Bin Laden's so-called 055 Brigade was responsible for mass-killings of Afghan civilians.[129] The report by the UN quotes "eyewitnesses in many villages describing Arab fighters carrying long knives used for slitting throats and skinning people".[125][126] HP Pavilion dv6-2055so laptop keyboard

President Pervez Musharraf – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and bin Laden against the forces of Massoud. HP G72-262NR laptop keyboard

132] In 2001 alone, there were believed to be 28,000 Pakistani nationals, many either from the Frontier Corps or army, fighting inside Afghanistan.[119] An estimated 8,000 Pakistani militants were recruited in madrassas filling the ranks of the estimated 25,000 regular Taliban force.[129] A 1998 document by theU.S. State Department confirms that "20–40 % of [regular] Taliban soldiers are Pakistani."[121] ACER Aspire One D150-1Bk laptop keyboard

The document further stated that the parents of those Pakistani nationals "know nothing regarding their child's military involvement with the Taliban until their bodies are brought back to Pakistan."[121] SONY 148044221 laptop keyboard

From 1996 to 2001 the al-Qaeda terrorist network of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri became a state within Afghanistan.[133] Bin Laden sent Arab recruits to join the fight against the United Front.[133][134] 3,000 fighters of the regular Taliban army were Arab and Central Asian militants.[129] In total, of roughly 45,000 Pakistani, Taliban and al-Qaeda soldiers fighting against the forces of Massoud in mid-2001, only 14,000 were Afghans.[119][129] HP Pavilion G7-1075DX laptop keyboard

Ahmad Shah Massoud remained the only leader of the United Front in Afghanistan. In the areas under his control Massoud set up democratic institutions and signed the Women's Rights Declaration.[135] Human Rights Watch cites no human rights crimes for the forces under direct control of Massoud for the period from October 1996 until the assassination of Massoud in September 2001.[136] HP Pavilion G4-1050TU laptop keyboard

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As a consequence many civilians fled to the area of Ahmad Shah Massoud.[130][137] In total, estimates range up to one million people fleeing the Taliban.[138] National Geographic concluded in its documentary "Inside the Taliban": "The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud."[130] Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

In early 2001 Massoud addressed the European Parliament in Brussels asking the international community to provide humanitarian help to the people of Afghanistan.[138] He stated that the Taliban and al-Qaeda had introduced "a very wrong perception of Islam" SAMSUNG NP-NB30-KP01 laptop keyboard

and that without the support of Pakistan and bin Laden the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year.[139] On this visit to Europe he also warned that his intelligence had gathered information about a large-scale attack on U.S. soil being imminent.[140] HP Pavilion dv6-3160ez laptop keyboard

On 9 September 2001, Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by two Arab suicide attackers inside Afghanistan and two days later about 3,000 people were killed in the September 11 attacks in the United States. The US government identified Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the Al-Qaeda organization based in and allied to the Taliban's Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan as the perpetrators of the attacks. SONY VAIO PCG-FX770K laptop keyboard

From 1990 until this date over 400,000 Afghan civilians had already died in the wars in Afghanistan.[141] The Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden to US authorities and to disband al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan.[142] Bin Laden later claimed sole responsibility for the September 11 attacks and specifically denied any prior knowledge of them by the Taliban or the Afghan people.[143] In October 2001, SONY VAIO VGN-N31Z/W laptop keyboard

 Operation Enduring Freedom was launched as a new phase of the war in Afghanistan in which teams of American and British special forces worked with ground forces of the United Front (Northern Alliance) to remove the Taliban from power and dispel Al-Qaeda.[144] At the same time the US-led forces were bombing Taliban and al-Qaida targets everywhere inside Afghanistan with cruise missiles. Compaq Presario CQ56 laptop keyboard

These actions led to the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif in the north followed by all the other cities, as the Taliban and al-Qaida fled over the porous Durand Lineborder into Pakistan. In December 2001, after the Taliban government was toppled and the new Afghan government under Hamid Karzai was formed, theInternational Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was established by the UN Security Council to help assist the Karzai administration and provide basic security to the Afghan people.[145][146] SONY VAIO VGN-NW50JB laptop keyboard

While the Taliban began regrouping inside Pakistan, more coalition troops entered the escalating US-led war. Meanwhile, the rebuilding of war-torn Afghanistan kicked off in 2002.[147][148] The Afghan nation was able to build democratic structures over the years, and some progress was made in key areas such as governance, economy, health, education, transport, and agriculture. HP Mini 110-1033cl Laptop Keyboard

NATO is training the Afghan armed forces as well its national police. ISAF and Afghan troops led many offensives against the Taliban but failed to fully defeat them. By 2009, a Taliban-led shadow government began to form in many parts of the country complete with their own version of mediation court.[149] After U.S. President Barack Obama announced the deployment of another 30,000 soldiers in 2010 for a period of two years, Der Spiegel published images of the US soldiers who killed unarmed Afghan civilians.[150] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

At the 2010 International Conference on Afghanistan in London, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he intends to reach out to the Taliban leadership (including Mullah Omar, Sirajuddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar). Supported by NATO, Karzai called on the group's leadership to take part in a loya jirga meeting to initiate peace talks. These steps have resulted in an intensification of bombings, Lenovo Thinkpad X220i Laptop Keyboard

assassinations and ambushes.[151] Some Afghan groups (including the former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh and opposition leader Dr. Abdullah Abdullah) believe that Karzai plans to appease the insurgents' senior leadership at the cost of the democratic constitution, the democratic process and progress in the field of human rights especially women's rights.[152] Dr. Abdullah stated: HP G61-420SL Laptop Keyboard

I should say that Taliban are not fighting to be accommodated. They are fighting to bring the state down. So it's a futile exercise, and it's just misleading. ... There are groups that will fight to the death. Whether we like to talk to them or we don't like to talk to them, they will continue to fight. So, for them, I don't think that we have a way forward with talks or negotiations or contacts or anything as such. Then we have to be prepared to tackle and deal with them militarily. In terms of the Taliban on the ground, SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

there are lots of possibilities and opportunities that with the help of the people in different parts of the country, we can attract them to the peace process; provided, we create a favorable environment on this side of the line. At the moment, the people are leaving support for the government because of corruption. So that expectation is also not realistic at this stage.[153] TOSHIBA 48.N5601.001A Laptop Keyboard

Over five million Afghan refugees were repatriated in the last decade, including many who were forcefully deportedfrom NATO countries.[154][155] This large return of Afghans may have helped the nation's economy but the country still remains one of the poorest in the world due to the decades of war, lack of foreign investment, ongoing government corruption and the Taliban insurgency.[156][157] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

According to a report by the United Nations, the Taliban and other militants were responsible for 76% of civilian casualties in 2009,[158] 75% in 2010,[25] 80% in 2011, 80% in 2012.[159] In 2011 a record 3,021 civilians were killed in the ongoing insurgency, the fifth successive annual rise.[160] SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

After the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, many prominent Afghan figures began being assassinated, including Mohammed Daud Daud,Ahmed Wali Karzai, Jan Mohammad Khan, Ghulam Haider Hamidi, Burhanuddin Rabbani and others.[24] Also in the same year, the Pak-Afghan border skirmishes intensified and many large scale attacks by the Pakistani-based Haqqani Network took place across Afghanistan. HP G42-164LA Laptop Keyboard

This led to the United States warning Pakistan of a possible military action against the Haqqanis in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.[162] The U.S. blamed Pakistan's government, mainly Pakistan Army and its ISI spy network as the masterminds behind all of this.[23]  HP G42-245BR Laptop Keyboard

In choosing to use violent extremism as an instrument of policy, the government of Pakistan, and most especially the Pakistani army and ISI, jeopardizes not only the prospect of our strategic partnership but Pakistan's opportunity to be a respected nation with legitimate regional influence. They may believe that by using these proxies, they are hedging their bets or redressing what they feel is an imbalance in regional power. But in reality, they have already lost that bet.[163] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

—Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, told Radio Pakistan that "The attack that took place in Kabul a few days ago, that was the work of the Haqqani Network. There is evidence linking the Haqqani Network to the Pakistan government. This is something that must stop."[164] Other top U.S. officials such as Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta made similar statements.[165][23] On 16 October 2011, SONY Vaio PCG-K35 Laptop Keyboard

"Operation Knife Edge" was launched by NATO and Afghan forces against the Haqqani Network in south-eastern Afghanistan. Afghan Defense Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, explained that the operation will "help eliminate the insurgents before they struck in areas along the troubled frontier".[166] TOSHIBA NB200 Laptop Keyboard

In anticipation of the 2014 NATO withdrawal and a subsequent expected push to regain power by the Taliban, the anti-Taliban United Front (Northern Alliance) groups have started to regroup under the umbrella of the National Coalition of Afghanistan (political arm) and the National Front of Afghanistan(military arm).[167][168] SONY 148044221 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan is an Islamic republic consisting of three branches, executive, legislative and judicial. The nation is currently led by Hamid Karzai as the President and leader since late 2001. The National Assembly is the legislature, abicameral body having two chambers, the House of the People and the House of Elders. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

The Supreme Court is led by Chief Justice Abdul Salam Azimi, a former university professor who had been a legal advisor to the president.[169] The current court is seen as more moderate and led by more technocrats than the previous one, which was dominated by fundamentalist religious figures such as Chief Justice Faisal Ahmad Shinwari who issued several controversial rulings, including seeking to place a limit on the rights of women. SONY AEGD1E00010 Laptop Keyboard

According to Transparency International's corruption perceptions index 2010 results, Afghanistan was ranked as the third most-corrupt country in the world.[170] A January 2010 report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime revealed that bribery consumes an amount equal to 23% of the GDP of the nation.[171] A number of government ministries are believed to be rife with corruption, and while President Karzai vowed to tackle the problem in late 2009 by stating that "individuals who are involved in corruption will have no place in the government",[172] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

 top government officials were stealing and misusing hundreds of millions of dollars through the Kabul Bank. Although the nation's institutions are newly formed and steps have been taken to arrest some,[173]the United States warned that aid to Afghanistan would be reduced to very little if the corruption is not stopped.[174] SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

The 2004 Afghan presidential election was relatively peaceful, in which Hamid Karzai won in the first round with 55.4% of the votes. However, the 2009 presidential election was characterized by lack of security, low voter turnout and widespread electoral fraud.[175][176] The vote, along with elections for 420 provincial council seats, took place in August 2009, but remained unresolved during a lengthy period of vote counting and fraud investigation.[177] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

Two months later, under international pressure, a second round run-off vote between Karzai and remaining challengerAbdullah was announced, but a few days later Abdullah announced that he is not participating in the 7 November run-off because his demands for changes in the electoral commission had not been met. The next day, officials of the election commission cancelled the run-off and declared Hamid Karzai as President for another 5-year term.[176] HP AETT9U00010 Laptop Keyboard

In the 2005 parliamentary election, among the elected officials were former mujahideen, Islamic fundamentalists, warlords, communists, reformists, and several Taliban associates.[178] In the same period, Afghanistan reached to the 30th nation in terms of female representation in parliament.[179] HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

The last parliamentary election was held in September 2010, but due to disputes and investigation of fraud, the sworn in ceremony took place in late January 2011. After the issuance of computerized ID cards for the first time, which is a $101 million project that the Afghan government plans to start in 2012, it is expected to help prevent major fraud in future elections and improve the security situation.[180] HP Mini 110-3001tu Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan is administratively divided into 34 provinces (wilayats), with each province having its own capital and a provincial administration. The provinces are further divided into about 398 smaller provincial districts, each of which normally covers a city or a number of villages. Each district is represented by a district governor. Dell Inspiron 8100 Laptop Keyboard

The provincial governors are appointed by the President of Afghanistan and the district governors are selected by the provincial governors. The provincial governors are representatives of the central government in Kabul and are responsible for all administrative and formal issues within their provinces. HP Mini 210-1014TU Laptop Keyboard

There are also provincial councils which are elected through direct and general elections for a period of four years.[181] The functions of provincial councils are to take part in provincial development planning and to participate in monitoring and appraisal of other provincial governance institutions. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

According to article 140 of the constitution and the presidential decree on electoral law, mayors of cities should be elected through free and direct elections for a four-year term. However, due to huge election costs, mayoral and municipal elections have never been held. Instead, mayors have been appointed by the government. As for the capital city of Kabul, the mayor is appointed by the President of Afghanistan. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

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The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for managing the foreign relations of Afghanistan. The nation has been a member of the UN since 1946, and has maintained good relations with the United States and other NATO member states since the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty in 1919. HP Pavilion dv3-2310er Laptop Keyboard

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established in 2002 under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1401 to help the nation recover from decades of war and establish a normal functioning government. Today, more than 22 NATO nations deploy about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Apart from close military links, TOSHIBA 9J.N7482.901 Laptop Keyboard

the country also enjoys strong economic relations with NATO members and their allies. It also has diplomatic relations with neighboring Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,Tajikistan, the People's Republic of China, including regional states such as India, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, and others. Compaq Presario CQ56-103EG laptop keyboard

Afghanistan–Pakistan relations have been negatively affected by issues related to the Durand Line, the 1978–presentwar (i.e. Mujahideen, Afghan refugees, Taliban insurgency, and border skirmishes), including water and the growinginfluence of India in Afghanistan.[182][183] Afghan officials often allege that Pakistani and Iranian intelligence agencies are involved in terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan, HP Pavilion dv5-1080el laptop keyboard

by training and guiding terrorists to carry out attacks.[184][185][186] Afghanistan has always depended on Pakistani trade routes for import and export but this has changed in the last decade with the opening of Central Asian and Iranian routes.[187] Conversely, Pakistan depends on Afghan water and considers Afghanistan as the only trade route to Central Asian resources.[188] TOSHIBA Satellite P300-1FC laptop keyboard

India and Iran have actively participated in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan,[189] with India being the largest regional donor to the country.[190]Since 2002, India has pledged up to $2 billion in economic assistance to Afghanistan and has participated in multiple socio-economic reconstruction efforts, including power, roads, agricultural and educational projects.[190][191] There are also military ties between Afghanistan and India, which is expected to increase after the October 2011 strategic pact that was signed by President Karzai and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[192][193] SONY VAIO VGN-FS415E laptop keyboard

The military of Afghanistan is under the Ministry of Defense, which includes the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan Air Force (AAF). It currently has about 200,000 active soldiers and is expected to reach 260,000 in the coming years. They are trained and equipped by NATO countries, mainly by theUnited States Department of Defense. The ANA is divided into 7 major Corps, with the 201st Selab ("Flood") HP Pavilion dv3-2320tx laptop keyboard

in Kabul followed by the 203rd in Gardez, 205th Atul ("Hero") in Kandahar, 207th in Herat, 209th in Mazar-i-Sharif and the 215th in Lashkar Gah. The ANA also has a commando brigade which was established in 2007. The National Military Academy of Afghanistan serves as the main educational institute for the militarymen of the country. A new $200 millionAfghan Defense University (ADU) is under construction near the capital. HP Mini 110 laptop keyboard

The police are being trained by NATO countries through the Afghanistan Police Program. According to a 2009 news report, a large proportion of police officers are illiterate and are accused of demanding bribes.[195] Jack Kem, deputy to the commander of NATO Training Mission Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan, stated that the literacy rate in the ANP will rise to over 50% by January 2012. HP Compaq G50-123NR laptop keyboard

 What began as a voluntary literacy program became mandatory for basic police training in early 2011.[194] Approximately 17% of them test positive for illegal drug use. In 2009, President Karzai created two anti-corruption units within the Interior Ministry.[196] Former Interior MinisterHanif Atmar said that security officials from the U.S. (FBI), Britain (Scotland Yard) and the European Union will train prosecutors in the unit. HP Pavilion DV6-6B00 laptop keyboard

south and eastern parts of Afghanistan are the most dangerous due to the flourishing drug trade and militancy. These areas in particular are often patrolled by Taliban insurgents, and in many cases they plan attacks by using suicide bombers and planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on roads. Kidnapping and robberies are also often reported. Every year many Afghan police officers are killed in the line of duty in these areas. HP Pavilion DV7-3180us laptop keyboard

The Afghan Border Police are responsible for protecting the nation's airports and borders, especially the disputed Durand Line border which is often used by members of criminal organizations and terrorists for their illegal activities. Reports in 2011 suggested that up to 3 million people are involved in the illegal drug business in Afghanistan, many of the attacks on government employees and institutions are carried out not only by the Taliban militants but also by powerful criminal gangs.[197] HP Pavilion dv6-2146so laptop keyboard

Drugs from Afghanistan are exported to Iran, Pakistan, Russia, India, the United Arab Emirate, and the European Union. The Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics is dealing with this problem. Recently, the people mustered courage and took to streets in Kabul to protest against gruesome killing of a woman accused of adultery by suspected Taliban in the Parwan province.[198] HP Pavilion dv6-2108sa laptop keyboard

Afghanistan is an impoverished and least developed country, one of the world's poorest due to the decades of war and nearly complete lack of foreign investment. The nation's GDP stands at about $29 billion with an exchange rate of $18 billion, and the GDP per capita is about $1,000. The country's export was $2.6 billion in 2010. SAMSUNG R518 laptop keyboard

Its unemployment rate is about 35% and roughly the same percentage of its citizens live below the poverty line.[2] About 42% of the population live on less than $1 a day, according to a 2009 report.[199] The nation has less than $1.5 billion external debt and is recovering by the assistance of the world community.[2] TOSHIBA Satellite Pro C650-EZ1515D laptop keyboard

The Afghan economy has been growing at about 10% per year in the last decade, which is due to the infusion of over $50 billion dollars in international aid and remittances from Afghan expats.[2] It is also due to improvements made to thetransportation system and agricultural production, which is the backbone of the nation's economy.[200] The country is known for producing some of the finest pomegranates, grapes, apricots, melons, and several other fresh and dry fruits, including nuts.[201] HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

While the nations's current account deficit is largely financed with the donor money, only a small portion is provided directly to the government budget. The rest is provided to non-budgetary expenditure and donor-designated projects through the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations. The Afghan Ministry of Finance is focusing on improved revenue collection and public sector expenditure discipline. For example, government revenues increased 31% to $1.7 billion from March 2010 to March 2011. SONY N860-7676-T101 laptop keyboard

Da Afghanistan Bank serves as the central bank of the nation and the "Afghani" (AFN) is the national currency, with an exchange rate of about 47 Afghanis to 1 US dollar. Since 2003, over 16 new banks have opened in the country, includingAfghanistan International Bank, Kabul Bank, Azizi Bank, Pashtany Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, First Micro Finance Bank, and others. HP Pavilion dv6-2140ef laptop keyboard

One of the main drivers for the current economic recovery is the return of over 5 million expatriates, who brought with them fresh energy, entrepreneurship and wealth-creating skills as well as much needed funds to start up businesses. For the first time since the 1970s, Afghans have involved themselves in construction, HP Pavilion dv6-2135ev laptop keyboard

one of the largest industries in the country.[202] Some of the major national construction projects include the $35 bn New Kabul City next to the capital, the Ghazi Amanullah Khan City near Jalalabad, and the Aino Mena in Kandahar.[203][204][205] Similar development projects have also begun in Herat in the west, Mazar-e-Sharif in the north and in other cities.[206] SONY VAIO VGN-AR230G laptop keyboard

In addition, a number of companies and small factories began operating in different parts of the country, which not only provide revenues to the government but also create new jobs. Improvements to the business-enabling environment have resulted in more than $1.5 billion in telecom investment and created more than 100,000 jobs since 2003.[207] TheAfghan rugs are becoming popular again and this gives many carpet dealers around the country to expand their business by hiring more workers. GATEWAY MG2 laptop keyboard

Afghanistan is a member of SAARC, ECO and OIC. It is hoping to join SCO soon to develop closer economic ties with neighboring and regional countries in the so-called New Silk Road trade project. Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul told the media in 2011 that his nation's "goal is to achieve an Afghan economy whose growth is based on trade, private enterprise and investment".[208] DELL NSK-D8001 Laptop Keyboard

Experts believe that this will revolutionize the economy of the region. Opium production in Afghanistan soared to a record in 2007 with about 3 million people reported to be involved in the business[209] but then declined significantly in the years following.[210] The government started programs to help reduce cultivation of poppy, and by 2010 it was reported that 24 out of the 34 provinces were free from poppy grow. In June 2012, India strongly advocated for private investments in the resource rich country and creation of suitable environment therefor.[211] DELL Inspiron 1526 Laptop Keyboard

Mining and energy

Main article: Mining in Afghanistan

Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution explains that if Afghanistan generates about $10 bn per year from its mineral deposits, its gross national product would double and provide long-term funding for Afghan security forces and other critical needs.[212] The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated in 2006 that northern Afghanistan has an average 2.9 billion (bn) barrels (bbl) of crude oil, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

15.7 trillion cubic feet (440 bn m3) of natural gas, and 562 million bbl of natural gas liquids.[213] In December 2011, Afghanistan signed an oil exploration contract with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the development of three oil fields along the Amu Darya river in the north.[214] TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

Other reports show that the country has huge amounts of lithium, copper, gold, coal, iron ore and other minerals.[51][52][215] The Khanashin carbonatite inHelmand Province contains 1,000,000 metric tons (1,100,000 short tons) of rare earth elements.[216] In 2007, a 30-year lease was granted for the Aynakcopper mine to the China Metallurgical Group for $3 billion,[217] making it the biggest foreign investment and private business venture in Afghanistan's history.[218] The state-run Steel Authority of India won the mining rights to develop the huge Hajigak iron ore deposit in central Afghanistan.[219] HP Pavilion dm3-1020CA Laptop Keyboard

Government officials estimate that 30% of the country's untapped mineral deposits are worth between $900 bn and $3 trillion.[54][53][55] One official asserted that "this will become the backbone of the Afghan economy" and a Pentagon memo stated that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium".DELL Precision M4500 Laptop KeyboardThe

 [54][220][221][222] In a 2011 news story, the CSM reported, "The United States and other Western nations that have borne the brunt of the cost of the Afghan war have been conspicuously absent from the bidding process on Afghanistan's mineral deposits, leaving it to mostly to regional powers."[223] HP G71-449WM Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan has about 53 airports, with the biggest ones being the Kabul International Airport, serving the capital and nearby regions followed Kandahar International Airport in the south, Herat International Airport in the west, andMazar-i-Sharif Airport in the north. Ariana Afghan Airlines is the national carrier, with domestic flights between Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif. International flights include to United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, Germany,Turkey, India, Iran, Pakistan and a number of other Asian destinations.[224] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

There are also domestic and international flight services available from the locally owned Kam Air, Pamir Airways andSafi Airways. Airlines from a number of regional nations such as Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air, Air Arabia, Air India, PIAand others also provide services to Afghanistan. Flights between Dubai and Kabul take roughly 2 hours to reach. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The country has limited rail service with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the north. The government plans to extended the rail line to the capital and then to the eastern border town of Torkham by 2014, connecting with Pakistan Railways.[225] Long distant road journeys are made by older model company-owned Mercedes-Benz coach buses or carpool and private cars. Newer automobiles have recently become more widely available after the rebuilding of roads and highways. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

They are imported from the United Arab Emirates through Pakistan and Iran. As of 2012, vehicles that are older than 10 years are banned from being imported into the country. The development of the nation's road network is a major boost for the economy due to trade with neighboring countries. Afghanistan's postal and package services such as FedEx, DHL and others make deliveries to major cities and towns. TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

Telecommunication services in the country are provided by Afghan Wireless, Etisalat, Roshan, MTN Group and Afghan Telecom. In 2006, the Afghan Ministry of Communications signed a $64.5 million agreement with ZTE for the establishment of a countrywide optical fiber cable network. As of 2011, Afghanistan has around 17 million GSM phone subscribers and over 1 million internet users. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

It only has about 75,000 fixed telephone lines and little over 190,000 CDMAsubscribers.[226] 3G services are provided by Etisalat and MTN Group. The Afghan government announced that it will send expressions of interest to international companies to attract funding will launch its first ever space satellite by October 2012. HP Pavilion dv6-3035sl Laptop Keyboard

According to the Human Development Index, Afghanistan is the 15th least developed country in the world. The average life expectancy was estimated in 2012 to be 49.72 years.[233] Afghanistan has the 9th highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.64 children born/woman (according to 2012 estimates).[234] HP Pavilion DV7-4053 Laptop Keyboard

Afghanistan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, estimated in 2008 at 1,400 deaths/100,000 live births,[235] and the highest infant mortality rate in the world (deaths of babies under one year), estimated in 2012 to be 121.63 deaths/1,000 live births.[236] Data from 2010 suggests that one in 10 children in Afghanistan dies before they are five years old.[237] While these statistics are tragic, SONY VAIO VPCF126FM Laptop Keyboard

the government plans to further cut the infant mortality rate to 400 for every 100,000 live births by 2020.[238] The country currently has more than 3,000 midwives with an additional 300 to 400 being trained each year.[239] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

A number of new hospitals and clinics have been built over the last decade, with the most advanced treatments being available in Kabul. The French Medical Institute for Children and Indira Gandhi Childrens Hospital in Kabul are the leading children's hospitals in the country. Some of the other main hospitals in Kabul include the 350-bed Jamhuriat Hospital and the Jinnah Hospital, which is still under construction. There are also a number of well-equipped military-controlled hospitals in different regions of the country. SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

It was reported in 2006 that nearly 60% of the population lives within two hours by foot to the nearest health facility, up from 9% in 2002.[240] Latest surveys show that 57% of Afghans say they have good or very good access to clinics or hospitals.[239] The nation also has one of the highest incidences of people with disabilities, DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

with an estimated one million handicapped people.[241] About 80,000 citizens have lost limbs, mainly as a result of landmines.[242][243] Non-governmental charities such as Save the Children and Mahboba's Promise assist orphans in association with governmental structures.[244] Demographic and Health Surveysis working with the Indian Institute of Health Management Research and others to conduct a survey in Afghanistan focusing on Maternal death, among other things.[245] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

As of 2011, about 82,000 students are enrolled in different universities around the country.[247] Kabul Universityreopened in 2002 to both male and female students. In 2006, the American University of Afghanistan was established in Kabul, with the aim of providing a world-class, English-language, Lenovo 0A62075 Laptop Keyboard

co-educational learning environment in Afghanistan. The capital of Kabul serves as the learning center of Afghanistan, with many of the best educational institutions being based there. Major universities outside of Kabul include Kandahar University in the south, Herat University in the northwest, Balkh University in the north, Nangarhar University and Khost University in the eastern zones, as well as a number of others. SONY VAIO VGN-CR210EL Laptop Keyboard

The National Military Academy of Afghanistan, modeled after the United States Military Academy at West Point, is a four-year military development institution dedicated to graduating officers for the Afghan armed forces. The $200 million Afghan Defense University is under construction near Qargha in Kabul. The United States is building six faculties of education and five provincial teacher training colleges around the country, two large secondary schools in Kabul and one school in Jalalabad.[247] DELL Vostro 1015 Laptop Keyboard

Literacy rate of the entire population is low, around 28%.[248] Female literacy may be as low as 10%. In 2010, the United States began establishing a number of Lincoln learning centers in Afghanistan. They are set up to serve as programming platforms offering English language classes, library facilities, programming venues, Internet connectivity, educational and other counseling services. HP 608558-001 Laptop Keyboard

A goal of the program is to reach at least 4,000 Afghan citizens per month per location.[249][250] The military and national police are also provided with mandatory literacy courses.[248] In addition to this, Baghch-e-Simsim (based on the American Sesame Street) was launched in late 2011 to help Afghan children learn frompreschool and onward. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard


Main articles: Demography of Afghanistan and Afghan diasporaHP Envy 17-1190nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

As of 2012, the population of Afghanistan is around 30,419,928,[251] which includes the roughly 2.7 million Afghan refugees still living in Pakistan andIran. In 1979, the population was reported to be about 15.5 million.[252] The only city with over a million residents is its capital, Kabul. The otherlargest cities in the country are, in order of population size, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, Lashkar Gah, Taloqan, Khost, Sheberghan,Ghazni, and so on. Urban areas are experiencing rapid population growth following the return of over 5 million expats. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the Afghan population is estimated to increase to 82 million by 2050.[253] SONY 148024421 Laptop Keyboard

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south and east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea with the latter.

The desert kingdom emerged out of the post-World War I division of the Middle East by Britain and France. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. HP Pavilion dm3-1040EV Laptop Keyboard

After capturing the West Bank area of Cisjordan during the 1948–49 war with Israel, Abdullah I took the titleKing of Jordan and Palestine, and he officially changed the country's name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1949. HP G56-118CA Laptop Keyboard

Jordan is classified as a country of "medium human development"[8] by the 2011 Human Development Report, and an emerging market with the third freest economy in West Asia and North Africa (32nd freest worldwide).[9]Jordan has an "upper middle income" economy.[10] Jordan has enjoyed "advanced status" with the European Unionsince December 2010,[11] and it is also a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League,[12] and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

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In antiquity, the present day Jordan became a home for several ancient kingdoms including: the kingdom of Edom, the kingdom of Moab and the kingdom of Ammon. Throughout different eras of history, parts of the country were laid under the control of some regional powers including Pharaonic Egypt during their wars with the Babylonians and the Hittites; and for discrete periods of times byIsraelites. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The Mesha Stele recorded the glory of the King of Edom and the victories over the Israelites and other nations. The Ammon and Moab kingdoms are mentioned in ancient maps, Near Eastern documents, ancient Greco-Romanartifacts, and Christian and Jewish religious scriptures.[13]  DELL 9J.N6782.A01 Laptop Keyboard

Due to its strategic location in the middle of the ancient world, Transjordan came to be controlled by the ancient empires of Persians and later the Macedonian Greeks, who became the dominant force in the region, following the conquests of Alexander the Great. It later fell under the changing influence of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire from the North and the Parthians from the East. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The Nabatean kingdom was one of the most prominent states in the region through the middle classic period, since the decline of the Seleucid control of the region in 168 BC. The Nabateans were most probably people of Arabian ancestry, who fell under the early influence of the Hellenistic and Parthian cultures, creating a unique civilized society, which roamed the roads of the deserts. HP Pavilion dv6-2155tx Laptop Keyboard

They controlled the regional and international trade routes of the ancient world by dominating a large area southwest of the fertile crescent, which included the whole of modern Jordan in addition to the southern part of Syria in the north and the northern part of Arabian Peninsula in the south. The Nabataeans developed the Arabic Script, with their language as an intermediary between Aramaean and the ancient Classical Arabic, which evolved into Modern Arabic. DELL XPS M1530 Laptop Keyboard

The Nabateans were largely conquered by the Hasmonean rulers of Judea and many of them forced to convert to Judaism in the late second century BC. However, the Nabataeans managed to maintain a sort of semi-independent kingdom, which covered most parts of modern Jordan and beyond, before it was taken by the Herodians and finally annexed by the still expanding Roman empire in 106 AD. However, apart from Petra, TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

the Romans maintained the prosperity of most of the ancient cities in Transjordan which enjoyed a sort of city-state autonomy under the umbrella of the alliance of the Decapolis. Nabataean civilization left many magnificent archaeological sites at Petra, which is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World as well as recognized by the UNESCO as a world Heritage site. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Following the establishment of Roman Empire at Syria, the country was incorporated into the client Judaean Kingdom of Herod, and later the Iudaea Province. With the suppression of Jewish Revolts, HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

the eastern bank of Transjordan was incorporated into the Syria Palaestina province, while the eastern deserts fell under Parthian and later Persian Sassanid control. During the Greco-Roman period, a number of semi-independent city-states also developed in the region of Transjordan under the umbrella of the Decapolis including: Gerasa (Jerash), Philadelphia (Amman), Raphana (Abila), Dion (Capitolias), Gadara(Umm Qays), and Pella (Irbid). HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

With the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire, Transjordan came to be controlled by the Christian Ghassanid Arab kingdom, which allied with Byzantium. TheByzantine site of Um er-Rasas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. TOSHIBA A000014900 Laptop Keyboard

In the seventh century, and due to its proximity to Damascus, Transjordan became a heartland for the Arabic Islamic Empire and therefore secured several centuries of stability and prosperity,[citation needed] which allowed the coining of its current Arabic Islamic identity. Different Caliphates' stages, including the Rashidun Empire, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Umayyad Empire and Abbasid Empire controlled the region. Several resources pointed that the Abbasid movement, was started in region of Transjordan before it took over the Umayyad empire. After the decline of the Abbasid, It was ruled by several conflicting powers including the Mongols, the Crusaders, the Ayyubids and the Mamluks until it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1516.[14] HP G62-229WM Laptop Keyboard

The Umayyad caliphs constructed rural estates such as Qasr Mshatta, Qasr al Hallabat, Qasr Kharana, Qasr Tuba, and Qasr Amra. Castles constructed in the later Middle Ages including Ajloun, Al Karak, and Qasr Azraq were used in the Ayyubid, Crusader, and Mamluk eras. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

In the 11th century, Transjordan witnessed a phase of instability, as it became a battlefield for the Crusades which ended with defeat by the Ayyubids. Jordan suffered also from the Mongol attacks which were blocked by Mamluks. In 1516, Transjordan became part of the Ottoman Empire and remained so until 1918, when the Hashemite Army of the Great Arab Revolt took over, and secured the present day Jordan with the help and support of Transjordanian local tribes. HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

During World War I, the Transjordanian tribes fought, along with other tribes of the Hijaz, the Tihamah, and Levantregions, as part of the Arab Army of the Great Arab Revolt. The revolt was launched by the Hashemites and led by Sherif Hussein of Mecca against the Ottoman Empire. It was supported by the Allies of World War I. SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Laptop Keyboard

The chronicle of the revolt was written by T. E. Lawrence who, as a young British Army officer, played a liaison role during the revolt. He published the chronicle in London, 1922 under the title "Seven Pillars of Wisdom",[15] which was the basis for the iconic movie "Lawrence of Arabia".GATEWAY AEMA2TAU015 Laptop Keyboard

The Great Arab Revolt was successful in gaining independence for most of the territories of Hijaz and the Levant, including the region of east of Jordan. However, it failed to gain international recognition of the region as an independent state, due mainly to the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916 and the Balfour Declaration of 1917.[citation needed] This was seen by the Hashemites and the Arabs as betrayal of the previous agreements with the British, HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

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including the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence in 1915, in which the British stated their willingness to recognize the independence of the Arab state in Hijaz and the Levant. However, a compromise was eventually reached and the Emirate of Transjordan was created under the reign of the Hashemites. HP Pavilion dv6-2106ea Laptop Keyboard

In September 1922 the Council of the League of Nations recognized Transjordan as a state under the British Mandate andTransjordan memorandum excluded the territories east of the River Jordan from all of the provisions of the mandate dealing with Jewish settlement.[16] HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

The Permanent Court of International Justice and an International Court of Arbitration established by the Council of the League of Nations handed down rulings in 1925 which determined that both a Jewish and an Arab state in the Mandatory regions of Palestine and Transjordan were to be newly created successor states of the Ottoman Empire as defined by international law.[17] The country remained under British supervision until 1946. SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

The Hashemite leadership met multiple difficulties upon assuming power in the region. The most serious threats to emir Abdullah's position in Transjordan were repeated Wahhabi incursions from Najd into southern parts of his territory.[18] The emir was powerless to repel those raids by himself, thus the British maintained a military base, HP Pavilion dv6-2160sv Laptop Keyboard

with a small air force, at Marka, close to Amman.[18] The British military force was the primary obstacle against the Ikhwan, and was also used to help emir Abdullah with the suppression of local rebellions at Kura and later by Sultan Adwan, in 1921 and 1923 respectively.[18] DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

On 25 May 1946 the United Nations approved the end of the British Mandate and recognized Transjordan as an independent sovereign kingdom. The Parliament of Transjordan proclaimed King Abdullah as the first King. The country's name was later changed from Transjordan to Jordan.[19] Packard Bell NEW90 laptop keyboard

On 24 April 1950, Jordan formally annexed the West Bank and East Jerusalem, an act that was regarded as illegal and void by the Arab League. The move formed part of Jordan’s "Greater Syria Plan" expansionist policy,[20] and in response, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria joined Egypt in demanding Jordan’s expulsion from the Arab League.[21][22] HP Pavilion dv6-2053eo laptop keyboard

A motion to expel Jordan from the League was prevented by the dissenting votes of Yemen and Iraq.[23] On 12 June 1950, the Arab League declared the annexation was a temporary, practical measure and that Jordan was holding the territory as a “trustee” pending a future settlement.[24][25] TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7340 laptop keyboard


Abdullah I was assassinated in 1951 by a Palestinian militant Mustafa Ashu, of the jihad al-muqaddas, as he was leaving the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The reason for his murder was allegedly the power rivalry of the al-Husseinis over control of Palestine, which was declared a part of the Hashemite Kingdom by Abdullah I. Though Amin al-Husseini, former mufti of Jerusalem, was not directly charged in the plot, Musa al-Husseini was among the 6 executed by Jordanian authorities, following the assassination. Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

On 27 July 1953, King Hussein of Jordan announced that East Jerusalem was "the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom" and would form an "integral and inseparable part" of Jordan.[26] In 1957 Jordan terminated the Anglo-Jordanian treaty, one year after the king sacked the British personnel serving in the Jordanian Army. This act of Arabization ensured the complete sovereignty of Jordan as a fully independent nation. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

In May 1967, Jordan signed a military pact with Egypt. In June 1967, it joined Egypt, Syria and Iraq in the Six Day Waragainst Israel, which ended in an Israeli victory and the capture of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The period following the war saw an upsurge in the activity and numbers of Arab Palestinian paramilitary elements (fedayeen) within the state of Jordan. These distinct, armed militias were becoming a "HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard

state within a state", threatening Jordan's rule of law. King Hussein's armed forces targeted the fedayeen, and open fighting erupted in June 1970. The battle in which Palestinian fighters from various Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) groups were expelled from Jordan is commonly known as Black September. HP Pavilion ze2315us laptop keyboard

The heaviest fighting occurred in northern Jordan and Amman. In the ensuing heavy fighting, a Syrian tank force invaded northern Jordan to back the fedayeen fighters, but subsequently retreated. King Hussein urgently asked the United States and Great Britain to intervene against Syria. Consequently, Israel performed mock air strikes on the Syrian column at the Americans' request. Soon after, Syrian President Nureddin al-Atassi, SONY VAIO PCG-FRV28 laptop keyboard

ordered a hasty retreat from Jordanian soil.[27][28] By 22 September, Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo arranged a cease-fire beginning the following day. However, sporadic violence continued until Jordanian forces, led by Habis Al-Majali, with the help of Iraqi forces,[29] won a decisive victory over the fedayeen on July 1971, expelling them, and ultimately the PLO's Yasser Arafat of Jordan. HP 550 Laptop Keyboard

In 1973, allied Arab League forces attacked Israel in the Yom Kippur War, and fighting occurred along the 1967 Jordan River cease-fire line. Jordan sent a brigade to Syria to attack Israeli units on Syrian territory but did not engage Israeli forces from Jordanian territory. At the Rabat summit conference in 1974, Jordan was now in a more secure position to agree, along with the rest of the Arab League, that the PLO was the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people", thereby relinquishing to that organization its role as representative of the West Bank. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The Amman Agreement of 11 February 1985, declared that the PLO and Jordan would pursue a proposed confederation between the state of Jordan and a Palestinian state.[30] In 1988, King Hussein dissolved the Jordanian parliament and renounced Jordanian claims to the West Bank. The PLO assumed responsibility as the Provisional Government of Palestine and an independent state was declared.[31] Compaq Presario CQ57-319WM Laptop Keyboard

In 1991 Jordan agreed to participate in direct peace negotiations with Israel at the Madrid Conference, sponsored by the US and the Soviet Union. It negotiated an end to hostilities with Israel and signed a declaration to that effect on 25 July 1994. As a result, an Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty was concluded on 26 October 1994. King Hussein was later honored when his picture appeared on an Israeli postage stamp in recognition of the good relations he established with his neighbor. Since the signing of the peace treaty, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

the United States not only contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in an annual foreign aid stipend to Jordan, but also has allowed it to establish a free trade zone in which to manufacture goods that will enter the US without paying the usual import taxes as long as a percentage of the material used in them is purchased in Israel. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

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The last major strain in Jordan's relations with Israel occurred in September 1997, when Israeli agents allegedly entered Jordan using Canadian passports and poisoned Khaled Meshal, a senior leader of Hamas. Israel provided an antidote to the poison and released dozens of political prisoners, including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. SONY Vaio PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

Jordan lies between latitudes 29° and 34° N, and longitudes 35° and 40° E (a small area lies west of 35°). It consists of an arid plateau in the east, irrigated by oasis and seasonal water streams, with highland area in the west of arable land and Mediterranean evergreen forestry. DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

The Jordan Rift Valley of the Jordan River separates Jordan from Israel and the Palestinian Territories. The highest point in the country is Jabal Umm al Dami, at 1,854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level, its top is also covered with snow, while the lowest is the Dead Sea −420 m (−1,378 ft). Jordan is part of a region considered to be "the cradle of civilization", the Levant region of the Fertile Crescent. HP G61-320US Laptop Keyboard

Major cities include the capital Amman and as-Salt in the west, Irbid, Jerash and Zarqa, in the northwest and Madaba, Karak and Aqaba in the southwest. Major towns in the eastern part of the country are the oasis town of Azraq and Ruwaished. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

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Abdullah became king on 7 February 1999, upon the death of his father King Hussein. Hussein had recently named himCrown Prince on 24 January, replacing Hussein's brother Hassan, who had served many years in the position. He is the namesake of King Abdullah I, his great grandfather who founded modern Jordan.[32]  HP G42-372LA Laptop Keyboard

Jordan's economy has improved greatly since Abdullah ascended to the throne in 1999, and he has been credited with increasing foreign investment, improving public-private partnerships, and providing the foundation for Aqaba's free trade zone and Jordan's flourishing information and communication technology (ICT) sector. He also set up five other special economic zones: Irbid, Ajloun, Mafraq, HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

 Ma'an, and the Dead Sea. As a result of these reforms, Jordan's economic growth has doubled to 6% annually under King Abdullah's rule compared to the latter half of the 1990s.[33] Foreign direct investment from the West as well as the countries of the Persian Gulf has continued to increase.[34] He also negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States, which was the third free trade agreement for the U.S. and the first with an Arab country.[35] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

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During the suspension of Parliament between 2001 and 2003, the scope of King Abdullah II's power was demonstrated with the passing of 110 temporary laws. Two of these laws dealt with elections and were criticized as having the effect of reducing the power of Parliament.[36][37] In 2005 King Abdullah expressed his intentions of making Jordan a democratic country.[38] Thus far, however, democratic development has been limited, with the monarchy maintaining most power and its allies dominating parliament. Elections were held in November 2010. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

In response to domestic and regional unrest, in February 2011 King Abdallah replaced his prime minister and formed a National Dialogue Commission with a reform mandate. The King told the new prime minister to "take quick, concrete and practical steps to launch a genuine political reform process", "to strengthen democracy," and provide Jordanians with the "dignified life they deserve."[39] The King called for an "immediate revision" of laws governing politics and public freedoms. SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

The climate in Jordan is semi-dry in summer with average temperature in the mid 30 °C (86 °F) and relatively cold in winter averaging around 13 °C(55 °F). The western part of the country receives greater precipitation during the winter season from November to March and snowfall in Amman (756 m (2,480 ft) ~ 1,280 m (4,199 ft) above sea-level) and Western Heights of 500 m (1,640 ft). ACER Aspire 5315 Laptop Keyboard

Excluding the rift valley the rest of the country is entirely above 300 m (984 ft) (SL).[42] The weather is humid from November to March and semi dry for the rest of the year. With hot, dry summers and cool winters during which practically all of the precipitation occurs, the country has a Mediterranean-style climate. In general, the farther inland from the Mediterranean a given part of the country lies, the greater are the seasonal contrasts in temperature and the less rainfall. HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with an appointed government. The reigning monarch is the chief executive and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The king exercises his executive authority through the prime ministers and the Council of Ministers, or cabinet. Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

The cabinet is responsible before the democratically elected House of Deputies which, along with theHouse of Notables (Senate), constitutes the legislative branch of the government. The judicial branch is an independent branch of the government. HP Pavilion dv6-2002ew Laptop Keyboard

King Abdullah II succeeded his father Hussein following the latter's death in February 1999. Abdullah moved quickly to reaffirm Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and its relations with the United States. Abdullah, during the first year in power, refocused the government's agenda on economic reform. HP Pavilion dv6-2006tx Laptop Keyboard

The Parliament of Jordan consists of two Chambers: The Chamber of Deputies (‘Majlis al-Nuwaab’) and the Senate (‘Majlis al-Aayan’; literally, ‘Assembly of Notables’). The Senate has 60 Senators, all of whom are directly appointed by the King,[43] while the Chamber of Deputies/House of Representatives has 120 elected members representing 12 constituencies. The elected Chamber of Deputies can initiate legislation, but it has to pass through the senate and government, which are both appointed by the King.[44]

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Jordan has multi-party politics. Political parties contest fewer than a fifth of the seats, while the rest go to independent politicians.[45] A new political parties law enacted in July 2012 placed parties under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, and forbid the establishment of religion-based parties.[46] SONY VAIO VGN-FW180FU Laptop Keyboard

The last parliamentary elections were held on 23 January 2013. Because of a history of rigged elections, government critics have dismissed them as merely cosmetic. Some opposition groups, including the largest, the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, and the protest network known as Hirak boycotted the vote.[47]  HP 417525-B31 Laptop Keyboard

The highest court is the Court of Cassation, followed by the Courts of Appeal.[48] The lower courts are divided into civil courts and sharia courts. Civil courts have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases, while the sharia courts have jurisdiction over personal status for Muslims, including marriage, divorce, and inheritance; parallel tribunals handle such matters for non-Muslims.[48] Shari’a courts also have jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the Islamicwaqfs. In cases involving parties of different religions, regular courts have jurisdiction.[49] SONY VGN-FE28H Laptop Keyboard

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The Constitution of Jordan was adopted on January 11, 1952 and has been amended many times. Article 97 of Jordan's constitution guarantees the independence of the judicial branch, clearly stating that judges are 'subject to no authority but that of the law.' While the king must approve the appointment and dismissal of judges, DELL Vostro 1014 Laptop Keyboard

in practice these are supervised by the Higher Judicial Council. Article 99 of the Constitution divides the courts into three categories: civil, religious and special. The civil courts deal with civil and criminal matters in accordance with the law, and they have jurisdiction over all persons in all matters, civil and criminal, including cases brought against the government. The civil courts include Magistrate Courts, Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal, High Administrative Courts and the Supreme Court. Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

The Family Law in force is the Personal Status Law of 1976.[50] Sharia Courts have jurisdiction over personal status matters relating to Muslims.[51]

Jordan's law enforcement ranked 24th in the world, 4th in the Middle East, in terms of police services' reliability in the Global Competitiveness Report. Jordan also ranked 13th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East in terms of prevention of organized crime, making it one of the safest countries in the world.[52] HP Pavilion dv3-2320tx Laptop Keyboard

Jordan has followed a pro-Western foreign policy and maintained close relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. These relations were damaged by Jordan's neutrality and maintaining relations with Iraq during the first Gulf War. Following the Gulf War, Jordan largely restored its relations with Western countries through its participation in the Southwest Asia peace process and enforcement of UN sanctions against Iraq. Relations between Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries improved substantially after King Hussein's death. TOSHIBA Satellite P500 Laptop Keyboard

Jordan is a key ally of the USA and, together with Egypt, one of only two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel.[53][54]

In Israel in 2009, several Likud lawmakers proposed a bill that called for a Palestinian state on both sides of the Jordan River, presuming that Jordan should be the alternative homeland for the Palestinians. Later, following similar remarks by the Israeli Speaker of the Knesset, twenty Jordanian lawmakers proposed a bill in the Jordanian Parliamentin which the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan would be frozen. The Israeli Foreign Ministry disavowed the original proposal.[55][56] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ440 Laptop Keyboard

The Jordanian military enjoys strong support and aid from the United States, the United Kingdom and France. This is due to its critical position between Israel, the West Bank, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia with very close proximity to Lebanon and Egypt. The development of the Special Operations Forces has been particularly significant, enhancing the capability of the forces to react rapidly to threats to state security, as well as training special forces from the region and beyond.[57][58] SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

There are about 50,000 Jordanian troops working with the United Nations in peacekeeping missions across the world. These soldiers provide everything from military defense, training of native police, medical help, and charity. Jordan ranks third internationally in taking part in UN peacekeeping missions.[59] Jordan has one of the highest levels of peacekeeping troop contributions of all U.N. member states.[60] GATEWAY M-6834 Laptop Keyboard

Jordan has dispatched several field hospitals to conflict zones and areas affected by natural disasters across the world such as Iraq, the West Bank, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Congo, Liberia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone and Pakistan. The Kingdom's field hospitals extended aid to more than one million people in Iraq, some one million in the West Bank and 55,000 in Lebanon. According to the military, HP Mini 110-3112tu Laptop Keyboard

there are Jordanian peacekeeping forces in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. Jordanian Armed Forces field hospital in Afghanistan has since 2002 provided assistance to some 750,000 persons and has significantly reduced the suffering of people residing in areas where the hospital operates.In some missions, the number of Jordanian troops was the second largest, the sources said.[61] Jordan also provides extensive training of security forces in Iraq,[62] the Palestinian territories,[63] and the GCC.[64] SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

The 2010 Arab Democracy Index from the Arab Reform Initiative ranked Jordan first in the state of democratic reforms out of fifteen Arab countries.[65]

Civil liberties and political rights scored 5 and 6 respectively in Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2011 report, where 1 is most free and 7 is least free. This earned Jordan "Not Free" status.[66] Jordan ranked ahead of 6, behind 4, and the same as 8 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. HP Pavilion dm1-1010st Laptop Keyboard

Jordan ranked 6th among the 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, and 50th out of 178 countries worldwide in the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) issued by Transparency International.[67] Jordan's 2010 CPI score was 4.7 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean). Jordan ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in February 2005[68] and has been a regional leader in spearheading efforts to promote the UNCAC and its implementation.[52] ACER Aspire 4720 Laptop Keyboard

According to a 2010 Pew Global Attitudes survey, 86% of Jordanians polled supported the death penalty for those who leave Islam; 58% supported whippings and cutting off of hands for theft and robbery; and 70% support stoning people who commit adultery.[69]

Jordan is classified by the World Bank as an "upper middle income country."[10] The economy has grown at an average rate of 4.3% per annum since 2005.[70] Approximately 13% of the population lives on less than US$ 3 a day.[70] SONY VAIO VGN-N220E/W Laptop Keyboard

The GDP per capita rose by 351% in the 1970s, declined 30% in the 1980s, and rose 36% in the 1990s.[71][not in citation given] Jordan has a free trade agreement with Turkey.[72] Jordan also enjoys advanced status with the EU.[73] ACER Aspire 5540 Laptop Keyboard

The Jordanian economy is beset by insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources.[3] Other challenges include high budget deficit, high outstanding public debt, high levels of poverty and unemployment.[70] Unemployment for 2012 is nominally around 13%,APPLE MacBook Air A1304 Laptop Keyboard

but is thought by many analysts to be as high as a quarter of the working age population.[74] Youth unemployment is nearly 30%.[74] Jordan has few natural resources and a small industrial base.[74]Corruption is particularly pronounced, and the use of wasta is widespread.[74] Jordan suffers from a brain drain of its most talented workers.[74] Remittances from Jordanian expatriates are a major source of foreign exchange.[75] HP Mini 110-1038TU Laptop Keyboard

Due to slow domestic growth, high energy and food subsidies and a bloated public sector workforce, Jordan usually runs annual budget deficits, which are partially offsets by international aid.[74] HP G61-435ST Laptop Keyboard

Jordan’s economy is relatively well diversified.[75] Trade and finance combined account for nearly one-third of GDP; transportation and communication, public utilities, and construction account for one-fifth, and mining and manufacturing constitute nearly that proportion.[75] Despite plans to increase the private sector, the state remains the dominant force in Jordan’s economy.[75] The government employs between one-third and two-thirds of all workers.[74] TOSHIBA Satellite C650-182 Laptop Keyboard

In 2000, Jordan joined the World Trade Organization and signed the Jordan–United States Free Trade Agreement; in 2001, it signed an association agreement with the European Union.[76]

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The Great Recession and the turmoil caused by the Arab Spring have depressed Jordan's GDP growth, impacting export-oriented sectors, construction, and tourism.[3] Tourist arrivals have dropped sharply since 2011, hitting an important source of revenue and employment.[77] ACER Aspire 5810T-8929 Laptop Keyboard

In an attempt to quell popular discontent, the government promised in 2011 to keep energy and food prices artificially low, while raising wages and pensions for bloated public sector.[77] Jordan's finances have also been strained by a series of natural gas pipeline attacks in Egypt, causing Jordan to substitute more expensive heavy fuel oils to generate electricity.[78] The government was then forced to spend at least $500 million to cover the resulting fuel shortage.[77] HP G42-363LA Laptop Keyboard

The International Monetary Fund agreed to a three-year, $2 billion loan in August 2012. As part of the deal, Jordan was expected to cut spending.[74] In November 2012, the government cut subsidies on fuel.[79] As a result, large scale protests broke out across the country, and the King subsequently reversed the increase.”[74]  HP Pavilion dv6-2180ep laptop keyboard

The total foreign debt in 2012 was $22 billion, representing 72% of GDP. Roughly two-thirds of this total had been raised on the domestic market, with the remaining owed to overseas lenders.[79] In late November 2012, the budgetary shortfall was estimated at around $3 billion, or about 11% of GDP.[79] Growth was expected to reach 3% by the end of 2012, and the IMF predicts GDP will increase by 3.5% in 2013, rising to 4.5% by 2017.[79] The inflation rate was forecast at 4.5% by the end of 2012.[79] HP Pavilion DV6-1119ez laptop keyboard

The official currency in Jordan is the Jordanian dinar, which is pegged to the IMF's special drawing rights (SDRs), equivalent to an exchange rate of 1 US$ = 0.709 dinar, or approximately 1 dinar = 1.41044 dollars.[80] ACER Aspire One A150-1905 laptop keyboard

The proportion of skilled workers in Jordan is among the highest in the region.[81] Agriculture in Jordan constituted almost 40% of GNP in the early 1950s; on the eve of the June 1967 War, it was 17%.[82] By the mid-1980s, agriculture's share of GNP in Jordan was only about 6%.[82] Jordan has hosted the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa six times and plans to hold it again at the Dead Sea for the seventh time in 2013.[83] Compaq Presario CQ71-411EZ laptop keyboard

Four nuclear power plants are planned with the first one to be operational in 2019.[89]

Since the beginning of 2010, the government of Jordan has been seeking approval from the US for producing nuclear fuel from Jordan's uranium for use in nuclear power plants that Jordan plans to build. According to Haaretz, Jordan learned that the US position is essentially the Israeli position, and the US has rejected Jordan's request for approval.[90] HP Pavilion dv6-2132et laptop keyboard

Natural gas was discovered in Jordan in 1987, and the estimated size of the reserve discovered was about 230 billion cubic feet, and quantities are very modest compared with its neighbours. It was the development of the Risha field in the Eastern Desert beside the Iraqi border, and the field produces nearly 30 million cubic feet of gas a day, to be sent to a nearby power plant to produce nearly 10% of the Jordan's Electric needs.[91] TOSHIBA Satellite P505D-S8934 laptop keyboard

Despite the fact that reserves of crude oil are non-commercial, Jordan possesses one of the world's richest stockpiles of oil shale where there are huge quantities that could be commercially exploited in the central and northern regions west of the country. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 laptop keyboard

The moisture content and ash within is relatively low. And the total thermal value is 7.5 megajoules/kg, and the content of ointments reach 9% of the weight of the organic content.[92] A switch to power plants operated by oil shale has the potential to reduce Jordan's energy bill by at least 40–50 per cent, according to the National Electric Power Company.[93] ASUS F5Z laptop keyboard

Tourism accounted for 10%–12% of the country's Gross National Product in 2006. In 2010, there were 8 million visitors to Jordan. The result was $3.4 billion in tourism revenues, $4.4 billion if medical tourists are included.[94] SONY VAIO VGN-NW320F/T laptop keyboard

Jordan offers everything from world-class historical and cultural sites like Petra and Jerash to modern entertainment in urban areas most notably Amman. Moreover, seaside recreation is present in Aqaba and Dead Sea through numerous international resorts. Eco-tourists have numerous nature reserves to choose from as like Dana Nature Reserve. Religious tourists visit Mt. Nebo, the Baptist Site, and the mosaic city of Madaba. COMPAQ Presario CQ40-107AU laptop keyboard

Jordan has nightclubs, discothèques and bars in Amman, Irbid, Aqaba, and many 4 and 5-star hotels. Furthermore, beach clubs are also offered at the Dead Sea and Aqaba. Jordan played host to the Petra Prana Festival in 2007 which celebrated Petra's win as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World with world-renowned DJs like Tiesto and Sarah Main. The annual Distant Heat festival in Wadi Rum and Aqaba ranked as one of the world's top 10 raves. HP 413554-001 Laptop Keyboard

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Jordan has been a medical tourism destination in the Middle East since the 1970s. A study conducted by Jordan's Private Hospitals Association (PHA) found that 250,000 patients from 102 countries received treatment in the kingdom in 2010, compared to 190,000 in 2007, bringing over $1 billion in revenue. It is the region's top medical tourism destination as rated by the World Bank, and fifth in the world overall.[95][96][97]  APPLE MacBook Pro 15 inch MA463KH A Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

It is estimated that Jordan received 50,000 Libyan patients and 80,000 Syrian refugees, who also sought treatment in Jordanian hospitals, in the first six months of 2012.[98]

Jordan's main focus of attention in its marketing effort are the ex-Soviet states, Europe, and America.[99] Most common medical procedures on Arab and foreign patients included organ transplants, open heart surgeries, infertility treatment, laser vision corrections, bone operations and cancer treatment.[100] Compaq Presario C733TU Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

a well-developed transportation infrastructure. Jordan ranked as having the 35th best infrastructure in the world, one of the highest rankings in the developing world, according to the World Economic Forum's Index of Economic Competitiveness.[101] SONY NSK-S8101 Laptop Keyboard

The Port of Aqaba was ranked as having the "Best Container Terminal" in the Middle East in 2006 by Lloyds List.[102]

There are three commercial airports, all receiving and sending international commercial flights, two of them in Ammanand the third is located in the city of Aqaba. The largest airport in the country is Queen Alia International Airportin Amman that serves as the hub of the international airline Royal Jordanian.  Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The airport is currently under significant expansion in a bid to make it the hub for the Levant. Amman Civil Airport was the country's main airport before it was replaced by Queen Alia Airport but it still serves several regional routes. King Hussein International Airport serves Aqaba with connections to Amman and several regional and international cities. TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

In 2007, there were 700,000–1,000,000 Iraqis in Jordan.[107] Since the Iraq War many Christians (Assyrians/Chaldeans) fromIraq have settled permanently or temporarily in Jordan. They could number as many as 500,000.[108] There were also 15,000 Lebanese who emigrated to Jordan following the 2006 War with Israel.[109] HP G61-455EE laptop keyboard

There are 1,200,000 illegal and some 500,000 legal migrant workers in the Kingdom.[110] Furthermore, there are thousands of foreign women working in nightclubs, hotels and bars across the kingdom, mostly from Eastern Europe and North Africa.[111][112][113] HP Pavilion dv6-2164sl laptop keyboard

Jordan is home to a relatively large American and European expatriate population concentrated mainly in the capital as the city is home to many international organizations and diplomatic missions that base their regional operations in Amman.[114][115] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

According to UNRWA, Jordan was home to 1,951,603 Palestinian refugees in 2008, most of them Jordanian citizens.[116] 338,000 of them were living in UNRWA refugee camps.[117] Jordan revoked the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians to thwart any attempt to resettle West Bank residents in Jordan. Compaq Presario CQ62 laptop keyboard

West Bank Palestinians with family in Jordan or Jordanian citizenship were issued yellow cards guaranteeing them all the rights of Jordanian citizenship. Palestinians living in Jordan with family in the West Bank were also issued yellow cards. All other Palestinians wishing such Jordanian papers were issued green cards to facilitate travel into Jordan.[118] SONY VAIO VGN-AR270P laptop keyboard

The official language is Modern Standard Arabic, a literary language taught in the schools. The native languages of most Jordanians are dialects ofJordanian Arabic, a nonstandard version of Arabic with many influences from English, French and Turkish.

English, though without an official status, is widely spoken throughout the country and is the de facto language of commerce and banking, as well as a co-official status in the education sector; almost all university-level classes are held in English. HP Pavilion DV6-1010ea laptop keyboard

Russian, Circassian, Armenian, Tagalog, Tamil, and Chechen are quite popular among their communities and acknowledged widely in the kingdom.

It's believed that most, if not all, public schools in the country teach the English and Standard Arabic (to a degree). French is elective in many schools, mainly in the private sector. L'Ecole française d'Amman and Lycée français d'Amman are the most famous French language schools in the capital. French remains an elite language in Jordan, despite not enjoying the popularity it did in older times. HP V107046AS1 laptop keyboard

German is an increasingly popular language among the elite and the educated; it's been most likely introduced at a larger scale after the début of theDeutsch Universität, or as officially named, the German-Jordanian University. A historic society of German Protestants of Amman continue to use the German language in their events and daily lives.[119] HP Pavilion dv3-2155mx laptop keyboard

The media in Jordan revolves mainly around English, with many British and mostly American programmes and films shown on local television and cinemas.Egyptian Arabic is very popular, with many Egyptian movies playing in cinemas across the country. HP Pavilion dv6-2117eo laptop keyboard

The government-owned Jordan TV shows programmes and newscasts in Arabic (Standard and Jordanian), English and French; Radio Jordan offers radio services in Standard Arabic, the Jordanian dialects (informally), English and French, as well. It should be noted that when an English-language film is shown in a cinema, it'll be translated to both: French and Standard Arabic. SONY VAIO VGN-NW11S/S Laptop Keyboard

Islam is the official religion and approximately 92% of the population is Muslim, primarily of the Sunni branch of Islam.

Jordan has laws promoting religious freedom, but they fall short of protecting all minority groups. Muslims who convert to another religion as well as missionaries face societal and legal discrimination.[120] SONY VAIO VGN-CS31S/V Laptop Keyboard

According to the Legatum Prosperity Index, 46.2% of Jordanians regularly attend religious services in 2006.[121]

Jordan has an indigenous Christian minority. Christians made up 30% of the Jordanian population in 1950.[122] TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Other religious minorities groups in Jordan include adherents to the Druze and Bahá'í Faith. The Druze are mainly located in the eastern oasis town of Azraq, some villages on the Syrian border and the city of Zarka, while the village Adassiyeh bordering the Jordan Valley is home to Jordan's Bahá'í community. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

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Although religion and tradition play an important part in modern-day Jordanian society, Jordanians live in a relatively secular society that is increasingly grappling with the effects of globalization. Jordan is considered one of the Arab World's most cosmopolitan countries.[124] 67% of Jordanian youth identify themselves as liberals, second highest in the Arab World after Lebanon.[125] DELL V100830AS1 Laptop Keyboard

According to the Center for Strategic Studies, 52% of Jordanians support a secular state in which religious practices were considered to be “private matters that must be differentiated from social and political life", 6% express indifference towards a secular state or a more religious one, while 42% prefer more religious involvement in social and political life.[126] HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

Jordan prides itself on its health service, one of the best in the region.[129] Government figures have put total health spending in 2002 at some 7.5% of Gross domestic product (GDP), while international health organizations place the figure even higher, HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

at approximately 9.3% of GDP. The CIA World Factbookestimates life expectancy in Jordan is 80.18 years, the second highest in the region (after Israel).[130] The WHO gives a considerably lower figure however, at 73.0 years for 2011.[131] There were 203 physicians per 100,000 people in the years 2000–2004.[132] ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

The country's health care system is divided between public and private institutions. In the public sector, the Ministry of Health operates 1,245 primary health-care centers and 27 hospitals, accounting for 37% of all hospital beds in the country; the military's Royal Medical Services runs 11 hospitals, providing 24% of all beds; and the Jordan University Hospital accounts for 3% of total beds in the country. SONY VAIO VGN-CS31S/V Laptop Keyboard

The private sector provides 36% of all hospital beds, distributed among 56 hospitals. In 1 June 2007, Jordan Hospital (as the biggest private hospital) was the first general specialty hospital to get the international accreditation JCAHO.[133] The King Hussein Cancer Center is a leading cancer treatment center. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

70% of the population has medical insurance.[134] Childhood immunization rates have increased steadily over the past 15 years; by 2002 immunizations andvaccines reached more than 95% of children under five.[133] Water and sanitation, available to only 10% of the population in 1950, now reach 99% of Jordanians, according to government statistics. SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

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The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 92.6%.[136] The Jordanian educational system consists of a two-year cycle of pre-school education, ten years of compulsory basic education, and two years of secondary academic or vocational education, after which the students sit for the Tawjihi.[137] UNESCO ranked Jordan's education system 18th out of 94 nations for providing gender equality in education.[138] 20.5% of Jordan's total government expenditures goes to education compared to 2.5% in Turkey and 3.86% in Syria.[139][ HP G62-a05SG Laptop Keyboard

140][141] Secondary school enrollment has increased from 63% to 97% of high school aged students in Jordan and between 79% and 85% of high school students in Jordan move on to higher education.[142] ACER NSK-H361D Laptop Keyboard

In Jordan there are 2,000 researchers per million people, compared to 5,000 researchers per million for the top-performing countries.[143] According to the Global Innovation Index 2011, Jordan is the 3rd most innovative economy in the Middle East, behind Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.[144] SONY VAIO VGN-CR520E Laptop Keyboard

The kingdom has 10 public and 16 private universities, in addition to some 54 community colleges, of which 14 are public, 24 private and others affiliated with the Jordan Armed Forces, the Civil Defence Department, the ministry of health and UNRWA.[145] There are over 200,000 Jordanian students enrolled in universities each year. An additional 20,000 Jordanians pursue higher education abroad primarily in the United States and Great Britain.[146] HP G62-225NR Laptop Keyboard

Jordan is already home to several international universities such as German-Jordanian University, Columbia University, NYIT,DePaul University, and the American University of Madaba. George Washington University is planning to establish a medical university in Jordan as well.[147] SONY VAIO VGN NR260E/W Laptop Keyboard

According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are the University of Jordan (1507th worldwide),Yarmouk University (2165th) and the Jordan University of Science & Technology (2335th).[148] HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard

The West Bank (Arabic: الضفة الغربية‎ aḍ-Ḍaffah l-Ġarbiyyah, Hebrew: הגדה המערבית‎, HaGadah HaMa'aravit, also Hebrew: יהודה ושומרון‎ Yehuda ve-Shomron (Judea and Samaria)[1][2]) is a landlocked territory, located in Western Asia. The West Bank shares boundaries (demarcated by the Jordanian-Israeli armistice of 1949) to the west, north, and south with the state of Israel, and to the east, across the Jordan River, with the Kingdom of Jordan. The West Bank also contains a significant coastline along the western bank of the Dead Sea.[3] HP Pavilion G60-230 Laptop Keyboard

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5,640 km2 and 220 km2 water, the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea.[3] It has an estimated population of 2,622,544 (June 2012). More than 80 percent, about 2,100,000,[3] are Palestinian Arabs, and approximately 500,000 are Jewish Israelis living in the West Bank,[3] including about 192,000 in East Jerusalem,[4] in Israeli settlements. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.[5][6][7][8] HP Pavilion DV6-1010ea Laptop Keyboard\

From 1517 through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank was under Ottoman rule as part of the provinces of Syria. At the 1920 San Remo conference, the victorious Allied powers (France, UK, USA, etc.) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. Following the Second World War, the United Nations passed the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine, SONY 148781311 Laptop Keyboard

which aimed to establish two states within Mandate Palestine. The Resolution designated the territory described as "the hill country of Samaria and Judea" (including what is now known as the "West Bank") as part of the proposed Arab state, but following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War this area was captured by Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949). "West Bank" or "Cisjordan" became the name for the area west of the Jordan River, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

as "East Bank" or "Transjordan" designated the area east of the river. The interim boundary between Israel and Jordan's West Bank was defined in the 1949 Armistice Agreements. Jordan ruled over the West Bank from 1948 until 1967, annexing it in 1950. Jordan's claim was never formally recognized by the international community, with the exception of the United Kingdom.[9][10] SONY 147963021 Laptop Keyboard

In June 1967, the West Bank and East Jerusalem were captured by Israel as a result of the Six-Day War. With the exception of East Jerusalem and the former Israeli-Jordanian no man's land, the West Bank was not annexed by Israel but has remained under Israeli military control and is referred to as Judea and Samaria Area by Israel. Although the 1974 Arab League summit resolution at Rabat designated the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLOHP Pavilion dv6-2117eo Laptop Keyboard

) as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”, Jordan did not officially relinquish its claim to the area until 1988,[11] when it severed all administrative and legal ties with the West Bank and eventually stripped West Bank Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship.[12] HP AEUT3U00140 Laptop Keyboard

Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority officially controls a geographically non-contiguous approx. 11% of the West Bank (known as Area A), permanently subject to Israeli incursions, rendering it as an area of very limited autonomy. Area B (approx. 28%) is subject to Israeli military control and Palestinian civil control. Area C (approx. 61%) is under full Israeli control. Though 164 nations refer to the West Bank, ACER ZU2 Laptop Keyboard

including East Jerusalem, as “Occupied Palestinian Territory”,[13][14] the state of Israel insists that only territories captured in war from “an established and recognized sovereign” should be considered occupied territories.[15] Israel's occupation of this territory is not recognized by any state. After the 2007 split between Fatah and Hamas, the West Bank areas under Palestinian control are an exclusive part of the Palestinian Authority, while the Gaza Strip is ruled by Hamas.  HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

The name West Bank in Palestine, a translation of the Arabic term ad-difa’a al-gharbiya, was coined by the Jordanians after the territory, conquered by Jordan's Arab Legion in 1948, was annexed to Transjordan, forming the new Kingdom of Jordan in 1949–50. This annexation by Jordan was recognized by only a handful of countries, among them Britain and Pakistan.  DELL Studio 1458 Laptop Keyboard

Most international bodies, the Arab League, and most Palestinians rejected the legality of the Jordanian annexation. The term was chosen to differentiate the "West bank of the River Jordan", the newly annexed territory, from the "East Bank" of this river, Transjordan. Before the end of World War I and the creation of the British Mandate of Palestine(that preceded the modern history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict), HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

the last state to control the land today referred to as the West Bank was the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Syria. The Ottoman Empire administrative region that included the modern West Bank was referred to by the Ottomans as the Beirut Vilayet. The specific district that included the modern West Bank was known as the Sanjak of Nablus. DELL Vostro 3500 Laptop Keyboard

The neo-Latin name Cisjordan or Cis-Jordan (literally "in front of the River Jordan" or "on this side of the [River] Jordan") is the usual name for the territory in the Romance languages and Hungarian. The analogousTransjordan (literally "behind of the River Jordan") has historically been used to designate the region now comprising the state of Jordan, which lies to the east, on the "other side" of the Jordan River. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

In English, the name Cisjordan is occasionally used to designate the entire region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, particularly in the historical context of the British Mandate and earlier times. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

The use of Cisjordan to refer to the smaller region discussed in this article, while common in scholarly fields including archaeology, is rare in general English usage. The name West Bank is standard usage for this geo-political entity in English and some of the other Germanic languages. For the low-lying area immediately west of the Jordan, the name Jordan Valley is used.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

The region now known as the "West Bank" represents portion of the former British Mandate for Palestine (1920–47). It was designated as part of a proposed Arab state by the United Nations (UN) partition plan for Palestine in 1947. The plan recommended partition of the British Mandate into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an internationally administered enclave of Jerusalem,[16] a more broad region of the modern-day West Bank was assigned to the Arab State. Compaq Presario CQ62-410US laptop keyboard

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Upon the departure of the British forces in May 1948 and the proclamation of the State of Israel, the armies of five Arab countries entered Palestine. In the ensuing Arab-Israeli War the West Bank was occupied by Jordanian and Iraqi forces. In the 1949 Armistice Agreements, the West Bank was declared part of Jordanian territory and defined the interim boundarybetween Israel and Jordan. SONY VAIO VGN-FS770 laptop keyboard

Jordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 until 1967. Formally annexing it on April 24, 1950. Jordan's claim was never recognized by the international community, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Pakistan.[9][10] HP Pavilion dv5-1233se laptop keyboard

The idea of an independent Palestinian state was not raised by the Arab populations there at the time. King Abdullah of Jordan was crowned King of Jerusalem and granted Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem Jordanian citizenship.[17] HP Pavilion dv6580el laptop keyboard

During the 1950s, there was a significant influx of Palestinian refugees and violence together with Israeli reprisal raidsacross the "Green Line".[citation needed]

In May 1967 Egypt ordered out U.N. peacekeeping troops and re-militarized the Sinai peninsula, and commenced an economic blockade of Israel through the straits of Tiran at the same time. Fearing an Egyptian attack, SONY VGN-FE28B laptop keyboard

the government of Levi Eshkol attempted to restrict any confrontation to Egypt alone. In particular it did whatever it could to avoid fighting Jordan in a two-front war. However, "carried along by a powerful current of Arab nationalism", on 30 May 1967 King Husseinflew to Egypt and signed a mutual defense treaty in which the two countries agreed to consider "any armed attack on either state or its forces as an attack on both".[18][19] On 5 June, the Israel Defense Forces launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt[20] which began what came to be known as the Six Day War. Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Jordan soon began shelling targets in west Jerusalem, Netanya, and the outskirts of Tel Aviv.[21] Despite this, Israel sent a message promising not to initiate any action against Jordan if it stayed out of the war. Hussein replied that it was too late, "the die was cast".[18] On the evening of 5 June the Israeli cabinet convened to decide what to do; Yigal Allon and Menahem Begin argued that this was an opportunity to take the Old City of Jerusalem, HP Pavilion DV6-1124ca laptop keyboard

but Eshkol decided to defer any decision until Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin could be consulted.[22] Uzi Narkis made a number of proposals for military action, including the capture of Latrun, but the cabinet turned him down. The Israeli military only commenced action after Government House was captured, which was seen as a threat to the security of Jerusalem.[23] On 6 J une Dayan encircled the city, but, Lenovo Thinkpad X220T laptop keyboard

fearing damage to holy places and having to fight in built-up areas, he ordered his troops not to go in. However, upon hearing that the U.N. was about to declare a ceasefire, he changed his mind, and without cabinet clearance, decided to take the city.[22] After fierce fighting with Jordanian troops in and around the Jerusalem area, Israel captured the Old City on 7 June. SAMSUNG NP-N145-JPM2 laptop keyboard

specific decision had been made to capture any other territories controlled by Jordan. After the Old City was captured, Dayan told his troops to dig in to hold it. When an armored brigade commander entered the West Bank on his own initiative, and stated that he could see Jericho, Dayan ordered him back. SONY VAIO VGN-FZ320E/B laptop keyboard

However, when intelligence reports indicated that Hussein had withdrawn his forces across the Jordan river, Dayan ordered his troops to capture the West Bank.[23] Over the next two days, the IDF swiftly captured the rest of the West Bank and blew up the Abdullah and Hussein Bridges over the Jordan, thereby severing the West Bank from the East.[24] According to Narkis: SAMSUNG Q330 Series laptop keyboard

First, the Israeli government had no intention of capturing the West Bank. On the contrary, it was opposed to it. Second, there was not any provocation on the part of the IDF. Third, the rein was only loosened when a real threat to Jerusalem's security emerged. The end result was something that no one had planned.[25] SONY Vaio VGN-AW235J/B laptop keyboard

The Arab League's Khartoum conference in September declared continuing belligerency, and stated the league's principles of "no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it".[26] In November 1967, UN Security Council Resolution 242 was unanimously adopted, calling for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East" to be achieved by "the application of both the following principles:" SONY KFRMBA220A laptop keyboard

"Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" (see semantic dispute) and: "Termination of all claims or states of belligerency" and respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries. Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon entered into consultations with the UN Special representative over the implementation of 242.[27] The text did not refer to the PLO or to any Palestinian representative because none was recognized at that time. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Until 1974, Jordan demanded the restoration of its control over the West Bank.[28] In 1988, Jordan's King Hussein announced "full legal and administrative disengagement from the West Bank."[29] On July 28, 1988, King Hussein announced the cessation of a $1.3 billion development program for the West Bank. Over the next few days, he formally dissolved Parliament, ending West Bank representation in the legislature, and severed all administrative and legal ties with West Bank.[30] DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

As a result of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process agreement in 1995, the Palestine Authority has been given territorial administration over the West Bank.

By September 2012, with their application for full membership stalled due to the inability of Security Council members to 'make a unanimous recommendation', the Palestine Authority had decided to pursue an upgrade in status from "observer entity" to "non-member observer state". On November 27 it was announced that the appeal had been officially made, and would be put to a vote in the General Assembly on November 29, HP Mini 210-2036tu Laptop Keyboard

where their status upgrade was expected to be supported by a majority of states. In addition to granting Palestine "non-member observer state status", the draft resolution "expresses the hope that the Security Council will consider favourably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations, endorses the two state solution based on the pre-1967 borders, and stresses the need for an immediate resumption of negotiations between the two parties." Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

On Thursday, November 29, 2012, In a 138-9 vote (with 41 abstaining) General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to "non-member observer state" status in the United Nations.[31][32] The new status equates Palestine's with that of the Holy See.The change in status was described by The Independent as "de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine".[33] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

The vote was a historic benchmark for the sovereign State of Palestine and its citizens, whilst it was a diplomatic setback for Israel and the United States. Status as an observer state in the UN will allow the State of Palestine to join treaties and specialised UN agencies, such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation,[34] the Law of the Seas Treaty and the International Criminal Court. It shall permit Palestine to claim legal rights over its territorial waters and air space as a sovereign state recognised by the UN. HP 550 Laptop Keyboard

The UN has permitted Palestine to title its representative office to the UN as 'The Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations',[35] and Palestine has started to re-title its name accordingly on postal stamps, official documents and passports,[32][36] whilst it has instructed its diplomats to officially represent 'The State of Palestine', as opposed to the 'Palestine National Authority'.[32] SONY VAIO VGN-NR21Z/S Laptop Keyboard

Additionally, on 17 December 2012, UN Chief of Protocol Yeocheol Yoon decided that "the designation of 'State of Palestine' shall be used by the Secretariat in all official United Nations documents",[37] thus recognising the PLO-proclaimed State of Palestine as being sovereign over the territories of Palestine and its citizens under international law. IBM Lenovo ThinkPad R51 1833 Laptop Keyboard

As of February 2013, 131 (67.9%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognised the State of Palestine as sovereign over both West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Many of the countries that do not recognise the State of Palestine nevertheless recognise the PLO as the 'representative of the Palestinian people'HP Pavilion dv5-1233se Laptop Keyboard

Area A, 2.7%, full civil control of the Palestinian Authority, comprises Palestinian towns, and some rural areas away from Israeli settlements in the north (between Jenin, Nablus, Tubas, and Tulkarm), the south (around Hebron), and one in the center south of Salfit.[42] Area B, 25.2%, adds other populated rural areas, many closer to the center of the West Bank. Area C contains all the Israeli settlements, roads used to access the settlements, buffer zones (near settlements, roads, strategic areas, and Israel), and almost all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

Areas A and B are themselves divided among 227 separate areas (199 of which are smaller than 2 square kilometres (1 sq mi)) that are separated from one another by Israeli-controlled Area C. [43] Areas A, B, and C cross the 11Governorates used as administrative divisions by the Palestinian National Authority, Israel, and the IDF and named after major cities. The mainly open areas of Area C were to be handed over to the Palestinians by 1999 under the Oslo Accords. This was never done.[44] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

According to B'tselem, while the vast majority of the Palestinian population lives in areas A and B, the vacant land available for construction in dozens of villages and towns across the West Bank is situated on the margins of the communities and defined as area C.[45] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ440 Laptop Keyboard

An assessment by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in 2007 found that approximately 40% of the West Bank was taken up by Israeli infrastructure. The infrastructure, consisting of settlements, the barrier, military bases and closed military areas, Israeli declared nature reserves and the roads that accompany them is off-limits or tightly controlled to Palestinians.[46] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

In June 2011, the Independent Commission for Human Rights published a report that found that Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were subjected in 2010 to an “almost systematic campaign” of human rights abuse by thePalestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as by Israeli authorities, with the security forces of the PA and Hamas being responsible for torture, arrests and arbitrary detentions.[47] Lenovo 63Y0047 Laptop Keyboard

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largest city. It is also the capital of Riyadh Province, and belongs to the historical regions of Najd and Al-Yamama. It is situated in the center of the Arabian Peninsula on a large plateau, and is home to 5,254,560 people, and the urban center of a region with a population of close to 7 million people. HP Hp Envy 17-2077ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The city is divided into 15 municipal districts, managed by Riyadh Municipality headed by the mayor of Riyadh, and the Riyadh Development Authority, chaired by the Governor of Riyadh Province, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz. The current mayor of Riyadh is Abdullah Bin Abdul Rahman Al Mogbel, appointed in 2012. Riyadh has the largest all female university in the world, the Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University.[1] HP Mini 110-1120SL Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

It has been designated as a Beta World City. During the Pre-Islamic era the settlement at the site was called Hajr (Arabic: حجر‎), and was reportedly founded by the tribe of Banu Hanifa.[2] Hajr served as the capital of the province of Al Yamamah, whose governors were responsible for most of central and eastern Arabia during the Umayyad and Abbasid eras. Al-Yamamah broke away from the Abbasid Empire in 866 and the area fell under the rule of the Ukhaydhirites, who moved the capital from Hajr to nearby Al Kharj. HP G62-b10ST laptop keyboard

The city then went into a long period of decline. In the 14th century, North African traveller Ibn Battuta wrote of his visit to Hajr, describing it as "the main city of Al-Yamamah, and its name is Hajr". Ibn Battuta goes on to describe it as a city of canals and trees with most of its inhabitants belonging to Bani Hanifa, and reports that he continued on with their leader to Mecca to perform the Hajj.  FUJITSU Lifebook S7110 laptop keyboard

Later on, Hajr broke up into several separate settlements and estates. The most notable of these were Migrin (or Muqrin) and Mi'kal, though the name Hajrcontinued to appear in local folk poetry. The earliest known reference to the area by the name Riyadh comes from a 17th-century chronicler reporting on an event from the year 1590. In 1737, Deham ibn Dawwas, a refugee from neighboring Manfuha, took control of Riyadh. Ibn Dawwas built a single wall to encircle the various quarters of Riyadh, making them effectively a single town.  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

The First Saudi State was destroyed by forces sent by Muhammad Ali of Egypt, acting on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman forces razed the Saudi capital Diriyah in 1818. In 1823, Turki ibn Abdallah, the founder of the Second Saudi State, revived the state and chose Riyadh as the new capital. Lenovo Thinkpad X220T laptop keyboard

Internecine struggles between Turki's grandsons led to the fall of the Second Saudi State in 1891 at the hand of the rival Al Rashid clan, who ruled from the northern city of Ha'il. Riyadh itself fell under the rule of Al Rashid in 1865. The al-Masmak fort dates from that period.

The city was recaptured in 1902 from the Al Rashid family by King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. He went on to establish the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, with Riyadh the capital of the nation. HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

Riyadh is divided into 15 branch municipalities,[4] in addition to the Diplomatic Quarter. Each branch municipality in turn contains several districts,[5] though some districts are divided between more than one branch municipality.[4] COMPAQ Presario CQ50-210US laptop keyboard

The branch municipalities are Al-Shemaysi, Irqah, Al-Ma'athar, Al-Olayya, Al-Aziziyya, Al-Malaz, Al-Selayy, Nemar, Al-Neseem, Al-Shifa, Al-'Urayja, Al-Bat'ha, Al-Ha'ir, Al-Rawdha, and Al-Shimal ("the North"). Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard6]

The Diplomatic Quarter, or DQ as it is popularly known, is home to foreign embassies and international organizations as well as residential structures and malls. With lush gardens and numerous sports facilities, it is also one of the city's greenest areas. It is especially known for its fi ne architecture, and is considered[by whom?] SONY KFRMBA221A laptop keyboard

a model for other Islamic cities around the world. Despite its name, the special privileges offered in the Diplomatic Quarter constitute a controversial issue. All Saudi laws must be obeyed and there are occasional patrols by the Mutaween, or Saudi religious police. However, foreign diplomats and their families are allowed certain privileges and it is not very uncommon to see foreign diplomats and their wives strolling on the streets of the DQ in shorts and short-sleeve shirts.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-FS940 laptop keyboard

The centre of the city, Al-Bathaa and Al-Dirah, is also its oldest part. At its heart lies the 19th-century Al Masmak fort, which is one of the city's major attractions; to the west lies the Riyadh Museum of History and Archeology and the Murabba' Palace, an old residence of first Saudi king, Ibn Saud, now a museum. SONY VAIO VGN-FS195VP laptop keyboard

The Qasr Al-Hukm, or Palace of Justice, is nearby. It is here that the Governor of Riyadh Province meets citizens, listens to their grievances and problems, and stays abreast of all aspects of the region's life. The Al-Dira area also contains commercial markets and traditional buildings, such as the Al-Mu'eiqilia market and the city's Grand Mosque. SONY VAIO VGN-FS730 laptop keyboard

The old town of Riyadh within the city Walls did exceed an area of 1 square km, therefore very few significant architectural remnants of the original walled oasis town of Riyadh exist today. The most prominent is the al-Masmak fort and some parts of the original wall structure with its gate which have been restored and reconstructed. There are also a number of traditional mud-brick houses within these old limits, however they are for the most part dilapidated. COMPAQ 490949-001 laptop keyboard

Expansion outside the city walls was slow to begin with, although there were some smaller oases and settlements surrounding Riyadh[citation needed]. The first major construction beyond the walls was King Abdulaziz's Murabba' palace. It was constructed in 1936, completed in 1937, and a household of 800 people moved into it in 1938. DELL V110546AS1 laptop keyboard

palace was big enough to be mistaken as the city of Riyadh by travelers approaching it from the north. During the life King Abdulaziz, the palace was subject to numerous expansions of the grounds and buildings. It was constructed in the style of Najdi architecture consisting of mud-bricks, and marked by a level of architectural maturity that was unprecedented on that scale[citation needed]. Presently, COMPAQ Presario V5000 laptop keyboard

only a fragment of what it encompassed is restored and rebuilt in the traditional manner. However, the palace is now part of a bigger complex called "The King Abdulaziz Historical Centre".ACER Acer Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

There are other traditional villages and towns in the area around traditional Riyadh which the urban sprawl reached and currently encompasses. These areDiriyah, Manfuha and Wadi Laban to name a few. Unlike in the early days of development in Riyadh during which vernacular structures were razed to the ground without consideration, there is a new-found appreciation for traditional architecture. The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities is making efforts for revitalizing the historic architecture in Riyadh and other parts of the kingdom.[20] SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

The tower is built on 94,230 square meters of land. The Kingdom Centre is owned by a group of companies including Kingdom Holding Co. headed by Al-Waleed bin Talal, a prince of the Saudi royal family, and is the headquarters of his holding company, the Kingdom Holding Company. The project cost 2 billion Saudi Arabian Riyals and the contract was undertaken bySaudi Binladin Group.  FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

The Kingdom Centre is located on Al-Urubah Road between King Fahd Road and Olaya Street in the growing business district of Al-Olaya.[clarification needed] The Kingdom Centre is the winner of the 2002 Emporis Skyscraper Award, selected as the "best new skyscraper of the year for design and functionality". A three-level shopping center, which also won a major design award, fills the east wing. The large opening is illuminated at night in continuously changing colors. The shopping center has a separate floor for women only to shop where men are not allowed to enter. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Riyadh is one of the richest cities in the Middle East and the 80th richest city in the world. Once a small walled city, Riyadh has developed into a dynamicmetropolis over the years. Along with the urban areas of Dhahran, Dammam, Khobar and Jeddah, Riyadh has become a focal point for both travel and trade. SONY Vaio SONY PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

In addition to being the center of power, the city is also a commercial hub. Numerous educational, financial, agricultural, cultural, technical, and social organizations have set up base here. The architecture is mostly modern, including contemporary high-rise towers, but the Al-Dira district, the nucleus of the city, has been rebuilt in a style meant to evoke the old mud-brick buildings of pre-20th century Nejd. DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

From the beginning of oil exploration in Saudi Arabia to the present day, the government has promoted growth in the private sector by privatizing industries such as power and telecommunications. Saudi Arabia announced plans for privatizing the electricity companies. A lot of these new private conglomerates andcompanies headquarters are located in Riyadh, along with National Banks headquarters. Because of that, Riyadh is considered as the capital city financial and business center of the Middle East. HP Pavilion tx2510us Laptop Keyboard

King Khalid International Airport has a major impact on the commercial movement in Riyadh, providing air transportation for millions of people each year and shipping goods to the city from all continents. When Sama, a local low-cost airline existed, its head office was in Riyadh.[21][22] HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

King Abdullah Financial District will be the Middle East's first financial district on a scale, and of regulatory and technological standards, to match the major global financial centres. Explaining the background to the Kingdom's ambitious but attainable strategy, His Majesty said: 'We are blessed with a robust economy, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

a stable currency and a strong financial sector with equally strong supervision.' The intention to construct the world's first major financial district of the twenty first century is the latest stage in what is already a carefully planned and implemented programme of financial modernisation by Saudi Arabia. TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard

King Fahd road is the main road in Riyadh city and considered as the most beautiful street of Riyadh. It was constructed in 1980-1981. Many business places in Riyadh prefer to locate their head offices on King Fahd road, and headquarters of major companies and organizations are located on both sides of the road. DELL V110546AS1 Laptop Keyboard

Huge malls, business towers and skyscrapers are widely distributed on this road. However, many roads are becoming more attractive to businesses as King Fahd road is now crowded most times of the day. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz road, Mohammed bin Fahd "Tahlia", Prince Sultan, north ring road have all became alternatives for business and companies' head offices.[citation needed] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The northern end reaches the Airport over another highway. By many opinions[who?], King Fahd Road is one of the most beautiful streets in Saudi Arabia, making the road a popular tourist attraction. Famous landmarks such as Kingdom Centre, Al Faisaliyah Center, Al Anoud Tower and the Ministry of Interior building are also located on King Fahd Road. However, it is fast becoming second to King Abdullah Street which has seen major building projects and a train track and tunnel system is currently under construction. HP Hp Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Riyadh is served by four Arabic, two English and one Malayalam language newspapers, Asharq Al-Awsat (which is owned by the city governor), Al-Riyadh, Al-Jazeera and Al-Watan. The Saudi Gazette and Arab News are in English. Gulf Madhyamam is in Malayalam language. Television stations serving the city area include Saudi TV1, Saudi TV2, FUJITSU Siemens M1010 Laptop Keyboard

Saudi TV Sports, Al-Ekhbariya, ART channels network. Arabic is the main language used in television and radio but radio broadcasts are also made in different languages such as French, or English; other languages are also used by cable, satellite and other speciality television providers. The Riyadh TV Tower is a 170 m (560 ft) high television tower with an observation deck overlooking Riyadh. Construction was begun on the tower in 1978 and finished in 1981. It is considered part of the Ministry of Information. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

Football is the most popular sport in Riyadh. The city hosts four major football clubs, Al-Hilal, which has a reputation for being the most widely supported club in Saudi Arabia, was established in 1957 and has won thirteen championships in the Saudi Premier League. Al-Nasr club is another team in the top league. COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

It was established in 1955, and has been named champion of the Saudi League five times. Another well-known club, Al Shabab, which was established in 1947 and holds seven championships. There is also Al-Riyadh Club, which was established in 1954, as well as many other minor clubs. ACER Acer Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The city also hosts several large stadiums such as King Fahd International Stadium with a seating capacity of 70,000. The stadium hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup three times, in the years 1992, 1995 and 1997. And also the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1989. HP Hp Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

A global city (also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center) is a city generally considered to be an important node in the globaleconomic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated, and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

The most complex of these entities is the "global city", whereby the linkages binding a city have a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socio-economic means.[1] The use of "global city", as opposed to "megacity", was popularized by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 1991 work, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo[2] though the term "world city" to describe cities that control a disproportionate amount of global business dates to at least the May 1886 description of Liverpool by The Illustrated London News.[3] ACER Acer Aspire 5610Z Laptop KeyboardThe Patrick Geddes also used the term "world city" later in 1915.[4] Cities can fall from such categorization, as in the case of cities that have become less cosmopolitan and less internationally renowned in the current era, e.g., Alexandria, Egypt;Coimbra, Portugal; Stralsund, Germany; and Thessaloniki, Greece. HP G62-b10ST laptop keyboard

The first attempt to define, categorize and rank global cities using relational data was made in 1998 by Jon Beaverstock, Richard G. Smith and Peter J. Taylor, who all worked at the time at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.[23] Together, Beaverstock, Smith and Taylor established the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.  FUJITSU Lifebook S7110 laptop keyboard

A roster of world cities was outlined in the GaWC Research Bulletin 5 and ranked cities based on their connectivity through four "advanced producer services": accountancy, advertising, banking/finance, and law.[5] The GaWC inventory identifies three levels of global cities and several sub-ranks.[24]  Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

The 2004 rankings acknowledged several new indicators while continuing to rank city economics more heavily than political or cultural factors. The 2008 roster, similar to the 1998 version, is sorted into categories of "Alpha" world cities (with four sub-categories), "Beta" world cities (three sub-categories), "Gamma" world cities (three sub-categories) and additional cities with "High sufficiency" or "Sufficiency" presence. The following is a general guide to the rankings:[24] Lenovo Thinkpad X220T laptop keyboard

Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University (PNU; Arabic: جامعة الأميرة نورة بنت عبد الرحمن‎) is a women's university inSaudi Arabia and largest women-only university in the world.[4][5] It is composed of 32 campuses across the Riyadh region and a new library capable of holding 4.5 million volumes.[3] HP Mini 110-3004tu laptop keyboard

The university was founded as Riyadh University for Women in 1970. King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz launched the building of the world's largest and most modern women's institution of higher education in a self-contained higher education city. A new campus dedicated May 2011 can accommodate 40,000 students and 12,000 employees. It has a 700 bed teaching hospital[4] and research centers for nanotechnology, information technology, and bioscience.[6] COMPAQ Presario CQ50-210US laptop keyboard

The campus and community has an 11.5 km automated metro for students, which uses the same AnsaldoBreda Driverless Metro technology as the Copenhagen metro.[10][13] It has 22 two car AnsaldoBreda trains each having maximum capacity up to 110 passengers and maximum speed of 60 km/h.[13] On 4 September 2012, theSaudi Railway Authority made the announcement that it would grant the University a license to operate automated trains on campus.[14] Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The expansion of the campus was done in a record time of two years supported by 75,000 construction workers and latest building machinery and methodologies. University City is expected to be fully functional by 2012. SONY KFRMBA221A laptop keyboard

Thirty-eight of its buildings, totaling a million square meters, have applied for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating. The campus operates a metro shuttle and electric vehicles, and solar panels power 18% of its air conditioning.[15] The new PNU library has applied for the second highest LEED "Gold" rating. SONY VAIO VGN-FS940 laptop keyboard

Al-Yamamah (Arabic: اليمامة al-Yamāma‎) is an ancient district lying to the east of the plateau of Najd in modern-day Saudi Arabia, or sometimes more specifically, the now-extinct ancient village of Jaww Al-Yamamah, near Al-Kharj, after which the rest of the region was named. Only a handful of centralized states ever arose in Yamamah, but it figured prominently in early Islamic history due to it becoming a central theater in the Ridda Warsimmediately following Muhammad's death. SONY VAIO VGN-FS195VP laptop keyboard

The region was gradually subsumed in recent centuries under the term "Najd", which encompasses a larger area. However, the term "Al-Yamamah" still lives on as a nostalgic historical term that is invoked to emphasize the region's ties with its ancient past. The current headquarters of the Saudigovernment in Riyadh, for example, is known as the Palace of Yamamah. SONY VAIO VGN-FS730 laptop keyboard

The Arabian Peninsula (Arabic: شبه الجزيرة العربية‎ shibh al-jazīrat al-ʻarabīyah or جزيرة العرب jazīrat al-ʻArab) is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia[1] or the Arabian subcontinent,[2] it is the world's largestpeninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 mi2).[3] COMPAQ 490949-001 laptop keyboard

The area is an important part of the Asian continent and plays a critical geopolitical role of the Middle East and Arab World due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas. The peninsula formed as a result of the rifting of the Red Sea between 56 and 23 million years ago, and is bordered by the Red Sea to the west, the Persian Gulf to the northeast, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

The Arabian Peninsula is located in the Asia continent and bounded by (clockwise) the Persian Gulf on the northeast, theStrait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman on the east, the Arabian Sea on the southeast and south, the Gulf of Aden on the south, the Bab-el-Mandeb strait on the southwest, and the Red Sea on the southwest and west.[4]  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The northern portion of the peninsula merges with the Syrian Desert with no clear border line, although the northern boundary of the Arabian Peninsula is generally considered to be the northern borders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.[4] DELL NSK-DN01D laptop keyboard

The most prominent feature of the peninsula is desert, but in the southwest there are mountain ranges which receive greater rainfall than the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. Harrat ash Shaam is a large volcanic field that extends from the northwestern Arabian Peninsula into Jordan and southern Syria.[5] DELL V110546AS1 laptop keyboard

The peninsula's constituent countries are (clockwise north to south) Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) on the east, Oman on the southeast, Yemen on the south and Saudi Arabia at the center.[4] The island nation of Bahrainlies off the east coast of the peninsula. COMPAQ Presario V5000 laptop keyboard

Six countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), also known as the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. This is however a disputed term. Iranians assert that it is a historical and internationally-recognized convention to name it the Persian Gulf, ACER Acer Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

while Arab States, and most notably the six GCC member countries, have been claiming that the Gulf is Arabian since its shallow marine depths are a geological continuity of the Arabian peninsula's Eastern low-lying coasts, from Kuwait to the UAE's Northern Emirates.[6] SAMSUNG N148 Laptop Keyboard

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia covers the greater part of the peninsula. The majority of the population of the peninsula live in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen. The peninsula contains the world's largest reserves of oil. The UAE and Saudi Arabia are economically the wealthiest in the region.  FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

Qatar, a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf on the larger peninsula, is home of the famous Arabic-language television station Al Jazeera and its English-language subsidiary Al Jazeera English. Kuwait, on the border with Iraq, is an important country strategically, forming one of the main staging grounds for coalition forces mounting the invasion of Iraq in 2003. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Geologically, this region is perhaps more appropriately called the Arabian subcontinent because it lies on a tectonic plateof its own, the Arabian Plate, which has been moving incrementally away from the rest of Africa (forming the Red Sea) and north, toward Asia, into the Eurasian plate (forming the Zagros mountains). SONY Vaio SONY PCG-K23 Laptop Keyboard

The rocks exposed vary systematically across Arabia, with the oldest rocks exposed in the Arabian-Nubian Shield near the Red Sea, overlain by earlier sediments that become younger towards the Persian Gulf. Perhaps the best-preserved ophiolite on Earth, the Semail ophiolite, lies exposed in the mountains of the UAE and northern Oman. DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

Arabia has few lakes or permanent rivers. Most areas are drained by ephemeral watercourses called wadis, which are dry except during the rainy season. Plentiful ancient aquifers exist beneath much of the peninsula, however, and where this water surfaces, oases form (e.g., Al-Hasa and Qatif, two of the worlds largest oases) and permit agriculture, especially palm trees, which allowed the peninsula to produce more dates than any other region in the world. HP Pavilion tx2510us Laptop Keyboard

 In general, the climate is extremely hot and arid, although there are exceptions. Higher elevations are made temperate by their altitude, and the Arabian Sea coastline can receive surprisingly cool, humid breezes in summer due to cold upwelling offshore. The peninsula has no thick forests, although desert-adapted wildlife is present throughout the region. HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

A plateau more than 2,500 feet (760 m) high extends across much of the Arabian Peninsula. The plateau slopes eastwards from the massive, rifted escarpment along the coast of the Red Sea, to the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf. The interior is characterised by cuestas and valleys, drained by a system of wadis. A crescent of sand and gravel deserts lies to the east. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Most of the Arabian Peninsula is unsuited to agriculture, making irrigation and land reclamation projects essential.The narrow coastal plain and isolated oases, amounting to less than 1% of the land area, are used to cultivate grains, coffee andtropical fruits. Goat, sheep, and camel husbandry is widespread elsewhere throughout the rest of the Peninsula.Some areas have a summer humid tropical monsoon climate, in particular the Dhofar and Al Mahrah areas of Oman and Yemen. TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7305 Laptop Keyboard

These areas allow for large scale coconut plantations. Much of Yemen has a tropical monsoon rain influenced mountain climate. The plains usually have either a tropical or subtropical arid desert climate or arid steppe climate.The sea surrounding the Arabian Peninsula is generally tropical sea with a very rich tropical sea life and some of the world's largest, undestroyed and most pristine coral reefs. DELL V110546AS1 Laptop Keyboard

In addition, the organisms living in symbiosis with the Red Sea coral, the protozoa and zooxanthellae, have a unique hot weather adaptation to sudden rise (and fall) in sea water temperature. Hence these coral reefs are not affected by coral bleaching caused by rise in temperature as elsewhere in the indopacific coral sea. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The reefs are also unaffected by mass tourism and diving or other large scale human interference. However, some reefs where destroyed in thePersian Gulf, mostly caused by phosphate water pollution and resultant increase in algae growth as well as oil pollution from ships and pipeline leakage. HP Hp Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The fertile soils of Yemen have encouraged settlement of almost all of the land from sea level up to the mountains at 10,000 feet (3,000 m). In the higher reaches elaborate terraces have been constructed to facilitate grain, fruit, coffee, ginger andkhat cultivation. FUJITSU Siemens M1010 Laptop Keyboard

The Arab inhabitants used a north-south division of Arabia: Al Sham-Al Yaman, or Arabia Deserta-Arabia Felix. Arabia Felix had originally been used for the whole peninsula, and at other times only for the southern region. Because its use became limited to the south, the whole peninsula was simply called Arabia. ASUS X53S Laptop Keyboard

Arabia Deserta was the entire desert region extending north from Arabia Felix to Palmyra and the Euphrates, including all the area between Pelusium on the Nile and Babylon. This area was also called Arabia and not sharply distinguished from the peninsula.[10] ACER Acer Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

The Arabs and the Ottoman Empire considered the west of the Arabian Peninsula region where the Arabs lived 'the land of the Arabs' – bilad al-Arab (Arabia), and its major divisions were the bilad al-Sham (Syria), bilad al-Yaman (the Land of the southern Peninsula), and Bilad al-Iraq and modern day Kuwait (the Land of the River Banks).[11] HP Hp Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The Ottomans used the term Arabistan in a broad sense for the subcontinent itself starting from Cilicia, where the Euphrates river makes its descent into Syria, through Palestine, and on through the remainder of the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas[12] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

The provinces of Arabia were: Al Tih, the Sinai peninsula, Hedjaz, Asir, Yemen, Hadramaut, Mahra and Shilu, Oman, Hasa, Bahrian, Dahna, Nufud, the Hammad, which included the deserts of Syria, Mesopotamia and Babylonia. ACER Acer Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The history of the Arabian Peninsula goes back to the beginnings of human habitation in Arabia up to 20,000 years ago. The region has twice in world history had a global impact. The first was in the 7th century when it became the cradle of Islam. The second was from the mid-20th century when the discovery of vast oil deposits propelled it into a key economic and geo-political role. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

At other times, the region existed in relative obscurity and isolation, although from the 7th century the cities of Mecca and Medina had the highest spiritual significance for the Islamic world, Mecca being the destination for theHajj annual pilgrimage. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

The seventh century saw the introduction of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic prophet Muhammad, was born in Mecca in about 570 and first began preaching in the city in 610, but migrated to Medina in 622. From there he and his companions united the tribes of Arabia under the banner of Islam and created a single Arab Muslim religious polity in the Arabian peninsula. DELL NSK-DN01D Laptop Keyboard

He established a new unified polity in the Arabian peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Arab power well beyond the Arabian peninsula in the form of a vast Muslim Arab Empire with an area of influence that stretched from the northwest Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, southern Italy, and the Iberian Peninsula, to the Pyrenees. SONY Vaio SONY PCG-K25 Laptop Keyboard

Muhammad began preaching Islam at Mecca before migrating to Medina, from where he united the tribes of Arabia into a singular Arab Muslim religious polity. With Muhammad's death in 632 AD, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr, who was Muhammad's intimate friend and collaborator. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated his successor. Abu Bakr's immediate task was to avenge a recent defeat by Byzantine (or Eastern Roman Empire) forces, although he first had to put down a rebellion by Arab tribes in an episode known as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy".[23] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Following Muhammad's death in 632, Abu Bakr became leader of the Muslims as the first Caliph. After putting down a rebellion by the Arab tribes (known as the Ridda wars, or "Wars of Apostasy"), Abu Bakr attacked the Byzantine Empire. On his death in 634, he was succeeded by Umar as caliph, followed by Uthman ibn al-Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib. The period of these first four caliphs is known as al-khulafā' ar-rāshidūn (R.A): DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

the Rashidun or "rightly guided" Caliphate. Under the Rashidun Caliphs, and, from 661, their Umayyad successors, the Arabs rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim control outside of Arabia. In a matter of decades Muslim armies decisively defeated the Byzantine army and destroyed the Persian Empire,conquering huge swathes of territory from the Iberian peninsula to India. The political focus of the Muslim world then shifted to the newly conquered territories.[24][25] Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

Nevertheless, Mecca and Medina remained the spiritually most important places in the Muslim world. The Qu'ran requires every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, as one of the five pillars of Islam, to make a pilgrimage, or Hajj, to Mecca during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah at least once in his or her lifetime.[26] FUJITSU Lifebook T4220 Laptop Keyboard

The Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque) inMecca is the location of the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, and the Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque) in Medina is the location of Muhammad tomb; as a result, from the 7th century, Mecca and Medina became the pilgrimage destinations for large numbers of Muslims from across the Islamic world.[27] HP Pavilion dv5-1111ea Laptop Keyboard

The Damascus Protocol of 1914 provides an illustration of the regional relationships. Arabs living in one of the existing districts of the Arabian peninsula, the Emirate of Hejaz, asked for a British guarantee of independence. ACER TravelMate 3002WTMi Laptop Keyboard

 Their proposal included all Arab lands south of a line roughly corresponding to the northern frontiers of present-day Syria and Iraq. They envisioned a new Arab state, or confederation of states, adjoining the southern Arabian Peninsula. It would have comprised Cilicia – İskenderun and Mersin, Iraqwith Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine.[31] HP 550 Laptop Keyboard

In the modern era, the term bilad al-Yaman came to refer specifically to the southwestern parts of the peninsula. Arab geographers started to refer to the whole peninsula as 'jazirat al-Arab', or the peninsula of the Arabs.[32] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Ottomans embarked on an ambitious project: the construction of a railway connecting Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and the seat of the Islamic Caliphate, andHejaz with its holiest shrines of Islam which are the yearly pilgrimage destination of the Hajj. HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

Another important goal was to improve the economic and political integration of the distant Arabian provinces into the Ottoman state, and to facilitate the transportation of military troops in case of need. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

The Hejaz Railway was a narrow gauge railway (1050 mm) that ran from Damascus to Medina, through the Hejaz region of Arabia. It was a part of the Ottoman railway network and was built in order to extend the previously existing line between Istanbul and Damascus (which began from the Haydarpaşa Terminal) all the way to the holy city of Mecca(eventually being able to reach only Medina due to the interruption of the construction works caused by the outbreak of World War I). SONY KFRMBA221A Laptop Keyboard

The railway was started in 1900 at the behest of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II and was built largely by theTurks, with German advice and support. A public subscription was opened throughout the Islamic world to fund the construction. The railway was to be a waqf, an inalienable religious endowment or charitable trust.[33] HP AELX9U00210 Laptop Keyboard

The major developments of the early 20th century were the Arab Revolt during World War I and the subsequent collapse and partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Arab Revolt (1916–1918) was initiated by the Sherif Hussein ibn Aliwith the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Empire and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen. During World War I, the Sharif Hussein entered into an alliance with the United Kingdom and France against the Ottomans in June 1916. DELL Inspiron 6400 Laptop Keyboard

These events were followed by the unification of Saudi Arabia under King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud. In 1902 Ibn Saud had capturedRiyadh. Continuing his conquests, Abdul Aziz subdued Al-Hasa, the rest of Nejd, and the Hejaz between 1913 and 1926, defeating the Sherif Hussein ibn Ali, and founded the modern state of Saudi Arabia. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Ibn Saud was not the first Saudi ruler to control much of Arabia. The house of Saud had been ruling parts of Arabia since the 17th century AD. Two Saudi states were formed and controlled much of Arabia before Ibn Saud was even born. Ibn Saud however, established the third Saudi state. HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Laptop Keyboard

The North Yemen Civil War was fought in North Yemen between royalists of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen and factions of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1962 to 1970. The war began with a coup d'etat carried out by the republican leader, Abdullah as-Sallal, which dethroned the newly crowned Imam Al-Badr and declared Yemen a republic under his presidency. The Imam escaped to the Saudi Arabian border and rallied popular support. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

The royalist side received support from Saudi Arabia, while the republicans were supported by Egypt and the Soviet Union. Both foreign irregular and conventional forces were also involved. The Egyptian President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, supported the republicans with as many as 70,000 troops. Despite several military moves and peace conferences, the war sank into a stalemate. Egypt's commitment to the war is considered to have been detrimental to its performance in the Six-Day War of June 1967, ACER Acer Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

after which Nasser found it increasingly difficult to maintain his army's involvement and began to pull his forces out of Yemen.

By 1970, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia recognized the republic and a truce was signed. Egyptian military historians refer to the war in Yemen as their Vietnam.[34] COMPAQ Presario C700 Laptop Keyboard

The British proposed a treaty with the Ottoman Empire in 1913 to establish Kuwait as an autonomous kaza. It was a district of the vilayet of Basra. The treaty was never ratified due to the outbreak of World War I. In 1990 Iraq made claims upon Kuwaiti territory, and insisted that the borders had never been properly delimited by the British in 1951.[35] DELL Inspiron N5030 Laptop Keyboard

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces led to the 1990–91 Gulf War. Egypt, Qatar, Syria and Saudi Arabia joined a multinational coalition that opposed Iraq. Displays of support for Iraq by Jordan and the Palestinians resulted in strained relations between many of the Arab states. After the war, a so-called "Damascus Declaration" formalized an alliance for future joint Arab defensive actions between Egypt, Syria, and the GCC states.[36] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Manfuha (Arabic: منفوحة‎) was an ancient village in the Nejd region of central Saudi Arabia. Established on the edge of the narrow, fertile valley known as Wadi Hanifa, Manfuha was until the mid-20th century considered a twin village to the current Saudi capital of Riyadh. TOSHIBA Satellite A305 Laptop Keyboard

According to Yaqut's 13th century geographical encyclopedia Mu'jam Al-Buldan, Manfuha was built a few centuries before Islam at the same time as Hajr (now Riyadh) by members of the Banu Hanifa tribe and their cousins from the tribe of Bakr. Manfuha was home to the famous Arab poet Al-A'sha, who died at around the same time as the Muslim prophet Muhammad, but little is heard of Manfuha after that time. HP Mini 110-3131se Laptop Keyboard

At the turn of the 20th century, its population was made up largely of members of Banu Hanifa and Bakr (who by now had come to identify themselves with the related tribe of 'Anizzah), as well as members of Tamim and Subay'. Like all Nejdi towns, its population also included a large percentage of non-tribally-affiliated tradesmen (sonnaa'), as well as many slaves and freedmen working as agricultural laborers. Like Riyadh, the town was surrounded by gardens and palm groves. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

In the late 18th century, Manfuha fell under the rule of the energetic ruler of Riyadh, Deham ibn Dawwas, who at the time was vigorously resisting the expansion of the new Wahhabist state established by the Al Saud clan of neighboring Diriyah (see First Saudi State). Both towns eventually succumbed to the Saudis, however, who ruled over Manfuha until their state was destroyed by an Ottoman-Egyptian invasion in 1818. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

From then on, the town's fortunes largely followed those of its neighbor, Riyadh, returning to Saudi rule under Turki ibn Abdallah in 1824, then falling under the rule of the Al Rashid clan of Ha'il in the 1890s, before reverting to Saudi rule less than ten years later under the founder of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

As the neighboring Saudi capital expanded exponentially in the 20th century, fueled by the country's oil wealth, the walls of both Manfuha and Riyadh were torn down, and Manfuha was quickly swallowed in whole by the growing metropolis. Today, Manfuha is among the poorer districts of Riyadh. Acer Aspire 1651WLMi Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Most of its original inhabitants have left to newer districts of the capital, and the area is now mostly inhabited by low-income guest-workers from Egypt and South Asia, as well as the families of former African slaves. Some of the town's old mud-brick buildings remain, as well as an ancient observation tower. A wide avenue cuts through the center of Manfuha, named Al-A'sha Street, after its most famous son. Acer Aspire 1652WLMi Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The spelling of Muhammad Ali's first name in both Arabic, and Ottoman Turkish was consistent: محمد (Muhammad). This is the name by which he was known to his Egyptian subjects, and the name used uniformly in Egyptian, and Arab historical scholarship. However, given his original status as a commander in the Ottoman military, his first name is often rendered as Mehmed, which is the standard rendition of that name in Ottoman Turkish, Acer Aspire 1654WLMi Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

or Mehmet (Modern Turkish). Current English-language historical scholarship is divided as to which is preferable, with the majority opinion favoring the former. Typically, historians accentuating the Egyptian character of his rule opt for 'Muhammad', whilst those accentuating the Ottoman character opt for 'Mehmed' or 'Mehmet'. This distinction is an issue for those writing in the Latin alphabet, but not in Arabic.[3] COMPAQ Presario CQ60-150EP Laptop Keyboard

Muhammad Ali was born to Albanian parents in the city of Kavala, situated in today's Greek province of Macedonia, then a part of the Ottoman Rumelia Eyalet.[4][5][6][7][8] According to the many French, English and other western journalists who interviewed him, and according to people who knew him, the only language he knew fluently was Albanian although he was also competent in Turkish.[9][10] HP Mini 210-2030ew Laptop Keyboard

The son of a tobacco and shipping merchant named Ibrahim Agha, his mother Zainab was his uncle Husain Agha's daughter. Muhammad Ali was the nephew of the "Ayan of Kavalla" (Çorbaci) Husain Agha. When his father died at a young age, Muhammad was taken and raised by his uncle with his cousins. As a reward for Muhammad Ali's hard work, his uncle Çorbaci gave him the rank of "Bolukbashi" for the collection of taxes in the town of Kavala. HP Compaq G50-118NR Laptop Keyboard

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After his promising success in collecting taxes, he gained Second Commander rank under his cousin Sarechesme Halil Agha in the Kavala Volunteer Contingent that was sent to re-occupy Egypt following General Napoleon Bonaparte's withdrawal. He married Ali Agha's daughter, Emine Nosratli, a wealthy widow of Ali Bey. In 1801, his unit was sent, as part of a larger Ottoman force, to re-occupy Egypt following a brief French occupation. The expedition landed at Aboukir in the spring of 1801.[11]

The French withdrawal left governance in question in the Ottoman province. Mamluk power had been weakened, but not destroyed, and Ottoman forces clashed with the Mamluks for power.[12] During this period of anarchy Muhammad Ali used his loyal Albanian troops to play both sides, gaining power and prestige for himself.[13] ACER Extensa 5235 laptop keyboard

As the conflict drew on, the local populace grew weary of the power struggle. From the period of 1801 until he became Wāli, he was able to make a friendly relationship with Omar Makram as he, along with Al-Azhar Shiekh, TOSHIBA Satellite L755-S5242BN laptop keyboard

were the only way for him to rise to power. Led by theulema, a group of prominent Egyptians demanded that the Wāli (governor), Ahmad Khurshid Pasha, step down and Muhammad Ali be installed as the new Wāli in 1805. After he became Wāli he exiled Makram because Makram discovered Muhammad Ali's intentions to seize power. This was written by Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti.[13] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The Ottoman Sultan, Selim III, was not in a position to oppose Muhammad Ali’s ascension, thereby allowing Muhammad Ali to set about consolidating his position. During the infighting between the Ottomans and Mamluks between 1801 and 1805, Muhammad Ali had carefully acted to gain the support of the general public.[14] By appearing as the champion of the people Muhammad Ali was able to forestall popular opposition until he had consolidated his power. SONY AEGD1U00020 laptop keyboard

The Mamluks still posed the greatest threat to Muhammad Ali. They had controlled Egypt for more than 600 years, and over that time they had extended their rule extensively throughout Egypt. Muhammad Ali’s approach was to eliminate the Mamluk leadership, then move against the rank and file. SONY VAIO VGN-FS415M laptop keyboard

On March 1, 1811, Muhammad Ali invited the Mamluk leaders to a celebration held at the Cairo Citadel in honor of his son, Tusun, who was being appointed to lead a military expedition into Arabia. When the Mamluks arrived, they were trapped and killed.[a 1] After the leaders were killed, Muhammad Ali dispatched his army throughout Egypt to rout the remainder of the Mamluk forces. SAMSUNG N150 laptop keyboard

Muhammad Ali transformed Egypt into a regional power which he saw as the natural successor to the decaying Ottoman Empire. He summed up his vision for Egypt as follows:

"I am well aware that the (Ottoman) Empire is heading by the day toward destruction...On her ruins I will build a vast kingdom... up to the Euphrates and the Tigris."[17] HP G56 laptop keyboard

Sultan Selim III had recognized the need to reform and modernize the Ottoman Empire along European lines to ensure that his state could compete. Selim III, however, faced stiff local opposition from an entrenched clergy and military apparatus. Consequently, Selim III was deposed and ultimately killed for his efforts. Muhammad Ali, too, recognized the need to modernize, and unlike Selim, he had dispatched his chief rival, giving him a free hand to copy Selim’s attempted reforms. SAMSUNG NP-NB30-JP01 laptop keyboard

Muhammad Ali’s goal was to establish a powerful, European-style state.[18] To do that, he had to reorganize Egyptian society, streamline the economy, train a professional bureaucracy, and build a modern military. HP Mini 110-3102st laptop keyboard

His first task was to secure a revenue stream for Egypt. To accomplish this, Muhammad Ali ‘nationalized’ all the land of Egypt, thereby officially owning all the production of the land. He accomplished the state annexation of property by raising taxes on the ‘tax-farmers’ who had previously owned the land throughout Egypt. The new taxes were intentionally high and when the tax-farmers could not extract the demanded payments from the peasants who worked the land, Muhammad Ali confiscated their properties.[19] Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard

In practice, Muhammad Ali’s land reform amounted to a monopoly on trade in Egypt. He required all producers to sell their goods to the state. The state in turn resold Egyptian goods, within Egypt and to foreign markets, and retained the surplus. The practice proved very profitable for Egypt with the cultivation of long staple cotton. The new-found profits also extended down to the individual farmers, as the average wage increased fourfold.[20] HP Mini 110-3040ss laptop keyboard

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In addition to bolstering the agricultural sector, Muhammad Ali built an industrial base for Egypt. His motivation for doing so was primarily an effort to build a modern military. Consequently, he focused on weapons production. Factories based in Cairo produced muskets and cannons. With a shipyard he built inAlexandria, he began construction of a navy. By the end of the 1830s, Egypt’s war industries had constructed nine 100-gun warships and were turning out 1,600 muskets a month.[21]  HP Mini 110-3536tu laptop keyboard

However, the industrial innovations were not limited to weapons production. Muhammad Ali established a textile industry in an effort to compete with European industries and produce greater revenues for Egypt. While the textile industry was not successful, the entire endeavor employed tens of thousands of Egyptians.[21]  ASUS X88S laptop keyboard

Additionally, by hiring European managers, he was able to introduce industrial training to the Egyptian population. To staff his new industries, Muhammad Ali employed a corvée labor system. The peasantry objected to these conscriptions and many ran away from their villages to avoid being taken, sometimes fleeing as far away as Syria. Lenovo 0A62075 laptop keyboard

A number of them maimed themselves so as to be unsuitable for combat: common ways of self-maiming were blinding an eye with rat poison and cutting off a finger of the right hand, so as to be unable to fire a rifle. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Beyond building a functioning, industrial economy, Muhammad Ali also made an effort to train a professional military and bureaucracy. He sent promising citizens to Europe to study. Again the driving force behind the effort was to build a European-style army. Students were sent to study European languages, primarily French, so they could in turn translate military manuals into Arabic. He then used both educated Egyptians and imported European experts to establish schools and hospitals in Egypt. The European education also provided talented Egyptians with a means of social mobility. SONY V-0702BIAS1-US laptop keyboard

A byproduct of Muhammad Ali’s training program was the establishment of a professional bureaucracy. Establishing an efficient central bureaucracy was an essential prerequisite for the success of Muhammad Ali’s other reforms. In the process of destroying the Mamluks, the Wāli had to fill the governmental roles that the Mamluks had previously filled. In doing so, Muhammad Ali kept all central authority for himself. HP Mini 210-1199DX laptop keyboard

He partitioned Egypt into ten provinces responsible for collecting taxes and maintaining order.[21] Muhammad Ali installed his sons in most key positions; however, his reforms did offer Egyptians opportunities beyond agriculture and industry. HP Pavilion dv6-2143ca laptop keyboard

In the 1820s, Muhammad Ali sent the first educational "mission" of Egyptian students to Europe. This contact resulted in literature that is considered the dawn of the Arabic literary renaissance, known as the Nahda. SONY VAIO VGN-N350N laptop keyboard

To support the modernization of industry and the military, Muhammad Ali set up a number of schools in various fields where French texts were studied. Rifa'a al-Tahtawi supervised translations from French to Arabic on topics ranging from sociology and history to military technology, and these translations have been considered the second great translation movement, after the first from Greek into Arabic. TOSHIBA Satellite L550-ST5701 laptop keyboard

In 1835, his government founded the first indigenous press in the Arab World, the Bulaq press. The Bulaq press published the official gazette of Muhammad Ali's government.  HP Mini 110-3135dx Laptop Keyboard

Among his personal interests was the accumulation and breeding of Arabian horses. In horses obtained as taxes and tribute, Muhammad Ali recognized the unique characteristics and careful attention to bloodlines of the horses bred by the Bedouin, particularly by the Anazeh in Syria and those bred in the Nejd. While his immediate successor had minimal interest in the horse breeding program, his grandson, who became Abbas I shared this interest and further built upon his work. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Though Muhammad Ali’s chief aim was to establish a European-style military, and carve out a personal empire, he waged war initially on behalf of the Ottoman Sultan, Mahmud II, in Arabia and Greece, although he later came into open conflict with the Ottoman Empire. IBM Thinkpad R61i Laptop Keyboard

His first military campaign was an expedition into the Arabian Peninsula. The holy cities of Mecca, and Medina had been captured by the House of Saud, who had recently embraced a literalist Hanbali interpretation of Islam. Armed with their newfound religious zeal, the Saudis began conquering parts of Arabia. This Ottoman–Saudi War culminated in the capture of the Hejaz region by the Ottoman Empire in 1803. HP Pavilion dm3-1040EV Laptop Keyboard

With the main Ottoman army tied up in Europe, Mahmud II turned to Muhammad Ali to recapture the Arabian territories. Muhammad Ali in turn appointed his son, Tusun, to lead a military expedition in 1811. The campaign was initially turned back in Arabia; however, a second attack was launched in 1812 that succeeded in recapturing Hejaz.[22] HP G56-118CA Laptop Keyboard

While the campaign was successful, the power of the Saudis was not broken. They continued to harass Ottoman and Egyptian forces from the central Nejd region of the Peninsula. Consequently, Muhammad Ali dispatched another of his sons, Ibrahim, at the head of another army to finally rout the Saudis. After a two-year campaign, the Saudis were crushed and most of the Saudi family was captured. The family leader, Abdullah ibn Saud, was sent to Istanbul, and executed.[23] DELL Vostro PP37L Laptop Keyboard

Muhammad Ali next turned his attention to military campaigns independent of the Porte, beginning with the Sudan which he viewed as a valuable addition resource of territory, gold, and slaves. The Sudan at the time had no real central authority and used primitive weaponry in its tribal infighting. In 1820 Muhammad Ali dispatched an army of 5,000 troops commanded by his third son, Ismail and Abidin Bey, SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

south into Sudan with the intent of conquering the territory and subjugating it to his authority.[24] Ali's troops made headway into Sudan in 1821, but met with fierce resistance by the Shaigiya. Ultimately, the superiority of the Mamuluke/Turkish troops and firearms ensured the deafeat of the Shaigiya and the subsequent conquest of the Sudan. Ali now had an outpost from which he could expand to the source of the Nile in Ethiopia, and Uganda. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

His administration captured slaves from the Nuba Mountains, and west and south Sudan, all incorporated into a foot regiment known as the Gihadiya which were composed of the recently defeated Shaigiya who now took service under the invaders in exchange for keeping their domains.(pronounced Jihadiya in non-Egyptian Arabic).  DELL 9J.N6782.A01 Laptop Keyboard

Ali's reign in Sudan, and that of his immediate successors, is remembered in Sudan as brutal and heavy-handed, contributing to the popular independence struggle of the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, in 1881. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

While Muhammad Ali was expanding his authority into Africa, the Ottoman Empire was being challenged by ethnic rebellions in its European territories. The rebellion in the Greek provinces of the Ottoman Empire began in 1821. The Ottoman army proved ineffectual in its attempts to put down the revolt as ethnic violence spread as far as Constantinople. With his own army proving ineffective, Sultan Mahmud II offered Muhammad Ali the island of Crete in exchange for his support in putting down the revolt. HP Pavilion dv6-2155tx Laptop Keyboard

Muhammed Ali sent 16,000 soldiers, 100 transports, and 63 escort vessels under command of his son, Ibrahim Pasha.[25]Britain, France, and Russia intervened to protect the Greeks. On 20 October 1827 at the Navarino, while under the command of Muharram Bey, the Ottoman representative, the entire Egyptian navy was sunk by the European Allied fleet, under the command of Admiral Edward Codrington (1770–1851). DELL XPS M1530 Laptop Keyboard

If the Porte was not in the least prepared for this confrontation, Muhammad Ali was even less prepared for the loss of his highly competent, expensively assembled and maintained navy. With its fleet essentially destroyed, Egypt had no way to support its forces in Greece and was forced to withdraw. Ultimately the campaign cost Muhammad Ali his navy and yielded no tangible gains. TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

In compensation for this loss, Muhammad Ali asked the Porte for the territory of Syria. The Ottomans were indifferent to the request; the Sultan himself asked blandly what would happen if Syria was given over and Muhammad Ali later deposed.[26] But Muhammad Ali was no longer willing to tolerate Ottoman indifference. To compensate for his and Egypt's losses, the wheels for the conquest of Syria were set in motion. HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Like other rulers of Egypt before him, Ali desired to control Bilad al-Sham (the Levant), both for its strategic value and for its rich natural resources; nor was this a sudden, vindictive decision on the part of the Wāli since he had harbored this goal since his early years as Egypt's unofficial ruler. For not only had Syria abundant natural resources, HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

it also had a thriving international trading community with well-developed markets throughout the Levant; in addition, it would be acaptive market for the goods now being produced in Egypt. Yet perhaps most of all, Syria was desirable as a buffer state between Egypt and the Ottoman Sultan. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

A new fleet was built, a new army was raised and on 31 October 1831, under Ibrahim Pasha, the Egyptian invasion of Syria initiated the First Turko-Egyptian War. For the sake of appearance on the world stage, a pretext for the invasion was vital. Ultimately, the excuse for the expedition was a quarrel with Abdullah Pasha of Acre. The Wāli alleged that 6,000 fellahin had fled to Acre to escape the draft, corvée, and taxes, and he wanted them back.[27] (See also: 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine) TOSHIBA A000014900 Laptop Keyboard

The Egyptians overran most of Syria and its hinterland with ease. The strongest and only really significant resistance was put up at the port city of Acre. The Egyptian force eventually captured the city after a six-month siege, which lasted from 3 November 1831 to 27 May 1832. Unrest on the Egyptian home front increased dramatically during the course of the siege. Ali was forced to squeeze Egypt more and more in order to support his campaign and his people resented the increased burden. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

After the fall of Acre, the Egyptian army marched north into Anatolia. At the Battle of Konya (21 December 1832), Ibrahim Pasha soundly defeated the Ottoman army led by the sadr azam Grand Vizier Reshid Pasha. There were now no military obstacles between Ibrahim's forces and Constantinople itself. HP G62-229WM Laptop Keyboard

Through the course of the campaign, Muhammad Ali paid particular focus to the European powers. Fearing another intervention that would reverse all his gains, he proceeded slowly and cautiously. For example, TOSHIBA Satellite L300 Laptop Keyboard

Muhammad Ali continued the practice of using the sultan’s name at Friday prayers in the newly captured territories and continued to circulate Ottoman coins instead of issuing new ones bearing his likeness.[28] So long as Muhammad Ali’s march did not threaten to cause the complete collapse of the Ottoman state, the powers in Europe remained as passive observers.[29] HP Probook 4710S Laptop Keyboard

Despite this show, Muhammad Ali's goal was now to remove the current Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II and replace him with the sultan's son, the infant Abdülmecid. This possibility so alarmed Mahmud II that he accepted Russia's offer of military aid resulting in the Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi.[30] Russia's gain dismayed the British and French governments, resulting in their direct intervention. SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Laptop Keyboard

From this position, the European powers brokered a negotiated solution in May 1833 known as the Convention of Kutahya.[31] The terms of the peace were that Ali would withdraw his forces from Anatolia and receive the territories of Crete (then known as Candia) and the Hijaz as compensation, and Ibrahim Pasha would be appointed Wāli of Syria. The peace agreement fell short, however, of granting Muhammad Ali an independent kingdom for himself, leaving him wanting.[32] GATEWAY AEMA2TAU015 Laptop Keyboard

Sensing that Muhammad Ali was not content with his gains, the sultan attempted to preempt further action against the Ottoman Empire by offering him hereditary rule in Egypt and Arabia if he withdrew from Syria and Crete and renounced any desire for full independence.[33] Muhammad Ali rejected the offer, knowing that Mahmud could not force the Egyptian presence from Syria and Crete. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

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On 25 May 1838, Muhammad Ali informed Britain, and France that he intended to declare independence from the Ottoman Empire.[34] This action was contrary to the desire of the European powers to maintain the status quo within the Ottoman Empire.[33] With Muhammad Ali’s intentions clear, the European powers, HP Pavilion dv6-2106ea Laptop Keyboard

particularly Russia, attempted to moderate the situation and prevent conflict. Within the Empire, however, both sides were gearing for war. Ibrahim already had a sizable force in Syria. In Constantinople, the Ottoman commander, Hafiz Pasha, assured the Sultan that he could defeat the Egyptian army. HP G42-380LA Laptop Keyboard

When Mahmud II ordered his forces to advance on the Syrian frontier, Ibrahim attacked and destroyed them at the Battle of Nezib (24 June 1839) near Urfa. In an echo of the Battle of Konya, Constantinople was again left vulnerable to Ali's forces. A further blow to the Ottomans was the defection of their fleet to Muhammad Ali.[33] SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

Mahmud II died almost immediately after the battle took place and was succeeded by sixteen-year-old Abdülmecid. At this point, Ali and Ibrahim began to argue about which course to follow; Ibrahim favored conquering the Ottoman capital and demanding the imperial seat while Muhammad Ali was inclined simply to demand numerous concessions of territory and political autonomy for himself and his family. HP Pavilion dv6-2160sv Laptop Keyboard

At this point, the European powers again intervened (see Oriental Crisis of 1840). On 15 July 1840, the British Government, which had colluded with Austria,Prussia, and Russia to sign the Convention of London, DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

offered Muhammad Ali hereditary rule of Egypt as part of the Ottoman Empire if he withdrew from the Syrian hinterland and the coastal regions of Mount Lebanon. Muhammad Ali hesitated, believing he had support from France. His hesitation proved costly; when French support failed to materialize, British naval forces moved against Syria, and Alexandria.[35] In the face of European military might, Muhammad Ali acquiesced. Packard Bell NEW90 laptop keyboard

After the British, and Austrian navies blockaded the Nile delta coastline, shelled Beirut (11 September 1840), and after Acre had capitulated (3 November 1840), Muhammad Ali agreed to the terms of the Convention on 27 November 1840. These terms included renouncing his claims over Crete, and Hejaz, downsizing his navy, and reducing his standing army to 18,000 men, provided that he and his descendants would enjoy hereditary rule over Egypt and Sudan — an unheard-of status for an Ottoman viceroy.[36] HP Pavilion dv6-2053eo laptop keyboard

After 1843, fast on the heels of the Syrian débâcle, and the treaty of Balta Liman, which forced the Egyptian government to tear down its import barriers, and to give up its monopolies, Muhammad Ali's mind became increasingly clouded and tended towards paranoia. Whether it was genuine senility or the effects of the silver nitrate he had been given years before to treat an attack of dysentery remains a subject of debate.[37] TOSHIBA Satellite L775D-S7340 laptop keyboard

In 1844 the tax receipts were in, and Sherif Pasha, the head of the diwan al-maliyya (financial ministry), was too fearful for his life to tell the Wāli the news that Egyptian debt now stood at 80 million francs (£2,400,000). Tax arrears came to 14,081,500 piastres[a 2] out of a total estimated tax of 75,227,500 pts.[38] Packard Bell NEW95 laptop keyboard

Timidly he approached Ibrahim Pasha with these facts, and together came up with a report and a plan. Anticipating his father's initial reaction, İbrahim arranged for Muhammad Ali's favorite daughter to break the news. It did little, if any, good. The resulting rage was far beyond what any had been expected, and it took six full days for a tenuous peace to take hold. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

A year later while Ibrahim, progressively crippled by rheumatic pains and tuberculosis (he was beginning to cough up blood), was sent to Italy to take the waters, Muhammad Ali, in 1846, traveled to Constantinople. There he approached the Sultan, expressed his fears, and made his peace, explaining: "[My son] Ibrahim is old and sick, HP Pavilion dv3-2157cl laptop keyboard

[my grandson] Abbas is indolent (happa), and then children will rule Egypt. How will they keep Egypt?"[39] After he secured hereditary rule for his family, the Wali ruled until 1848, when senility made further governance by him impossible. HP Pavilion ze2315us laptop keyboard

It soon came to the point where his son and heir, the mortally ailing Ibrahim, had no choice but to travel to Constantinople and request that the Sultan recognize him ruler of Egypt and Sudan even though his father was still alive. However, on the ship returning home, Ibrahim, gripped by fever and guilt, succumbed to seizures and hallucinations. He survived the journey but within six months was dead. He was succeeded by his nephew (Tosun's son) Abbas I. SONY VAIO PCG-FRV28 laptop keyboard

Saudi Arabia

Sana'a is the capital of Yemen and the centre of Sana'a Governorate. The city is not part of the Governorate, but forms the separate administrative district of "Amanat Al-Asemah".

Sana'a is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. At an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500 ft), it is also one of the highest capital cities in the world. Sana'a has a population of approximately 1,937,500 (2012), making it Yemen's largest city. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The old city of Sana'a, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a distinctive visual character due its unique architectural characteristics, most notably expressed in its multi-storey buildings decorated with geometric patterns.[1][2] Located here is the Great Mosque of Sana'a, the largest in the city. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Sana'a is the one of the oldest populated places in the world. According to popular legend, it was founded byShem, the son of Noah.[3][4] It was known as "Azal" in ancient times, referring to Uzal, a son of Qahtan, who was a great-grandson of Shem. Its current name likely derived from the South Arabian word for "well-fortified".DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

The Arab historian al-Hamdani wrote that Sana'a was walled by the Sabeans under their ruler Sha'r Awtar, who also built theGhumdan Palace in the city. Because of its location, Sana'a has served as an urban center for the surrounding tribes of the region and as a nucleus of regional trade in southern Arabia. It was positioned at the crossroad of two major ancient trade routes linking Marib in the east to the Red Sea in the west.[4] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

When King Yousef Athar (or Dhu Nuwas), the last of the Himyarite kings, was in power, Sana'a was also the capital of theEthiopian viceroys.

From the dawn of Islam until the founding of independent sub-states in many parts of the Yemen Islamic Caliphate, Sana'a persisted as the governing seat. The Caliph's deputy ran the affairs of one of Yemen's three Makhalifs: Mikhlaf Sana'a, Mikhlaf al-Janad and Mikhlaf Hadhramawt. The city of Sana'a regularly regained an important status and all Yemenite States competed to control it. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Imam al-Shafi'i, the 8th-century Islamic jurist and founder of the Shafi'i school or jurisprudence, visited Sana'a several times. He praised the city, writing La budda min Ṣanʻāʼ, or "Sana'a must be seen." In the 9th–10th centuries, the Yemeni geographer al-Hamdani took note of the city's cleanliness, saying "The least dwelling there has a well or two, a garden and long cesspits separate from each other, HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

empty of ordure, without smell or evil odors, because of the hard concrete (adobe and Cob probably) and fine pastureland and clean places to walk." Later in the 10th-century, the Persian geographer Ibn Rustahwrote of Sana'a "It is the city of Yemen—there not being found ... a city greater, more populous or more prosperous, of nobler origin or more delicious food than it." Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

In 1062 Sana'a was taken over by the Sulayhid dynasty led by Ali al-Sulayhi and his wife, the popular Queen Asma. He made the city capital of his relatively small kingdom, which also included the Haraz Mountains. The Sulayhids were aligned with theIsmaili Muslim-leaning Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, rather than the Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate which most of Arabiafollowed. HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

Al-Sulayhi ruled for about 20 years but he was assassinated by his principal local rivals, the Zabid-based Najahids. Following his death, al-Sulayhi's daughter, Arwa al-Sulayhi, inherited the throne. She withdrew from Sana'a, transferring the Sulayhid capital to Jibla, where she ruled much of Yemen from 1067 to 1138. As a result of the Sulayhid departure, the Hamdanid dynasty took control of Sana'a.[5] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

In 1173 Saladin, the Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, sent his brother Turan-Shah on an expedition to conquer Yemen. The Ayyubids gained control of Sana'a in 1175 and united the various Yemeni tribal states, except for the northern mountains controlled by the Zaydi imams, into one entity.[5] The Ayyubids switched the country's official religious allegiance to the Sunni Muslim Abbasids. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

During the reign of the Ayyubid emir Tughtekin ibn Ayyub, the city underwent significant improvements. These included the incorporation of the garden lands on the western bank of the Sa'ilah, known as Bustan al-Sultan, where the Ayyubids built one of their palaces.[6] Despite Sana'a's strategic position, the Ayyubids chose Ta'izz as their capital while Aden was their principal income-producing city. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

While the Rasulids controlled most of Yemen, followed by their successors the Tahirids, Sana'a largely remained in the political orbit of the Zaydi imams from 1323 to 1454 and outside the former two dynasties' rule.[7] The Mamelukes arrived in Yemen in 1517. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5361 laptop keyboard

The Ottoman Empire entered Yemen in 1538 when Suleiman the Magnificent was Sultan.[8] Under the military leadership of Özdemir Pasha, the Ottomans conquered Sana'a in 1547.[7] With Ottoman approval, European captains based in the Yemeni port towns of Aden and Mocha frequented Sana'a to maintain special privileges and capitulations for their trade. In 1602 the local Zaydi imams led by Imam al-Mu'ayyad reasserted their control over the area,[8]  HP G71t-400 CTO laptop keyboard

SONY Vaio VGN-AW270Y laptop keyboard

and forced out Ottoman troops in 1629. Although the Ottomans fled during al-Mu'ayyad's reign, his predecessor al-Mansur al-Qasim had vastly weakened the Ottoman army in Sana'a and Yemen.[7]Consequently, European traders were stripped of their previous privileges.[8] SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

The Zaydi imams maintained their rule over Sana'a until the mid 19th-century, when the Ottomans relaunched their campaign to control the region. In 1835, Ottoman troops arrived on the Yemeni coast under the guise of Muhammad Ali of Egypt's troops.[8] They did not capture Sana'a until 1872, when their troops led byAhmed Muhtar Pasha entered the city.[7] The Ottoman Empire instituted the Tanzimat reforms throughout the lands they governed. FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

In Sana'a, city planning was initiated for the first time, new roads were built, and schools and hospitals were established. The reforms were rushed by the Ottomans in order to solidify their control of Sana'a to compete with an expanding Egypt, British influence in Aden and imperial Italian and French influence along the coast of Somalia, particularly in the towns of Djibouti and Berbera. The modernization reforms in Sana'a were still very limited, however.[9] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

In 1904, as Ottoman influence was waning in Yemen, Imam Yahya of the Zaydi imams took power in Sana'a. In a bid to secureNorth Yemen's independence, Yahya embarked on a policy of isolationism, avoiding international and Arab world politics, cracking down on embryonic liberal movements, not contributing to the development of infrastructure in Sana'a and elsewhere and closing down the Ottoman girls' school. As a consequence of Yahya's measures, Sana'a increasingly became a center of anti-government organization and intellectual revolt.[9] TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

In the 1930s, several organizations opposing or demanding reform of the Zaydi imamate sprung up in the city, particularly Fatat al-Fulayhi, a group of various Yemeni Muslim scholars based in Sana'a's Fulayhi Madrasa, and Hait al-Nidal ("Committee of the Struggle.") By 1936 the leaders of these movements mostly imprisoned. In 1941 another group based in the city, the Shabab al-Amr bil-Maruf wal-Nahian al-Munkar, called for a nahda ("renaissance")TOSHIBA G83C0000E510 laptop keyboard

in the country as well as the establishment of a parliament with Islam being the instrument of Yemeni revival. Yahya largely repressed the Shabab and most of its leaders were executed following his son, Imam Ahmad's inheritance of power in 1948.[9] That year, Sana'a was replaced with Ta'izz as capital following Ahmad's new residence there. Most government offices followed suit. A few years later, most of the city's Jewish population emigrated to Israel.[10] HP 605344-001 laptop keyboard

HP Mini 110-3505tu laptop keyboard

Ahmad began a process of gradual economic and political liberalization, but by 1961 Sana'a was witnessing major demonstrations and riots demanding quicker reform and change. Pro-republican officers in the North Yemeni military sympathetic of Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt's government and pan-Arabist policies staged a coup overthrowing the Imamate government in September 1962, a week after Ahmad's death.[9] HP Pavilion dv3-2155ee laptop keyboard

Sana'a's role as capital was restored afterward. [10] NeighboringSaudi Arabia opposed this development and actively supported North Yemen's rural tribes, pitting large parts of the country against the urban and largely pro-republican inhabitants of Sana'a.[9] HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

The North Yemen Civil War resulted in the destruction of some parts of the city's ancient heritage and continued until 1968 when a deal between the republicans and the royalists was reached,[10] establishing a presidential system. Instability in Sana'a continued due to continuing coups and political assassinations until the situation in the country stabilized in the late 1970s.[9] HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

British writer Jonathan Raban visited in the 1970s and described the city as fortress-like, its architecture and layout resembling a labyrinth," further noting "It was like stepping out into the middle of a vast pop-up picturebook. Away from the street, the whole city turned into a maze of another kind, a dense, jumbled alphabet of signs and symbols." Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Sana'a features the very rare mild version of a desert climate. Sana'a sees on average approximately 200 mm of precipitation per year. However, due to its high elevation, temperatures are much more moderate than many other cities on the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, average temperatures remain relatively constant throughout the year in Sana'a, with its coldest month being January and its warmest month in July. ACER Aspire 7738G laptop keyboard

The city seldom experiences extreme heat or cold. However, some areas around the city can see temperatures fall to around 15 °F or 20 °F (−9 °C or −7 °C) during winter. Frost usually occurs in the early winter mornings, and there is a slight wind chill in the city at elevated ares that causes the cold mornings to be oddly bitter, including low humidity. The Sun warms the city to the high 60s °F (15…20 °C) and low 70s °F (21…26 °C) ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

during the noontime but it drops drastically as night falls in. The city experiences manymicroclimates from district to district because of its location in the Sana'a basin and uneven elevations throughout the city. Summers are warm and can cool rapidly at night, especially after rainfall. Sana'a receives half of its annual rainfall during the months of July and August. Rainfall comes depending on the year; COMPAQ Presario C710BR Laptop Keyboard

some years could see 500–600 mm of rainfall, while others can barely get 150 mm. High temperatures have increased slightly during the summer over the past few years, however, low temperatures and winter temperatures have dramatically fallen over the same period.

HP AETT3U00010 Laptop Keyboard

It was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1986. Efforts are underway to preserve some of the oldest buildings some of which, such as the Samsarh and the Great Mosque of Sana'a, are more than 1,400 years old. Surrounded by ancient clay walls which stand 9–14 metres (30–46 ft) high, the old city contains more than 100 mosques, 12 hammams (baths) and 6,500 houses. Many of the houses resemble ancient skyscrapers, reaching several stories high and topped with flat roofs. They are decorated with elaborate friezes and intricately carved frames and stained-glass windows. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

One of the most popular attractions is Suq al-Milh (Salt Market), where it is possible to buy salt along with bread, spices, raisins, cotton, copper, pottery, silverware, and antiques. The 7th-century Jami' al-Kabir (Great Mosque) is one of the oldest mosques in the world. The Bāb al-Yaman (Yemen Gate) is an iconized entry point through the city walls and is more than 1,000 years old. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

A commercial area of the old city is known as Al Madina where development is proceeding rapidly. In addition to three large hotels, there are numerous stores and restaurants. The area also contains three parks and the President's SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

 (approximately 2,250,000 km2 (870,000 sq mi), constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula) and the second-largest in the Arab world (after Algeria). It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, Yemen in the south, the Red Sea to the west and Persian Gulf to the east. Its population is estimated to consist of 16 million citizens and an additional 9 million registered foreign expatriates and 2 million illegal immigrants.[10] ACER K032130A1 Laptop Keyboard

 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by Abdul-Aziz bin Saud (known for most of his career as Ibn Saud) in 1932, although the conquests which eventually led to the creation of the Kingdom began in 1902 when he captured Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud, referred to in Arabic as Al Saud. TheSaudi Arabian government has been an absolute monarchy since its inception, and it describes itself as beingIslamic. SONY VAIO VGN-FS840 Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the kingdom is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram (in Mecca), and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam. HP G61-304NR Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia has the world's largest oil reserves which are concentrated largely in the Eastern Province.[11][12] Oil accounts for more than 95% of exports and 70% of government revenue, although the share of the non-oil economy has been growing recently. This has facilitated the transformation of an underdeveloped desert kingdom into one of the world's wealthiest nations. Vast oil revenues have permitted rapid modernisation, such as the creation of a welfare state.[13] It has also the world's sixth largest SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Following the unification of the kingdoms of Hejaz and Nejd, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah (a transliteration of المملكة العربية السعودية in Arabic) by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, king Abdul Aziz Al Saud. This is normally translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English,[14] although it literally means "the Saudi Arab Kingdom".[15] HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

The word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, which is a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of Al Saud (آل سعود). Its inclusion indicated that the country's ruler viewed it as the personal possession of the royal family.[16][17] Al Saud is anArabic name formed by adding the word Al, meaning "family of" or "House of",[18] to the personal name of an ancestor. In the case of the Al Saud, this is the father of the dynasty's 18th century founder, Muhammad bin Saud (Muhammad, son of Saud).[19] SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

Apart from a small number of urban trading settlements, such as Mecca and Medina, located in the Hejaz in the west of theArabian Peninsula, most of what was to become Saudi Arabia was populated by nomadic tribal societies in the inhospitable desert.[20] The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was born in Mecca in about 571. In the early 7th century, Muhammad united thevarious tribes of the peninsula and created a single Islamic religious polity. DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Packard Bell Easynote TM80 laptop keyboard

Following his death in 632, his followers rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge swathes of territory (from the Iberian Peninsula in west to modern day Pakistan in east) in a matter of decades. In so doing, Arabia soon became a politically peripheral region of the Muslim world as the focus shifted to the more developed conquered lands.[21] From the 10th century to the early 20th century Mecca and Medina were under the control of a local Arab ruler known as the Sharif of Mecca, HP Pavilion dv6-2114sa laptop keyboard

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but at most times the Sharif owed allegiance to the ruler of one of the major Islamic empires based in Baghdad, Cairo or Istanbul. Most of the remainder of what became Saudi Arabia reverted to traditional tribal rule.[22][23] SONY VAIO VGN-NW120J laptop keyboard

In the 16th century, the Ottomans added the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coast (the Hejaz, Asir and Al-Hasa) to the Empire and claimed suzerainty over the interior. One reason was to thwart Portuguese attempts to attack the Red Sea (hence the Hejaz) and the Indian Ocean.[24] Ottoman degree of control over these lands varied over the next four centuries with the fluctuating strength or weakness of the Empire's central authority.[25][26] Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The emergence of what was to become the Saudi royal family, known as the Al Saud, began in Nejdin central Arabia in 1744, when Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the dynasty, joined forces with the religious leader Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab,[27] founder of theWahhabi movement, a strict puritanical form of Sunni Islam.[28] ACER Aspire One A110-1588 laptop keyboard

This alliance formed in the 18th century provided the ideological impetus to Saudi expansion and remains the basis of Saudi Arabian dynastic rule today.[29] The first "Saudi state" established in 1744 in the area around Riyadh, rapidly expanded and briefly controlled most of the present-day territory of Saudi Arabia,[30] ACER Aspire One AO532 laptop keyboard

but was destroyed by 1818 by the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali Pasha.[31] A much smaller second "Saudi state", located mainly in Nejd, was established in 1824. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the Al Saud contested control of the interior of what was to become Saudi Arabia with another Arabian ruling family, the Al Rashid. By 1891, the Al Rashid were victorious and the Al Saud were driven into exile in Kuwait.[22]  ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Ottoman Empire continued to control or have a suzerainty (albeit nominal) over most of the peninsula. Subject to this suzerainty, Arabia was ruled by a patchwork of tribal rulers,[32][33] SONY VAIO VGN-FS215E laptop keyboard

with the Sharif of Mecca having pre-eminence and ruling the Hejaz.[34] In 1902, Ibn Saud took control of Riyadh in Nejd and brought the Al Saud back to Nejd.[22]) Ibn Saud gained the support of the Ikhwan, a tribal army inspired by Wahhabism and led by Sultan ibn Bijad and Faisal Al-Dawish, and which had grown quickly after its foundation in 1912.[35] With the aid of the Ikhwan, Ibn Saud captured Hasa from the Ottomans in 1913. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

In 1916, with the encouragement and support of Britain (which was fighting the Ottomans in World War I), the Sharif of Mecca, Hussein bin Ali, led a pan-Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire to create a united Arab state.[36] Although the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918 failed in its objective, the Allied victory in World War I resulted in the end of Ottoman suzerainty and control in Arabia.[37]  TOSHIBA Satellite M35X-SP349 laptop keyboard

Ibn Saud avoided involvement in the Arab Revolt, and instead continued his struggle with the Al Rashid. Following the latter's final defeat, he took the title Sultan of Nejd in 1921. With the help of the Ikhwan, the Hejaz was conquered in 1924-25 and on 10 January 1926, Ibn Saud declared himself King of the Hejaz.[38]A year later, he added the title of King of Nejd.[22] SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

After the conquest of the Hejaz, the Ikhwan leadership's objective switched to expansion of the Wahhabist realm into the British protectorates of Transjordan, Iraq and Kuwait, and began raiding those territories. This met with Ibn Saud's opposition, as he recognized the danger of a direct conflict with the British. Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

At the same time, the Ikhwan became disenchanted with Ibn Saud's domestic policies which appeared to favor modernization and the increase in the number of non-Muslim foreigners in the country. As a result, they turned against Ibn Saud and, after a two-year struggle, were defeated in 1930 at the Battle of Sabilla, where their leaders were massacred.[39] In 1932 the two kingdoms of the Hejaz and Nejd were united as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.[22] SONY KFRMBA152A laptop keyboard

From the foundation of Saudi Arabia to the present day

The new kingdom was one of the poorest countries in the world, reliant on limited agriculture and pilgrimage revenues.[40] However, in 1938 vast reserves of oilwere discovered in the Al-Hasa region along the coast of the Persian Gulf and full-scale development of the oil fields began in 1941 under the US-controlledAramco (Arabian American Oil Company). TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5804 laptop keyboard

Oil provided Saudi Arabia with economic prosperity and substantial political leverage internationally. Cultural life rapidly developed, primarily in the Hejaz, which was the center for newspapers and radio. But the large influx of foreigners to work in the oil industry increased the pre-existing propensity for xenophobia. At the same time, the government became increasingly wasteful and extravagant. By the 1950s this had led to large governmental deficits and excessive foreign borrowing.[22] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

King Saud succeeded to the throne on his father's death in 1953. However, an intense rivalry between the King and his half-brother,Prince Faisal emerged, fueled by doubts in the royal family over Saud's competence. As a consequence, Saud was deposed in favor of Faisal in 1964. Saudi Arabia gained control of a proportion (20%)TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6114 laptop keyboard

of Aramco in 1972, thereby decreasing US control over Saudi oil. In 1973, Saudi Arabia led an oil boycott against the Western countries that supported Israel in the October War against Egypt and Syria. Oil prices quadrupled.[22] Faisal was assassinated in 1975 by his nephew, Prince Faisal bin Musaid and was succeeded by his half-brother King Khalid.[41] Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

By 1976 Saudi Arabia had become the largest oil producer in the world.[42] Khalid's reign saw economic and social development progress at an extremely rapid rate, transforming the infrastructure and educational system of the country;[22] in foreign policy, close ties with the US were developed.[41] In 1979, TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5359 laptop keyboard

two events occurred which greatly concerned the Al Saud regime,[43] and had a long-term influence on Saudi foreign and domestic policy. The first was the Iranian Islamic Revolution. It was feared that the country's Shi'ite minority in the Eastern Province (which is also the location of the oil fields) might rebel under the influence of their Iranian co-religionists. In fact, there were several anti-government uprisings in the region in 1979 and 1980. DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard

The second event, was the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca by Islamist extremists. The militants involved were in part angered by what they considered to be the corruption and un-Islamic nature of the Saudi regime.[44] The government regained control of the mosque after 10 days and those captured were executed. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

Part of the response of the royal family was to enforce a much stricter observance of traditional religious and social norms in the country (for example, the closure of cinemas) and to give the Ulema a greater role in government.[45] Neither entirely succeeded as Islamism continued to grow in strength.[46] HP Pavilion dv6-2020sa Laptop Keyboard

In 1980 Saudi Arabia took full control of Aramco from the US.

King Khalid died of a heart attack in June 1982, and was succeeded by his brother, King Fahd, who added the title "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques" to his name in 1986. Fahd continued to develop close relations with the United States and increased the purchase of American and British military equipment.[22] The vast wealth generated by oil revenues was beginning to have an even greater impact on Saudi society. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

It led to rapid modernisation, urbanization, mass public education, and the creation of new media. This and the presence of increasingly large numbers of foreign workers greatly affected traditional Saudi norms and values. Although there was dramatic change in the social and economic life of the country, political power continued to be monopolized by the royal family[22] leading to discontent among many Saudis who began to look for wider participation in government.[47] HP Compaq G50-133US Laptop Keyboard

In the 1980s, the Saudi regime spent $25 billion in support of Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq War.[48] However, Saudi Arabia condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and asked the US to intervene.[22] SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

King Fahd allowed American and coalition troops to be stationed in Saudi Arabia. He invited the Kuwaiti government and many of its citizens to stay in Saudi Arabia, but expelled citizens of Yemen and Jordan because of their governments' support of Iraq. In 1991, Saudi Arabian forces were involved both in bombing raids on Iraq and in the land invasion that helped to liberate Kuwait.  HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

The Saudi regime's relations with the West began to cause growing concern among some of the ulema and students of sharia law and was one of the issues that led to an increase in Islamic terrorism in Saudi Arabia, as well as Islamic terrorist attacks in Western countries by Saudi nationals. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

Osama bin Laden was a Saudi national (until stripped of his nationality in 1994). 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in 9/11 attacks on New York, Washington and Virginia were Saudi nationals.[49] Many Saudis, who did not in any way support the Islamist terrorists were nevertheless deeply unhappy with the Saudi regime's policies.[50] DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

Islamism was not the only source of hostility to the regime. Although now extremely wealthy, Saudi Arabia's economy was near stagnant. High taxes and a growth in unemployment have contributed to discontent, and has been reflected in a rise in civil unrest, and discontent with the royal family. In response, a number of limited "reforms" were initiated by King Fahd. In March 1992, he introduced the "Basic Law)" which emphasised the duties and responsibilities of a ruler. In December 1993 the Consultative Council was inaugurated. It is composed of a chairman and 60 members - all chosen by the king. Compaq Presario CQ57-310 Laptop Keyboard

The King's intent was to respond to dissent while making as few actual changes in the status quo as possible. Fahd made it clear that he did not have democracy in mind: "A system based on elections is not consistent with our Islamic creed, which [approves of] government by consultation [shūrā]."[22] DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

In 1995, Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke and the Crown Prince, Abdullah assumed the role of de facto regent, taking on the day-to-day running of the country. However, his authority was hindered by conflict with Fahd's full brothers (known, with Fahd, as the "Sudairi Seven").[51] From the 1990s, TOSHIBA Satellite l20-121 Laptop Keyboard

signs of discontent continued and included, in 2003 and 2004, a series of bombings and armed violence in Riyadh, Jeddah, Yanbu and Khobar.[52] In February–April 2005, the first-ever nationwide municipal elections were held in Saudi Arabia. Women were not allowed to take part in the poll.[22] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In 2005, King Fahd died and was succeeded by Abdullah, who continued the policy of minimum reform and clamping down on protests. The king introduced a number of economic reforms aimed at reducing the country's reliance on oil revenue: limited deregulation, encouragement of foreign investment, and privatization. HP G61-410EL Laptop Keyboard

In February 2009, Abdullah announced a series of governmental changes to the judiciary, armed forces, and various ministries to modernize these institutions including the replacement of senior appointees in the judiciary and the Mutaween (religious police) with more moderate individuals and the appointment of the country's first female deputy minister.[22]  ASUS F3H Laptop Keyboard

On 29 January 2011, hundreds of protesters gathered in the city of Jeddah in a rare display of criticism against the city's poor infrastructure after deadly floods swept through the city, killing eleven people.[53] Police stopped the demonstration after about 15 minutes and arrested 30 to 50 people.[54] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

In 2011 and 2012 Saudi Arabia was affected by its own Arab Spring protests.[55] In response, King Abdullah announced a series of benefits for citizens amounting to $10.7 billion. No political reforms were announced as part of the package, though some prisoners indicted for financial crimes were pardoned.[56] Although male-only municipal elections were held on 29 September 2011 [57][58] Abdullah announced that women will be able to vote and be elected in the 2015 municipal elections, and also to be nominated to the Shura Council.[59] ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy,[60] although, according to the Basic Law of Saudi Arabia adopted by royal decree in 1992, the king must comply with Sharia(that is, Islamic law) and the Quran. The Quran and the Sunnah (the traditions of Muhammad) are declared to be the country's constitution, but no written modern constitution has ever been written for Saudi Arabia, HP G62-b10EV laptop keyboard

and Saudi Arabia remains the only Arab nation where no national elections have ever taken place, since its creation.[61] No political parties or national elections are permitted[60] and according to The Economist's 2010 Democracy Index, the Saudi government is the seventh most authoritarian regime from among the 167 countries rated.[62] LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

In the absence of national elections and political parties,[60] politics in Saudi Arabia takes place in two distinct arenas: within the royal family, the Al Saud, and between the royal family and the rest of Saudi society.[63] Outside of the Al-Saud, participation in the political process is limited to a relatively small segment of the population and takes the form of the royal family consulting with the ulema, tribal sheikhs and members of important commercial families on major decisions.[64] This process is not reported by the Saudi media.[65] IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

By custom, all males of full age have a right to petition the king directly through the traditional tribal meeting known as the majlis.[66] In many ways the approach to government differs little from the traditional system of tribal rule. Tribal identity remains strong and, outside of the royal family, political influence is frequently determined by tribal affiliation, TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard

with tribal sheikhs maintaining a considerable degree of influence over local and national events.[64]As mentioned earlier, in recent years there have been limited steps to widen political participation such as the establishment of the Consultative Council in the early 1990s and the National Dialogue Forum in 2003.[67] Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

The rule of the Al Saud faces political opposition from four sources: Sunni Islamist activism; liberal critics; the Shi'ite minority – particularly in theEastern Province; and long-standing tribal and regional particularistic opponents (for example in the Hejaz).[68] Of these, the Islamic activists have been the most prominent threat to the regime and have in recent years perpetrated a number of violent or terrorist acts in the country.[52] However, open protest against the government, even if peaceful, is not tolerated. SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

On 25 September 2011, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has announced that women will have the right to stand and vote in future local elections and join the advisory Shura council as full members.[69]

prime minister, and presides over the Council of Ministers (Majlis al-Wuzarāʾ), which comprises the first and second deputy prime. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The royal family dominates the political system. The family's vast numbers allow it to control most of the kingdom's important posts and to have an involvement and presence at all levels of government.[71] The number of princes is estimated to be at least 7,000, with most power and influence being wielded by the 200 or so male descendants of King Abdul Aziz. HP Pavilion dv6-2105et laptop keyboard

73]Long term political and government appointments, such as those of King Abdullah, who had been Commander of the National Guard since 1963 (until 2010, when he appointed his son to replace him)[74]), former Crown Prince Sultan, Minister of Defence and Aviation from 1962 to his death in 2011, former crown prince Prince Nayef who was the Minister of Interior from 1975 to his death in 2012, Prince Saud who has been Minister of Foreign Affairs since 1975[75] and current Minister of Defence and Aviation Prince Salman, who was Governor of the Riyadh Province from 1962 to 2011,[76] have resulted in the creation of "power fiefdoms" for senior princes.[77] SONY VAIO VGN-N11M laptop keyboard

The royal family is politically divided by factions based on clan loyalties, personal ambitions and ideological differences.[63] The most powerful clan faction is known as the 'Sudairi Seven', comprising the late King Fahd and his full brothers and their descendants.[78] Ideological divisions include issues over the speed and direction of reform,[79] Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

HP 431416-001 laptop keyboard

and whether the role of the ulema should be increased or reduced. There were divisions within the family over who should succeed to the throne after the accession or earlier death of Prince Sultan.[78][80] When prince Sultan died before ascending to the throne on 21 October 2011, King Abdullah appointed Prince Nayef as crown prince.[81] Prince Nayef also died before ascending to the throne in 2012.[82] HP Compaq G50-133US laptop keyboard

The Saudi government and the royal family have often, over many years, been accused of corruption.[83] In a country that is said to "belong" to the royal family and is named for them,[17] the lines between state assets and the personal wealth of senior princes are blurred.[72] The extent of corruption has been described as systemic[84] and endemic,[85] and its existence was acknowledged[86] and defended[87] TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

by Prince Bandar bin Sultan (a senior member of the royal family[88]) in an interview in 2001.[89] Although corruption allegations have often been limited to broad undocumented accusations,[90] specific allegations were made in 2007, when it was claimed that the British defence contractor BAE Systems had paid Prince Bandar US$2 billion in bribes relating to the Al-Yamamah arms deal.[91] Lenovo 3000 Y500 7761 laptop keyboard

Prince Bandar denied the allegations.[92] Investigations by both US and UK authorities resulted, in 2010, in plea bargain agreements with the company, by which it paid $447 million in fines but did not admit to bribery.[93] Transparency International in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index for 2010 gave Saudi Arabia a score of 4.7 (on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is "highly corrupt" and 10 is "highly clean").[94]  HP Pavilion dv6-2125el laptop keyboard

There has been mounting pressure to reform and modernize the royal family's rule, an agenda championed by King Abdullah both before and after his accession in 2005. The creation of the Consultative Council in the early 1990s did not satisfy demands for political participation, and, in 2003, an annual National Dialogue Forum was announced that would allow selected professionals and intellectuals to publicly debate current national issues, within certain prescribed parameters. TOSHIBA Satellite P10 Series laptop keyboard

In 2005, the first municipal elections were held. In 2007, the Allegiance Council was created to regulate the succession.[67] In 2009, the king made significant personnel changes to the government by appointing reformers to key positions and the first woman to a ministerial post.  HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard


Al ash-Sheikh and role of the ulema

Saudi Arabia is almost unique in giving the ulema (the body of Islamic religious leaders and jurists) a direct role in government,[97] the only other example being Iran.[98] The ulema have also been a key influence in major government decisions, for example the imposition of the oil embargo in 1973 and the invitation to foreign troops to Saudi Arabia in 1990.[99] In addition, they have had a major role in the judicial and education systems[100] and a monopoly of authority in the sphere of religious and social morals.[101] SONY Vaio VGN-AW290J laptop keyboard

By the 1970s, as a result of oil wealth and the modernization of the country initiated by King Faisal, important changes to Saudi society were under way and the power of the ulema was in decline.[102] However, this changed following the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979 by Islamist radicals. SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

45] Since his accession to the throne in 2005, King Abdullah has taken steps to rein back the powers of the ulema, for instance transferring their control over girls' education to the Ministry of Education.[104] ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

The ulema have historically been led by the Al ash-Sheikh,[105] the country's leading religious family.[101] The Al ash-Sheikh are the descendants of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the 18th century founder of the Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam which is today dominant in Saudi Arabia.[106] The family is second in prestige only to the Al Saud (the royal family)[107] with whom they formed a "mutual support pact"[108] HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

and power-sharing arrangement nearly 300 years ago.[99] The pact, which persists to this day,[108] is based on the Al Saud maintaining the Al ash-Sheikh's authority in religious matters and upholding and propagating Wahhabi doctrine. In return, the Al ash-Sheikh support the Al Saud's political authority[109] ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard

thereby using its religious-moral authority to legitimize the royal family's rule.[110] Although the Al ash-Sheikh's domination of the ulema has diminished in recent decades,[111] they still hold the most important religious posts and are closely linked to the Al Saud by a high degree of intermarriage.[101] HP AEUT3U00020 Laptop Keyboard

The primary source of law is the Islamic Sharia derived from the teachings of the Qu'ran and the Sunnah (the traditions of the Prophet).[70] Sharia is not codified and there is no system of judicial precedent. Saudi judges tend to follow the principles of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence (or fiqh) found in pre-modern texts[113]  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

and noted for its literalist interpretation of the Qu'ran and hadith.[114] Nevertheless, because the judge is empowered to disregard previous judgments (either his own or of other judges) and will apply his personal interpretation of Sharia to any particular case, divergent judgements arise even in apparently identical cases.[115] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

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Royal decrees are the other main source of law but are referred to as regulations rather than laws because they are subordinate to the Sharia.[70] Royal decrees supplement Sharia in areas such as labor, commercial and corporate law. Additionally, traditional tribal law and custom remain significant.[116] FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

The Sharia court system constitutes the basic judiciary of Saudi Arabia and its judges and lawyers form part of the ulema, the country's religious leadership. However, there are also extra-Sharia government tribunals which handle disputes relating to specific royal decrees.[117] DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

Final appeal from both Sharia courts and government tribunals is to the King and all courts and tribunals follow Sharia rules of evidence and procedure.[118] The Saudi system of justice has been criticized for being slow, arcane,[119] lacking in some of the safeguards of justice and unable to deal with the modern world.[120] HP Pavilion ze4130 Laptop Keyboard

In 2007, King Abdullah issued royal decrees reforming the judiciary and creating a new court system, although the reforms have yet to be implemented.[115] The capabilities and reactionary nature of the judges have, in particular, been criticized[121] and, in 2009, the King made a number of significant changes to the judiciary's personnel at the most senior level by bringing in a younger generation.[119] HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

Human rights

Main article: Human rights in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has long been criticized for its human rights record, with Western-based organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watchcondemning both the criminal justice system and its severe punishments. However, "ordinary Saudis", according to a BBC report, support the system and say that it maintains a low crime rate.[122] There are no jury trials in Saudi Arabia and courts observe few formalities.[123] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5150 Laptop Keyboard

Human Rights Watch, in a 2008 report, noted that a criminal procedure code had been introduced for the first time in 2002, but it lacked some basic protections and, in any case, had been routinely ignored by judges. Those arrested are often not informed of the crime of which they are accused or given access to a lawyer and are subject to abusive treatment and torture if they do not confess. At trial, there is a presumption of guilt and the accused is often unable to examine witnesses and evidence or present a legal defense. Most trials are held in secret.[124] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

The physical punishments imposed by Saudi courts, such as beheading, stoning, amputation and lashing, and the number of executions have been strongly criticized.[126] The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, stoning or firing squad, followed by crucifixion.[127][128] The 345 reported executions between 2007 and 2010 were all carried out by public beheading. The last reported execution for sorcery took place in Jun SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

e 2012[129] and three recent convictions for witchcraft did not result in execution.

Although repeated theft can be punishable by amputation of the right hand, only one instance of judicial amputation was reported between 2007 and 2010. Gay rights are not recognised. Homosexual acts are punishable by flogging or death.[127][130]Lashings are a common form of punishment[131] and are often imposed for offences against religion and public morality such as drinking alcohol and neglect of prayer and fasting obligations.[127] HP Mini 110-3120la Laptop Keyboard

Retaliatory punishments, or Qisas, are practised: for instance, an eye can be surgically removed at the insistence of a victim who lost his own eye.[121] Families of someone unlawfully killed can choose between demanding the death penalty or granting clemency in return for a payment of diyya, or blood money, by the perpetrator.[132] Other human rights issues that have attracted strong criticism include the extremely disadvantaged position of women (see Women in Saudi society below), religious discrimination, the lack of religious freedom and the activities of the religious police (see Religion below).[126] Lenovo ThinkPad T410-2516 Laptop Keyboard

Between 1996 and 2000, Saudi Arabia acceded to four UN human rights conventions and, in 2004, the government approved the establishment of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR), staffed by government employees, to monitor their implementation. To date, the activities of the NSHR have been limited and doubts remain over its neutrality and independence.[133] Lenovo Thinkpad T410I Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia remains one of the very few countries in the world not to accept the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In response to the continuing criticism of its human rights record, the Saudi government points to the special Islamic character of the country, and asserts that this justifies a different social and political order.[134] ASUS A6700L Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Between the mid-1970s and 2002 Saudi Arabia expended over $70 billion in "overseas development aid".[139] However, there is evidence that the vast majority was, in fact, spent on propagating and extending the influence of Wahhabism at the expense of other forms of Islam.[140] There has been an intense debate over whether Saudi aid and Wahhabism has fomented extremism in recipient countries.[141] Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5055 Laptop

The two main allegations are that, by its nature, Wahhabism encourages intolerance and promotes terrorism.[142] Former CIAdirector James Woolsey described it as "the soil in which Al-Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are flourishing. HP Pavilion dv6-2160es laptop keyboard

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In the Arab and Muslim worlds, Saudi Arabia is considered to be pro-Western and pro-American,[145] and it is certainly a long-term ally of the United States.[146] However, this[147] and Saudi Arabia's role in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, particularly the stationing of U.S. troops on Saudi soil from 1991, prompted the development of a hostile Islamist response internally.[148] As a result, Saudi Arabia has, to some extent, distanced itself from the U.S. and, for example, TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

refused to support or to participate in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.[64] Relations with the United States became strained following 9/11.[149] American politicians and media accused the Saudi government of supporting terrorism and tolerating a jihadist culture.[150] Indeed, Osama bin Laden and fifteen out of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.[151] According to the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

"Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups... Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide."[152] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ770N laptop keyboard

Saudi Arabia's increasing alarm at the rise of Iran is reflected in the reported private comments of King Abdullah[153] urging the US to attack Iran and "cut off the head of the snake".[154] Saudi Arabia has been seen as a moderating influence in the Arab-Israeli conflict, ACER Aspire One A110-1626 laptop keyboard

periodically putting forward a peace plan betweenIsrael and the Palestinians and condemning Hezbollah.[155] Following the Arab Spring Saudi Arabia offered asylum to deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and King Abdullah telephoned President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (prior to his deposition) to offer his support.[156] DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

The Saudi military consists of the Royal Saudi Land Forces, the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Royal Saudi Navy, the Royal Saudi Air Defense, the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG, an independent military force), and paramilitary forces, totaling nearly 200,000 active-duty personnel. COMPAQ Presario V6103EA laptop keyboard

In 2005 the armed forces had the following personnel: the army, 75,000; the air force, 18,000; air defense, 16,000; the navy, 15,500 (including 3,000 marines); and the SANG had 75,000 active soldiers and 25,000 tribal levies. [157] In addition, there is an Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah military intelligence service. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The SANG is not a reserve but a fully operational front-line force, and originated out of Abdul Aziz's tribal military-religious force, the Ikhwan. Its modern existence, however, is attributable to it being effectively Abdullah's private army since the 1960s and, unlike the rest of the armed forces, is independent of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation. The SANG has been a counterbalance to the Sudairi faction in the royal family: Prince Sultan, the Minister of Defense and Aviation, is one of the so-called 'Sudairi Seven' and controls the remainder of the armed forces.[158] TOSHIBA Satellite 1410-S173 laptop keyboard

Spending on defense and security has increased significantly since the mid-'90s and was about US$25.4 billion in 2005. Saudi Arabia ranks among the top 10 in the world in government spending for its military, representing about 7% of gross domestic product in 2005. Its modern high-technology arsenal makes Saudi Arabia among the world's most densely armed nations, with its military equipment being supplied primarily by the US, DELL Inspiron 1564 laptop keyboard

France and Britain.[157] The United States sold more than $80 billion in military hardware between 1951 and 2006 to the Saudi military.[159] On 20 October 2010, the U.S. State Department notified Congress of its intention to make the biggest arms sale in American history – an estimated $60.5 billion purchase by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The package represents a considerable improvement in the offensive capability of the Saudi armed forces.[160] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The UK has also been a major supplier of military equipment to Saudi Arabia since 1965.[161] Since 1985, the UK has supplied military aircraft – notably the Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft – and other equipment as part of the long-term Al-Yamamah arms deal estimated to have been worth £43 billion by 2006 and thought to be worth a further £40 billion.[162] TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6007L laptop keyboard

Saudi Arabia occupies about 80% of the Arabian peninsula,[165] lying between latitudes 16° and 33° N, and longitudes34° and 56° E. Because the country's southern borders with the United Arab Emirates and Oman are not precisely defined or marked, the exact size of the country remains unknown.[165] The CIA World Factbook's estimate is 2,250,000 km2(868,730 sq mi) and lists Saudi Arabia as the world's 13th largest state.[166] HP Pavilion dv6-3034nr laptop keyboard

Saudi Arabia's geography is dominated by the Arabian Desert and associated semi-desert and shrubland (see satellite image to right). It is, in fact, a number of linked deserts and includes the 647,500 km2 (250,001 sq mi) Rub' al Khali("Empty Quarter") in the southern part of the country, the world's largest contiguous sand desert.[64][167] There are virtually no rivers or lakes in the country, but wadis are numerous. SONY VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q laptop keyboard

The few fertile areas are to be found in the alluvial deposits in wadis, basins, and oases.[64] The main topographical feature is the central plateau which rises abruptly from the Red Sea and gradually descends into the Nejd and toward the Persian Gulf. On the Red Sea coast, there is a narrow coastal plain, known as the Tihamah parallel to which runs an imposing escarpment. The southwest province ofAsir is mountainous, and contains the 3,133 m (10,279 ft) Mount Sawda, which is the highest point in the country.[64] HP Pavilion dv6-3141se laptop keyboard

Except for the southwestern province of Asir, Saudi Arabia has a desert climate with extremely high day-time temperatures and a sharp temperature drop at night. Average summer temperatures are around 113 °F (45 °C), but can be as high as 129 °F(54 °C). In the winter the temperature rarely drops below 32 °F (0 °C). HP Pavilion dv6-2154ca laptop keyboard

In the spring and autumn the heat is temperate, temperatures average around 84 °F (29 °C). Annual rainfall is extremely low. The Asir region differs in that it is influenced by the Indian Ocean monsoons, usually occurring between October and March. An average of 300 mm (12 in) of rainfall occurs during this period, that is about 60% of the annual precipitation.[168] TOSHIBA Tecra M6 laptop keyboard

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Animal life includes wolves, hyenas, mongooses, baboons, hares, sand rats, and jerboas. Larger animals such as gazelles,oryx, and leopards were relatively numerous until the 1950s, when hunting from motor vehicles reduced these animals almost to extinction. Birds include falcons (which are caught and trained for hunting), eagles, hawks, DELL Inspiron 510m Laptop Keyboard

vultures, sand grouse andbulbuls. There are several species of snakes, many of which are venomous, and numerous types of lizards. There is a wide variety of marine life in the Persian Gulf. Domesticated animals include camels, sheep, goats, donkeys, and chickens. Reflecting the country's desert conditions, Saudi Arabia's plant life mostly consists of small herbs and shrubs requiring little water. There are a few small areas of grass and trees in southern Asir. The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is widespread.[64] DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia's command economy is petroleum-based; roughly 75% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry. The oil industry comprises about 45% of Saudi Arabia's nominal gross domestic product, compared with 40% from the private sector (see below). Saudi Arabia officially has about 260 billion barrels (4.1×1010 m3) of oil reserves, comprising about one-fifth of the world's proven total petroleum reserves.[170] SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

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The government is attempting to promote growth in the private sector by privatizing industries such as power and telecommunications. Saudi Arabia announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies in 1999, which followed the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. Shortages of water and rapid population growth may constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

In the 1990s, Saudi Arabia experienced a significant contraction of oil revenues combined with a high rate of population growth. Per capita income fell from a high of $11,700 at the height of the oil boom in 1981 to $6,300 in 1998.[171] Increases in oil prices since 2000 have helped boost per capita GDP to $17,000 in 2007 dollars, or about $7,400 adjusted for inflation.[172] Taking into account the impact of the real oil price changes on the Kingdom's real gross domestic income, the real command-basis GDP was computed to be 330.381 billion 1999 USD in 2010.[173] HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Oil price increases of 2008–2009 have triggered a second oil boom, pushing Saudi Arabia's budget surplus to $28 billion (110SR billion) in 2005. Tadawul (the Saudi stock market index) finished 2004 with a massive 76.23% to close at 4437.58 points. Market capitalization was up 110.14% from a year earlier to stand at $157.3 billion (589.93SR billion), which makes it the biggest stock market in the Middle East.‏ HP Pavilion G7-1073NR Laptop Keyboard

OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) limits its members' oil production based on their "proven reserves." The higher their reserves, the more OPEC allows them to produce.[citation needed] Saudi Arabia's published reserves have shown little change since 1980, with the main exception being an increase of about 100 billion barrels (1.6×1010 m3) between 1987 and 1988.[174] Matthew Simmons has suggested that Saudi Arabia is greatly exaggerating its reserves and may soon show production declines (see peak oil).[175] HP Pavilion dv6-3141se Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabia is one of only a few fast-growing countries in the world with a relatively high per capita income of $24,200 (2010). Saudi Arabia will be launching six "economic cities" (e.g. King Abdullah Economic City)[176] which are planned to be completed by 2020. These six new industrialized cities are intended to diversify the economy of Saudi Arabia, and are expected to increase the per capita income. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The King of Saudi Arabia has announced that the per capita income is forecast to rise from $15,000 in 2006 to $33,500 in 2020.[177] The cities will be spread around Saudi Arabia to promote diversification for each region and their economy, and the cities are projected to contribute $150 billion to the GDP. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

However the urban areas of Riyadh and Jeddah are expected to contribute $287 billion dollars by the year 2020.[178]

Gold mining is carried out in the Mahd adh Dhahab region (also known as the "Cradle of Gold"). Saudi Arabian stores suffered a significant decrease in Gold sales in 2012.[179] ACER Aspire 2920Z Laptop Keyboard

Reporting of poverty remains a state taboo. In December 2011, days after the Arab Spring uprisings, the Saudi interior ministry detained reporter Feros Boqna and two colleagues and held them for almost two weeks for questioning after they uploaded a video on the topic to YouTube.[180][181] Statistics on the issue are not available through the UN resources because the Saudi government does not issue poverty figures.[182] Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

Observers researching the issue prefer to stay anonymous[183] because of the risk of being arrested. Three journalists: Feras Boqna, Hussam al-Drewesh and Khaled al-Rasheed were detained after posting 10-minute film 'Mal3ob 3alena', or 'We are being cheated'[184] on Saudis living in poverty to YouTube.[185] Authors of the video claim that 22% of Saudis are considered to be poor (2009) and 70% of Saudis do not own their houses.[186] DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

The population of Saudi Arabia as of July 2010 is estimated to be 25,731,776 including 5,576,076 non-nationals[5] In 1950, Saudi Arabia had a population of 3 million.[187] The ethnic composition of Saudi nationals is 90% Arab and 10% Afro-Arab.[188]Until the 1960s, a majority of the population was nomadic; but presently more than 95% of the population is settled, due to rapid economic and urban growth. As recently as the early 1960s, the Saudi Arabia's slave population was estimated at 300,000.[189] Slavery was officially abolished in 1962.[190][191] SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

About 31% of the population is made up of foreign nationals living in Saudi Arabia.[192] Indian: 1.3 million, Pakistani: 900,000, Egyptian: 900,000, Yemeni: 800,000, Bangladeshi: 500,000, Filipino: 500,000, Jordanian/Palestinian: 260,000,Indonesian: 250,000, Sri Lankan: 350,000, Sudanese: 250,000, Syrian: 100,000 and Turkish: 100,000.[193] There are around 100,000 Westerners in Saudi Arabia, most of whom live in compounds or gated communities. HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

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Saudi Arabia expelled 800,000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991.[194] An estimated 240,000 Palestinians are living in Saudi Arabia. They are not allowed to hold or even apply for Saudi citizenship, because of Arab League instructions barring the Arab states from granting them citizenship. Palestinians are the sole foreign group that cannot benefit from a 2004 law passed by Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers, SONY VAIO VGN-FW180FU Laptop Keyboard

which entitles expatriates of all nationalities who have resided in the kingdom for ten years to apply for citizenship with priority being given to holders of degrees in various scientific fields.[195] The Articles 12.4 and 14.1 of the Executive Regulation of Saudi Citizenship System can be interpreted as requiring applicants to be Muslim.[196] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

In a 2011 news story, Arab News reported, "Nearly three million expatriate workers will have to leave the Kingdom in the next few years as the Labor Ministry has put a 20% ceiling on the country's guest workers."[197] DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

There are about 25 million people who are Muslim, or 97% of the total population.[199] Data for Saudi Arabia comes primarily from general population surveys, which are less reliable than censuses or large-scale demographic and health surveys for estimating minority-majority ratios.[199] About 85–90% of Saudis are Sunni, while Shias represent around 10–15% of the Muslim population.[200] TOSHIBA NB200-10J Laptop Keyboard

 The official and dominant form of Sunni Islam in Saudi Arabia is commonly known as Wahhabism (a name which some of its proponents consider derogatory, preferring the term Salafism[201]), founded in the Arabian Peninsula byMuhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab in the eighteenth century, is often described as 'puritanical', 'intolerant' or 'ultra-conservative'. However, proponents consider that its teachings seek to purify the practise of Islam of any innovations or practices that deviate from the seventh-century teachings of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his companions[202] HP Pavilion tx2650eg laptop keyboard

In 2010, the U.S. State Department stated that in Saudi Arabia "freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice" and that "government policies continued to place severe restrictions on religious freedom".[203] No faith other than Islam is permitted to be practiced, although there are nearly a million Christians – nearly all foreign workers – in Saudi Arabia.[204] HP 6730S laptop keyboard

There are no churches or other non-Muslim houses of worship permitted in the country.[203] Even private prayer services are forbidden in practice and the Saudi religious police reportedly regularly search the homes of Christians.[204] Foreign workers have to observe Ramadan but are not allowed to celebrate Christmas or Easter.[204] ACER Aspire 9411awsmi ms2195 laptop keyboard

Conversion by Muslims to another religion (apostasy) carries the death penalty, although there have been no confirmed reports of executions for apostasy in recent years.[203] Proselytizing by non-Muslims is illegal,[203] and the last Christian priest was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1985.[204] There are some Hindus and Buddhists in Saudi Arabia. Compensation in court cases discriminates against non-Muslims: once fault is determined, a Muslim receives all of the amount of compensation determined, a Jew or Christian half, and all others a sixteenth.[204] Compaq Presario CQ42-219AX laptop keyboard

According to Human Rights Watch, the Shia minority face systematic discrimination from the Saudi government in education, the justice system and especially religious freedom.[205] Restrictions are imposed on the public celebration of Shia festivals such as Ashura and on the Shia taking part in communal public worship.[206] According to a 2012 poll, 5% of Saudis are atheists.[207] HP Mini 311-1000NR laptop keyboard

Saudi Arabia has centuries-old attitudes and traditions, often derived from Arab tribal civilization. This culture has been bolstered by the austerely puritanical Wahhabi form of Islam, which arose in the eighteenth century and now predominates in the country. The many limitations on behaviour and dress are strictly enforced both legally and socially. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited, for example, and there is no theatre or public exhibition of films. Nevertheless, as reported by the UK Mail, within the Saudi royal family homosexuality is permitted so long as it is not the subject of public attention (Daily Mail: " Packard Bell NEW90 laptop keyboard

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A gay Saudi prince has been jailed for beating and strangling his servant.").[208] However, the Daily Mail and Wikileaks indicate that the Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself ("WikiLeaks cables: Saudi princes throw parties boasting drink, drugs and sex. Royals flout puritanical laws to throw parties for young elite while religious police are forced to turn a blind eye.")[209] Public expression of opinion about domestic political or social matters is discouraged. There are no organizations such as political parties or labour unions to provide public forums. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Daily life is dominated by Islamic observance. Five times each day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques scattered throughout the country. Because Friday is the holiest day for Muslims, the weekend begins on Thursday.[64][210] In accordance with Wahhabi doctrine, only two religious holidays are publicly recognized, ʿĪd al-Fiṭr and ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā. Celebration of other Islamic holidays,  HP G71-449WM laptop keyboard

such as the Prophet's birthday and ʿĀshūrāʾ (an important holiday for Shīʿites), are tolerated only when celebrated locally and on a small scale. Public observance of non-Islamic religious holidays is prohibited, with the exception of 23 September, which commemorates the unification of the kingdom.[64] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

However, Saudi Wahhabism is hostile to any reverence given to historical or religious places of significance for fear that it may give rise to 'shirk' (that is, idolatry). As a consequence, under Saudi rule, the Hejaz cities have suffered from considerable destruction of their physical heritage and, for example, it has been estimated that about 95% of Mecca's historic buildings, most over a thousand years old, have been demolished.[214TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2804 laptop keyboard

] These include the mosque originally built by Muhammad's daughter Fatima, and other mosques founded by Abu Bakr (Muhammad's father-in-law and the first Caliph), Umar (the second Caliph), Ali (Muhammad's son-in-law and the fourth Caliph), and Salman al-Farsi (another of Muhammad's companions).[215] SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

Other historic buildings that have been destroyed include the house of Khadijah, the wife of the Prophet, the house of Abu Bakr, now the site of the local Hilton hotel; the house of Ali-Oraid, the grandson of the Prophet, and the Mosque of abu-Qubais, now the location of the King's palace in Mecca.[216] FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 Laptop Keyboard

Critics have described this as "Saudi vandalism" and claim that over the last 50 years 300 historic sites linked to Muhammad, his family or companions have been lost.[217] It has been reported that there now are fewer than 20 structures remaining in Mecca that date back to the time of Muhammad.[216] HP 594706-001 Laptop Keyboard

During the 1970s, cinemas were numerous in the Kingdom and were not considered un-Islamic, although they were seen as contrary to Arab tribal norms.[218] During the Islamic revival movement in the 1980s, and as a political response to an increase in Islamist activism including the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the government closed all cinemas and theaters. However, with King Abdullah's reforms from 2005, some cinemas have re-opened.[219] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

From the 18th century onward, Wahhabi fundamentalism discouraged artistic development inconsistent with its teaching. In addition, Sunni Islamic prohibition of creating representations of people have limited the visual arts, which tend to be dominated by geometric, floral, and abstract designs and by calligraphy. With the advent of oil-wealth in the 20th century came exposure to outside influences, HP Pavilion dv6-2044ca Laptop Keyboard

such as Western housing styles, furnishings, and clothes. Music and dance have always been part of Saudi life. Traditional music is generally associated with poetry and is sung collectively. Instruments include the rabābah, an instrument not unlike a three-string fiddle, and various types of percussion instruments, such as the ṭabl (drum) and the ṭār (tambourine). Of the native dances, the most popular is a martial line dance known as the ʿarḍah, which includes lines of men, frequently armed with swords or rifles, dancing to the beat of drums and tambourines. Bedouin poetry, known as nabaṭī, is still very popular.[64] DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

Censorship has limited the development of Saudi literature, although several Saudi novelists and poets have achieved critical and popular acclaim in the Arab world – albeit generating official hostility in their home country. These include Ghazi Algosaibi, Abdelrahman Munif, Turki al-Hamad and Rajaa al-Sanea.[220][221][222] SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

Football (soccer) is the national sport in Saudi Arabia.[citation needed] Scuba diving, windsurfing, sailing and basketball are also popular, played by both men and women, with the Saudi Arabian national basketball team winning bronze at the 1999 Asian Championship.[223][224][225] More traditional sports such as camel racing became more popular in the 1970s. A stadium in Riyadh holds races in the winter. SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

The annual King's Camel Race, begun in 1974, is one of the sport's most important contests and attracts animals and riders from throughout the region. Falconry, another traditional pursuit, is still practiced.[64] SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

Saudi Arabian cuisine is similar to that of the surrounding Arab countries in the Persian Gulf, and has been heavily influenced by Turkish, Persian, and African food. Islamic dietary laws are enforced: pork is not consumed and other animals are slaughtered in accordance with halal. A dish consisting of a stuffed lamb, known as khūzī, is the traditional national dish. Kebabs are popular, as is shāwarmā (shawarma), Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

a marinated grilled meat dish of lamb, mutton, or chicken. As in other Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, machbūs (kabsa), a rice dish with fish or shrimp, is popular. Flat, unleavened bread is a staple of virtually every meal, as are dates and fresh fruit. Coffee, served in the Turkish style, is the traditional beverage.[64] COMPAQ Presario C500 Laptop Keyboard

HP Pavilion dv4-1220us Laptop Keyboard

TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard


southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east.

Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East.[5] Its capital and largest city is Sana'a. Yemen's territory includes over 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 354 km (220 mi) to the south of mainland Yemen. ACER K032130A1 Laptop Keyboard

It is the only state in the Arabian Peninsula to have a purely republican form of government.[6] Yemen was the first country in the Arabian peninsula to grant women the right to vote.[7] Yemeni unification took place on 22 May 1990, when North Yemen was united with South Yemen, forming the Republic of Yemen. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The majority of Yemen's population is divided into tribal groups, especially in the northern areas of the country where 85% of local residents belong to various tribes[8] There are also small groups of peoples ofTurkish/Ottoman origin in urban areas.[9] Roughly 55% of the population are Sunni Muslims following the Shafi'ischool while 45% adhere to the Zaydi Shia branch of Islam with small minorities of Ismali Muslims.[10][11] Since the 1990s, the Houthis (an armed Zaydi group) has attempted to establish Zaydi Shia principles in the country. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Yemen has long existed at the crossroads of cultures. It linked some of the oldest centres of civilization in the Near East by virtue of its location in South Arabia.

Between the 12th century BCE and the 6th century CE, the Minaean, Sabaean(biblical Sheba[13]), Hadhramaut, Qataban, and Himyarite kingdoms controlled the lucrative spice and incense trade in the region.[14] DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

In the 8th century BC, the Sabaens built the 1,894-foot-high and 3,000-foot long Marib Dam.[15] Led by the priest-king Karib'il Watar I,[16] the Sabaeans unified most of Southern Arabia in the 7th century BCE and established a confederacy with the Hadramites and Qatabanis.[17] Lack of water in the Arabian peninsula prevented the Sabaeans from unifying the entire peninsula; instead, they established various colonies to control trade routes.[18] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

Similar colonies were found in northern Ethiopia, as well,[19] and descriptions of Sabaean presence in the extended border of Palestine are also found in the Hebrew Bible, including an attack on Job.[20] Ancient Yemenis developed a writing system by the 10th century BCE called Musnad, which used to be the main writing form for the entire Arabian peninsula until the 6th century CE.[21] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Around the 1st century BCE, leaders of the Banu Hamdan confederation (Hashid and Bakil) overthrew the Sabaean royal family and subjugated them to slavery.[22] The Hamdanis formed an alliance with Hadramout and burned the Qatabani capital of Timna. The Himyarites, as a Qatabani sub-tribe, ignited a long but sporadic civil war to avenge their "cousins", as a mid-1st-century BCE Hamdani inscription read.[23] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The civil war was over with a decisive Himyarite victory around 275 CE.[24] They established a centralized rule with Zafar as the capital instead of Marib. The Himyarites secured the trade routes through the Kingdom of Kindah who launched several successful campaigns against the Lakhmids in Southern Iraq.[25] HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

In the 6th century, sectarian violence between Jews and Christians weakened the central government. Jews and pagans, led byJoseph Dhu Nuwas, inflicted heavy casualties on Christian tribes, particularly in Najran.[26] Dhu Nuwas was deposed around 525 – 527 CE after Byzantine Emperor Justinian I sent a fleet to aid the Christians of the Yemen.[27][28] The Southwestern coasts of the Arabian peninsula became a Byzantine puppet state until the occupiers were driven out by Himyarite Jewish elites.[27] HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

In the 7th century, the Yemeni tribes accepted Islam and played a major role in the Muslim conquest of the Middle East, North Africa and Spain.[29] In 1538, the Ottoman Empire absorbed Aden and Yemen, and between 1547 and 1548 Sana'a and Tihama were reconquered from the Portuguese, until the Ottomans were expelled in 1630.[30] In 1839, Aden came under British rule. When the Suez Canal opened in 1869, ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

Aden served as a major refuelling port. The Ottoman Turks tried to regain control of Yemen in 1849 but failed. The Ottomans returned in 1872 and took over the northern half of the country. However, the Ottomans were constantly harassed by the Zaydi tribes led by Imam Yahya, until a consensus was reached. Upon the Italian assault on Yemen from Eritrea, Imam Yahya recognised the political authority of the Ottomans in return for his recognition as the religious Imam of Yemen in 1911.[31] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Imam Yahya stayed loyal to the Ottomans during World War I and did not join the Arab revolt that started in 1916 through British instigation. As a result of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I and the signing of the Armistice of Mudros, the Ottomans surrendered their remaining garrisons and retreated from Yemen in November 1918. Imam Yahya entered Sana'a on 17 November 1918 and declared his independence. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

In 1918, the Ottoman Empire retreated and northern Yemen gained full independence under Imam Yahya. Between 1918 and 1962, Yemen was ruled by the Hamidaddin family. Imam Yahya was assassinated during the revolution of 1947–48. However, his son Imam Ahmad bin Yahya, beat off the opponents of feudal rule and succeeded his father.[32] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5361 laptop keyboard

Imam Ahmad died in 1962. He was succeeded by his son, but army officers attempted to seize power, sparking the North Yemen Civil War.[33] The Hamidaddin royalists were supported by Saudi Arabia, Britain, and Jordan, whilst the republicans were backed by Egypt. After six years of civil war, the republicans were victorious (February 1968) and formed the Yemen Arab Republic.[34]  HP G71t-400 CTO laptop keyboard

The revolution in the north coincided with the Aden Emergency, which hastened the end of British rule in the south. On 30 November 1967, the state of South Yemen was formed, comprising Aden and the former Protectorate of South Arabia. This socialist state was later officially known as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and a programme of nationalisation was begun.[35] SONY Vaio VGN-AW270Y laptop keyboard

Relations between the two Yemeni states remained relatively friendly, although sometimes strained. In 1972, a small border conflict was resolved with a ceasefire and negotiations brokered by the Arab League, where it was declared that unification would eventually occur. In 1978, Ali Abdallah Saleh was named as president of the Yemen Arab Republic. Fresh fighting between the two states resumed in 1979 and there were renewed efforts to bring about unification. Thousands were killed in the South Yemen Civil War of 1986. President Ali Nasser Muhammad fled to the north and a new government was formed. SONY VGN-FE11M laptop keyboard

In 1990, the two governments reached a full agreement on the joint governing of Yemen, and the countries were merged on 22 May 1990 with Saleh as President. The President of South Yemen, Ali Salim al-Beidh, became Vice-President. A unified parliament was formed and a unity constitution was agreed upon.[36] In the 1993 parliamentary election, the first held after unification, the General People's Congress won 122 of 301 seats.[37]:309FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 laptop keyboard

After the invasion of Kuwait crisis in 1990, Yemen's President opposed military intervention from non-Arab states.[38] As a member of the United Nations Security Council for 1990 and 1991, Yemen abstained on a number of UNSC resolutions concerning Iraq and Kuwait[39] and voted against the "use of force resolution". The vote outraged the US.[40] Saudi Arabia expelled 800,000 Yemenis in 1990 and 1991 to punish Yemen for its opposition to the war.[41] DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Following food riots in major towns in 1992, a new coalition government made up of the ruling parties from both the former Yemeni states was formed in 1993. However, Vice-President al-Beidh withdrew to Aden in August 1993 and said he would not return to the government until his grievances were addressed. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

These included northern violence against his Yemeni Socialist Party, as well as the economic marginalization of the south.[42] Negotiations to end the political deadlock dragged on into 1994. The government of Prime Minister Haydar Abu Bakr Al-Attas became ineffective due to political infighting.[36]  TOSHIBA Satellite M35X-SP349 laptop keyboard

An accord between northern and southern leaders was signed in Amman, Jordan on 20 February 1994, but this could not stop the civil war.[36] During these tensions, both the northern and southern armies (which had never integrated) gathered on their respective frontiers.[43] The May–July 1994 civil war in Yemenresulted in the defeat of the southern armed forces and the flight into exile of many Yemeni Socialist Party leaders and other southern secessionists.[36] Saudi Arabia actively aided the south during the 1994 civil war.[44] TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

Saleh became Yemen's first directly-elected president in the 1999 presidential election, winning 96.2% of the vote.[37]:310 The only other candidate, Najeeb Qahtan Al-Sha'abi, was the son of Qahtan Muhammad al-Shaabi, a former President of South Yemen. Though a member of Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) party, Najeeb ran as an independent.[45] TOSHIBA G83C0000E510 laptop keyboard

In October 2000, the US naval vessel USS Cole was damaged in a suicide attack in Aden which was subsequently blamed on al-Qaeda. Seventeen US personnel were killed. After the September 11 attacks on the United States, President Saleh assured U.S. President George W. Bush that Yemen was a partner in his War on Terror. In 2001, there was violence surrounding a referendum which apparently supported extending Saleh's rule and powers. HP 605344-001 laptop keyboard

HP Mini 110-3505tu laptop keyboard

The Houthi rebellion began in June 2004 when dissident cleric Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, head of the Shia Zaidiyyah sect, launched an uprising against the Yemeni government. The Yemeni government alleged that the Houthis were seeking to overthrow it and to implement Shī‘a religious law. The rebels counter that they are "defending their community against discrimination" and government aggression.[46] HP Pavilion dv3-2155ee laptop keyboard

In 2005, at least 36 people were killed in clashes across the country between police and protesters over rising fuel prices.

In the 2006 presidential election, held on 20 September Saleh won with 77.2% of the vote. His main rival, Faisal bin Shamlan, received 21.8%.[47][48] Saleh was sworn in for another term on 27 September.[49] HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

A suicide bomber killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in the province of Marib in July 2007. There was a series of bomb attacks on police, official, diplomatic, foreign business and tourism targets in 2008. Car bombings outside the US embassy in Sana'a killed 18 people, including six of the assailants in September 2008. In 2008, an opposition rally in Sana'a demanding electoral reform was met with police gunfire. HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

In January 2009, the Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaeda branches merged to form Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is based in Yemen, and many of its members were Saudi nationals who had been released from Guantanamo Bay.[50] Saleh released 176 al-Qaeda suspects on condition of good behaviour, but terrorist activities continued. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

The Yemeni army launched a fresh offensive against the Shia insurgents in 2009, assisted by Saudi forces. Tens of thousands of people were displaced by the fighting. A new ceasefire was agreed upon in February 2010. However, by the end of the year, Yemen claimed that 3,000 soldiers had been killed in renewed fighting. The Shiite rebels accused Saudi Arabia of providing support to salafi groups to suppress Zaydism in Yemen.[51] Saleh's government used Al-Qaeda in its wars against Hothis.[52]

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 [54] Officials in Yemen said that the attacks claimed the lives of more than 60 civilians, 28 of them children. Another airstrike was carried out on 24 December.[55]

The US launched a series of drone attacks in Yemen to curb a perceived growing terror threat due to political chaos in Yemen.[56] Since December 2009, U.S. strikes in Yemen have been carried out by the U.S. military with intelligence support from CIA.[57] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The drone strikes are protested by human-rights groups who say they kill innocent civilians and that the US military and CIA drone strikes lack sufficient congressional oversight, including the choice of human targets suspected of being threats to America.[58] Controversy over U.S. policy for drone attacks mushroomed after a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both U.S. citizens. COMPAQ Presario C710BR Laptop Keyboard

 [60] In 2010 the Obama administration policy allowed targeting of people whose names are not known. The US government increased military aid to $140 million in 2010.[61]

The 2011 Yemeni revolution followed other Arab Spring mass protests in early 2011. The uprising was initially against unemployment, economic conditions, and corruption, as well as against the government's proposals to modify the constitution of Yemen so that Saleh's son could inherit the presidency. HP AETT3U00010 Laptop Keyboard

In March 2011, police snipers opened fire on the pro-democracy camp in Sana'a, killing more than 50 people. In May, dozens were killed in clashes between troops and tribal fighters in Sana'a. By this point, Saleh began to lose international support. In October 2011, Yemeni human rights activist Tawakul Karman won the Nobel Peace Prize and the UN Security Councilcondemned the violence and called for a transfer of power. On 23 November 2011, Saleh flew to Riyadh, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, to sign the Gulf Co-operation Council plan for political transition, which he had previously spurned. Upon signing the document, he agreed to legally transfer the office and powers of the presidency to his deputy, Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Hadi took office for a two-year term upon winning the uncontested presidential elections in February 2012. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

A unity government – including a prime minister from the opposition – was formed. Al-Hadi will oversee the drafting of a new constitution, followed by parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014. Saleh returned in February 2012. In the face of objections from thousands of street protesters, parliament granted him full immunity from prosecution. Saleh's son, General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to exercise a strong hold on sections of the military and security forces. SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

 AQAP claimed responsibility for the February 2012 suicide attack on the presidential palace which killed 26 Republican Guards on the day that President Hadi was sworn in. AQAP was also behind the suicide boming which killed 96 soldiers in Sanaa three months later. In September 2012, a car bomb attack in Sanaa killed 11 people, a day after a local al-Qaeda leader Said al-Shihri was reported killed in the south. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

By 2012 there has been a "small contingent of U.S. special-operations troops" in addition to CIA and "unofficially acknowledged" U.S. military presence in response to increasing terror attacks by AQAP on Yemeni citizens.[62] Many analysts have pointed out the former Yemeni government role in cultivating terrorist activity in the country.[63] Following the election new president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, the Yemeni military was able push Ansar al-Sharia back and recapture the Shabwah Governorate. HP G61-410EL Laptop Keyboard

Yemen is located in Western Asia, in the southern half of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. It lies south of Saudi Arabia and west of Oman, between latitudes 12° and 19° N and longitudes 42° and 55° E. SONY VAIO VGN-FS840 Laptop Keyboard

A number of Red Sea islands, including the Hanish Islands, Kamaran, and Perim, as well as Socotra in the Arabian Sea, belong to Yemen. Many of the islands are volcanic; for example Jabal al-Tair had a volcanic eruption in 2007 and before that in 1883.

At 527,970 km2 (203,850 sq mi), Yemen is the world's 50th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Thailand and larger than the U.S. state of California. Yemen is situated at 15°N 48°E.

The country can be divided geographically into four main regions: the coastal plains in the west, the western highlands, the eastern highlands, and the Rub al Khali in the east. HP G61-304NR Laptop Keyboard

The Tihamah ("hot lands" or "hot earth") form a very arid and flat coastal plain along Yemen's entire Red Sea coastline. Despite the aridity, the presence of many lagoons makes this region very marshy and a suitable breeding ground for malaria mosquitoes. There are extensive crescent-shaped sand dunes. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

The evaporation in the Tihamah is so great that streams from the highlands never reach the sea, but they do contribute to extensive groundwater reserves. Today, these are heavily exploited for agricultural use. Near the village of Madar about 48 km (30 mi) north of Sana'a, dinosaur footprints were found, indicating that the area was once a muddy flat. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

The Tihamah ends abruptly at the escarpment of the western highlands. This area, now heavily terraced to meet the demand for food, receives the highest rainfall in Arabia, rapidly increasing from 100 mm (3.9 in) per year to about 760 mm (29.9 in) in Ta'izz and over 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in Ibb. SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

Temperatures are hot in the day but fall dramatically at night. There are perennial streams in the highlands but these never reach the sea because of high evaporation in the Tihamah.

The central highlands are an extensive high plateau over 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) in elevation. This area is drier than the western highlands because of rain-shadow influences but still receives sufficient rain in wet years for extensive cropping. Water storage allows for irrigation and the growing of wheat andbarley. Sana'a is located in this region. The highest point in Yemen is Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb, at 3,666 metres (12,028 ft). DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Yemen's portion of the Rub al Khali desert in the east is much lower, generally below 1,000 metres (3,281 ft), and receives almost no rain. It is populated only by Bedouin herders of camels. The growing scarcity of water is a source of increasing international concern. See Water supply and sanitation in Yemen. Packard Bell Easynote TM80 laptop keyboard

As a result of the Yemeni revolution, the constitution of Yemen is expected to be rewritten, and then new elections held in 2014. The national government administers the capital and largest cities, but some other regions are outside of its grasp, governed by armed militant groups which expanded their control during the chaos of the 2011–12 uprising. The two major groups are Ansar al-Sharia (a branch or affiliate of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), which has declared several "Islamic emirates" in the southern provinces of Abyan and Shabwah, and the Houthis, a Shiite rebel group centered in Sa'dah province. HP Pavilion dv6-2114sa laptop keyboard

Yemen is a republic with a bicameral legislature. Under the 1991 constitution, an elected President, an elected 301-seatAssembly of Representatives, and an appointed 111-member Shura Council share power. The President is the head of state, and the Prime Minister is the head of government. HP Pavilion zv5320us laptop keyboard

The 1991 constitution provides that the president be elected by popular vote from at least two candidates endorsed by at least fifteen members of the Parliament. The prime minister, in turn, is appointed by the president and must be approved by two thirds of the Parliament. The presidential term of office is seven years, SONY VAIO VGN-NW120J laptop keyboard

and the parliamentary term of elected office is six years. Suffrage is universal for people age 18 and older, but only Muslims may hold elected office.[64]

President Ali Abdullah Saleh became the first elected President in reunified Yemen in 1999 (though he had been President of unified Yemen since 1990 and President of North Yemen since 1978). He was re-elected to office in September 2006. Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

Saleh's victory was marked by an election that international observers judged to be "partly free", though the election was accompanied by violence, violations of press freedoms, and allegations of fraud.[65] Parliamentary elections were held in April 2003, and the General People's Congress (GPC) maintained an absolute majority. ACER Aspire One A110-1588 laptop keyboard

The constitution calls for an independent judiciary. The former northern and southern legal codes have been unified. The legal system includes separate commercial courts and a Supreme Court based in Sana'a. Sharia is the main source of laws, with many court cases being debated according to the religious basis of law and many judges being religious scholars as well as legal authorities. ACER Aspire One AO532 laptop keyboard

Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962.[66]

The geography and ruling Imams of North Yemen kept the country isolated from foreign influence before 1962. The country's relations with Saudi Arabia were defined by the Taif Agreement of 1934, which delineated the northernmost part of the border between the two kingdoms and set the framework for commercial and other intercourse. The Taif Agreement has been renewed periodically in 20-year increments, and its validity was reaffirmed in 1995. Relations with the British colonial authorities in Aden and the south were usually tense.  ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

The Soviet and Chinese Aid Missions established in 1958 and 1959 were the first important non-Muslim presence in North Yemen. Following the September 1962 revolution, the Yemen Arab Republic became closely allied with and heavily dependent upon Egypt. Saudi Arabia aided the royalists in their attempt to defeat the Republicans and did not recognize the Yemen Arab Republic until 1970. At the same time, SONY VAIO VGN-FS215E laptop keyboard

Saudi Arabia maintained direct contact with Yemeni tribes, which sometimes strained its official relations with the Yemeni Government. Saudi Arabia remained hostile to any form of political and social reform in Yemen[67] and continued to provide financial support for tribal elites.[68] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

In February 1989, North Yemen joined Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt in forming the Arab Cooperation Council (ACC), an organization created partly in response to the founding of the Gulf Cooperation Council and intended to foster closer economic cooperation and integration among its members. After unification, the Republic of Yemen was accepted as a member of the ACC in place of its YAR predecessor. In the wake of the Persian Gulf crisis, TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5804 laptop keyboard

the ACC has remained inactive. Yemen is not a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council mainly for its republican government.[69]

Yemen is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and also participates in the nonaligned movement. The Republic of Yemen accepted responsibility for all treaties and debts of its predecessors, the YAR and the PDRY. Yemen has acceded to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Since the end of the 1994 civil war, tangible progress has been made on the diplomatic front in restoring normal relations with Yemen's neighbors. In the summer of 2000, Yemen and Saudi Arabia signed an International Border Treaty settling a 50-year old dispute over the location of the border between the two countries. TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6114 laptop keyboard

Until the signing of the Yemen-Saudi Arabia peace treaty in July 2000,[70] Yemen's northern border was undefined; the Arabian Desert prevented any human habitation there. Yemen settled its dispute with Eritrea over the Hanish Islands in 1998.

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There are arbitrary arrests of citizens, especially in the south, as well as arbitrary searches of homes. Prolonged pretrial detention is a serious problem, and judicial corruption, inefficiency, and executive interference undermine due process. Freedom of speech, the press, and religion are all restricted.[71] Journalists who tend to be critical of the government are often harassed and threatened by the police.[39] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5359 laptop keyboard

Since the start of the Sa'dah insurgency many people accused of supporting Al-Houthi have been arrested and held without charge or trial. According to the U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report 2007, "Some Zaydis reported harassment and discrimination by the Government because they were suspected of sympathizing with the al-Houthis. However, it appears the Government's actions against the group were probably politically, not religiously, motivated".[72] DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants reported several violations of refugee and asylum seekers' rights in the organization's 2008 World Refugee Survey. Yemeni authorities reportedly deported numerous foreigners without giving them access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

despite the UN’s repeated requests. Refugees further reported violence directed against them by Yemeni authorities while living in refugee camps. Yemeni officials reportedly raped and beat camp-based refugees with impunity in 2007.[73] HP Pavilion dv6-2020sa Laptop Keyboard

Yemen is ranked last of 135 countries in the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report.[74] Human Rights Watch reported on discrimination and violence against women as well as on the abolition of the minimum marriage age of fifteen for women. The onset of puberty (interpreted by some to be as low as the age of nine) was set as a requirement for marriage instead.[75] Publicity about the case of ten-year old Yemeni divorcee Nujood Ali brought the child marriage issue to the fore not only in Yemen but worldwide.[76][77][78] SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

), Navy (includes Marines), Yemeni Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawwiya al Yamaniya; includes Air Defense Force). A major reorganization of the armed forces continues. The unified air forces and air defenses are now under one command. The navy has concentration in Aden. Total armed forces manning numbers about 401,000 active personnel, including moreover especially conscripts. HP Compaq G50-133US Laptop Keyboard

The Yemen Arab Republic and The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen joined to form the Republic of Yemen on 22 May 1990.[79] The supreme commander of the armed forces is Field Marshal, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Al-Hadi, the President of the Republic of Yemen. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

The number of military personnel in Yemen is relatively high; in sum, Yemen has the second largest military force on the Arabian Peninsula after Saudi Arabia. In 2012 total active troops were estimated as follows: army, 390,000; navy, 7,000; and air force, 5,000. In September 2007, the government announced the reinstatement of compulsory military service. Yemen’s defense budget,  HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

which in 2006 represented approximately 40 percent of the total government budget, is expected to remain high for the near term, as the military draft takes effect and internal security threats continue to escalate. By 2012 Yemen now has 401,000 active personnel. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

As of February 2004, Yemen is divided into twenty governorates (muhafazat) and one municipality called "Amanat Al-Asemah" (the latter containing the capital, Sana'a).[80][unreliable source?] The governorates are subdivided into 333 districts (muderiah), which are subdivided into 2,210 sub-districts, and then into 38,284 villages (as of 2001). DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

Yemen is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Arab World, with a formal 35% employment rate, dwindling natural resources, a young population and increasingpopulation growth. Yemen's economy is weak compared to most countries in the Middle-East, mainly because Yemen has very small oil reserves. Yemen's economy depends heavily on the oilit produces,[81] Compaq Presario CQ57-310 Laptop Keyboard

and its government receives the vast majority of its revenue from oil taxes. But Yemen's oil reserves are expected to be depleted by 2017, possibly bringing on economic collapse.[82] Yemen does have large proven reserves of natural gas.[83] Yemen's first liquified natural gas (LNG) plant began production in October 2009. DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

Rampant corruption is a prime obstacle to development in the country, limiting local reinvestments and driving away regional and international capital. Foreign investments remain largely concentrated around the nation's hydrocarbon industry.

Agriculture here is very diverse, with such crops as sorghum dominating. Cotton and many fruit trees are also grown, withmangoes being the most valuable. TOSHIBA Satellite l20-121 Laptop Keyboard

Beginning in the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union and China provided large-scale assistance. For example, China and the United States are involved with the expansion of the Sana'a International Airport. In the south, pre-independence economic activity was overwhelmingly concentrated in the port city of Aden. The seaborne transit trade, which the port relied upon, collapsed with the closure of the Suez Canal and Britain's withdrawal from Aden in 1967. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

Since unification in 1990,[39] the government has worked to integrate two relatively disparate economic systems. However, severe shocks, including the return in 1990 of approximately 850,000 Yemenis from the Persian Gulf states, a subsequent major reduction of aid flows, and internal political disputes culminating in the 1994 civil war hampered economic growth. HP G62-b10EV laptop keyboard

Since the conclusion of the war, the government made an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to implement a structural adjustment program. Phase one of the program included major financial and monetary reforms, including floating the currency, reducing the budget deficit, and cutting subsidies. Phase two will address structural issues such as civil service reform. LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

In early 1995, the government of Yemen launched an economic, financial, and administrative reform program (EFARP) with the support of the World Bank and the IMF, as well as international donors. These programs had a positive impact on Yemen’s economy and led to the reduction of the budget deficit to less than 3% ofgross domestic product (GDP) during the period 1995–1999 and the correction of macro-financial imbalances.[84] The real growth rate in the non-oil sector rose by 5.6% from 1995 to 1997.[85] IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

The population of Yemen was about 24 million according to June 2011 estimates, with 46% of the population being under 15 years old and 2.7% above 65 years. In 1950, it was 4.3 million.[86][87] By 2050, the population is estimated to increase to about 60 million.[88]

Yemen has a high total fertility rate, at 4.45 children per woman, it is the 30th highest in the world.[89] TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard

In the late 20th century Sana'a’s population grew rapidly, from roughly 55,000 in 1978 to more than 1 million in the early 21st century.[90]

Yemenis are mainly of Arab origin.[91] When the former states of north and south Yemen were established, most resident minority groups departed.[92] Yemen is still a largely tribal society.[93] In the northern mountainous parts of the country live some 400 Zaydi tribes.[94] There are also hereditary caste groups in urban areas such as Al-Akhdam[9] Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

Yemen officially abolished slavery in 1962.[66] Turks arrived in the region during theOttoman colonization process; today, there is between 10,000–30,000 people of Turkishorigin still living in the country.[95][96] In addition, Yemenite Jews once formed a sizable Jewish minority in Yemen with a distinct culture from other Jewish communities in the world[97] Most emigrated to Israel in the mid-20th century, following the Jewish exodus from Arab lands and Operation Magic Carpet.[98] SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

Most of the prominent Indonesians, Malaysians, and Singaporeans of Arab descent are Hadhrami people with origins in southern Yemen in the Hadramawt coastal region.[99] Today there are almost 10,000 Hadramis in Singapore.[100] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The Hadramis emigrated not only to Southeast Asia but also to East Africa and the Indian subcontinent.[101][dead link] Maqil were a collection of ArabBedouin tribes of Yemeni origin who migrated westwards via Egypt. Several groups of Yemeni Arabs turned south to Mauritania, and by the end of the 17th century, they dominated the entire country. They can also be found throughout Morocco HP Pavilion dv6-2105et laptop keyboard

According to the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Yemen hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 124,600 in 2007. Refugees and asylum seekers living in Yemen were predominantly from Somalia (110,600), Iraq(11,000), and Ethiopia (2,000).[73] There are also about 70,000 Iraqis presently living in Yemen.[103] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in 2008 more than 50,000 Somalis reached Yemen.[104] Yemen's civil war has forced at least 175,000 Yemenis to flee their homes.[105] SONY VAIO VGN-N11M laptop keyboard

The Yemeni diaspora is largely concentrated in the United Kingdom, where between 70,000 and 80,000 Yemenis reside; just over15,000 to 20,000 Yemenis reside in the United States, and 2,000 live in France.[106] Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

Religion in Yemen consists primarily of two principal Islamic religious groups; 55% of the Muslim population is Sunni[107]and 45% is Shiite according to the UNHCR.[107][108] Sunnis are primarily Shafi'i but also include significant groups ofMalikis and Hanbalis. Shi'is are primarily Zaydi and also have significant minorities of Twelver Shias[109] and Musta'ali Western Isma'ili Shias. HP 431416-001 laptop keyboard

The Sunnis are predominantly in the south and southeast. The Zaydis are predominantly in the north and northwest whilst the Ismailis are in the main centers such as Sana'a and Ma'rib. There are mixed communities in the larger cities. About 1 percent of Yemenis are non-Muslim, adhering to Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or atheism.[110]

An estimated 100,000 people of Indian origin are concentrated in the southern part of the country, around Aden, Mukalla, Shihr, Lahaj, Mokha and Hodeidah.[111] HP Compaq G50-133US laptop keyboard

Arabic is the official language, although English is increasingly understood by citizens in major cities. In the Mahra area (the extreme east) and the islandSoqotra, several ancient south-Arabic Semitic languages are spoken.[112][113]

The official language is Modern Standard Arabic. Yemeni Arabic is spoken in several regional dialects. TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

Yemen is one of the main homelands of the South Semitic family of languages. Mehri is the largest South Semitic language in Yemen with more than 70,000 speakers. The ethnic group itself is called Mahra. Soqotri is another South Semitic language, with speakers on the island of Socotra isolated from the pressures of Arabic on the Yemeni mainland. According to the 1990 census in Yemen, the number of speakers there was 57,000 . Lenovo 3000 Y500 7761 laptop keyboard

Ancient Hemiari, which today is extinct, is another South Semitic language that once was spoken in Yemen.

Foreign language in public schools is taught from grade seven onwards, though the quality of public school instruction is low. Private schools using a British or American system teach English and produce proficient speakers, but Arabic is the dominant language of communication. The number of English speakers in Yemen is small compared to other Arab countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia.  HP Pavilion dv6-2125el laptop keyboard

There is a significant number of Russian speakers, originating from Yemeni-Russian cross-marriages occurring mainly in the 1970s and 1980s. A small Vietnamese-speaking community is found in the capital city of Sana'a, originating from Yemeni immigrants expatriated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

A small yet rising number of ethnic Chinese in Sana'a brought the Chinese language to the country, a byproduct of historic Chinese immigration. Also there areSouth Asian languages spoken by the small but present South Asian community, most notably Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam and Marathi languages. SONY KFRMBA152A laptop keyboard

Radio broadcasting in Yemen began in the 1940s when it was still divided into South by the British and North by Imami ruling system.[114] After the unity of Yemen in 1990, Yemeni government reformed its corporations and founded some additional radio channels which can broadcast locally. However it drew back after 1994 due to destroyed infrastructures by the civil war. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

Television is the most significant media platform in Yemen. Given the low literacy rate in the country, television is the main source of news for Yemenis. There are six free-to-air channels currently headquartered in Yemen, of which four are state-owned.[115]

The Yemeni film industry is in its early stages; only two Yemeni films have been released as of 2008. HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

Football is the most popular sport in Yemen. The Yemen national football team competes in the FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation leagues. The country also hosts many football clubs that compete in the national or international leagues. ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard

Yemen's mountains provide many opportunities for outdoor sports, such as biking, rock climbing, hill climbing, skiing,hiking, mountain jumping, and more challenging mountain climbing. Mountain climbing and hiking tours to the Sarawat Mountainsand the Jabal an Nabi Shu'ayb, including the 5,000 m peaks in the region, are seasonally organized by local and international alpine agencies. HP AEUT3U00020 Laptop Keyboard

The coast of Yemen and Socotra island also provide many opportunities for water sports, such as surfing, bodyboarding,sailing, swimming, and scuba diving. Socotra island is home to one of the best surfing destinations in the world.  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Camel jumping is popular among the Zaraniq tribe on the west coast of Yemen on the desert plain by the Red Sea. Camels are rounded up and placed side to side. Athletes jump from a running start to achieve height and length in the air. The jumpers train year round for competitions. Tribesmen tuck their robes around their waists to reduce impediment while running and leaping.[116] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Yemen's biggest sports event was hosting the 2010 Gulf Cup of Nations in Aden and Abyan in the southern part of the country on 22 November 2010. Yemen was thought to be the strongest competitor, but was defeated in the first three matches of the tournament.[117]

The Yemeni national team has never won a championship, though it includes many renowned Arab players. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Among Yemen’s natural and cultural attractions are four World Heritage sites.

The Old Walled City of Shibam in Wadi Hadhramaut, inscribed by UNESCO in 1982, two years after Yemen joined the World Heritage Committee, is nicknamed "Manhattan of the Desert" because of its "skyscrapers." Surrounded by a fortified wall made of mud and straw, the 16th-century city is one of the oldest examples of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

The ancient Old City of Sana’a, at an altitude of more than 7,000 feet (2,100 m), has been inhabited for over two and a half millennia and was inscribed in 1986. Sana’a became a major Islamic centre in the 7th century, and the 103 mosques, 14 hammams (traditional bath houses), and more than 6,000 houses that survive all date from before the 11th century. DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

Close to the Red Sea Coast, the Historic Town of Zabid, inscribed in 1993, was Yemen’s capital from the 13th to the 15th century, and is an archaeological and historical site. It played an important role for many centuries because of its university, which was a center of learning for the whole Arab and Islamic world. Algebra is said to have been invented there in the early 9th century by the little-known scholar Al-Jazari. HP Pavilion ze4130 Laptop Keyboard

The latest addition to Yemen’s list of World Heritage Sites is the Socotra Archipelago. Mentioned by Marco Polo in the 13th century, this remote and isolated archipelago consists of four islands and two rocky islets delineating the southern limit of the Gulf of Aden. The site has a rich biodiversity. Nowhere else in the world do 37% of Socotra’s 825 plants, 90% of its reptiles and 95% of its snails occur. It is home to 192 bird species, 253 species of coral, 730 species of coastal fish, and 300 species of crab and lobster, as well as a range of Aloes and the Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari). The cultural heritage of Socotra includes the unique Soqotri language. HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

The adult literacy rate in 2010 was 63.9%.[118] The government has committed to reduce illiteracy to less than 10% by 2025.[119] Although Yemen’s government provides for universal, compulsory, free education for children ages six through 15, the U.S. Department of State reports that compulsory attendance is not enforced. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5150 Laptop Keyboard

The government developed the National Basic Education Development Strategy in 2003 that aimed at providing education to 95% of Yemeni children between the ages of six and 14 years and also at decreasing the gap between males and females in urban and rural areas.[120] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

A seven-year project to improve gender equity and the quality and efficiency of secondary education, focusing on girls in rural areas, was approved by the World Bank in March 2008. Following this, Yemen has increased its education spending from 4.5% of GDP in 1995 to 9.6% in 2005.[39]

SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

According to 2009 estimates, life expectancy in Yemen is 63.27 years.[91] Despite the significant progress Yemen has made to expand and improve its health care system over the past decade, the system remains severely underdeveloped. Total expenditures on health care in 2004 constituted 5% of gross domestic product. In that same year, the per capita expenditure for health care was very low compared with other Middle Eastern countries—US$34 per capita according to the World Health Organization.  ASUS F3H Laptop Keyboard

According to the World Bank, the number of doctors in Yemen rose by an average of more than 7% between 1995 and 2000, but as of 2004 there were still only three doctors per 10,000 people. In 2005 Yemen had only 6.1 hospital beds available per 10,000 persons. Health care services are particularly scarce in rural areas; only 25% of rural areas are covered by health services, compared with 80% of urban areas. Most childhood deaths are caused by illnesses for which vaccines exist or that are otherwise preventable.[122] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

left almost no trace of their existence.[citation needed] Their capital at Unguja Kuu probably was an extensive native town of African construction and composed mainly of perishable materials.[8]:page: 89ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

 Although there were Arabs in Zanzibar and the remainder of coastal East Africa both before and after the Portuguese, the political situation was far different. HP Pavilion dv6-2160es laptop keyboard

The older settlements prior to the arrival of the Portuguese are quite distinct from the later lordship of Oman and Maskat.... When the Portuguese arrived in 1498 they found on the coast a series of independent towns, peopled by Arabs, but not united to Arabia by any political tie. Their relations with these Arabs were mostly hostile, HP Pavilion dv2-1044ca laptop keyboard

but during the sixteenth century they firmly established their power, and ruled with the aid of tributary Arab sultans. This system lasted till 1631, when the Sultan of Mombasa massacred the European inhabitants. In the remainder of their rule[,] the Portuguese appointed European governors, who were apparently most distasteful to the natives, for they invited the Arabs of Oman, who now appear on the scene for the first time, to assist them in driving the foreigners out.[12]:page: 9TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

In 1698, Zanzibar fell under the control of the Sultanate of Oman.[13]

In 1832,[11]:page: 162 or 1840[14]:page: 2,045 (the date varies among sources), Said bin Sultan moved his capital from Muscat, Oman to Stone Town in Zanzibar City. After Said's death in June 1856, two of his sons, Thuwaini bin Said and Majid bin Said, struggled over the succession. Said's will divided his dominions into two separate principalities, TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

with Thuwaini to become the Sultan of Oman and Majid to become the first Sultan of Zanzibar. The brothers quarrelled about the will, which was eventually upheld by Lord Charles Canning, Great Britain's Viceroy and Governor-General of India.[11]:pages: 163-4[12]:pages: 22-3

HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

Beginning in 1886, Great Britain and Germany plotted to obtain parts of the Zanzibar sultanate for their own empires.[14]:page: 188 In October 1886, a British-German border commission established the Zanj as a 10 nautical mile (19 km) wide strip along most of the coast of East Africa, stretching from Cape Delgado (now in Mozambique) to Kipini (now in Kenya), includingMombasa and Dar es Salaam. Over the next few years, however, almost all of these mainland possessions were lost to European imperial powers. SONY VAIO VGN-SZ770N laptop keyboard

The sultans developed an economy of trade and cash crops in the Zanzibar Archipelago with a ruling Arab elite. Ivory was a major trade good. The archipelago, also known as the Spice Islands, was famous worldwide for its cloves and other spices, and plantations were developed to grow them. The archipelago's commerce gradually fell into the hands of traders from the Indian subcontinent, whom Said bin Sultan encouraged to settle on the islands. DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

During his 14-year reign as sultan, Majid bin Said consolidated his power around the East African slave trade. Malindi in Zanzibar City was East Africa's main port for the slave market between Africa and Asia (including the Middle East), and in the mid-19th century as many as 50,000 slaves passed annually through the port. ACER Aspire One A110-1626 laptop keyboard

Many were captives of Tippu Tib, a notorious Arab slave trader and ivory merchant. Tib led huge expeditions, some 4,000 strong, into the African interior, where chiefs sold him their villagers for next to nothing. These Tib used to caravan ivory back to Zanzibar, then sold them in the slave market for large profits. In time Tib became one of the wealthiest men in Zanzibar, the owner of multiple plantations and 10,000 slaves.[15] COMPAQ Presario V6103EA laptop keyboard

One of Majid's brothers, Barghash bin Said, succeeded him and helped abolish the slave trade in the Zanzibar Archipelago and largely developed Unguja's infrastructure.[16] Another brother of Majid, Khalifa bin Said, was the third sultan of Zanzibar and furthered the archipelago's progress toward abolishing slavery.[11]:page: 172Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The House of Representatives has a similar composition to the National Assembly of Tanzania. 50 members are elected directly from electoral constituencies to serve five-year terms; 10 members are appointed by the President of Zanzibar; 15 special seats are for women members of political parties that have representation in the House of Representatives; 6 members serve ex officio, including all regional commissioners and the attorney general.[21] Five of these 81 members are then elected to represent Zanzibar in the National Assembly.[22] TOSHIBA Satellite 1410-S173 laptop keyboard

Unguja has three administrative regions: Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North and Zanzibar Urban/West. Pemba has two: Pemba North and Pemba South.[23]

Concerning the independence and sovereignty of Zanzibar, Tanzania Prime Minister Mizengo Pindasaid on 3 July 2008 that there was "nothing like the sovereignty of Zanzibar in the Union Government unless the Constitution is changed in [the] future". Zanzibar House of Representatives members from both the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, and the opposition party, Civic United Front, disagreed and stood firmly in recognizing Zanzibar as a fully autonomous state.[24] DELL Inspiron 1564 laptop keyboard

Zanzibar has a government of national unity, with the current president of Zanzibar being Ali Mohamed Shein, since 1 November 2010.

There are many political parties in Zanzibar, but the most popular parties are the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Civic United Front (CUF). Since the early 1990s, the politics of the archipelago have been marked by repeated clashes between these two parties. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Contested elections in October 2000 led to a massacre on 27 January 2001 when, according to Human Rights Watch, the army and police shot into crowds of protestors, killing at least 35 and wounding more than 600. Those forces, accompanied by ruling party officials and militias, also went on a house-to-house rampage, indiscriminately arresting, beating, and sexually abusing residents. Approximately 2,000 temporarily fled to Kenya.[25] TOSHIBA Satellite P10 Series laptop keyboard

Violence erupted again after another contested election on 31 October 2005, with the CUF claiming that its rightful victory had been stolen from it. Nine people were killed.[26][27]

Following 2005, negotiations between the two parties aiming at the long-term resolution of the tensions and a power-sharing accord took place, but they suffered repeated setbacks. The most notable of these took place in April 2008, when the CUF walked away from the negotiating table following a CCM call for a referendum to approve of what had been presented as a done deal on the power-sharing agreement.[28]  HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

In November 2009, the then-president of Zanzibar, Amani Abeid Karume, met with CUF secretary-general Seif Sharif Hamad at the State House to discuss how to save Zanzibar from future political turmoil and to end the animosity between them.[29] This move was welcomed by many, including the United States.[30] It was the first time since the multi-party system was introduced in Zanzibar that the CUF agreed to recognize Karume as the legitimate president of Zanzibar.[29] SONY Vaio VGN-AW290J laptop keyboard

A proposal to amend Zanzibar's constitution to allow rival parties to form governments of national unity was adopted by 66.2 percent of voters on 31 July 2010.[31]

Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean. It is in the East Africa Time zone (UTC +3) and does not use daylight saving time. SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

The northern tip of Unguja island is located at 5.72 degrees south, 39.30 degrees east, with the southernmost point at 6.48 degrees south, 39.51 degrees east.[32] The island is separated from the Tanzanian mainland by a channel, which at its narrowest point is 36.5 kilometres (22.7 mi) across.[33] The island is about 85 kilometres (53 mi) long and 39 kilometres (24 mi) wide,[33] with an area of 1,464 km2 (565 sq mi).[34] Unguja is mainly low lying, with its highest point being 120 metres (390 ft).[34] Unguja is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs.[34] The reefs are rich in marine biodiversity.[35] DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

The northern tip of Pemba island is located at 4.87 degrees south, 39.68 degrees east, and the southernmost point is located at 5.47 degrees south, 39.72 degrees east.[32] The island is separated from the Tanzanian mainland by a channel some 56 kilometres (35 mi) wide.[33] The island is about 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 23 kilometres (14 mi) wide, with an area of 985 km2 (380 sq mi).[33] Pemba is also mainly low lying, with its highest point being 95 metres (312 ft).[36] SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

Endemic mammals with continental relatives include the Zanzibar red colobus, one of Africa's rarest primates, with perhaps only 1,500 existing. Isolated on this island for at least 1,000 years, the Zanzibar red colobus (Procolobus kirkii) is recognized as a distinct species, with different coat patterns, calls, and food habits than related colobus species on the mainland.[41] The Zanzibar red colobus live in a wide variety of drier areas of coastal thickets and coral rag scrub, as well as mangrove swamps and agricultural areas. ADELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

bout one third of them live in and around Jozani Forest. The easiest place to see the colubus are on farm land adjacent to the reserve. They are accustomed to people and the low vegetation means they come close to the ground. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Rare native animals include the Zanzibar leopard, which is critically endangered and possibly extinct, and the recently described Zanzibar servaline genet. There are no large wild animals in Unguja, and forest areas such as Jozani are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs, small antelopes, civets, and, rumor has it, the elusive leopard. Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife and a large number of butterflies in rural areas. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The people of Zanzibar are of diverse ethnic origins.[46] The first permanent residents of Zanzibar seem to have been the ancestors of the Hadimu and Tumbatu, who began arriving from the East African mainland around AD 1,000. HP Pavilion G7-1073NR Laptop Keyboard

HP Pavilion dv6-3141se Laptop Keyboard

Because they lacked central organization, they were easily subjugated by outsiders.[citation needed] Zanzibar today is mostly populated by African people of Swahili origin,[43] but there is also a minority population of Asians, originally from India and Arab countries.

Considerable disparities exist in the standard of living for inhabitants of Pemba and Unguja, as well as the disparity between urban and rural populations. The average annual income is US$250. About half the population lives below the poverty line. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Despite a relatively high standard of primary health care and education, infant mortality in Zanzibar is 54 out of 1,000 live births, which is 10.0 percent lower than the rate in mainland Tanzania. The child mortality rate in Zanzibar is 73 out of 1,000 live births, which is 21.5 percent lower than the rate in mainland Tanzania.[48] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Malnutrition affects an estimated one in three of Zanzibar's people.[citation needed]

Life expectancy at birth is 57 years,[49] which is significantly lower than the 2010 world average of 67.2. ACER Aspire 2920Z Laptop Keyboard

The general prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the sexually active population of Zanzibar is 0.6 percent, with the rate slightly higher in females (0.7 percent) than males (0.5 percent). The rate for divorced women, however, is 10 percent and is even higher for injecting drug users (16 percent), men who have sex with men (MSM) (12.3 percent), and female sex workers (10.8 percent). Among MSM, 13.9 percent reported injecting drugs within the previous three months, 77.5 percent reported being paid for sex within the previous year, and 71.2 percent reported having female sex partners within the previous year.[50] Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

Ancient pottery implies trade routes with Zanzibar as far back as the time of the ancient Assyrians. Traders from Arabia, thePersian Gulf region of modern-day Iran (especially Shiraz), and west India probably visited Zanzibar as early as the 1st century. They used the monsoon winds to sail across the Indian Ocean to land at the sheltered harbor located on the site of present-day Zanzibar City.[citation needed] HP Mini 110-3120la Laptop Keyboard

The clove, originating from the Moluccan Islands (today in Indonesia), was introduced in Zanzibar by the Omani sultans in the first half of the 19th century.[52] Zanzibar, mainly Pemba Island, was once the world's leading clove producer,[53] but annual clove sales have plummeted by 80 percent since the 1970s. Zanzibar's clove industry has been crippled by a fast-moving global market, international competition, Lenovo ThinkPad T410-2516 Laptop Keyboard

and a hangover from Tanzania's failed experiment with socialism in the 1960s and 1970s, when the government controlled clove prices and exports. Zanzibar now ranks a distant third with Indonesia supplying 75 percent of the world's cloves compared to Zanzibar's 7 percent.[53]

Zanzibar exports spices, seaweed, and fine raffia. It also has a large fishing and dugout canoe production. Tourism is a major foreign currency earner. Lenovo Thinkpad T410I Laptop Keyboard

The Government of Zanzibar legalized foreign exchange bureaux on the islands before mainland Tanzania moved to do so. The effect was to increase the availability of consumer commodities. The government has also established a free port area, which provides the following benefits: contribution to economic diversification by providing a window for free trade as well as stimulating the establishment of support services; ASUS A6700L Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

administration of a regime that imports, exports, and warehouses general merchandise; adequate storage facilities and other infrastructure to cater for effective operation of trade; and creation of an efficient management system for effective re-exportation of goods.[54] Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5055 Laptop

The island's manufacturing sector is limited mainly to import substitution industries, such as cigarettes, shoes, and processed agricultural products. In 1992, the government designated two export-producing zones and encouraged the development of offshore financial services. Zanzibar still imports much of its staple requirements, TOSHIBA Satellite L655D-S5067 laptop keyboard

petroleum products, and manufactured articles.

There is also a possibility of oil availability in Zanzibar on the island of Pemba, and efforts have been made by the Tanzanian Government and Zanzibar revolutionary Government to exploit what could be one of the most significant discoveries in recent memory. Oil would help boost the economy of Zanzibar, but there have been disagreements about dividends between the Tanzanian mainland and Zanzibar, the latter claiming the oil should be excluded in Union matters.[citation needed] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

In 2007, a Norwegian consultancy firm went to Zanzibar to determine how the region could develop its oil potential.[55] The firm recommended that Zanzibar followneo-liberal economist Hernando de Soto Polar's ideas about the formalization of property rights for persons living on ancestral land for which they probably do not have a legal deed.[56]

In 2000 there were 207 government schools and 118 privately owned schools in Zanzibar.[2] There are also two universities and one college: Zanzibar University, the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) and the Chukwani College of Education.[57]  HP G71-449WM laptop keyboard

SUZA was established in 1999, and is located in Stone Town, in the buildings of the former Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Language (TAKILUKI).[58] It is the only public institution for higher learning in Zanzibar, the other two institutions being private. In 2004, the three institutions had a total enrollment of 948 students, of whom 207 were female.[59] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The primary and secondary education system in Zanzibar is slightly different than that of the Tanzanian mainland. On the mainland, education is only compulsory for the seven years of primary education, while in Zanzibar an additional three years of secondary education are compulsory and free.[2] Students in Zanzibar score significantly less on standardized tests for reading and mathematics than students on the mainland.[2][60] TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2804 laptop keyboard

In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, national service after secondary education was necessary, but it is now voluntary and few students volunteer. Most choose to seek employment or attend teacher's colleges.

There are five ports in the islands of Unguja and Pemba, all operated and developed by the Zanzibar Ports Corporation. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6007L laptop keyboard

The main port at Malindi, which handles 90 percent of Zanzibar's trade, was built in 1925. The port was rehabilitated between 1989 and 1992 with financial assistance from the European Union. The Italian contractor, Cogefar-Impressit, was supposed to build wharves that lasted 60 years; however, the wharves lasted only 11 years before crumbling and degenerating because the company deviated from the specifications. HP Pavilion dv6-3034nr laptop keyboard

 [62] The port was again rehabilitated between 2004 and 2009 with a 31 million euro grant from the European Union. The contract was awarded to M/S E Phil and Sons of Denmark. SONY VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q laptop keyboard

But the port is again facing problems, including sinking.[61]

The energy sector in Zanzibar consists of unreliable electric power, petroleum and petroleum products; it is also supplemented by firewood and its related products. Coal and gas are rarely used for either domestic and industrial purposes. HP Pavilion dv6-3141se laptop keyboard

Unguja (Zanzibar Island) gets most of its electric power from mainland Tanzania through a 39 kilometer, 100 megawatt submarine cable from Ras Kiromoni (near Dar es Salaam) to Ras Fumba on Unguja. The laying of the cable was begun on 10 October 2012 by the Viscas Corporation of Japan and was funded by a US$28.1 million grant from the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.[68][69] The cable became operational on 13 April 2013.[70] HP Pavilion dv6-2154ca laptop keyboard

The previous 45 megawatt cable, which was seldom-maintained, was completed by Norway in 1980.[71]

Since May 2010, Pemba Island has had a 75 kilometer, 25 megawatt, subsea electrical link directly to mainland Tanzania. The cable project was financed through a 45 million euro grant from Norway and contributions of 8 million euros from the Zanzibar government and 4 million euros from the Tanzanian national government. TOSHIBA Tecra M6 laptop keyboard

The project ended years of dependence on unreliable and erratic diesel generation subject to frequent power cuts. Only about 20 percent of the cable's capacity was being used in January 2011, so it is anticipated that the cable will meet the island's needs for 20 to 25 years.[72][73] SONY VAIO VGN-NW240F laptop keyboard

Between 70 and 75 percent of the electricity generated is used domestically while less than 20 percent is used industrially. Fuel wood, charcoal and kerosene are widely used as sources of energy for cooking and lighting for most rural and urban areas. The consumption capacity of petroleum, gas, oil, kerosene and IDO is increasing annually, going from a total of 5,650 tons consumed in 1997 to more than 7,500 tons in 1999.[citation needed] DELL Inspiron 510m Laptop Keyboard

 From 21 May to 19 June 2008, Unguja suffered a major failure of its electricity system, which left the island without electrical service and mostly dependent on diesel generators. The failure originated in mainland Tanzania.[74] Another blackout happened from 10 December 2009 to 23 March 2010, caused by a problem with the submarine cable that formerly supplied electricity from mainland Tanzania.[75] This led to a serious shock to Unguja's fragile economy, which is heavily dependent on foreign tourism. SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar's most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. Every July, this event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar's favorite music, Taarab.[76] SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

Important architectural features in Stone Town are the Livingstone house, The Old dispensary of Zanzibar, the Guliani Bridge, Ngome kongwe (The Old fort of Zanzibar) and the House of Wonders.[77] The town of Kidichi features the Hamamni Persian Baths, built by immigrants from Shiraz, Iran during the reign of Barghash bin Said. SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar also is the only place in Eastern African countries to have the longest settlement houses formally known asMichenzani flats which were built by the aid from East Germany during 1970's to solve housing problems in Zanzibar.[citation needed]

Football is the most popular Sport in Zanzibar, overseen by the Zanzibar Football Association.[82] Zanzibar is an associate member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

This means that the Zanzibar national football team is not eligible to enter national CAF competitions, such as the African Nations Cup, but Zanzibar's Football Clubs get representation at the CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Champions League.

The national team participates in non-FIFA Football tournaments such as the FIFI Wild Cup, and the ELF Cup. Because Zanzibar is not a member of FIFA, their team is not eligible for the FIFA World Cup. SONY VAIO VGN-FW180FU Laptop Keyboard

The Zanzibar Football Association also has a Premier League for the top clubs, which was created in 1981.

Since 1992, there has also been Judo in Zanzibar. The founder, Mr. Tsuyoshi Shimaoka established a strong team which participates in national and international competitions. In 1999, Zanzibar Judo Association (Z.J.A.) was registered and became an active member of Tanzania Olympic Committee.[citation needed] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

In 1974, Zanzibar became the first area in Africa to introduce colour television. Because of longstanding opposition to television by President Julius Nyerere, the first television service on mainland Tanzania was not introduced until 1994.[78] The broadcaster in Zanzibar is called Television Zanzibar (TVZ).[79] Among the famous reporters of TVZ during the 1980s and 1990s were the late Alwiya Alawi 1961–1996 (the elder sister of Inat Alawi, famous Taarab singer during the 1980s), Neema Mussa, Sharifa Maulid, Fatma Mzee, Zaynab Ali, Ramadhan Ali, and Khamis[citation needed] DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar has one AM radio station[80] and twenty-one FM radio stations.[81]

In terms of landline communications, Zanzibar is served by the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited and Zantel Tanzania.

Almost all mobile and Internet companies serving mainland Tanzania are also available in Zanzibar. TOSHIBA NB200-10J Laptop Keyboard

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HP 6730S laptop keyboard


Muscat (Arabic: مسقط, Masqaṭ) is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in theGovernorate of Muscat. As of 2010 census, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 734,697.[1] The metropolitan area spans approximately 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) and includes six provinces called wilayats. ACER Aspire 7738G laptop keyboard

Known since the early 1st century CE as an important trading port between the west and the east, Muscat was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians and the Portuguese Empire at various points in its history. A regional military power in the 18th century, Muscat's influence extended as far as East Africa andZanzibar. As an important port-town in the Gulf of Oman, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Muscat attracted foreign tradesmen and settlers such as the Persians, the Balochs and Gujaratis. Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society. COMPAQ Presario C710BR Laptop Keyboard

The rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape of Muscat. The city lies on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman and is in the proximity of the strategic Straits of Hormuz. Low-lying white buildings typify most of Muscat's urban landscape, while the port-district of Muttrah, with its corniche and harbour, form the north-eastern periphery of the city. Muscat's economy is dominated by trade, petroleum and porting. HP AETT3U00010 Laptop Keyboard

Ptolemy's Map of Arabia identifies the territories of Cryptus Portus[2] and Moscha Portus.[3] Scholars are divided in opinion on which of the two related to the city of Muscat. Similarly, Arrianus references Omana and Moscha in Voyage of Nearchus. Interpretations of Arrianus' work by William Vincent and Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville conclude that Omana was a reference to Oman, while Moscha referred to Muscat.[4] Similarly, other scholars identify Pliny the Elder's reference to Amithoscuta to be Muscat.[2] ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The origin of the word Muscat is disputed. Some authors claim that the word has Arabic origins – from moscha, meaning an inflated hide or skin.[5] Other authors claim that the name Muscat means anchorage or the place of "letting fall the anchor".[6] Other derivations include muscat from Old Persian, meaning strong-scented,[7] or Arabic meaningfalling-place,[8] or meaning hidden.[9] Cryptus Portus is synonymous with Oman ("hidden land"). But "Ov-man" (Omman) and the old sumerian name Magan (Maa-kan) means sea-people in Arabic. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Evidence of communal activity in the area around Muscat dates back to the 6th millennium BCE in Ras al-Hamra, where burial sites of fishermen have been found. The graves appear to be well formed and indicate the existence of burial rituals. South of Muscat, remnants of Harappan pottery indicate some level of contact with the Indus Valley Civilisation.[10] Muscat's notability as a port was acknowledged as early as the 1st century CE by Greek geographersPtolemy, who referred to it as Cryptus Portus (the Hidden Port), and by Pliny the Elder, who called itAmithoscuta.[11] SONY VAIO VGN-AW15G Laptop Keyboard

The port fell to a Sassanid invasion in the 3rd century CE, under the rule of Shapur I.,[12] while conversion to Islam occurred during the 7th century. Muscat's importance as a trading port continued to grow in the centuries that followed, under the influence of the Azd dynasty, a local tribe. ACER K032130A1 Laptop Keyboard

The establishment of the First Imamate in the 9th century CE was the first step in consolidating disparate Omani tribal factions under the banner of an Ibadi state. However, tribal skirmishes continued, allowing the Abbasids of Baghdad to conquer Oman. The Abbasids occupied the region until the 11th century, when they were driven out by the local Yahmad tribe. Power over Oman shifted from the Yahmad tribe to the Azdi Nabahinah clan, during whose rule, HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

the people of coastal ports such as Muscat prospered from maritime trade and close alliances with the Indian subcontinent, at the cost of the alienation of the people of the interior of Oman.

The Portuguese maintained a hold on Muscat for over a century, despite challenges fromPersia and a bombardment of the town by the Turks in 1546.[14] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

The Turks twice captured Muscat from the Portuguese, in the Capture of Muscat (1552) and 1581-88. The election of Nasir bin Murshid al-Yaribi as Imam of Oman in 1624 changed the balance of power again in the region, from the Persians and the Portuguese to local Omanis. On August 16, 1648 the Imam dispatched an army to Muscat, which captured and demolished the high towers of the Portuguese, DELL UW739 Laptop Keyboard

weakening their grip over the town. Decisively, in 1650, a small but determined body of the Imam's troops attacked the port at night, forcing an eventual Portuguese surrender on January 23, 1650.[15] A civil war and repeated incursions by the Persian king Nadir Shah in the 18th century destabilised the region, and further strained relations between the interior and Muscat. This power vacuum in Oman led to the emergence of the Al Bu Sa‘id dynasty, which has ruled Oman ever since.[16] HP Pavilion G6-1B59WM Laptop Keyboard

1833.[17] Having gained control over Zanzibar, in 1840 Said moved his capital toStone Town, the ancient quarter of Zanzibar City; however, after his death in 1856, control over Zanzibar was lost when it became an independent sultanate under his sixth son, Majid bin Said (1834/5–1870), while the third son, Thuwaini bin Said, became the Sultan of Oman. During the second half of the 19th century, the fortunes of the Al Bu Sa`id declined and friction with the Imams of the interior resurfaced. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Muscat and Muttrah were attacked by tribes from the interior in 1895 and again in 1915.[18] A tentative ceasefire was brokered by the British, which gave the interior more autonomy. However, conflicts among the disparate tribes of the interior, and with the Sultan of Muscat and Oman continued into the 1950s, HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

and eventually escalated into the Dhofar Rebellion (1962). The rebellion forced the Sultan Said bin Taimur to seek the assistance of the British in quelling the uprisings from the interior. The April 26, 1966 failed assassination attempt on Said bin Taimur led to the further isolation of the Sultan, who had moved his residence from Muscat to Salalah, amidst the civilian armed conflict. On July 23, 1970,Qaboos bin Said, son of the Sultan, staged a bloodless[19] coup d'état in the Salalah palace with the assistance of the British, and took over as ruler. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

With the assistance of the British, Qaboos bin Said put an end to the Dhofar uprising and consolidated disparate tribal territories. He renamed the country theSultanate of Oman (called Muscat and Oman hitherto), in an attempt to end to the interior's isolation from Muscat. Qaboos enlisted the services of capable Omanis to fill positions in his new government,[20] drawing from such corporations as Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). HP 597635-001 Laptop Keyboard

New ministries for social services such as health and education were established. The construction of Mina Qaboos, a new port conceived initially by Sa`id bin Taimur, was developed during the early days of Qaboos' rule. Similarly, a new international airport was developed in Muscat's Seeb district. A complex of offices, warehouses, shops and homes transformed the old village of Ruwi in Muttrah into a commercial district.[21] ACER Aspire 5610Z Laptop Keyboard

The first five-year development plan in 1976 emphasised infrastructural development of Muscat, which provided new opportunities for trade and tourism in the 1980s – 1990s, attracting migrants from around the region. On June 6, 2007, Cyclone Gonu hit Muscat causing extensive damage to property, infrastructure and commercial activity. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Muscat is located in northeast Oman, at 24°00′N 57°00′E. The Tropic of Cancer passes south of the area. It is bordered to its west by the plains of the Al Batinah Region and to its east by Ash Sharqiyah Region. The interior plains of the Ad Dakhiliyah Region border Muscat to the south, while the Gulf of Oman forms the northern and western periphery of the city. The water along to coast of Muscat runs deep, forming two natural harbours, in Muttrah and Muscat. The Western Al Hajar Mountains run through the northern coastline of the city. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Volcanic rocks are apparent in the Muscat area, and are composed of serpentine and diorite, extending along the Gulf of Oman coast for ten or twelve 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from the district of Darsait to Yiti.[22] Plutonic rocks constitute the hills and mountains of Muscat and span approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Darsait to Ras Jissah. These igneous rocks consists ofserpentine, greenstone and basalt, HP Pavilion zv5320us laptop keyboard

typical of rocks in Southeastern regions of the Arabian Peninsula. South of Muscat, the volcanic rock strata is broken up and distorted, rising to a maximum height of 6,000 feet (1,800 m), in Al Dakhiliyah, a region which includes Jebel Akhdar, the country's highest range. The hills in Muscat are mostly devoid of vegetation but are rich in iron. SONY VAIO VGN-NW120J laptop keyboard

The halophytic sabkha type desert vegetation is predominant in Muscat.[23] The Qurum Nature Reserve contains plants such as the Arthrocnemum Macrostachyum and Halopeplis Perfoliata Coral reefs are common in Muscat. Acropora reefs exist in the sheltered bays of the satellite towns of Jussah and Khairan.[24] Additionally, Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

smaller Porites reef colonies exist in Khairan, which have fused to form a flat-top pavement is visible at low tide. Crabs and spiny crayfish are found in the waters of the Muscat area, as are sardines and bonito.[25] Glassfish are common in freshwater estuaries, such as the Qurum Nature Reserve.[26] ACER Aspire One A110-1588 laptop keyboard

The Al Sultan Qaboos Street forms the main artery of Muscat, running west-to-east through the city. The street eventually becomes Al Nahdah Street near Al Wattayah. Several inter-city roads such as Nizwa Road and Al Amrat Road intersect with Al Sultan Qaboos Road (in Rusail and Ruwi, respectively). Muttrah, with the Muscat Harbour, Corniche, and Mina Qaboos is located in the north-eastern coastline of the city, adjacent to the Gulf of Oman. ACER Aspire One AO532 laptop keyboard

Residential and commercial districts further inland include Al Hamriyah, Al Wadi Al Kabir, Ruwi, Al Wattayah, Madinat Qaboos, Al Azaiba and Al Ghubra.

Muscat features a hot, arid climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with long and very hot summers and warm "winters". Annual rainfall in Muscat is about 10 cm (4 in), falling mostly from December to April. In general precipitation is scarce in Muscat, with several months on average seeing only a trace of rainfall.  ACER AEZU2R00010 laptop keyboard

Humidity in the summer is at 40-60%, which is quite high for such hot temperatures.

Muscat's economy, like that of Oman, is dominated by trade. The more traditional exports of the city included dates, mother of pearl, and fish. Many of the souks of Muttrah sell these items and traditional Omani artefacts. SONY VAIO VGN-FS215E laptop keyboard

Petroleum Development Oman(PDO) has been central to Muscat's economy since at least 1962 and is the country's second largest employer, after the government. PDO's major shareholders include Royal Dutch/Shell, Total, and Partex and its production is estimated to be about 720,000 barrels per day (114,000 m3/d). SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Muscat also has major trading companies such as Suhail Bahwan Group, which is a trading partner for corporations such as Toshiba, Subaru, Seiko, Hewlett Packard, General Motors, RAK Ceramics; Saud Bahwan Group whose trading partners are Toyota, Daihatsu,KIA and Hertz Rent-a-Car; Zubair Automotive whose trading partners includeMitsubishi, and Chrysler brands such as Dodge; and Moosa AbdulRahman Hassan which operates as one of the oldest automotive agencies in the entire region being established in 1927.[citation needed] The private Health Care sector of Muscat,Oman has numerous hospitals and clinics.  TOSHIBA Satellite M35X-SP349 laptop keyboard

The Muscat Securities Market is the principal stock exchange of Oman. It is located in Central Business District of Muscat and it was established in 1988, and has since distinguished itself as a pioneer among its regional peers in terms of transparency and disclosure regulations and requirements. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Mina Sultan Qaboos, Muscat's main trading port, is a trading hub between the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East with an annual volume of about 1.6 million tons. However, the emergence of the Jebel Ali Free Zone in neighboring Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has made that port the premier maritime trading port of the region with about 44 million tons traded in cargo annually. TOSHIBA Satellite L505-S6946 laptop keyboard

Many infrastructural facilities are owned and operated by the government of Oman. Omantel is the major telecommunications organization in Oman and provides local, long-distance and international dialing facilities and operates as the country's only ISP. Recent liberalization of the mobile telephone market has seen the establishment of a second provider — Nawras.[citation needed] TOSHIBA G83C0000E510 laptop keyboard

According to the 2003 census conducted by the Oman Ministry of National Economy, the population of Muscat is over 630,000, which included 370,000 males and 260,000 females.[30] Muscat formed the second largest governorate in the country, after Al Batinah, accounting for 27% of the total population of Oman. As of 2003, Omanis constituted 60% of the total population of Muscat, while expatriates accounted for about 40%.[31] The population density of the city was 162.1HP 605344-001 laptop keyboard

The governorate of Muscat comprises six wilayats: Muttrah, Bawshar, Seeb, Al Amrat, Muscat and Qurayyat. Of the wilayats, Seeb, located in the western section of the governorate, was the most populous (with over 220,000 residents), while Muttrah had the highest number of expatriates (with over 100,000).[30] Approximately 71% of the population was within the 15–64 age group, with the average Omani age being 23 years. HP Mini 110-3505tu laptop keyboard

Expatriates accounted for over 60% of the labour force, dominated by males, who accounted for 80% of the city's total labour. A majority of expatriates (34%) engineering-related occupations, while most Omanis worked in engineering, clerical, scientific or technical fields. The defense sector was the largest employer for Omanis, while construction, wholesale and retail trade employed the largest number of expatriates. HP Pavilion dv3-2155ee laptop keyboard

The ethnic makeup of Muscat has historically been influenced by people not native to the Arabian Peninsula. British Parliamentary papers dating back to the 19th century indicate the presence of a significant Hindu Gujarati merchants in the city[33] Indeed, four Hindu temples existed in Muscat ca. 1760.[34] Christianity is thought to have been brought in by thePortuguese in 1507.[35] Protestant missionaries established a hospital in Muscat in the 19th century. HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

Like the rest of Oman, Arabic is the predominant language of the city. In addition, English, Balochi, Swahili and South Asianlanguages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Urdu[36] are spoken by the residents of Muscat. Islam is the predominant religion in the city, with most followers being Ibadi Muslims. Non-Muslims are allowed to practice their religion, but may not proselytize publicly or distribute religious literature. HP Pavilion DV7-3078nr laptop keyboard

The city has numerous mosques including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Ruwi Mosque and Zawawi Mosque. A few Shi'ite mosques also exist here.The city has two Hindu temples – a Shiva temple (opening hours 6.30am to 11.30am and 5pm to 9pm on all days with an additional one hour in the evenings on Saturdays) and a Krishna temple. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

A Catholic church, the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church was built on a multi-denominational compound in Ruwi in 1977 and was later renovated and blessed in 1995. A Protestant church was built on the same location in the 1980s. Another Catholic Church named "The Holy Spirit Catholic Church" in the Ghala district of Al Ghubra was built in 1987 and inagurated by the Sultan of Oman blessed in the same year and later renovated 2010. The Protestant church adjacent to it named "The Church of the Good Sheperd" was built in 1989. SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

Muscat has a number of museums. These include Museum of Omani Heritage, National Museum of Oman, Oman Children's Museum, Oman Natural History Museum, Bait al Zubair, Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, Omani French Museum, Sultan's Armed Forces Museumand the Omani Aquarium and Marine Science and Fisheries Centre.[37] The Bait Al Falaj Fort played an important role in Muscat's military history.  HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

Several new projects are being planned including an opera house - which opened on October 14, 2011. One of the most notable projects is the Oman National Museum. It is expected to be an architectural jewel along with the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Visitors are also encouraged to visit Old Muscat and the Old Palace. The main shopping district is situated in Al Qurum Commercial Area, however shopping malls are spread out throughout the city. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

The main airport is Muscat International Airport around 25 km (16 mi) from the city's business district of Ruwi and 15 to 20 km from the main residential localities of Al-Khuwair, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Shati Al-Qurm and Al-Qurm. DELL Inspiron M5030 Laptop Keyboard

Muscat is the headquarters for the local Oman Air, which flies to several destinations within the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, East Africa and Europe. Other airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Sri Lankan, Royal Jordanian, British Airways, PIA, Jet Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Swiss International Air Lines, Kuwait Airways, Air India and Thai Airways also fly through Muscat International Airport. Compaq Presario CQ57-310 Laptop Keyboard

The Muscat area is well serviced by paved roads and dual-carriageway connects most major cities and towns in the country. Public transportation in Muscat does not include rail, and bus services are limited in their route coverage. There is no rail or metro network in the country. Several forms of public transport are popular in Oman. Most popular are the "Baiza" buses, so named for the lower denomination of the Omani Rial, DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

the baiza (an adaptation of the Indian lower denomination paisa). These are relatively inexpensive and service all major roadways, as well as a wide and loose network of smaller byways in the greater Muscat metropolitan area, opportunistically dropping off and picking up passengers at any location. Less popular and slightly more expensive are large public buses, coloured red and green, TOSHIBA Satellite l20-121 Laptop Keyboard

whose service is limited to major roadways and point-to-point travel routes between Oman's major cities and towns. Taxis, also colour-coded orange and white, provide semi-personal transportation in the form of both individual hire and the same opportunistic roadway service as Baiza buses. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Baiza buses and colour-coded orange-and-white taxis are unmetered, after several government initiatives to introduce meters were rejected. The fare is set by way of negotiation, although taxi drivers usually adhere to certain unwritten rules for fares within the city. In many countries, one is advised to negotiate a fare with the driver before getting into a taxi. HP G61-410EL Laptop Keyboard

However, in Oman, asking for the fare beforehand often demonstrates a passenger's newness and unfamiliarity with the area. One should always find out the normally accepted fare for one's journey from one's hotel or host before looking for a taxi. Taxis will also generally take passengers to locations out of the city, including Sohar, Buraimi and Dubai. SONY VAIO VGN-FS840 Laptop Keyboard

These routes usually began in the Far East or down river from Madhya Pradesh with transshipment via historicBharuch (Bharakuccha), traversed past the inhospitable coast of today's Iran then split around Hadhramaut into two streams north into the Gulf of Aden and thence into the Levant, or south into Alexandria via Red Sea ports such as Axum. Each major route involved transhipping to pack animal caravan, travel through desert country and risk of bandits and extortionate tolls by local potentiates. HP G61-304NR Laptop Keyboard

This southern coastal route past the rough country in the southern Arabian peninsula (Yemen and Oman today) was significant, and the Egyptian Pharaohs built several shallow canals to service the trade, one more or less along the route of today's Suez canal, and another from the Red Sea to the Nile River, both shallow works that were swallowed up by huge sand storms in antiquity. Later the kingdom of Axum arose in Ethiopia to rule a mercantile empire rooted in the trade with Europe via Alexandria. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

largest and busiest seaport, handling about 60% of the nation's cargo (25 million tons per annum). It is located between the Karachi towns of Kiamari and Saddar, close to the main business district and several industrial areas. The geographic position of the port places it in close proximity to major shipping routes such as the Strait of Hormuz. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

The history of the port is intertwined with that of the city of Karachi. Several ancient ports have been attributed in the area including "Krokola", "Morontobara" (Woman's Harbour) (mentioned by Nearchus), Barbarikon (the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, and Debal(a city captured by the Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim in 712 CE). SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

There is a reference to the early existence of the port of Karachi in the "Umdah", by the Arab navigator Sulaiman al Mahri (AD 1511), who mentions "Ras al Karazi" and "Ras Karashi" while describing a route along the coast from Pasni to Ras Karashi. DELL Vostro PP38L laptop keyboard

Karachi is also mentioned in the sixteenth century Turkish treatise Mir'ât ül Memâlik (Mirror of Countries, 1557) by theOttoman captain Seydi Ali Reis, which is a compilation of sailing directions from the Portuguese island of Diu to Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. It warns sailors about whirlpools and advises them to seek safety in "Kaurashi" harbour if they found themselves drifting dangerously. Packard Bell Easynote TM80 laptop keyboard

The gate facing the sea was called "Kharadar" (salt gate), and the gate facing the Lyari River was called "Mithadar" (sweet gate). The modern neighbourhoods around the location of the gates are called Mithadar and Kharadar. Surrounded by mangrove swamps to the east, the sea to the southwest, and the Lyari River to the north, the town was well defended and engaged in a profitable trade with Muscat and Bahrain. HP Pavilion dv6-2114sa laptop keyboard

The Gwadar Port is a warm-water, deep-sea port situated at Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan at the apex of the Arabian Sea and at the entrance of the Persian Gulf, about 460 km west of Karachi and approximately 75 km (47 mi) east of Pakistan's border with Iran. The port is located on the eastern bay of a natural hammerhead-shaped peninsula jutting out into the Arabian Sea from the coastline. HP Pavilion dv6-2105et laptop keyboard

Port of Salalah in Salalah, Oman is also a major port in the area. From a modest start in 1997, the Omani container transhipment port has achieved consistent growth. For a growing number of ships’ crew, the port of Salalah is a welcome sight after an unpleasant and often prolonged encounter with pirates. SONY VAIO VGN-N11M laptop keyboard

The Port of Salalah is a key container transhipment hub on the Arabian Sea and is often used as the first port of call for vessels whose crew have just been released from the clutches of Somali pirates following ransom payments for withheld vessels and crew. The port also plays host as a supply base for the visiting warships that provide protective escorts for merchant shipping in the sea lanes. From that dual role has emerged another, Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

one as an intelligence network — both military and civilian — to exchange information on possible pirate sightings and near misses. Also, the International Task Force often uses the port as a base. There is a significant number of warships of all nations coming in and out of the port, which makes it a very safe bubble. The port handled just under 3.5m teu[clarification needed] in 2009[7] HP 431416-001 laptop keyboard

Astola Island, also known as Jezira Haft Talar (Urdu: جزیرہ ہفت تلار‎) or 'Island of the Seven Hills', is a small, uninhabited island in the northern tip of the Arabian Sea in Pakistan's territorial waters. It is a popular eco-tourismdestination in the region.Overnight tourists camp on the island and bring their own provisions. HP Compaq G50-133US laptop keyboard

Camping, fishing and scuba-diving expeditions are popular. It is also a site for observing turtle breeding. Endangered animals such as the Green turtle(Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbracata) nest on the beach at the foot of the cliffs. The island is also a very important area for endemic reptiles such as the Astola Viper (Echis carinatus astolae). TOSHIBA KFRSBA064A laptop keyboard

Socotra (Arabic: سُقُطْرَى‎ Suquṭra), also spelled Soqotra, is the largest island, being part of a small archipelago of four islands. It lies some 240 kilometres (150 mi) east of the Horn of Africa and 380 kilometres (240 mi) south of the Arabian Peninsula. The island is very isolated and through the process of speciation, a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. It has been described as the most alien-looking place on Earth. Lenovo 3000 Y500 7761 laptop keyboard

Masirah (Arabic: مصيرة‎) is an island off the East coast of Oman. The main industries here are fishing and traditional textile manufacturing. Formerly, traditional ship building was important. The rugged terrain of the island and surrounding rough coastline has led to the appearance of many wrecked dhows on the beaches of the island, most of them well preserved by the salt water and intense heat. HP Pavilion dv6-2125el laptop keyboard

The ocean bottom environment surrounding Masirah is hostile as the majority of the area is covered in either sand or hard rock. Despite the poor quality ocean bottom, the area is very productive with marine fisheries, and any hard objects (barrels, engines) are immediately colonized by local fauna. Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

Sultan Qaboos bin Sa‘id was born in Salalah in Dhofar on 18 November 1940. He is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimurand princess Mazoon al-Mashani. He received his primary and secondary education at Salalah and Poona, India and was sent to a private educational establishment in England at age sixteen.[ TOSHIBA Satellite A205-S5804 laptop keyboard

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3] At 20 he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined the British Army and was posted to the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), serving in Germany for one year. He also held a staff appointment with the British Army. SONY KFRMBA152A laptop keyboard

After his military service, Sultan Qaboos studied local government subjects in England and, after a world tour, returned home to Salalah where he studied Islam and the history of his country.

The political system which Qaboos established is that of an absolute monarchy. Unlike the situation in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Qaboos' decisions are not subject to modification by other members of Oman's royal family. TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6114 laptop keyboard

Government decisions are said to be made through a process of decision-making by "consensus" with provincial, local and tribal representatives, though critics allege that Qaboos exercises de facto control of this process.[citation needed] Qaboos also regularly engages in tours of his realm, in which any citizen with a grievance or request is allowed to appeal to the Sultan in person.[5] Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

More recently, Qaboos has allowed parliamentary elections (in which women have voted and stood as candidates) and pledged greater openness and participation in government. The parliament enjoys legislative and oversight powers.[6] In 1979 Oman was the only Arab state to recognize Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace agreement with Israel.[7] TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5359 laptop keyboard

Qaboos' supporters point to his relative success in governing the country. By Gulf standards, Oman boasts good public order,[8] middling prosperity,[9] and a relatively permissive society.[10] Since he acceded to the throne, Oman has broadened international relations, allowed newspapers, established high schools, built highways, opened hotels and shopping malls and spends a substantial portion of its dwindling oil revenues on health care and education.[11] DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard

In September 1995, he was involved in a car accident in Salalah just out side his palace, which claimed the life of one of his most prominent and influential ministers and his right hand man, Qais Bin Abdul Munaim Al Zawawi.

In October 1998, Qaboos bin Said was presented with the International Peace Award by the National Council on US-Arab Relations.[12] He also forges and maintains good relations with other Arab states and partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).[13] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

HP Pavilion dv6-2020sa Laptop Keyboard

Unlike the heads of other Persian Gulf states, Qaboos bin Sa‘id has not publicly named an heir. Article 6 of the Constitution says the royal family should choose a new sultan within three days of the position falling vacant. If the royal family council fails to agree, a letter containing a name penned by Sultan Qaboos should be opened in the presence of a defense council of military and security officials, supreme court chiefs, SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

and heads of the two quasi-parliamentary advisory assemblies.[17] Analysts see the rules as an elaborate means of Sultan Qaboos securing his choice for successor without stirring the pot by making it public during his lifetime.[17] HP Compaq G50-133US Laptop Keyboard

Qaboos bin Sa‘id has no children and has three sisters; there are other male members of the Omani Royal Family including several paternal uncles and their families. Using primogeniture the successor to Qaboos would appear to be the children of his late uncle, His Royal Highness Sayyid Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, Oman's first prime minister before Sultan Qaboos took over the position himself.[18] Oman watchers believe the top contenders to succeed Qaboos are three of Tariq's sons: Assad bin Tariq Al Said, the personal representative of the Sultan; HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Shihab bin Tariq, a retired naval commander; and Haytham bin Tariq, the Minister of Heritage and National Culture.[17][19] First Deputy Prime Minister Fahd bin Mahmud al-Said, a distant cousin of the Sultan, and Taimur bin Assad, the son of Assad bin Taimur, are also mentioned as potential candidates.[17] FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

Some parts of East Africa have been renowned for their concentrations of wild animals, such as the "big five" of elephant,buffalo, lion, leopard and black rhinoceros, though populations have been declining under increased stress in recent times, particularly the rhino and elephant.

The geography of East Africa is often stunning and scenic. DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

Shaped by global plate tectonic forces that have created the East African Rift, East Africa is the site of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, the two tallest peaks in Africa. It also includes the world's second largest freshwater lake Lake Victoria, and the world's second deepest lake Lake Tanganyika. HP Pavilion ze4130 Laptop Keyboard

The climate of East Africa is rather atypical of equatorial regions. Because of a combination of the region's generally highaltitude and the rain shadow of the westerly monsoon winds created by the Rwenzori Mountains and Ethiopian Highlands, East Africa is surprisingly cool and dry for its latitude. HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

In fact, on the coast of Somaliland and Puntland many years can go by without any rain whatsoever.[25] Elsewhere the annual rainfall generally increases towards the south and with altitude, being around 400 millimetres (16 in) at Mogadishu and 1,200 millimetres (47 in) at Mombasa on the coast, whilst inland it increases from around 130 millimetres (5 in) at Garoowe to over 1,100 millimetres (43 in) at Moshi near Kilimanjaro. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5150 Laptop Keyboard

Unusually, most of the rain falls in two distinct wet seasons, one centred around April and the other in October or November. This is usually attributed to the passage of the Intertropical Convergence Zone across the region in those months, but it may also be analogous to the autumn monsoon rains of parts of Sri Lanka, Vietnamand the Brazilian Nordeste. HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

West of the Rwenzoris and Ethiopian highlands the rainfall pattern is more typically tropical, with rain throughout the year near the equator and a single wet season in most of the Ethiopian Highlands from June to September - contracting to July and August around Asmara. Annual rainfall here ranges from over 1,600 millimetres (63 in) on the western slopes to around 1,250 millimetres (49 in) at Addis Ababa and 550 millimetres (22 in) at Asmara. In the high mountains rainfall can be over 2,500 millimetres (98 in). SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

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Rainfall in East Africa is influenced by El Niño events, which tend to increase rainfall except in the northern and western parts of the Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands, where they produce drought and poor Nile floods.[26] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Temperatures in East Africa, except on the hot and generally humid coastal belt, are moderate, with maxima of around 25 °C (77 °F) and minima of 15 °C(59 °F) at an altitude of 1,500 metres (4,921 ft). At altitudes of above 2,500 metres (8,202 ft), frosts are common during the dry season and maxima typically about 21 °C (70 °F) or less. ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

The unique geography and apparent suitability for farming made East Africa a target for European exploration, exploitation and colonialization in the nineteenth century. Today, tourism is an important part of the economies of Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles,and Uganda. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

According to the theory of recent African origin of modern humans, the mainstream position held within the scientific community, all humans originate from East Africa. [27] Some of the earliest fossilized hominid remains have been found in East Africa, including those found in Awash Valley of Ethiopia, Koobi Fora in Kenya and Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. HP G62-b10EV laptop keyboard

The southern part of East Africa was occupied until recent times by Khoisan hunter-gatherers, whilst in the Ethiopian Highlands the donkey and such crop plants as teff allowed the beginning of agriculture around 7,000 B.C.[28] Lowland barriers and diseases carried by the tsetse fly, however, prevented the donkey and agriculture from spreading southwards. Only in quite recent times has agriculture spread to the more humid regions south of the equator, LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

through the spread ofcattle, sheep and crops such as millet. Language distributions suggest that this most likely occurred from Sudan into modern Uganda and the African Great Lakes, since the Nilotic languages spoken by these pre-Bantu farmers have their closest relatives in the middle Nile basin. IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

Between 2500–3000 years ago, Bantu-speaking peoples began a millennia-long series of migrations eastward from their homeland that is (modernly known as) southern Cameroon across the Rwenzori Mountains. This Bantu expansion introduced agriculture into those parts of East Africa either not reached previously by Nilo-Saharan farmers or too wet for millet. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard

During the following fifteen centuries, the Bantu slowly intensified farming and grazing over all suitable regions of East Africa, in the process making contact with Austronesian- and Arabic-speaking sailors on the southern coastal areas. The latter also spread Islam to the coastal belt, but most Bantu never had contact with Islam and remained animists. Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

The Bantu expansion was followed by the Nilotic expansion across parts of East Africa during ca. the 14th to 18th centuries.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore the region of current-day Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique by sea, SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

Vasco da Gama having visited Mombasa in 1498. Gama's voyage was successful in reaching India and this permitted the Portuguese to trade with the Far East directly by sea, thus challenging older trading networks of mixed land and sea routes, such as the spice trade routes that utilized the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and camel caravans to reach the eastern Mediterranean. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The Republic of Venice had gained control over much of the trade routes between Europe and Asia. After traditional land routes to India had been closed by theOttoman Turks, Portugal hoped to use the sea route pioneered by Gama to break the once Venetian trading monopoly. Portuguese rule in East Africa focused mainly on a coastal strip centred in Mombasa. DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

The Portuguese presence in East Africa officially began after 1505, when flagships under the command of Don Francisco de Almeida conquered Kilwa, an island located in what is now southern Tanzania. ACER Aspire One A110-1626 laptop keyboard

In March 1505, having received from Manuel I of Portugal the appointment of viceroy of the newly conquered territory in India, he set sail from Lisbon in command of a large and powerful fleet, and arrived in July at Quiloa (Kilwa), which yielded to him almost without a struggle. A much more vigorous resistance was offered by the Moors of Mombasa, but the town was taken and destroyed, COMPAQ Presario V6103EA laptop keyboard

and its large treasures went to strengthen the resources of Almeida. Attacks followed on Hoja (now known as Ungwana, located at the mouth of the Tana River), Barawa, Angoche, Pate and other coastal towns until the western Indian Ocean was a safe haven for Portuguese commercial interests. At other places on his way, such as the island of Angediva, near Goa, and Cannanore, the Portuguese built forts, and adopted measures to secure the Portuguese supremacy. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Portugal's main goal in the east coast of Africa was to take control of the spice trade from the Arabs. At this stage, the Portuguese presence in East Africa served the purposes of controlling trade within the Indian Ocean and securing the sea routes linking Europe to Asia. TOSHIBA Satellite 1410-S173 laptop keyboard

Portuguese naval vessels were very disruptive to the commerce of Portugal's enemies within the western Indian Ocean and were able to demand high tariffs on items transported through the sea due to their strategic control of ports and shipping lanes. The construction of Fort Jesus in Mombasa in 1593 was meant to solidify Portuguese hegemony in the region, but their influence was clipped by the British, Dutch and Omani Arab incursions into the region during the 17th century. DELL Inspiron 1564 laptop keyboard

The Omani Arabs posed the most direct challenge to Portuguese influence in East Africa and besieged Portuguese fortresses, openly attacked naval vessels and expelled the Portuguese from the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts by 1730. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

By this time the Portuguese Empire had already lost its interest on the spice trade sea route due to the decreasing profitability of that business. The Arabs reclaimed much of the Indian Ocean trade, forcing the Portuguese to retreat south where they remained in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) as sole rulers until the 1975 independence of Mozambique. TOSHIBA Satellite P10 Series laptop keyboard

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Omani Arab colonization of the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts brought the once independent city-states under closer foreign scrutiny and domination than was experienced during the Portuguese period. Like their predecessors, the Omani Arabs were primarily able only to control the coastal areas, not the interior. However, the creation of clove plantations, intensification of the slave trade and relocation of the Omani capital to Zanzibar in 1839 by Seyyid Said had the effect of consolidating the Omani power in the region. SONY Vaio VGN-AW290J laptop keyboard

Arab governance of all the major ports along the East African coast continued until British interests aimed particularly at ending the slave trade and creation of a wage-labour system began to put pressure on Omani rule. By the late nineteenth century, the slave trade on the open seas had been completely outlawed by the British and the Omani Arabs had little ability to resist the British navy's ability to enforce the directive. SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

The Omani presence continued in Zanzibar andPemba until the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, but the official Omani Arab presence in Kenya was checked by German and British seizure of key ports and creation of crucial trade alliances with influential local leaders in the 1880s.

of the time. During the period of the Scramble for Africa, almost every country comprising present day East Africa to varying degrees became part of a European colonial empire. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

Portugal had first established a strong presence in southern Mozambique and the Indian Ocean since the 15th century, while during this period their possessions increasingly grew including parts from the present northern Mozambique country, up toMombasa in present day Kenya. At Lake Malawi, they finally met the recently created British Protectorate of Nyasaland (nowadaysMalawi), HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

which surrounded the homonymous lake on three sides, leaving the Portuguese the control of lake's eastern coast. TheBritish Empire set foot in the region's most exploitable and promising lands acquiring what is today Uganda, and Kenya. The Protectorate of Uganda and the Colony of Kenya were located in a rich farmland area mostly appropriate for the cultivation ofcash crops like coffee and tea, ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard

as well as for animal husbandry with products produced from cattle and goats, such as goat meat,beef and milk. Moreover this area had the potential for a significant residential expansion, being suitable for the relocation of a large number of British nationals to the region. Prevailing climatic conditions and the regions' geomorphology allowed the establishment of flourishing European style settlements like Nairobi, Vila Pery, Vila Junqueiro, Porto Amélia, Lourenço Marquesand Entebbe.

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Madagascar – until then under British control – became part of theFrench colonial empire being ceded in exchange for the island of Zanzibar an important hub of spices trade, off the coast of Tanganyika. The British as well held a number of island colonies in the region. The Seychelles an extended archipelago and the rich farmland island of Mauritius, previously under the Frenchsovereignty, were as such.  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

The German Empire gained control of a large area named German East Africa, comprising present-day Rwanda, Burundi and the mainland part of Tanzania named Tanganyika. In 1922, the British gained a League of Nations mandate over Tanganyika which it administered until Independence was granted to Tanganyika in 1961. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Following the Zanzibar Revolution of 1965, the independent state of Tanganyika formed the United Republic of Tanzania by creating a union between the mainland, and the island chain of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is now a semi-autonomous state in a union with the mainland which is collectively and commonly referred to asTanzania. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

German East Africa, though very extensive, was not of such strategic importance as the British Crown's colonies to the north: the inhabitation of these lands was difficult and thus limited, mainly due to climatic conditions and the local geomorphology.

Italy gained control of various parts of Somalia in the 1880s. Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Meanwhile, in 1884, a narrow coastal strip of northern Somalia came under British control (British Somaliland). This northern protectorate was just opposite the British colony of Aden on the Arabian Peninsula. With these territories secured, Britain was able to serve as gatekeeper of the sea lane leading to British India. ACER Aspire 2920Z Laptop Keyboard

Kenya has enjoyed relatively stable governance. However, politics have been turbulent at times, including the attempted coup d’état in 1982 and the 2007 election riots.

Tanzania has known stable government since independence although there are significant political and religious tensions resulting from the political union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar is now a semi-autonomous state in the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania and Uganda fought the Uganda-Tanzania War in 1978–1979, which led to the removal of Uganda's despotic leader Idi Amin.

Djibouti, as well as the Puntland and Somaliland regions, have also seen relative stability.[29][30][31] HP Mini 110-3120la Laptop Keyboard

South Sudan peacefully seceded from Sudan in 2011, six and a half years after a peace agreement ended the Second Sudanese Civil War. South Sudanese independence was nearly derailed by the South Kordofan conflict, particularly a dispute over the status of the Abyei Area, and both Abyei and South Kordofan's Nuba Hillsremain a source of tension between Juba and Khartoum.[32]

There is a community of Muslim Gujaratis in neighbouring Pakistan, Lenovo ThinkPad T410-2516 Laptop Keyboard

mainly settled in Sindh for generations. A sizable number migrated after the Partition of India and subsequent creation of independent Pakistan in 1947. These Pakistani Gujaratis belong mainly to the Khoja, Dawoodi Bohra, Chundrigar, Charotar Sunni Vohra, Muslim Ghanchi and Memon groups; however, many Gujaratis are also a part of Pakistan's small but vibrant Hindu community. Many Gujaratis in Pakistan retain ties to their relatives in Muslim communities living in Gujarat, and maintain Gujarati as their native language. However, a growing number are adopting Urdu as their native tongue. Lenovo Thinkpad T410I Laptop Keyboard

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan whose mother tongue was also Gujarati and were Gujarati Hindus before, is one of the most notable people of Gujarati Muslim ancestry who ethnically belonged to the province of Gujarat, but was however born in Karachi.[2] Gujarati Muslims constitute the majority in Saddar Town and form the backbone of the Pakistani economy. ASUS A6700L Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

A 2004 Stanford study conducted with a wide sampling from India, found that over 33% of genetic markers in Gujarat were partially of West Eurasian origin, the second highest amongst the sampled group of South Asians with Punjabis at 42%, and Kashmiris at 30%.[3]

Haplogroup U7 is found in Iran, the Near East,[3] Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan; with extremely low frequencies in neighboring countries Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Iraq. Its frequency peaks at over 12% in Gujarat, Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5055 Laptop

9% in Iran, 9% in Punjab, 6% in Pakistan and 6% in Afghanistan. Elsewhere in India, its frequency is very low (0.00% to 0.90%).[3] Outside of the Near East, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Northwestern Indian states, Haplogroup U7 is non-existent. Expansion times and haplotype diversities for the Indian and Near and Middle Eastern U7 mtDNAs are strikingly similar. The possible homeland of this haplogroup likely spans the coverage of Iran to Western India. HP Pavilion dv6-2160es laptop keyboard

From there its frequency declines steeply both to the east and to the west. Its equally high frequency as well as diversity in Gujarat favors a scenario whereby U7 has been introduced by the coastal Gujarat to areas of Iran.[4] HP Pavilion dv2-1044ca laptop keyboard

Some preliminary conclusions from these varying tests support some of the highest degrees of Indian mtDNAs found in Western Asia, with a particular close relationship between Iran and Gujarat, supporting a theory of trade contact and migrations out of Gujarat into West Asia.[4]

Hindus and Jains are predominantly vegetarians, TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

to a greater extent than Hindu communities elsewhere in India. Gujarati cuisine follows the traditional Indian full meal structure of rice, cooked vegetables, lentil dal or curry and roti. The different types of rotli (breads) that a Gujarati cooks are rotli or chapati, bhakhri, thepla or dhebara, puri, maal purah, and puran-pohli. TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

Khaman, Dhokla pani puri, dhokli, dal-dhokli, daal,undhiyu, jalebi, fafda, chevdoh, Samosa, papdi, muthia, bhajia, patra, bhusu and Sev mamra are traditional Gujarati dishes savoured by many communities across the world. HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

Khichdi – a mix of rice and toor daal, a type of lentil, cooked with little spices in a pressure cooker – is a popular Gujarati meal. It is found very satisfying by most Gujaratis, and cooked very regularly in most homes, typically on a busy day due to its ease of cooking. It can also become an elaborate meal when served with several side dishes such as a vegetable curry, yogurt, papad, mango pickle, and onions.[citation needed] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ770N laptop keyboard

The making of masala is traditionally done on grinding stones but today people usually use a blender or grinder. There is no standard recipe. People from north Gujarat use dry red chili powder, whereas people from south Gujarat prefer using green chili and coriander in their cooking. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Gujarati Jains don't eat root vegetables like potato, onion, garlic, radish, carrot, etc. Traditionally Gujaratis eat mukhwas or paan at the end of a meal. In many parts of Gujarat, having chhass (chilled buttermilk) or soda after lunch or dinner is quite common. Gujarati families celebrate Sharad Purnima by having dinner with doodh-pauva under moonlight.[citation needed] TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2804 laptop keyboard

A version of English custard is made in Gujarat and uses cornstarch instead of the traditional eggs. It is cooked with cardamom and saffron, and served with fruit and sliced almonds.[citation needed]

Indian jewelry like mangalsutras, necklaces, nose rings, earrings, bangles and rings, toe rings, bracelets are all part of the Gujarati attire. Most of this jewelry is made in 22 carat gold but cheaper costume jewelry is also available. During weddings, Gujarati brides wear a lot of jewelry, this is traditionally a form of trust handed to the girl as 22 karat jewelry. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6007L laptop keyboard

Years ago, only married Gujarati (Hindu) women wore a red bindi (red powder worn in a round shape on the forehead also found in the form of stickers). These days, most women, married or not, wear 'bindi' as a fashion accessory when they wear traditional Indian outfits. Modern Bindis are like stickers, and are available in various shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Only married women however, wear red powder, called 'sindoor', HP Pavilion dv6-3034nr laptop keyboard

in a short straight line on the scalp, starting near the hairline and covers the area where the hair is generally parted(middle). During a traditional Hindu wedding, the groom applies 'sindoor' on the bride for the very first time. This act can be compared to a ring ceremony in western weddings. SONY VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q laptop keyboard

There are several different outfits that are worn by both men and women depending on the occasion. Younger women wear western outfits like skirts, dresses, jeans, etc. Older women usually wear saris or salwar kamiz. The Gujarati method of wearing a sari is different from the Bengali method which is usually prevalent in fashion shows. TOSHIBA Tecra M6 laptop keyboard

Gujarati ladies drape the pallu over the front of their right shoulder and across the chest tucked into the waist. The Bengali method which is more prevalent in India and amongst younger women involves draping the pallu over the left shoulder with the pallu hanging freely in back HP Pavilion dv6-3141se laptop keyboard

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Generally, men wear pants and shirts or t-shirts however traditionally, males will wear dhotis be it every day on a special occasion and a kurta is worn on top. Females will wear saris or something similar. On special occasions females will wear slightly more expensive saris. These traditional garments can be seen both in and outside of India. A famous example is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who wore a dhoti. SONY VAIO VGN-NW240F laptop keyboard

Gujarati literature's history may be traced to 1000 AD. Since then literature has flourished till date. Well known laureates of Gujarati literature are Jhaverchand Meghani, Avinash Vyas, Hemchandracharya, Narsinh Mehta, Akho, Premanand Bhatt, Shamal Bhatt, Dayaram, Dalpatram, Narmad, Govardhanram Tripathi, Gandhiji, K. M. Munshi, Umashankar Joshi, Suresh Joshi, Pannalal Patel and Rajendra Keshavlal Shah. DELL Inspiron 510m Laptop Keyboard

Kavi Kant and Kalapi are Gujarati poets and Vipul K Rawal is a Bollywood writer who has written blockbusters likeIqbal.[citation needed]

Gujarat Vidhya Sabha, Gujarat Sahitya Sabha, and Gujarati Sahitya Parishad are Ahmedabad based literary institutions promoting the spread of Gujarati literature. Saraswatichandra is a novel by Govardhanram Tripathi. DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Writers like Harindra Dave, Suresh Dalal, Jyotindra Dave, Tarak Mehta, Harkisan Mehta, Chandrakant Bakshi, Vinod Bhatt, Kanti Bhatt, Makarand Dave, and Varsha Adalja have influenced Gujarati thinkers. SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

Swaminarayan paramhanso, like Bramhanand, Premanand, contributed to Gujarati language literature with prose like Vachanamrutand poetry in the form of bhajans.

Gujarati theatre owes a lot to bhavai. Bhavai is a musical performance of stage plays. Ketan Mehta and Sanjay Leela Bhansali explored artistic use of bhavai in films such as Bhavni Bhavai, Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. Dayro (gathering) involves singing and conversation reflecting on human nature. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

Gujarati language is enriched by the Adhytmic Literature written by Srimad Rajchandra and Pandit Himmatlal Jethalal Shah. This literature is both in the form of Poetry and Prose.

Mention in history

Gujarati films have made artists like Upendra Trivedi, Snehlata, Raajeev, Aruna Irani and Asrani popular in the entertainment industry. In the U.S., Bali Brahmbhatt came up with the hit song "Patel Rap", referring to changing values of Gujarati culture. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Popular Bollywood actress Prachi Desai belongs to Gujarat. In Indian Television industry too Gujarati culture, Gujarati lifestyle had made a prominent place. Other actors such as Urvashi Dholakia, Sarita Joshi, Ketki Dave, Purbi Joshi,Disha Vakani, Dilip Joshi, Deven Bhojani, Rashmi Desai etc.. have made the place in audience hearts and ar presently the top actors on Indian Television HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar), and Pemba.

The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. Its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site and is claimed to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.[5] HP Pavilion G7-1073NR Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism.[6] In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg,cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Zanzibar is the home of the endemicZanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard. HP Pavilion dv6-3141se Laptop Keyboard

The presence of microlithic tools suggests that Zanzibar has been home to intelligent humans for at least 20,000 years,[7] which was the beginning of the Later Stone Age.

A Greco-Roman text between the 1st and 3rd centuries CE, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, mentioned the island ofMenuthias (in Ancient Greek Μενουθιάς), which is probably Unguja.[8] SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

:pages: 26-7 Little is known about the history of Zanzibar between the time of the Periplus and the death of Muhammad in 632 CE,[8]:page: 36 roughly corresponding to theRoman Empire and the decline of the Western Roman Empire. From that point forward, wars in Asia and increasing trade motivated Persians, Arabs, and Indians to visit or migrate to Zanzibar.[8]:page: 40

The impact of these traders and immigrants on the Swahili culture remains controversial. During the Middle Ages, HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

the East African Swahili coast [including Zanzibar] was a wealthy and advanced region, which consisted of many autonomous merchant cities. Wealth flowed into the cities via the Africans' roles as intermediaries and facilitators of Indian, Persian, Arab, Indonesian, Malaysian, African, and Chinese merchants. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

All of these peoples enriched the Swahili culture to some degree. The Swahili culture developed its own written language; the language incorporated elements from different civilizations, with Arabic as its strongest quality. Some Arab settlers were rich merchants who, because of their wealth, gained power--sometimes as rulers of coastal cities.[9] SONY VAIO VGN-FW180FU Laptop Keyboard

Was the Swahili culture of the Middle Ages an Arab or Persian invention or was it instead primarily based on indigenous African development and culture?

According to some,[who?] Persian traders used Zanzibar as a base for voyages between the Middle East, India, and Africa. DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Unguja, the larger island, offered a protected and defensible harbor, so although the archipelago offered few products of value, the Persians settled at what became Zanzibar City ("Stone Town") a convenient point from which to trade with East African coastal towns. They established garrisons on the islands and built the first Zoroastrian fire temples and mosques in the southern hemisphere.[10] DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

Vasco da Gama's visit in 1498 marked the beginning of European influence. In 1503 or 1504, Zanzibar became part of the Portuguese Empire when Captain Ruy Lourenço Ravasco Marques landed and demanded and received tribute from the sultan in exchange for peace.[11]:page: 99 Zanzibar remained a possession of Portugal for almost two centuries. It initially became part of the Portuguese province of Arabia and Ethiopia and was administered by a governor general. Around 1571, TOSHIBA NB200-10J Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar became part of the western division of the Portuguese empire and was administered from Mozambique.[12]:page: 15 It appears, however, that the Portuguese did not closely administer Zanzibar. The first English ship to visit Unguja, the Edward Bonaventure in 1591, found that there was no Portuguese fort or garrison. HP Pavilion tx2650eg laptop keyboard

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The extent of their occupation was a trade depot where produce was purchased and collected for shipment to Mozambique. "In other respects, the affairs of the island were managed by the local 'king,' the predecessor of the Mwinyi Mkuu of Dunga."[8]:page: 81 This hands-off approach ended when Portugal established a fort on Pemba around 1635 in response to the Sultan of Mombasa's slaughter of Portuguese residents several years earlier. Portugal had long considered Pemba to be a troublesome launching point for rebellions in Mombasa against Portuguese rule.[8]:page: 85ACER Aspire 9411awsmi ms2195 laptop keyboard

The sultans of Unguja to whom the Portuguese referred repeatedly in historical accounts probably were of African origin, with possibly some strain of Persian or Asiatic blood derived from the Persian colonists of the later Middle Ages. While the Persians left many examples of their presence on Pemba, such as ruined stone houses,[citation needed] the sultans of Unguja Compaq Presario CQ42-219AX laptop keyboard

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strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates(UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest and also shares a marine border withIran. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madhaand Musandam enclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries. DELL PVDG3 laptop keyboard

From the 17th century, Oman had its own empire, and vied with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to Iran, and modern day Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar.[6] SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

As its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under heavy influence from the United Kingdom, though Oman was never formally part of the British Empire, or a British protectorate. Oman has long-standing military and political ties with the United Kingdom and the United States, although it maintains an independent foreign policy.[7] HP Pavilion dv6-2020sa Laptop Keyboard

Oman is an absolute monarchy in which the Sultan of Oman exercises ultimate authority, but its parliament has some legislative and oversight powers.[8] In November 2010, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) listed Oman, from among 135 countries worldwide, as the nation most-improved during the preceding 40 years.[9]According to international indices, Oman is one of the most developed and stable countries in the Arab world.[10] SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

As with other Arab States of the Persian Gulf, oil is the mainstay of the economy, providing a large proportion of GDP, although compared to its neighbours Oman is a modest producer. Agriculture and fishing are also important sources of income.[11] A diversification drive includes tourism; the policy of Omanisation aims to replace expatriate workers with locals.[12] HP Compaq G50-133US Laptop Keyboard

At Aybut Al Auwal in the Dhofar region of Oman a site was discovered in 2011 containing more than 100 surface scatters of stone tools belonging to a regionally-specific African lithic industry - the late Nubian Complex - known previously only from the northeast and Horn of Africa. Two optically stimulated luminescence age estimates place the Arabian Nubian Complex at 106,000 years old. This supports the proposition that early human populations moved from Africa into Arabia during the Late Pleistocene.[13] SONY VAIO VGN-NR11Z/S Laptop Keyboard

Dereaze, located in the city of Ibri, is the oldest known human settlement in the area, dating back as many as 8,000 years to the late Stone Age.[citation needed]Archaeological remains have been discovered here from the Stone Age and the Bronze Age; findings have included stone implements, animal bones, shells and fire hearths,  HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

with the later dating back to 7615 BC as the oldest signs of human settlement in the area. Other discoveries include hand-molded pottery bearing distinguishing pre-Bronze Age marks, heavy flint implements, pointed tools and scrapers. SONY KFRMBA152A Laptop Keyboard

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On a mountain rock-face in the same district, animal drawings have been discovered. Similar drawings have also been found in the Wadi Sahtan and Wadi Bani Kharus areas of Rustaq, consisting of human figures carrying weapons and being confronted by wild animals. Siwan in Haima is another Stone Age location and some of the archaeologists have found arrowheads, knives, chisels and circular stones which may have been used to hunt animals. Compaq Presario CQ57-310 Laptop Keyboard

Sumerian tablets refer to a country called Magan or Makan, a name believed to refer to Oman's ancient copper mines. Mazoon, another name used for the region, is derived from the word muzn, which means heavy clouds which carry abundant water. The present-day name of the country, Oman, DELL NSK-DJD01 Laptop Keyboard

is believed to originate from the Arab tribes who migrated to its territory from the Uman region of Yemen; many such tribes settled in Oman, making a living by fishing, herding or stock breeding, and many present day Omani families are able to trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Arabia. TOSHIBA Satellite l20-121 Laptop Keyboard

From the 6th century BC to the arrival of Islam in the 7th century AD, Oman was controlled and/or influenced by three Persian dynasties, the Achaemenids, Parthiansand Sassanids. In the 6th century BC, the Achaemenids exerted a strong degree of control over the Omani peninsula, most likely ruling from a coastal center such asSohar. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

By about 250 BC, the Parthian dynasty had brought the Persian Gulf under their control and extended their influence as far as Oman, establishing garrisons in Oman to help control the trade routes in the Persian Gulf. In the 3rd century AD, the Sassanids succeeded the Parthians and held the area until the rise of Islam four centuries later.[14] HP G61-410EL Laptop Keyboard

Omanis were among the first people to come in contact with and accept Islam.[15] The conversion of the Omanis is usually ascribed to Amr ibn al-As, who was sent by Muhammad around 630 AD to invite Jayfar and 'Abd, the joint rulers of Oman at that time, to accept the faith. In submitting to Islam, Oman became an Ibadhi state, ruled by an elected leader, the Imam. SONY VAIO VGN-FS840 Laptop Keyboard

During the early years of the Islamic mission, Oman played a major role in the Wars of Apostasy that occurred after the death of Muhammad, and also took part in the great Islamic conquests by land and sea in Iraq, Persia and beyond. Oman's most prominent role in this respect was through its extensive trading and seafaring activities in East Africa and the Far East, particularly during the 19th century, HP G61-304NR Laptop Keyboard

when it propagated Islam to many of East Africa's coastal regions, certain areas of Central Africa, India, Southeast Asia and China. After its submission to Islam, Oman was ruled by Umayyads between 661–750,Abbasids between 750–931, 932–933 and 934–967, Qarmatians between 931–932 and 933–934, Buyids between 967–1053, and theSeljuks of Kirman between 1053–1154. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

A decade following Vasco de Gama's successful voyage around the Cape of Good Hope and to India in 1497-98, the Portuguese explorers arrived in Oman and occupied Muscat for a 143-year period, between 1507 and 1650, where their fortress still remains. In need of an outpost to protect their sea lanes, the Portuguese built up and fortified the city, where remnants of their colonial architectural style still remain. The Ottoman Navy took over the port of Oman in 1522 during the fight for control over the Persian Gulf.[16] HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Rebellious tribes eventually drove out the Portuguese, but they were pushed out themselves about a century later, in 1741, by the leader of a Yemeni tribe leading a massive army from various allied tribes, beginning the current line of ruling sultans. Excepting a brief Persian invasion in the late 1740s, Oman has been self-governing ever since. Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop keyboard

No foreign power controlled the entirety of what is now Oman. The majority of the territory was always ruled by tribes, with colonial control contained to a few strategic port cities. Oman, as it exists now was never under the total sway of European colonization. SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

In the 1690s, Saif bin Sultan, the Imam of Oman, pressed down the East African coast. A major obstacle to his progress wasFort Jesus, housing the garrison of a Portuguese settlement at Mombasa. After a two-year siege, the fort fell to bin Sultan in 1698. Thereafter the Omanis easily ejected the Portuguese from Zanzibar and from all other coastal regions north ofMozambique, with the aid of the Somali Ajuuraan State. The Persians invaded Oman in 1737. They were driven out in 1749 when the Al Said dynasty came to power. They continue to rule to this day. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Zanzibar was a valuable property as the main slave market of the East African coast, and became an increasingly important part of the Omani empire, a fact reflected by the decision of the 19th century Sultan of Oman, Sa'id ibn Sultan, to make it his main place of residence in 1837. Sa'id built impressive palaces and gardens in Zanzibar. Rivalry between his two sons was resolved, with the help of forceful British diplomacy, when one of them, Majid, succeeded to Zanzibar and to the many regions claimed by the family on the East African coast. The other son, Thuwaini, inherited Muscat and Oman. HP Pavilion dv6-2105et laptop keyboard

A History of Omani presence is also known in Comoros archipelago in the Indian ocean, which led to influences in Comorian culture from the clothing, to the wedding ceremonies.

In 1783, Oman's Saiad Sultan, defeated ruler of Muscat, was granted sovereignty over Gwadar, a coastal city located in theMakran region of what is now the far southwestern corner of Pakistan, SONY VAIO VGN-N11M laptop keyboard

near the present-day border of Iran and at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman.[note 1][17] After regaining control of Muscat, this sovereignty was continued (via an appointed wali, "governor") and close relations were maintained with the Emirs of Sindh. Another point of view is that In the middle of the eighteenth century, Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

Mir Nasir Khan captured Gwadar and its surrounding areas after defeating the Gichkis Tribes and included it in the Kalat Khanate. However, realizing that maintaining control of the area will be difficult without the support of the Gichkis, Mir Nasir entered into an agreement with the local Gichki Chief, which allowed the Gichkis to maintain administrative control of the area, in return for furnishing half the collected revenues to Kalat. This arrangement continued till 1783, HP 431416-001 laptop keyboard

when Saiad Sultan fell out with his brother, the ruler of Muscat, and asked for help. Mir Nasir Khan handed over Gwadar, as part of his share of revenues, to Saiad Sultan for his maintenance with the understanding that the area be returned to Kalat, when Saiad Sultan acquires the throne. Saiad Sultan ascended to the throne of Muscat in 1797 but never returned Gwadar enclave to Kalat. The ensuing struggle between the heirs of the Sultan and Khan of Kalat, HP Compaq G50-133US laptop keyboard

for possession of Gwadar, allowed the British to intervene. The British after extracting concessions from the Sultan for the use of the area facilitated Muscat to retain Gwadar. Later on, the British tried to twist the history by claiming that the area was permanently gifted to the Sultan by Mir Nasir, however, local accounts and the declassified documents of that time refute this claim.[18]

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 [19] In 1913, control of the country split. The interior was ruled by Ibadite imams and the coastal areas by the sultan. Under the terms of the British-brokered Treaty of Seeb of 1920, the sultan recognised the autonomy of the interior. The Sultan of Muscat would be responsible for the external affairs of Oman.[20] Lenovo 3000 Y500 7761 laptop keyboard

Imam Ghalib Bin Ali was the elected Imam of the Imamate of Oman in May 1954.[21] Relations between the Sultan of Muscat, Said bin Taimur, and Imam Ghalib were ruptured over a dispute concerning the right to grant oil concessions.  HP Pavilion dv6-2125el laptop keyboard

A subsidiary of the Iraq Petroleum Company was intensely interested in some promising geological formations near Fahud.[19] Under the terms of the 1920 treaty of Seeb, the Sultan claimed all dealings with the oil company as his prerogative. The Imam, on the other hand, claimed that since the oil was in his territory, anything dealing with it was an internal matter.[19] Compaq Presario CQ56-110US laptop keyboard

In December 1955, Sultan Said bin Taimur sent troops of the Muscat and Oman Field Force to occupy the main centres in Oman, including Nizwa, the capital of the Imamate of Oman, and Ibri.[20] Imam Ghalib bin Ali along with his younger brother Talib bin Ali Al Hinai, led the Imamate of Oman in the Jebel Akhdar War against Sultan Said bin Taimur's attack on his lands. In July 1957, the Sultan's forces were withdrawing, but they were repeatedly ambushed, SONY KFRMBA152A laptop keyboard

sustaining heavy casualties.[20] Sultan Said bin Taimur, however, with the intervention of infantry (two companies of the Cameronians) and armoured car detachments from the British Army and aircraft of the RAF was able to suppress the rebellion.[22] Talib's forces retreated to the inaccessible Jebel Akhdar.[22]

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Colonel David Smiley, who had been seconded to organize the Sultan's Armed Forces, managed to isolate the mountain in autumn 1958 and found a route to the plateau from Wadi Bani Kharu.[23] On 27 January 1959, they occupied the mountain in a surprise operation.[23] Ghalib, Talib and Sulaiman managed to escape to Saudi Arabia, where the imamate's cause was promoted until the 1970s.[23] The Treaty of Seeb was terminated and the autonomous Imamate of Oman abolished giving way to the present day Sultanate.[citation needed] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

In 1955, Makran acceded to Pakistan and was made a district – although Gwadar, at the time, was not included in Makran. On 8 September 1958, Pakistan purchased the Gwadar enclave from Oman for $3 million.[note 2][24] Gwadar then became a tehsil in the Makran district. TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6114 laptop keyboard

Oil reserves were discovered in 1964 and extraction began in 1967. In the Dhofar Rebellion, which began in 1965, leftist forces were pitted against government troops. As the rebellion threatened to overthrow the Sultan's rule in Dhofar, Sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed in a bloodless coup (1970) by his son Qaboos bin Said, Packard Bell Easynote TM99 laptop keyboard

who expanded Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, modernised the state's administration and introduced social reforms. The uprising was finally put down in 1975 with the help of forces from Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and the British Royal Air Force and Special Air Service. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-S5359 laptop keyboard

After deposing his father in 1970, Sultan Qaboos opened up the country, embarked on economic reforms and followed a policy of modernisation by spending on health, education and welfare.[25] In 1981 Oman became a founding member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

It was some time before political reforms were introduced. However, in 1997 Sultan Qaboos decreed that women could stand for election to - and vote for - FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

the majlis al-shura or Consultative Council. Two women were duly elected to the body. In 2002, voting rights were extended to all citizens over the age of 21. Voters were previously chosen from among tribal leaders, intellectuals and businessmen. The first elections to the Consultative Council, the majlis al-shura, in which all citizens over the age of 21 could vote were held in 2003. In 2004, the Sultan appointed Oman's first female minister with portfolio.

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Nearly 100 suspected Islamists were arrested in 2005 and 31 people were convicted of trying to overthrow the government. They were, however, pardoned in June.[11]

Unrest has been inspired by the Arab Spring groundswell of political dissent in the region. Protests began in January 2011, with protestors demanding political reforms and jobs. They were dispersed by riot police in February 2011. HP Pavilion ze4130 Laptop Keyboard

Sultan Qaboos reacted by promising jobs and benefits. In October 2011, elections were held to the Consultative Council, for which Sultan Qaboos promised greater powers. The following year, the government began a crackdown on Internet criticism. In September 2012, trials began of 'activists' accused of posting "abusive and provocative" criticism of the government online. Six were given jail terms of 12–18 months and fines of around $2,500 each.[26] HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

A vast gravel desert plain covers most of central Oman, with mountain ranges along the north (Al Hajar Mountains) and southeast coast, where the country's main cities are also located: the capital city Muscat, Sohar and Sur in the north, andSalalah in the south. Oman's climate is hot and dry in the interior and humid along the coast. During past epochs Oman was covered by ocean, witnessed by the large numbers of fossilized shells existing in areas of the desert away from the modern coastline. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5150 Laptop Keyboard

The peninsula of Musandam (Musandem) exclave, which has a strategic location on theStrait of Hormuz, is separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates.[27] The series of small towns known collectively as Dibba are the gateway to the Musandam peninsula on land and the fishing villages of Musandam by sea, with boats available for hire at Khasab for trips into the Musandam peninsula by sea. HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

Oman's other exclave, inside UAE territory, known as Madha, located halfway between the Musandam Peninsula and the main body of Oman,[27] is part of the Musandam governorate, covering approximately 75 km2 (29 sq mi). SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Madha's boundary was settled in 1969, with the north-east corner of Madha barely 10 m (32.8 ft) from the Fujairah road. Within the Madha exclave is a UAEenclave called Nahwa, belonging to the Emirate of Sharjah, situated about 8 km (5 mi) along a dirt track west of the town of New Madha, consisting of about forty houses with a clinic and telephone exchange.[28]  ASUS F3H Laptop Keyboard

The central desert of Oman is an important source of meteorites for scientific analysis.[29]

Oman has a hot climate and very little rainfall. Annual rainfall in Muscat averages 100 mm (3.9 in), falling mostly in January. The Dhofar Mountains area receives seasonal rainfall (from late June to late September) as a result of the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean saturated with cool moisture and heavy fog.[30] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

The mountain areas receive more plentiful rainfall, and annual rainfall on the higher parts of the Jabal Akhdar probably exceeds 400 mm (15.7 in).[31]Some parts of the coast, particularly near the island of Masirah, sometimes receive no rain at all within the course of a year. The climate generally is very hot, with temperatures reaching around 50 °C (122.0 °F) (peak) in the hot season, from May to September. ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

Desert shrub and desert grass, common to southern Arabia, are found, but vegetation is sparse in the interior plateau, which is largely gravel desert.

The greater monsoon rainfall in Dhofar and the mountains makes the growth there more luxuriant during summer; coconut palmsgrow plentifully in the coastal plains of Dhofar and frankincense is produced in the hills, with abundant oleander and varieties of acacia. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The Al Hajar Mountains are a distinct ecoregion, the highest points in eastern Arabia with wildlife including the Arabian tahr.

Indigenous mammals include the leopard, hyena, fox, wolf, hare, oryx, and ibex. Birds include the vulture, eagle, stork, bustard, Arabian partridge, bee eater, falcon, and sunbird. In 2001, Oman had nine endangered species of mammals and five endangered types of birds[citation needed] and nineteen threatened plant species. HP G62-b10EV laptop keyboard

Decrees have been passed to protect endangered species, including the Arabian leopard, Arabian Oryx, Mountain gazelle, Goitered Gazelle, Arabian tahr, Green sea turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and Olive ridley turtle. However, the Oman Arabian Oryx sanctuary is the first site ever to be deleted from UNESCO's World Heritage List due to the government's decision to reduce the site to 10% of its former size so that the remainder could be opened to oil prospectors.[32] LENOVO AEQA1STU010 laptop keyboard

Drought and limited rainfall contribute to shortages in the nation's water supply, so maintaining an adequate supply of water for agricultural and domestic use is one of Oman's most pressing environmental problems, with limited renewable water resources; 94% of available water is used in farming and 2% for industrial activity, with the majority sourced from fossil water in the desert areas and spring water in hills and mountains. Drinking water is available throughout the country, either piped or delivered. IBM ThinkPad T42 2378 laptop keyboard

The soil in coastal plains, such as Salalah, have shown increased levels of salinity, due to over exploitation of ground water and encroachment by seawater in the water table. Pollution of beaches and other coastal areas by oil tanker traffic through the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman is also a persistent risk. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-128 laptop keyboard

Oman is an absolute monarchy in which all legislative, executive, and judiciary power ultimately rests in the hands of the hereditary sultan, and in which the system of laws is based firmly on Islamic sharia. Freedom House has routinely rated the country "Not Free".[33]

The Omani legislature is the bicameral Council of Oman, consisting of an upper chamber, the Council of State (Majlis ad-Dawlah) and a lower chamber, the Consultative Council (Majlis ash-Shoura).[34] Political parties are banned.[35] DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

The upper chamber has 71 members, appointed by the Sultan from among prominent Omanis; it has only advisory powers.[36] The 84 members of the Consultative Council are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms, but the Sultan makes the final selections and can negotiate the election results.[36] The members are appointed for three-year terms, which may be renewed once.[34] The last elections were held on 15 October 2011. ACER Aspire One A110-1626 laptop keyboard

Sultan Qaboos bin Said is the de facto prime minister and also controls the foreign affairs and defence portfolios.[37] The sultan has absolute power and issueslaws by decree.[38] He is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East.[35]

Since 1970, Oman has pursued a moderate foreign policy and expanded its diplomatic relations dramatically. Oman is among the very few Arab countries that have maintained friendly ties with Iran.[43][44] COMPAQ Presario V6103EA laptop keyboard

WikiLeaks disclosed US diplomatic cables which say that Oman helped free British sailors captured by Iran's navy in 2007.[45] The same cables also portray the Omani government as wishing to maintain cordial relations with Iran and as having continuously turned down US diplomats requesting Oman to take a sterner stance against Iran.[46][47][48] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

The judiciary branch is subordinate to the sultan and the Ministry of Justice. Sharia (Islamic law) is the source of all legislation, and Sharia Court Departments within the civil court system are responsible for family-law matters, such as divorce and inheritance. In some rural areas, tribal laws and customs are frequently used to settle disputes.[38]

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The Basic Statute was issued in the year 1996 and thus far has only been amended once, in 2011,[40] as a response to protests.

The administration of justice is highly personalised, with limited due process protections, especially in political and security-related cases.[41] A 2012 report by Bertelsmann Stiftung declared that while "Oman's legal code theoretically protects civil liberties and personal freedoms, both are regularly ignored by the regime. DELL Inspiron 1564 laptop keyboard

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Oman's military manpower totalled 44,100 in 2006, including 25,000 men in the army, 4,200 sailors in the navy, and an air force with 4,100 personnel. The Royal Household maintained 5,000 Guards, 1,000 in Special Forces, 150 sailors in the Royal Yacht fleet, and 250 pilots and ground personnel in the Royal Flight squadrons. Oman also maintains a modest-sized paramilitary force of 4,400 men.[49] TOSHIBA Satellite P10 Series laptop keyboard

The Royal Army of Oman had 25,000 active personnel in 2006, plus a small contingent of Royal Household troops. Despite a comparative large military spending, it has been relatively slow to modernize its forces. Oman has a relatively limited number of tanks, including 6 M60A1, 73 M60A3, and 38 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, as well as 37 ageing Scorpion light tanks.[49]  HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

The Royal Air Force of Oman has approximately 4,100 men, with only 36 combat aircraft and no armed helicopters. Combat aircraft include 20 ageing Jaguars, 12 Hawk Mk 203s, 4 Hawk Mk 103s, and 12 PC-9 turboprop trainers with a limited combat capability. It has one squadron of 12F-16C/D aircraft. Oman also has 4 A202-18 Bravos, and 8 MFI-17B Mushshaqs.[49]

The Royal Navy of Oman had 4,200 men in 2000, and is headquartered at Seeb. SONY Vaio VGN-AW290J laptop keyboard

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In 2006, Oman had 10 surface combat vessels. These included two 1,450-ton Qahir class corvettes, and 8 ocean-going patrol boats. The Omani Navy had one 2,500-ton Nasr al Bahr classLSL (240 troops, 7 tanks) with a helicopter deck. Oman also had at least four landing craft.[49] Oman ordered three Khareef-class corvettes from the VT Group for £400 million in 2007. They are being built at Portsmouth.[50] ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

In 2010 Oman spent US$4.074 billion on military expenditures, 8.5% of the gross domestic product.[51] The sultanate has a long history of association with the British military and defence industry.[52]

Oman's Basic Statute of the State expresses in Article 11 that the "national economy is based on justice and the principles of afree economy."[55] HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

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Omani citizens enjoy good living standards, but the future is uncertain with Oman's limited oil reserves.[56] Other sources of income, agriculture and industry, are small in comparison and count for less than 1% of the country's exports, but diversification is seen as a priority in the government of Oman. Agriculture, often subsistence in its character, producesdates, limes, grains and vegetables, but with less than 1% of the country under cultivation Oman is likely to remain a net importer of food. HP AEUT3U00020 Laptop Keyboard

Since the slump in oil prices in 1998, Oman has made active plans to diversify its economy and is placing a greater emphasis on other areas of industry, such as tourism.

Metkore Alloys is due to build a world-class 1,650,000-tonnes-per-annum capacity ferro-chrome smelter in Oman with an envisaged investment of $80 million.[57]  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

A free-trade agreement with the United States took effect 1 January 2009, eliminating tariff barriers on all consumer and industrial products, also providing strong protections for foreign businesses investing in Oman.[58] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Tourism, another source of Oman's revenue, is on the rise.[59] A popular event is The Khareef Festival held in Salalah, Dhofar, which is 1,200 km from the capital city of Muscat, during the monsoon season (August) and is similar to Muscat Festival. During this latter event the mountains surrounding Salalah are popular with tourists as a result of the cool weather and lush greenery, rarely found anywhere else in Oman.[60] HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

Oman's foreign workers send an estimated US$30 billion annually to their Asian and African home states, more than half of them earning a monthly wage of less than US$400.[61] The largest foreign community is from the south Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka or come from Maharastra, Gujarat and thePunjab,[62] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

representing more than half of entire workforce in Oman. Salaries for overseas workers are known to be less than for Omani nationals, though still from two to five times higher than for the equivalent job in India.[61] HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The Oman Ferries Company maintains the two diesel-powered, high-speed, car ferries – Shinas and Hormouz. The ferries are used for travel between Muscat andKhasab. Khasab is strategically located in Musandam on the southern tip of the Strait of Hormuz and is controlled by Oman. Mainland Oman is separated by a small strip of UAE territory from Musandam.[63] HP Pavilion G7-1073NR Laptop Keyboard

Oman's proved reserves of petroleum total about 5.5 billion barrels, 24th largest in the world.[64] Oil is extracted and processed by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), with proven oil reserves holding approximately steady, although oil production has been declining.[65][66] The Ministry of Oil and Gas is responsible for all oil and gas infrastructure and projects in Oman.[67] HP Pavilion dv6-3141se Laptop Keyboard

Between 2000 and 2007, production fell by more than 26%, from 972,000 to 714,800 barrels per day.[68] Production has recovered to 816,000 barrels in 2009,[69] and 930,000 barrels per day in 2012.[68] IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

Oman's natural gas reserves are estimated at 849.5 billion cubic meters, ranking 28th in the world, and production in 2008 was about 24 billion cubic meters per year.[70]

According to the 2010 census, the total population was 2,773,479 and of those, 1,957,336 were Omanis.[3] The population has grown from 2,340,815 million in the 2003 census.[3] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

The total fertility rate in 2011 was estimate at 3.70.[71] 43% of the population is under the age of 15.[72] About 50% of the population lives in Muscat and the Batinah coastal plain northwest of the capital; about 200,000 live in the Dhofar (southern) region, and about 30,000 live in the remote Musandam Peninsula on the Strait of Hormuz. ACER Aspire 2920Z Laptop Keyboard

The country has a racially mixed population, a legacy of its imperial past.[25] Many Omani people originate from East Africaor Baluchistan.[73] Some 600,000 foreigners live in Oman, most of whom are guest workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt,India and the Philippines. Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

About 75% of Oman is Muslim.[74] The Oman government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation, but most citizens are Muslims.[56] Around half of the population follows the Ibadi school of Islam,[35] which is distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations and the only remaining expression of Kharijism, which was created as a result of one of the first schisms within the religion. Despite their influence over the governance of Oman, Ibadhis only comprise around 45% of the population, with Sunnis in the slight majority.[73] HP Mini 110-3120la Laptop Keyboard

Non-Muslim religious communities include various groups of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Baha'is, andChristians. Christian communities are centered in the major urban areas of Muscat, Sohar, and Salalah and include Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and various Protestant congregations, organizing along linguistic and ethnic lines. Lenovo ThinkPad T410-2516 Laptop Keyboard

More than 50 different Christian groups, fellowships, and assemblies are active in the Muscat metropolitan area, formed by migrant workers from Southeast Asia, there are also small communities of ethnic Indian Hindus and Christians. Citizenship is granted to immigrants in Oman after a minimum of 5 years of residency or spouses of Omani citizens if applied for. Lenovo Thinkpad T410I Laptop Keyboard

Arabic is the official language of Oman.[55] English is widely spoken.[75] Endangered languages in Oman include Bathari, Harsusi, Hobyot, Jibbali, Khojki,Kumzari, Mehri, Zidgali.[76] Oman was the first Persian Gulf state to have German taught as second language.[77] ASUS A6700L Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Although Arabic is Oman's official language, there are native speakers of different dialects, as well as Balochi (the language of the Baloch from Baluchistan western-Pakistan, eastern Iran), and southern Afghanistan or offshoots of Southern Arabian, and some descendants of Sindhi sailors. Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5055 Laptop

Swahili[6] and English are also widely spoken in the country due to the historical relations between Oman and Zanzibar the two languages have been linked historically. The dominant indigenous language is a dialect of Arabic and the country has also adopted English as a second language. Almost all signs and writings appear in both Arabic and English.[59] A significant number also speak Urdu, due to the influx of Pakistani migrants during the late 1980s and the 1990s. HP Pavilion dv6-2160es laptop keyboard

Outwardly, Oman shares many of the cultural characteristics of its Arab neighbours, particularly those in the Gulf Cooperation Council.[73] Despite some superficial similarities, important factors make Oman unique in the Middle East.[73]These are as much a product of geography and history as of culture and economic change.[73]

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 [73] Furthermore, there is sufficient cultural heterogeneity within its national boundaries to consider Oman differently from other Arab States of the Persian Gulf.[73] It is also claimed that Oman's cultural diversity is much greater than that of its Arab neighbours, given its historical expansion to East Africa and the Indian Ocean.[73] TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

The shipbuilding industry is traditional in Oman, as ships have played a major role in the Omanis' ability to sail to stay in touch with the civilisations of the ancient world. Sur was one of the most famous cities overlooking the Indian Ocean to manufacture ships. The Al Ghanja ship takes one whole year to build. Other types of Omani ship include As Sunbouq and Al Badan.[79] TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

The male national dress is the dishdasha, a simple, ankle-length, collarless gown with long sleeves.[80] The colour most frequently worn is white, although a variety of other colours can also be seen. Its main adornment is a tassel (furakha) sewn into the neckline, which can be impregnated with perfume.[81] HP Pavilion DV7-3085dx laptop keyboard

Underneath the dishdasha, a plain, wide strip of cloth is worn, wrapped around the body from the waist down. The most noted regional differences in dishdasha designs are the style with which they are embroidered, which varies according to age group.[80] On formal occasions, the dishdasha may be covered by a black or beige cloak, called a bisht. The embroidery edging the cloak is often in silver or gold thread and it is intricate in detail.[81] SONY VAIO VGN-SZ770N laptop keyboard

 Two types of head dress are worn by Omani men, the mussar, a square cut piece of woven wool or cotton fabric of a single colour, decorated with various embroidered patterns, and kummah a cap that is the head dress worn during leisure hours.[80] Some men carry the assa, a stick, which can have practical uses or is simply used as an accessory during formal events. Omani men, on the whole, wear sandals on their feet.[81] ACER Aspire 9411awsmi ms2195 laptop keyboard

The khanjar (dagger) is part of the national dress and men wear the khanjar on all formal public occasions and festivals.[80] It is traditionally worn at the waist. Sheaths may vary from simple covers to ornate silver or gold-decorated pieces.[81] It is a symbol of a man's origin, his manhood and courage. The khanjar is incorporated into the national flag.[80] Compaq Presario CQ42-219AX laptop keyboard

Omani women wear eye-catching national costumes, with distinctive regional variations. All costumes incorporate vivid colours and vibrant embroidery and decorations. In the past, the choice of colours was linked to a tribe's tradition. The Omani women's traditional costume comprises several garments: HP Mini 311-1000NR laptop keyboard

the dishdasha or kandoorah, which is a long tunic whose sleeves or radoon are adorned with hand-stitched embroidery of various designs. The dishdasha is worn over a pair of loose fitting trousers, tight at the ankles, known as asirwal. Women also wear a head shawl most commonly referred to as the lihaf.[82]  Packard Bell NEW90 laptop keyboard

Women reserve wearing their traditional dress for special occasions, and instead now choose to wear a loose black cloak called abayaover their personal choice of clothing, whilst in some regions, particularly amongst the Bedouin, a face mask known as a burqa is still worn to this day.[82] Women wear hijab, and though some women cover their faces and hands, most do not. The Sultan has forbidden the covering of faces in public office.[74] TOSHIBA Satellite L655D-S5067 laptop keyboard

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The main daily meal is usually eaten at midday, while the evening meal is lighter. During Ramadan, dinner is served after the Taraweeh prayers, sometimes as late as 11 pm. However these dinner timings differ according to each family and when they eat, for instance some families would choose to eat right aftermaghrib prayers and have dessert after taraweh.  HP G71-449WM laptop keyboard

Arsia is a festival meal, served during celebrations, which consists of mashed rice and meat, sometimes chicken instead. Another popular festival meal is shuwa, which is meat cooked very slowly (sometimes for up to 2 days) in an underground clay oven. The meat becomes extremely tender and it is infused with spices and herbs before cooking to give it a very distinct taste. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Mashuai is a meal consisting of a whole spit-roasted kingfish served with lemon rice.

Rukhal bread is a thin, round bread originally baked over a fire made from palm leaves. It is eaten at any meal, typically served with Omani honey for breakfast or crumbled over curry for dinner. Chicken, HP Pavilion dv6-3034nr laptop keyboard

fish and mutton are regularly used in dishes. The Omani Halwa is a very popular sweet, it is basically cooked raw sugar with nuts. There are many different flavors, the most popular ones being the black halwa (original) and the saffron halwa. Halwa is considered as a symbol of Omani hospitality, and is traditionally served with coffee.[87] TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2804 laptop keyboard

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Music of Oman. In 1985, Sultan Qaboos decided to found the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, a decision attributed to his love for classical music. Instead of engaging foreign musicians, he decided to establish an orchestra made up of Omanis.[83] On 1 July 1987, the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert, at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel's Oman Auditorium. SONY VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q laptop keyboard

The Oman Centre for Traditional Music was established in 1984 to preserve them.[85]

The cinema of Oman is very small, there being only one Omani film Al-Boom (2006) as of 2007.

The government aims to give young people a fully rounded education by providing activities and experience in the sporting, cultural, intellectual, HP Pavilion dv6-3141se laptop keyboard

social and scientific spheres, and to excel internationally in these areas and for this reason, in October 2004, the government created a Ministry of Sports Affairs to replace the General Organization for youth, sports and cultural affairs. HP Pavilion dv6-2154ca laptop keyboard

The 2009 Gulf Cup of Nations, the 19th edition, took place in Muscat, from 4 to 17 January 2009 and was won by the Omani national football team.

Ali Al-Habsi is an Omani professional association football player. He currently plays in the Premier League as a goalkeeperfor Wigan Athletic.[88] TOSHIBA Tecra M6 laptop keyboard

The International Olympic Committee awarded the former GOYSCA its prestigious prize for Sporting excellence in recognition of its contributions to youth and sports and its efforts to promote the Olympic spirit and goals. SONY VAIO VGN-NW240F laptop keyboard

The Oman Olympic Committee played a major part in organizing the highly successful 2003 Olympic Days, which were of great benefit to the sports associations, clubs and young participants. The football association took part, along with the handball, basketball, rugby union, hockey,volleyball, athletics, swimming, and tennis associations. In 2010, Muscat hosted the 2010 Asian Beach Games. DELL Inspiron 510m Laptop Keyboard

They also host tennis tournaments in different age divisions each year. Inside the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex stadium contains a 50 meter pool for swimming which is used for international tournaments from different schools in different countries. The Tour of Oman, a professional cycling 6-day stage race, is held in February. DELL 454RX Laptop Keyboard

Oman also hosted the Asian 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualifiers, where 11 teams were competing for 3 spots at the FIFA World Cup.

Oman hosted the Men's and Women's 2012 Beach Handball World Championships at the Millennium Resort in Mussanah, from 8 to 13 July.[89] SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

Oman is perhaps the only Persian Gulf nation to have bullfighting events organised in its territories. Al-Batena area is prominent for such events. Wide audiences turn up to see the events unfold. Omani bullfighting is however not a violent event. The origins of Bullfighting in Oman are unknown though many locals here believe it was brought to Oman by the Moors of Spanish origin. Yet others say it has a direct connection with Portugal which colonized the Omani coastline for nearly two centuries.[90] DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

The adult literacy rate in 2008 was 86.6%.[91] Before 1970, only three formal schools existed in the whole country with fewer than 1000 students receiving education in them. Since Sultan Qaboos came to power in 1970, the government has given high priority to education to develop a domestic work force, SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

which the government considers a vital factor in the country's economic and social progress. Today there are over 1000 state schools and about 650,000 students.

In 1986, Oman's first university, Sultan Qaboos University, opened. University of Nizwa is also one of the fastest growing universities in Oman. Other post-secondary institutions in Oman include Higher College of Technology and its six other colleges of technology, Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

six colleges of applied sciences (including a teacher's training college), a college of banking and financial studies, an institute of Sharia sciences, and several nursing institutes. Some 200 scholarships are awarded each year for study abroad. COMPAQ Presario C500 Laptop Keyboard

According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, the top-ranking universities in the country are Sultan Qaboos University (1678th worldwide), the Dhofar University (6011th) and the University of Nizwa (6093rd).[92] HP Pavilion dv4-1220us Laptop Keyboard

Life expectancy at birth in Oman is estimated to be 76.1 years in 2010.[71] As of 2010, there were an estimated 2.1 physicians and 2.1 hospital beds per 1,000 people.[71] In 1993, 89% of the population had access to health care services. In 2000, 99% of the population had access to health care services.[ TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard

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citation needed]During the last three decades, the Oman health care system has demonstrated and reported great achievements in health care services and preventive and curative medicine. In 2001, Oman was ranked number 8 by the World Health Organization.[93] The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations' global development network. It advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

UNDP operates in 177 countries, working with nations on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and its wide range of partners. SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

UNDP is an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP Administrator is the third highest-ranking official of the United Nations after the United Nations Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General.[2] SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

Headquartered in New York City, the UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from member nations. The organization has country offices in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity. Additionally, the UNDP works internationally to help countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Currently, the UNDP is one of the main UN agencies involved in the development of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

UNDP provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. To accomplish the MDGs and encourage global development, UNDP focuses on poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, democratic governance, energy and environment, social development, and crisis prevention and recovery. UNDP also encourages the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women in all of its programs.

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In addition to a global Report, UNDP publishes regional, national, and local Human Development Reports.[3]

UNDP’s offices and staff are on the ground in 177 countries, working with governments and local communities to help them find solutions to global and national development challenges.

UNDP links and coordinates global and national efforts to achieve the goals and national development priorities laid out by host countries. UNDP focuses primarily on five developmental challenges: HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

Democratic governance UNDP supports national democratic transitions by providing policy advice and technical support, improving institutional and individual capacity within countries, educating populations about and advocating for democratic reforms, promoting negotiation and dialogue, TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

and sharing successful experiences from other countries and locations. UNDP also supports existing democratic institutions by increasing dialogue, enhancing national debate, and facilitating consensus on national governance programs. SONY VAIO VGN-FW180FU Laptop Keyboard

Poverty reduction UNDP helps countries develop strategies to combat poverty by expanding access to economic opportunities and resources, linking poverty programs with countries’ larger goals and policies, and ensuring a greater voice for the poor. UNDP also works at the macro level to reform trade, encourage debt relief and foreign investment, and ensure the poorest of the poor benefit from globalisation.

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In this way, UNDP works with local leaders and governments to provide opportunities for impoverished people to create businesses and improve their economic condition.

The UNDP International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)[1] in Brasília, Brasil expands the capacities of developing countries to design, implement and evaluate socially inclusive development projects. IPC-IG is a global forum for South-South policy dialogue and learning, having worked with more than 7,000 officials from more than 50 countries. DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

Crisis prevention and recovery UNDP works to reduce the risk of armed conflicts or disasters, and promote early recovery after crisis have occurred. UNDP works through its country offices to support local government in needs assessment, capacity development, coordinated planning, and policy and standard setting. TOSHIBA NB200-10J Laptop Keyboard

Examples of UNDP risk reduction programs include efforts to control small arms proliferation, strategies to reduce the impact of natural disasters, and programs to encourage use of diplomacy and prevent violence.

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Environment and Energy As the poor are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack of access to clean, affordable water, sanitation and energy services, UNDP seeks to address environmental issues in order to improve developing countries’ abilities to develop sustainably, increase human development and reduce poverty. HP 6730S laptop keyboard

UNDP’s environmental strategy focuses on effective water governance including access to water supply and sanitation, access to sustainable energy services, Sustainable land management to combat desertification and land degradation, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and policies to control emissions of harmful pollutants and ozone-depleting substances. SONY Vaio VGN-FW390 laptop keyboard

UNDP's Equator Initiative office biennially offers the Equator Prize to recognize outstanding indigenous community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and thus making local contributions to achieving theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs). TOSHIBA Satellite L200 laptop keyboard

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HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS is a big issue in today's society and UNDP works to help countries prevent further spreading and reduce its impact.

Hub for Innovative Partnerships Major programmes underway are[7]::

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The UNDG brings together the operational agencies working on development. The Group is chaired by the Administrator of UNDP. UNDP also provides the Secretariat to the Group.

The UNDG develops policies and procedures that allow member agencies to work together and analyze country issues, plan support strategies, implement support programmes, monitor results and advocate for change. These initiatives increase UN impact in helping countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including poverty reduction. HP Pavilion dv5-1174ca laptop keyboard

32 UN agencies are members of the UNDG. The Executive Committee consists of the four "founding members": UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP and UNDP. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.

The first administrator of the UNDP was Paul G. Hoffman, former head of the Economic Cooperation Administration which administered the Marshall Plan. SONY VAIO PCG-FR33/B laptop keyboard

Other holders of the position have included: Bradford Morse, former Republican congressman from Massachusetts; William Draper, venture capitalist and friend ofGeorge H.W. Bush who saw one of the UN system's major achievements, the Human Development Report, introduced during his tenure; Mark Malloch Brown, who was previously Vice President of External Affairs at the World Bank and subsequently became UN Deputy Secretary General. DELL Vostro 1014 laptop keyboard

Kemal Derviş, a former finance minister of Turkey and senior World Bank official, was the previous UNDP Administrator. Derviş started his four-year term on 15 August 2005.

kilometres (16–31 mi) off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar), and Pemba.

The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City. Its historic centre, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site and is claimed to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.[5] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism.[6] In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg,cinnamon, and black pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islands in Indonesia). Zanzibar is the home of the endemicZanzibar Red Colobus Monkey, the Zanzibar Servaline Genet, and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

According to some,[who?] Persian traders used Zanzibar as a base for voyages between the Middle East, India, and Africa. Unguja, the larger island, offered a protected and defensible harbor, so although the archipelago offered few products of value, the Persians settled at what became Zanzibar City ("Stone Town") a convenient point from which to trade with East African coastal towns. They established garrisons on the islands and built the first Zoroastrian fire temples and mosques in the southern hemisphere.[10] FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 Laptop Keyboard

Vasco da Gama's visit in 1498 marked the beginning of European influence. In 1503 or 1504, Zanzibar became part of the Portuguese Empire when Captain Ruy Lourenço Ravasco Marques landed and demanded and received tribute from the sultan in exchange for peace.[11]:page: 99 Zanzibar remained a possession of Portugal for almost two centuries. HP 594706-001 Laptop Keyboard

It initially became part of the Portuguese province of Arabia and Ethiopia and was administered by a governor general. Around 1571, Zanzibar became part of the western division of the Portuguese empire and was administered from Mozambique.[12]:page: 15 It appears, however, that the Portuguese did not closely administer Zanzibar. The first English ship to visit Unguja, the Edward Bonaventure in 1591, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

found that there was no Portuguese fort or garrison. The extent of their occupation was a trade depot where produce was purchased and collected for shipment to Mozambique. "In other respects, the affairs of the island were managed by the local 'king,' the predecessor of the Mwinyi Mkuu of Dunga."[8]:page: HP Pavilion dv6-2044ca Laptop Keyboard

81 This hands-off approach ended when Portugal established a fort on Pemba around 1635 in response to the Sultan of Mombasa's slaughter of Portuguese residents several years earlier. Portugal had long considered Pemba to be a troublesome launching point for rebellions in Mombasa against Portuguese rule.[8]:page: 85DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

The sultans of Unguja to whom the Portuguese referred repeatedly in historical accounts probably were of African origin, with possibly some strain of Persian or Asiatic blood derived from the Persian colonists of the later Middle Ages. SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

While the Persians left many examples of their presence on Pemba, such as ruined stone houses,[citation needed] the sultans of Unguja left almost no trace of their existence.[citation needed] Their capital at Unguja Kuu probably was an extensive native town of African construction and composed mainly of perishable materials.[8]:page: 89SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Although there were Arabs in Zanzibar and the remainder of coastal East Africa both before and after the Portuguese, the political situation was far different.

The older settlements prior to the arrival of the Portuguese are quite distinct from the later lordship of Oman and Maskat.... When the Portuguese arrived in 1498 they found on the coast a series of independent towns, peopled by Arabs, Lenovo 3000 G230 laptop keyboard

but not united to Arabia by any political tie. Their relations with these Arabs were mostly hostile, but during the sixteenth century they firmly established their power, and ruled with the aid of tributary Arab sultans. This system lasted till 1631, when the Sultan of Mombasa massacred the European inhabitants. In the remainder of their rule[,] the Portuguese appointed European governors, who were apparently most distasteful to the natives, for they invited the Arabs of Oman, who now appear on the scene for the first time, to assist them in driving the foreigners out.[12]:page: 9Dell Latitude D410 laptop keyboard

In 1698, Zanzibar fell under the control of the Sultanate of Oman.[13]

In 1832,[11]:page: 162 or 1840[14]:page: 2,045 (the date varies among sources), Said bin Sultan moved his capital from Muscat, Oman to Stone Town in Zanzibar City. After Said's death in June 1856, two of his sons, Thuwaini bin Said and Majid bin Said, struggled over the succession. Said's will divided his dominions into two separate principalities, ACER Aspire 1680 laptop keyboard

with Thuwaini to become the Sultan of Oman and Majid to become the first Sultan of Zanzibar. The brothers quarrelled about the will, which was eventually upheld by Lord Charles Canning, Great Britain's Viceroy and Governor-General of India.[11]:pages: 163-4[12]:pages: 22-3TOSHIBA Tecra A9-S9016X laptop keyboard

Until around 1890, the sultans of Zanzibar controlled a substantial portion of the East African coast, known as Zanj, which included Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, and trading routes extending much further inland, such as the route leading to Kindu on the Congo River. Beginning in 1886, Great Britain and Germany plotted to obtain parts of the Zanzibar sultanate for their own empires.[14]:page: 188 In October 1886, HP Mini 210-2006sa laptop keyboard

a British-German border commission established the Zanj as a 10 nautical mile (19 km) wide strip along most of the coast of East Africa, stretching from Cape Delgado (now in Mozambique) to Kipini (now in Kenya), includingMombasa and Dar es Salaam. Over the next few years, however, almost all of these mainland possessions were lost to European imperial powers. Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

The sultans developed an economy of trade and cash crops in the Zanzibar Archipelago with a ruling Arab elite. Ivory was a major trade good. The archipelago, also known as the Spice Islands, was famous worldwide for its cloves and other spices, and plantations were developed to grow them. The archipelago's commerce gradually fell into the hands of traders from the Indian subcontinent, whom Said bin Sultan encouraged to settle on the islands. HP Mini 110-3110sq laptop keyboard

During his 14-year reign as sultan, Majid bin Said consolidated his power around the East African slave trade. Malindi in Zanzibar City was East Africa's main port for the slave market between Africa and Asia (including the Middle East), and in the mid-19th century as many as 50,000 slaves passed annually through the port. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Many were captives of Tippu Tib, a notorious Arab slave trader and ivory merchant. Tib led huge expeditions, some 4,000 strong, into the African interior, where chiefs sold him their villagers for next to nothing. These Tib used to caravan ivory back to Zanzibar, then sold them in the slave market for large profits. In time Tib became one of the wealthiest men in Zanzibar, the owner of multiple plantations and 10,000 slaves.[15] HP G61-408CA laptop keyboard

One of Majid's brothers, Barghash bin Said, succeeded him and helped abolish the slave trade in the Zanzibar Archipelago and largely developed Unguja's infrastructure.[16] Another brother of Majid, Khalifa bin Said, was the third sultan of Zanzibar and furthered the archipelago's progress toward abolishing slavery.[11]:page: 172Compaq Presario CQ71-420ED laptop keyboard

Control of Zanzibar eventually came into the hands of the British Empire; part of the political impetus for this was the 19th century movement for the abolition of the slave trade.[citation needed]

The relationship between Britain and the German Empire, at that time the nearest relevant colonial power, was formalized by the 1890 Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany agreed to "recognize the British protectorate over ... the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba".[17] That year, Zanzibar became a protectorate (not a colony) of Britain. SONY VAIO VGN-CR220E laptop keyboard

From 1890 to 1913, traditional viziers were appointed to govern as puppets, switching to a system of British residents (effectively governors) from 1913 to 1963. The death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash, who the British did not approve, led to the Anglo-Zanzibar War. On the morning of 27 August 1896, HP Pavilion dv6-3045eo laptop keyboard

ships of the Royal Navy destroyed the Beit al Hukum Palace. A cease fire was declared 38 minutes later, and to this day the bombardment stands as the shortest war in history.[18]

The House of Representatives has a similar composition to the National Assembly of Tanzania. 50 members are elected directly from electoral constituencies to serve five-year terms; 10 members are appointed by the President of Zanzibar; Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

15 special seats are for women members of political parties that have representation in the House of Representatives; 6 members serve ex officio, including all regional commissioners and the attorney general.[21] Five of these 81 members are then elected to represent Zanzibar in the National Assembly.[22] Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

Unguja has three administrative regions: Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North and Zanzibar Urban/West. Pemba has two: Pemba North and Pemba South.[23]

Concerning the independence and sovereignty of Zanzibar, Tanzania Prime Minister Mizengo Pindasaid on 3 July 2008 that there was "nothing like the sovereignty of Zanzibar in the Union Government unless the Constitution is changed in [the] future". HP Mini 210-1110SB laptop keyboard

Zanzibar House of Representatives members from both the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, and the opposition party, Civic United Front, disagreed and stood firmly in recognizing Zanzibar as a fully autonomous state.[24]

Zanzibar has a government of national unity, with the current president of Zanzibar being Ali Mohamed Shein, since 1 November 2010. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-AS01UK laptop keyboard

There are many political parties in Zanzibar, but the most popular parties are the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Civic United Front (CUF). Since the early 1990s, the politics of the archipelago have been marked by repeated clashes between these two parties.

Contested elections in October 2000 led to a massacre on 27 January 2001 when, according to Human Rights Watch, the army and police shot into crowds of protestors, TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5075 laptop keyboard

killing at least 35 and wounding more than 600. Those forces, accompanied by ruling party officials and militias, also went on a house-to-house rampage, indiscriminately arresting, beating, and sexually abusing residents. Approximately 2,000 temporarily fled to Kenya.[25]

Violence erupted again after another contested election on 31 October 2005, with the CUF claiming that its rightful victory had been stolen from it. Nine people were killed.[26][27] HP Pavilion G4-1016TX LQ368PA laptop keyboard

Following 2005, negotiations between the two parties aiming at the long-term resolution of the tensions and a power-sharing accord took place, but they suffered repeated setbacks. The most notable of these took place in April 2008, when the CUF walked away from the negotiating table following a CCM call for a referendum to approve of what had been presented as a done deal on the power-sharing agreement.[28] TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

In November 2009, the then-president of Zanzibar, Amani Abeid Karume, met with CUF secretary-general Seif Sharif Hamad at the State House to discuss how to save Zanzibar from future political turmoil and to end the animosity between them.[29] This move was welcomed by many, including the United States.[30] It was the first time since the multi-party system was introduced in Zanzibar that the CUF agreed to recognize Karume as the legitimate president of Zanzibar.[29] ACER Aspire 7535 Laptop Keyboard

A proposal to amend Zanzibar's constitution to allow rival parties to form governments of national unity was adopted by 66.2 percent of voters on 31 July 2010.[31]

Considerable disparities exist in the standard of living for inhabitants of Pemba and Unguja, as well as the disparity between urban and rural populations. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Despite a relatively high standard of primary health care and education, infant mortality in Zanzibar is 54 out of 1,000 live births, which is 10.0 percent lower than the rate in mainland Tanzania. The child mortality rate in Zanzibar is 73 out of 1,000 live births, which is 21.5 percent lower than the rate in mainland Tanzania.[48] DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Malnutrition affects an estimated one in three of Zanzibar's people.[citation needed]

Life expectancy at birth is 57 years,[49] which is significantly lower than the 2010 world average of 67.2.

The general prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the sexually active population of Zanzibar is 0.6 percent, with the rate slightly higher in females (0.7 percent) than males (0.5 percent).  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

The rate for divorced women, however, is 10 percent and is even higher for injecting drug users (16 percent), men who have sex with men (MSM) (12.3 percent), and female sex workers (10.8 percent). Among MSM, 13.9 percent reported injecting drugs within the previous three months, 77.5 percent reported being paid for sex within the previous year, and 71.2 percent reported having female sex partners within the previous year. Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

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Also in the early 1960s, independence movements in the Portuguese overseas provinces of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea in Africa, resulted in the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974).

Throughout the colonial war period Portugal had to deal with increasing dissent, arms embargoes and other punitive sanctions imposed by most of the international community. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

However, the authoritarian and conservative Estado Novo regime, firstly installed and governed by António de Oliveira Salazar and from 1968 onwards led by Marcelo Caetano, tried to preserve a vast centuries-long intercontinental empire with a total area of 2,168,071 km2.[31] TOSHIBA Satellite P10 Series laptop keyboard

The Portuguese government and army successfully resisted the decolonization of its overseas territories until April 1974, when a bloodless left-wing military coup in Lisbon, known as the Carnation Revolution, led the way for the independence of the overseas territories in Africa and Asia, as well as for the restoration of democracy after two years of a transitional period known as PREC (Processo Revolucionário Em Curso).  HP Mini 210-1073TU laptop keyboard

This period was characterized by social turmoil and power disputes between left- and right-wing political forces. The retreat from the overseas territories and the acceptance of its independence terms by Portuguese head representatives for overseas negotiations, which would create independent states in 1975, prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique).[32][33] SONY Vaio VGN-AW290J laptop keyboard

Over one million Portuguese refugees fled the former Portuguese provinces. Mário Soares and António de Almeida Santos were charged with organising the independence of Portugal's overseas territories. By 1975, all the Portuguese African territories were independent and Portugal held its first democratic elections in 50 years. SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

The country continued to be governed by a Junta de Salvação Nacional until the Portuguese legislative election of 1976. It was won by the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS) and Mário Soares, its leader, became Prime Minister of the 1st Constitutional Government on 23 July. Mário Soares would be Prime Minister from 1976 to 1978 and again from 1983 to 1985. ACER TravelMate 6292 laptop keyboard

In this capacity Soares tried to resume the economic growth and development record that had been achieved before the Carnation Revolution, during the last decade of the previous regime. He initiated the process of accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) by starting accession negotiations as early as 1977. HP Pavilion dv6-2019ax laptop keyboard

The country bounced between socialism and adherence to the neoliberal model. Land reform and nationalizations were enforced; the Portuguese Constitution (approved in 1976) was rewritten in order to accommodate socialist and communist principles. Until the constitutional revisions of 1982 and 1989, ACER Aspire 7745G Laptop Keyboard

the constitution was a highly charged ideological document with numerous references to socialism, the rights of workers, and the desirability of a socialist economy. Portugal's economic situation after its transition to democracy, obliged the government to pursue International Monetary Fund (IMF)-monitored stabilization programs in 1977–78 and 1983–85. HP AEUT3U00020 Laptop Keyboard

In 1986, Portugal joined the European Economic Community (EEC) that later became the European Union (EU). In the following years Portugal's economy progressed considerably as a result of EEC/EU structural and cohesion fundsand Portuguese companies' easier access to foreign markets.  DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau, was peacefully handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1999, under the 1987 joint declaration that set the terms for Macau's handover from Portugal to the PRC. In 2002, the independence of East Timor (Asia) was formally recognized by Portugal, after an incomplete decolonization process that was started in 1975 because of the Carnation Revolution. SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

On 26 March 1995, Portugal started to implement Schengen Area rules, eliminating border controls with other Schengen members while simultaneously strengthening border controls with non-member states. In 1996 the country was a co-founder of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) headquartered in Lisbon. Expo '98 took place in Portugal and in 1999 it was one of the founding countries of the euro and the eurozone. HP 640436-001 Laptop Keyboard

On 5 July 2004, José Manuel Barroso, then Prime Minister of Portugal, was nominated President of the European Commission, the most powerful office in the European Union. On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, after had been signed by the European Union member states on 13 December 2007 in the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and improving the coherence of its action. FUJITSU Lifebook P7120 Laptop Keyboard

Economic disruption and an unsustainable government debt in the wake of the late-2000s financial crisis led the country to negotiate in 2011 with the IMF and the European Union, through the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), a loan to help the country stabilise its finances. DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

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Portugal is defined as a Mediterranean climate (Csa in the south, interior, and Douro region; Csb in the north, centre and coastal Alentejo; and also Semi-arid climate or Steppe climate (Bsk in certain parts of Beja district) according to theKoppen-Geiger Climate Classification), and is one of the warmest European countries: HP Mini 210-1073TU Laptop Keyboard

the annual average temperature inmainland Portugal varies from 12 °C (53.6 °F) in the mountainous interior north to over 18 °C (64.4 °F) in the south and on the Guadiana river basin. The Algarve, separated from the Alentejo region by mountains reaching up to 900 metres (3,000 ft) in Pico da Foia, has a climate similar to that of the southern coastal areas of Spain or Southern California. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5150 Laptop Keyboard

Annual average rainfall in the mainland varies from just over 3,000 mm (118.1 in) in the northern mountains to less than 300 mm (11.8 in) in the area of the Massueime River, near Côa, along the Douro river. Mount Pico is recognized as receiving the largest annual rainfall (over 6,250 mm (246.1 in) per year) in Portugal, according to Instituto de Meteorologia (English: Portuguese Meteorological Institute).[34] HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard

In some areas, such as the Guadiana basin, annual average temperatures can be as high as 20 °C (68 °F), but summer highest temperatures may be over 45 °C(113 °F). The record high of 47.4 °C (117.3 °F) was recorded in Amareleja, although this might not be the hottest spot in summer, according to satellite readings.[35][36] SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Snowfalls occur regularly in the interior North and Center of the country in particular in the districts of Vila Real, Bragança, Viseu and Guarda. In winter temperatures may drop below −10 °C (14.0 °F) in particular in Serra da Estrela, Serra do Gerês and Serra de Montesinho. In these places snow can fall any time from October to May. In the south of the country snowfalls are rare but still occur in the highest elevations.  ASUS F3H Laptop Keyboard

The country has around 2500 to 3200 hours of sunshine a year, an average of 4–6 h in winter and 10–12 h in the summer, with higher values in the southeast and lower in the northwest.

The sea surface temperature on the west coast of mainland Portugal varies from 13 °C (55.4 °F)-15 °C (59.0 °F) in winter to 18 °C (64.4 °F)-20 °C(68.0 °F) in the summer while on the south coast it ranges from 15 °C (59.0 °F) in Winter and rises in the summer to about 23 °C (73.4 °F) occasionally reaching 26 °C (78.8 °F). SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

Both the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira have a subtropical climate, although variations between islands exist, making weather predictions very difficult (owing to rough topography). The Madeira and Azorean archipelagos have a narrower temperature range, with annual average temperatures exceeding 20 °C (68 °F)along the coast (according to the Portuguese Meteorological Institute). Some islands in Azores do have drier months in the summer. Consequently, ACER TravelMate 6292 Laptop Keyboard

the island of the Azores have been identified as having a Mediterranean climate (both Csa and Csb types), while some islands (such as Flores or Corvo) are classified as Maritime Temperate (Cfb) or Humid subtropical (Cfa), respectively, according to Koppen-Geiger classification. Porto Santo island in Madeira has a semi-arid Steppe climate (BSh). HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

The Savage Islands, which are part of the regional territory of Madeira are unique in being classified as a Desert climates (BWh) with an annual average rainfall of approximately 150 mm (5.9 in). The sea surface temperature in the archipelagos varies from 17 °C (62.6 °F)-18 °C (64.4 °F) in winter to 24 °C (75.2 °F)-25 °C (77.0 °F) in the summer occasionally reaching 26 °C (78.8 °F).

Azores, and in particular on the island of Madeira, there are large forests of endemic Laurisilva forests (the latter protected as a natural heritage preserve). ACER Aspire 2920Z Laptop Keyboard

There are several species of diverse mammalian fauna, including the fox, badger, Iberian lynx, Iberian Wolf, wild goat (Capra pyrenaica), wild cat (Felis silvestris), hare, weasel, polecat, chameleon, mongoose, civet, brown bear[citation needed] (spotted near Rio Minho, close to Peneda-Gerês) and many others. Portugal is an important stopover for migratory birds, in places such as Cape St. Vincent or the Monchique mountain, where thousands of birds cross from Europe to Africa during the autumn or in the spring (return migration). Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

Most of the avian species congregate along the Iberian Peninsula since it is the closest stopover between northern Europe and Africa. Six hundred bird species occur in Portugal (either for nesting or during the course of migration), and annually there are new registries of nesting species. The archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are transient stopover for American, European, and African birds, while continental Portugal mostly encounters European and African bird species. HP Mini 110-3120la Laptop Keyboard

There are over 100 varieties of freshwater fish species, varying from the giant European catfish (in the Tagus International Natural Park) to some small and endemic species that live only in small lakes (along the western lakes for example). Some of these rare and specific species are highly endangered because of habitat loss, pollution and drought. Lenovo ThinkPad T410-2516 Laptop Keyboard

Upwelling along the west coast of Portugal makes the sea extremely rich in nutrients and diverse species of marine fish; the Portuguese marine waters are one of the richest in the world. Marine fish species are more common, and include thousands of species, such as the sardine(Sardina pilchardus), tuna and Atlantic mackerel. Bioluminescent species are also well represented (including species in different colour spectrum and forms), like the glowing plankton that are possible to observe in some beaches. Lenovo Thinkpad T410I Laptop Keyboard

There are many endemic insect species, most only found in certain parts of Portugal, while other species are more widespread like the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the cicada. The Macaronesian islands (Azores and Madeira) have many endemic species (like birds, reptiles, bats, insects, snails and slugs) that evolved independently from other regions of Portugal. In Madeira, for example, it is possible to observe more than 250 species of land gastropods. ASUS A6700L Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Portugal has been a democratic republic since the ratification of the Constitution of 1976, with Lisbon, the nation's largest city, as its capital. The constitution grants the division, or separation, of powers among legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The four main institutions as described in this constitution are the President of the Republic, the Parliament, known as theAssembleia da República (English: Assembly of the Republic (Portugal)), the Government, headed by a Prime Minister, and the courts. Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5055 Laptop

The President, who is elected to a five-year term, has a supervisory non-executive role: the current President is Aníbal Cavaco Silva. The Parliament is a chamber composed of 230 deputies elected for a four-year term. The government, whose head is the Prime Minister (currently Pedro Passos Coelho), chooses a Council of Ministers, that comprises the Ministers and State Secretaries. Thecourts are organized into several levels: judicial, administrative, and fiscal branches. The Supreme Courts are institutions of last resort/appeal. A thirteen-member Constitutional Court oversees the constitutionality of the laws. HP Pavilion dv6-2160es laptop keyboard

Portugal operates a multi-party system of competitive legislatures/local administrative governments at the national-, regional- and local-levels. The Legislative Assembly, Regional Assemblies and local municipalities and/or parishes, are dominated by two political parties, the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party, HP Pavilion dv2-1044ca laptop keyboard

in addition to the Democratic Unity Coalition (Portuguese Communist Party plus Ecologist Party "The Greens"), the Left Bloc and the Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party, which garner between 5 and 15% of the vote regularly. TOSHIBA MP-06863US-9308 laptop keyboard

The President, elected to a five-year term by direct, universal suffrage, is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Presidential powers include the appointment of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (where the President is obligated by the results from Legislative Elections); dismissing the Prime Minister; dissolving the Assembly (to call early elections); vetoing legislation (which may be overridden by the Assembly); and declaring a State of War or siege. TOSHIBA Satellite M40x Series laptop keyboard

The President is advised on issues of importance by the Council of State, which is composed of six senior civilian officers, any former Presidents elected under the 1976 Constitution, five-members chosen by the Assembly, and five selected by the president.

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Each government is required to define the broad outline of its policies in a program, and present it to the Assembly for a mandatory period of debate. The failure of the Assembly to reject the program by a majority of deputies confirms the government in office. SONY VAIO VGN-SZ770N laptop keyboard

The Portuguese legal system is part of the civil law legal system, also called the continental family legal system. The main laws include the Constitution (1976, as amended), the Civil Code (1966, as amended) and the Penal Code (1982, as amended). Other relevant laws are the Commercial Code (1888, as amended) and the Civil Procedure Code (1961, as amended). DELL Latitude E6400 laptop keyboard

Portuguese law applied in the former colonies and territories and continues to be the major influence for those countries. Portugal's main police organizations are the Guarda Nacional Republicana – GNR (National Republican Guard), a gendarmerie; thePolícia de Segurança Pública – PSP (Public Security Police), a civilian police force who work in urban areas; and the Polícia Judiciária – PJ (Judicial Police), a highly specialized criminal investigation police that is overseen by the Public Ministry. ACER Aspire One A110-1626 laptop keyboard

Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to abolish the death penalty. Maximum jail sentences are limited to 25 years.

Portugal has arguably the most liberal laws concerning possession of illicit drugs in the Western world. In 2001, Portugal decriminalized possession of effectively all drugs that are still illegal in other developed nations including, but not limited to,marijuana, COMPAQ Presario V6103EA laptop keyboard

cocaine, heroin, and LSD. While possession is legal, trafficking and possession of more than "10 days worth of personal use" are still punishable by jail time and fines. People caught with small amounts of any drug are given the choice to go to a rehab facility, and may refuse treatment without consequences. Despite criticism from other European nations, who stated Portugal's drug consumption would tremendously increase, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

overall drug use rose only slightly[citation needed], whilst use among teenagers dropped, along with the number of HIV infection cases, which had dropped 50 percent by 2009.[37][38]

On 31 May 2010, Portugal became the sixth country in Europe and the eighth country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriage on the national level. The law came into force on 5 June 2010.[39] TOSHIBA Satellite 1410-S173 laptop keyboard

Administratively, Portugal is divided into 308 municipalities (Portuguese: municípios or concelhos), which are subdivided into 4260 civil parishes (Portuguese:freguesia). Operationally, the municipality and civil parish, along with the national government, are the only legally identifiable local administrative unitsidentified by the government of Portugal (for example, cities, towns or villages have no standing in law, DELL Inspiron 1564 laptop keyboard

although may be used as catchment for the defining services). For statistical purposes the Portuguese government also identifies NUTS, inter-municipal communities and informally, the district system, used until European integration (and being phased-out by the national government). Continental Portugal is agglomerated into 18 districts,  HP G71-449WM laptop keyboard

while the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are governed as autonomous regions; the largest units, established since 1976, are either mainland Portugal (Portuguese: Portugal Continental) and the autonomous regions of Portugal (Azores and Madeira). SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The 18 districts of mainland Portugal are: Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Porto,Santarém, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real and Viseu – each district takes the name of the district capital. TOSHIBA Satellite U305-S2804 laptop keyboard

Within the European Union NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) system, Portugal is divided into seven regions: the Azores, Alentejo, Algarve,Centro, Lisboa, Madeira and Norte, and with the exception of the Azores and Madeira, these NUTS areas are subdivided into 28 subregions. TOSHIBA Satellite C655-SP6007L laptop keyboard

The armed forces have three branches: Navy, Army and Air Force. They serve primarily as a self-defense force whose mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the country and provide humanitarian assistance and security at home and abroad. As of 2008, the three branches numbered 39,200 active personnel including 7,500 women. Portuguese military expenditure in 2009 was $5.2 billion, representing 2.1 percent of GDP. Military conscription was abolished in 2004. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 18 years.

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An infantry brigade(mainly equipped with Pandur II APC), a mechanized brigade (mainly equipped with Leopard 2 A6tanks and M113 APC) and a Rapid Reaction Brigade (consisting of paratroopers, commandos and rangers). The Navy (10,700 personnel, of which 1,580 are marines) has five frigates, seven corvettes, two submarines, and 28 patrol and auxiliary vessels. The Air Force (7,500 personnel) has the Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon and the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet as the main combat aircraft. SONY VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q laptop keyboard

In addition to the three branches of the armed forces, there is the National Republican Guard, a security force subject to military law and organization (gendarmerie) comprising 25,000 personnel. This force is under the authority of both the Defense and the Interior Ministry. It has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor.

The United States maintains a military presence with 770 troops in the Lajes Air Base at Terceira Island, in the Azores. HP Pavilion dv6-3141se laptop keyboard

The Allied Joint Force Command Lisbon(JFC Lisbon) – one of the three main subdivisions of NATO's Allied Command Operations – it is based in Oeiras, near Lisbon.

In the 20th century, Portugal engaged in two major military interventions: World War I and the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). HP Pavilion dv6-2154ca laptop keyboard

After the end of the Portuguese Empire in 1975, the Portuguese Armed Forces have participated in peacekeeping missions in East Timor, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq (Nasiriyah) and Lebanon. Portugal also conducted several independent unilateral military operations abroad, as were the cases of the interventions of the Portuguese Armed Forces in Angola in 1992 and in Guinea-Bissau in 1998 with the main objectives of protecting and withdrawing of Portuguese and foreign citizens threatened by local civil conflicts. TOSHIBA Tecra M6 laptop keyboard

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The Portuguese government is heavily indebted, and received a 78 billion euro bailout from the European Union and theInternational Monetary Fund in May 2011.[41] The ratio of Portugal’s debt to its overall economy, was 107 percent when it received the bailout.[41] As part of the deal, the country agreed to cut its budget deficit from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2010 to 5.9 percent in 2011, 4.5 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2013.[42] DELL Inspiron 510m Laptop Keyboard

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After the bailout was announced, the Portuguese government headed by Pedro Passos Coelho managed to implement measures to improve the State's financial situation, including tax hikes, a freeze of civil service-related lower-wages and cuts of higher-wages by 14.3%, on top of the government's spending cuts. SONY VAIO VGN-N325QE/W Laptop Keyboard

The Portuguese government also agreed to eliminate its golden share in Portugal Telecom which gave it veto power over vital decisions.[43][44] In 2012, all public servants had already seen an average wage cut of 20% relative to their 2010 baseline, with cuts reaching 25% for those earning more than 1,500 euro per month.[45] DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

The IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank said in September 2012 that Portugal’s debt would peak at 124 percent of gross domestic product in 2014.[46] The IMF previously said in July 2012 that Portugal’s debt would peak at about 118.5 percent of GDP in 2013.[46] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

A report released in January 2011 by the Diário de Notícias[47] and published in Portugal by Gradiva, had demonstrated that in the period between the Carnation Revolution in 1974 and 2010, the democratic Portuguese Republic governmentsencouraged over-expenditure and investment bubbles through unclear Public–private partnerships and funding of numerous ineffective and unnecessary external consultancy and advisory of committees and firms. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

This allowed considerable slippage in state-managed public works and inflated top management and head officer bonuses and wages. Persistent and lasting recruitment policies boosted the number of redundant public servants. Riskycredit, public debt creation, and European structural and cohesion funds were mismanaged across almost four decades.[48] HP Pavilion G7-1073NR Laptop Keyboard

After the financial crisis of 2007–2008, it was known in 2008–2009 that two Portuguese banks (Banco Português de Negócios (BPN) and Banco Privado Português(BPP)) had been accumulating losses for years due to bad investiments, embezzlement and accounting fraud. The case of BPN was particularly serious because of its size, market share, and the political implications - Portugal's then current President, HP Pavilion dv6-3141se Laptop Keyboard

Cavaco Silva, and some of his political allies, maintained personal and business relationships with the bank and its CEO, who was eventually charged and arrested for fraud and other crimes.[49][50][51] In the grounds of avoiding a potentially serious financial crisis in the Portuguese economy, the Portuguese government decided to give them a bailout, eventually at a future loss to taxpayers. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad X201 Laptop Keyboard

The Portuguese currency is the euro (€) and the country was one of the original member states of the eurozone. Portugal's central bank is the Banco de Portugal, an integral part of the European System of Central Banks. Most industries, businesses and financial institutions are concentrated in the Lisbon and Porto metropolitan areas—theAveiro, Braga, Coimbra and Leiria districts are the biggest economic centres outside these two main areas.[citation needed] Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

Since the Carnation Revolution of 1974, which culminated in the end of one of Portugal's most notable phases of economic expansion (that started in the 1960s),[52] a significant change has occurred in the nation's annual economic growth.[citation needed] After the turmoil of the 1974 revolution and the PREC period, Portugal tried to adapt to a changing modern global economy, a process that continues in 2013. Since the 1990s, SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

Portugal's public consumption-basedeconomic development model has been slowly changing to a system that is focused on exports, private investment and the development of the high-tech sector. Consequently, business services have overtaken more traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear and cork (Portugal is the world's leading cork producer),[53] wood products and beverages.[54] SAMSUNG Q320 Laptop Keyboard

In the second decade of the 21st century the Portuguese economy suffered its most severe recession since the 1970s and 2013 was the final year of a three-year European Union aid program. It is anticipated that the conclusion of the EU's support package, worth €78 billion, will leave Portugal with a €12 billion funding gap in 2014.[55] Forecasts from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the Portuguese unemployment rate will peak in 2014 at 18.5 per cent.[56] DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

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Agriculture in Portugal is based on small to medium-sized family-owned dispersed units. However, the sector also includes larger scale intensive farming export-oriented agrobusinesses backed by companies (like Grupo RAR's Vitacress, Sovena,Lactogal, Vale da Rosa, Companhia das Lezírias and Valouro). The country produces a wide variety of crops and livestock products, including tomatoes, citrus, green vegetables, rice, corn, barley, olives, oilseeds, nuts, cherries, bilberry, table grapes, edible mushrooms, dairy products, poultry and beef. HP 636191-001 Laptop Keyboard

Forestry has also played an important economic role among the rural communities and industry (namely paper industry that includes Portucel Soporcel Group, engineered wood that includes Sonae Indústria, and furniture that includes several manufacturing plants in and around Paços de Ferreira, the core of Portugal's major industrial operations of IKEA). In 2001, the gross agricultural product accounted for 4 per cent of the national GDP. TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

Traditionally a sea-power, Portugal has had a strong tradition in the Portuguese fishing sector and is one of the countries with the highest fish consumption per capita.[57] The main landing sites in Portugal (including Azores and Madeira), according to total landings in weight by year, are the harbours of Matosinhos, SONY VAIO VGN-FW180FU Laptop Keyboard

Peniche, Olhão, Sesimbra, Figueira da Foz,Sines, Portimão and Madeira. Portuguese processed fish products are exported through several companies, under a number of different brands and registered trademarks, such as Ramirez (the world’s oldest active canned fish producer), Bom Petisco, Nero, Combate, Comur, General, Líder, Manná, Murtosa, Pescador, Pitéu, Tenório, Torreira and Vasco da Gama.[citation needed] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal is a significant European minerals producer and is ranked among Europe's leading copper producers. The nation is also a notable producer of tin,tungsten and uranium. However, the country lacks the potential to conduct hydrocarbon exploration and aluminium, a limitation that has hindered the development of Portugal's its mining and metallurgy sectors. Although the country has vast iron and coal reserves--DELL INSPIRON 1464 Laptop Keyboard

mainly in the north—after the 1974 revolution and the consequent economic globalization, low competitiveness forced a decrease in the extraction activity for these minerals. The Panasqueira and Neves-Corvo minesare among the most recognised Portuguese mines that are still in operation.[citation needed] TOSHIBA NB200-10J Laptop Keyboard

Industry is diversified, ranging from automobile (Volkswagen Autoeuropa, Peugeot Citroen), aerospace (Embraer), electronicsand textiles, to food, chemicals, cement and wood pulp. Volkswagen Group's AutoEuropa motor vehicle assembly plant in Palmelais among the largest foreign direct investment projects in Portugal. HP Pavilion tx2650eg laptop keyboard

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Modern non-traditional technology-based industries, such as aerospace, biotechnology and information technology, have been developed in several locations across the country. Alverca, Covilhã,[58] Évora,[59] and Ponte de Sor are the main centres of the Portuguese aerospace industry, which is led by Brazil-based company Embraer and the Portuguese company OGMA. Following the turn of the 21st century, many major biotechnology and information technology industries have been founded, and are concentrated in the metropolitan areas of Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Coimbra and Aveiro. ACER Aspire 9411awsmi ms2195 laptop keyboard

The Global Competitiveness Report for 2005, published by the World Economic Forum, placed Portugal's competitiveness in the 22nd position, but the 2008–2009 edition placed Portugal in the 43rd position out of 134 countries and territories.[62]Research about quality of life by the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life survey placed Portugal as the country with the 19th-best quality of life in the world for 2005, Compaq Presario CQ42-219AX laptop keyboard

ahead of other economically and technologically advanced countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea, but 9 places behind its only neighbour, Spain.[63] This is despite the fact that Portugal remains the country with the lowest per capita GDP in Western Europe.[64] HP Mini 311-1000NR laptop keyboard

The poor performance of the Portuguese economy was explored in April 2007 by The Economist, which described Portugal as "a new sick man of Europe".[65] From 2002 to 2007, the unemployment rate increased by 65% (270,500 unemployed citizens in 2002, 448,600 unemployed citizens in 2007).[66] By early December 2009, unemployment had reached 10.2% – a 23-year record high.  Packard Bell NEW90 laptop keyboard

 [67] In July 2011, ratings agency Moody's downgraded its long-term credit assessment of Portugal after warning of deteriorating risk of default in March 2011.[68]

Corruption has become an issue of major political and economic significance for the country. Some cases are well known and were widely reported in the media, such as the affairs in several municipalities that involved local town hall officials, businesspersons, TOSHIBA Satellite L655D-S5067 laptop keyboard

and a number of politicians with wider responsibilities and power.[69][70] Nevertheless, the 2010 Transparency International report places Portugal in 31st position for perceived corruption, just below Israel and Spain.[71] SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

 significance.[72][73] According to Barry (2003), "what appears to have been crucial in the Portuguese case, relative to Spain at least, is the degree of labour-market flexibility that the economy exhibits.... Thus Portuguese convergence has been impressive, even though, consistent with its relatively low human-capital stock, the economy has specialised in low-tech production."[73] DELL Vostro 1014 laptop keyboard

On 6 April 2011, Prime Minister José Sócrates announced on national television that the country would request financial assistance from the IMF and the European Financial Stability Facility, as Greece and the Republic of Ireland had done previously. It was the third time that the Portuguese government had requested external financial aid from the IMF—the first occasion occurred in the late 1970s following the Carnation's Revolution. In October 2011, Moody's Investor Servicesdowngraded nine Portuguese banks due to financial weakness.[74] DELL Latitude D620 Laptop Keyboard

Although Portugal is a developed country and a high income country, it has the lowest GDP per capita in Western Europe and its income per capita figure is one of the lowest among the EU's member states. According to Eurostat, Portugal's GDP per capita was registered at 80 per cent of the EU27 average in 2009,[76]making it the tenth lowest in the Union. SONY VGN-FE41M Laptop Keyboard

The average wage in Portugal is 1,039 € per month (net),[77] and the minimum wage, which is regulated/ref by law, is €485 per month. In 2008 the unemployment rate decreased to 7.3 per cent in the second quarter,[78] but the rate immediately rose again in the following period. By December 2009, unemployment had surpassed the 10 per cent mark nationwide in the wake of worldwide events—by 2010, the rate was around 11 per cent, FUJITSU Lifebook P1510 Laptop Keyboard

and in 2011 it was above 12 per cent.[citation needed] The first quarter of 2013 signified a new unemployment rate record for Portugal, as it reached 17.7 per cent—up from 16.9 per cent in the previous quarter—and the government has predicted an 18.5 per cent unemployment rate in 2014.[56] HP 594706-001 Laptop Keyboard

In 2005, the number of public employees per thousand inhabitants in the Portuguese government (70.8) was above the European Union average (62.4 per thousand inhabitants). By EU and USA standards, Portugal's justice system was internationally known as being slow and inefficient, Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

and by 2011 it was the second slowest in Western Europe (after Italy); conversely, Portugal has one of the highest rates of judges and prosecutors—over 30 per 100,000 people. The entire Portuguesepublic service has been known for its overcapacity, useless redundancies and a general lack of overall productivity.[75] HP Pavilion dv6-2044ca Laptop Keyboard

In the first week of May 2013, Prime Minister Passos Coelho announced a significant government plan for the public sector, whereby 30,000 jobs will be cut, the retirement age will be increased from 65 to 66 and the number of weekly working hours will be increased from 35 to 40. DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

Coelho reaffirmed the announcement by explaining that austerity measures are necessary if Portugal seeks to avoid another monetary bailout grant from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund—the overall plan intends to enact further cuts of €4.8 billion over a three-year period.[56] SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal is among the 20 most visited countries in the world, receiving an average of 13 million foreign tourists each year.[79] Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in Portugal's economy, contributing to about 5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).[citation needed] SAMSUNG N140 Laptop Keyboard

Tourist hotspots in Portugal are Lisbon, Algarve and Madeira, but the Portuguese government continues to promote and develop new tourist destinations, such as the Douro Valley, the island of Porto Santo, and Alentejo. Lisbon is, after Barcelona, the European city which attracts the most tourists (with seven million tourists occupying the city's hotels in 2006, a number that grew 11.8% compared to previous year).[80] SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

Lisbon in recent years surpassed the Algarve as the leading tourist region in Portugal. Porto and Northern Portugal, especially the urban areas north of Douro River valley, was the tourist destination which grew most (11.9%) in 2006, surpassing Madeira (in 2010), as the third most visited destination.[citation needed] Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Most tourists in Portugal are British-, Spanish- or German-origin visitors, travel by low cost airliners, and not only seek sun and beaches, but increasingly search for cultural, gastronomic, environmental or nautical experiences (or travel for reasons of business).[citation needed] COMPAQ Presario C500 Laptop Keyboard

Scientific and technological research activities in Portugal are mainly conducted within a network of R&D units belonging topublic universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions like the INETI – Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação and the INRB – Instituto Nacional dos Recursos Biológicos. HP Pavilion dv4-1220us Laptop Keyboard

The funding and management of this research system is mainly conducted under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTES) itself and the MCTES's Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT). TOSHIBA Satellite A300 Laptop Keyboard

The largest R&D units of the public universities by volume of research grants and peer-reviewed publications, include biosciences research institutions like the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, the IPATIMUP, the Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular and theAbel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute. FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Among the largest non-state-run research institutions in Portugal are the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and theChampalimaud Foundation, a neuroscience and oncology research centre, which in addition awards every year one of the highest monetary prizes of any science prize in the world. A number of both national and multinational high-tech and industrial companies, are also responsible for research and development projects. One of the oldest learned societies of Portugal is the Sciences Academy of Lisbon, founded in 1779. HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Iberian bilateral state-supported research efforts include the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and theIbercivis distributed computing platform, which are joint research programmes of both Portugal and Spain. Portugal is a member of several pan-European scientific organizations. These include the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), ITER, HP Mini 110-3110sq laptop keyboard

and the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

Portugal has the largest aquarium in Europe, the Lisbon Oceanarium, and the Portuguese have several other notable organizations focused on science-related exhibits and divulgation, like the state agency Ciência Viva, a programme of the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Technology to the promotion of a scientific and technological culture among the Portuguese population,[83] the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, the National Museum of Natural History at the University of Lisbon, and the Visionarium. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

With the emergence and growth of several science parks throughout the world that helped create many thousands of scientific, technological and knowledge-based businesses, Portugal started to develop several[84] science parks across the country. These include the Taguspark (in Oeiras), the Coimbra iParque (in Coimbra), the biocant (in Cantanhede), the Madeira Tecnopolo[85](in Funchal), Sines Tecnopolo[86] (in Sines), HP G61-408CA laptop keyboard

Tecmaia[87] (in Maia) and Parkurbis[88] (in Covilhã). Companies locate in the Portuguese science parks to take advantage of a variety of services ranging from financial and legal advice through to marketing and technological support.

Egas Moniz, a Portuguese physician who developed the cerebral angiography and leucotomy, received in 1949 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – he is the first Portuguese recipient of a Nobel Prize and the only in the sciences. Compaq Presario CQ71-420ED laptop keyboard

The European Innovation Scoreboard 2011, placed Portugal-based innovation in the 15th position, with an impressive increase in innovation expenditure and output.[89]

Portugal has considerable resources of wind and river power, the two most cost-effective renewable sources. Since the turn of the 21st century, SONY VAIO VGN-CR220E laptop keyboard

there has been a trend towards the development of a renewable resource industry and reduction of both consumption and use of fossil fuel resources. In 2006, the world's largest solar power plant at that date, the Moura Photovoltaic Power Station, began operating near Moura, in the south, while the world's first commercial wave power farm, theAguçadoura Wave Farm, opened in the Norte region (2008). HP Pavilion dv6-3045eo laptop keyboard

By the end of 2006, 66% of the country's electrical production was from coal and fuel power plants, while 29% were derived from hydroelectric dams, and 6% by wind energy.[90] Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

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In 2008, renewable energy resources were producing 43% of the nation's consumption of electricity, even as hydroelectric production decreased with severe droughts.[91] As of June 2010, electricity exports had outnumbered imports. In the period between January and May 2010, 70% of the national production of energy came from renewable sources.[92] HP Mini 210-1110SB laptop keyboard

Portugal’s national energy transmission company, Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), uses sophisticated modeling to predict weather, especially wind patterns, and computer programs to calculate energy from the various renewable-energy plants. Before the solar/wind revolution, Portugal had generated electricity from hydropower plants on its rivers for decades. New programs combine wind and water: SAMSUNG NP-Q320-AS01UK laptop keyboard

wind-driven turbines pump water uphill at night, the most blustery period; then the water flows downhill by day, generating electricity, when consumer demand is highest. Portugal’s distribution system is also now a two-way street. Instead of just delivering electricity, it draws electricity from even the smallest generators, like rooftop solar panels. The government aggressively encouraged such contributions by setting a premium price for those who buy rooftop-generated solar electricity. TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5075 laptop keyboard

The Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Portuguese: National Institute of Statistics) estimates that, according to the 2011 census, the population was 10,562,178 (of which 52% was female, 48% was male). This population has been relatively homogeneous for most of its history: a single religion (Catholicism) and a single language have contributed to this ethnic and national unity, namely after the expulsion of the Moors, Moriscos and Sephardi Jews.[93] HP Pavilion G4-1016TX LQ368PA laptop keyboard

Native Portuguese are an Iberian ethnic group, whose ancestry is very similar to other Western and Southern Europeans and Mediterranean peoples, in particular Spaniards, with whom they share a common ancestry, history and cultural proximity. SONY Vaio VGN-FW390 laptop keyboard

The most important demographic influence in the modern Portuguese seems to be the oldest one; current interpretation of Y-chromosome and mtDNA data suggests that the Portuguese have their origin in Paleolithic peoples that began arriving to the European continent around 45,000 years ago. All subsequent migrations did leave an impact, TOSHIBA Satellite L200 laptop keyboard

genetically and culturally, but the main population source of the Portuguese is still Paleolithic. Studies of mitochondrial DNA suggest that 7% and 5–9% of modern Portuguese have some North- and Subsaharan-African ancestry, respectively. HP Pavilion DV6-6B00 laptop keyboard


Portugal's colonial history has long since been a cornerstone of its national identity, as has its geographic position at the southwestern corner of Europe, looking out into the Atlantic Ocean. It was the last western colonial European powers to give up its overseas territories (among them Angola and Mozambique in 1975), turning over the administration of Macau to the People's Republic of China at the end of 1999. Consequently, it has both influenced and been influenced by cultures from former colonies or dependencies, resulting in immigration from these former territories for both economic and/or personal reasons. SAMSUNG NP-Q320-AS01UK laptop keyboard

Portugal, long a country of emigration (the vast majority of Brazilians have some Portuguese ancestry),[98] has now become a country of net immigration,[99] and not just from the last Indian (Portuguese until 1961), African (Portuguese until 1975), and Far East Asian (Portuguese until 1999) overseas territories. An estimated 800,000 Portuguese returned to Portugal as the country's African possessions gained independence in 1975.[98] By 2007, Portugal had 10,617,575 inhabitants of whom about 332,137 were legal immigrants.[100] HP Pavilion dv5-1174ca laptop keyboard

Since the 1990s, along with a boom in construction, several new waves of Ukrainian, Brazilian, people from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa and other Africans have settled in the country. Romanians, Moldovans and Chinese have also chosen Portugal as destination. Portugal's Romani population, estimated at about 40,000.[101] Most Romanis congregate with similar ethnic groups in the southern parts of the country and sell clothing and handicrafts in rural markets. SONY VAIO PCG-FR33/B laptop keyboard

 In addition, a number of EU citizens, mostly from the United Kingdom, northern European or Nordic countries, have become permanent residents in the country (with the British community being mostly composed of retired pensioners and choosing to live in the Algarve and Madeira).[102] HP 643263-001 Laptop Keyboard

According to the 2011 Census, 81% of the Portuguese population are Roman Catholic. The country has small Protestant, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh,Christian Orthodox, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baha'i, Buddhist and Jewishcommunities. Some 6.8% of the population declared themselves to be non-religious.[103] SONY VAIO VGN-CS170F/R Laptop Keyboard

Many Portuguese holidays, festivals and traditions have a Christian origin or connotation. Although relations between the Portuguese state and the Roman Catholic Church were generally amiable and stable since the earliest years of the Portuguese nation, their relative power fluctuated. In the 13th and 14th centuries, ACER TravelMate 4600 Laptop Keyboard

the church enjoyed both riches and power stemming from its role in the reconquest, its close identification with early Portuguese nationalism and the foundation of the Portuguese educational system, including the first university. The growth of the Portuguese overseas empire made its missionaries important agents of colonization, APPLE A1181 Laptop Keyboard

with important roles in theeducation and evangelization of people from all the inhabited continents. The growth of liberal and nascent republicanmovements during the eras leading to the formation of the First Portuguese Republic (1910–26) changed the role and importance of organized religion. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal is a secular state: church and state were formally separated during the Portuguese First Republic, and later reiterated in the 1976 Portuguese Constitution. Other than the Constitution, the two most important documents relating to religious freedom in Portugal are: the 1940 Concordata (later amended in 1971) between Portugal and the Holy See, and the 2001 Religious Freedom Act. GATEWAY V021646BS1 Laptop Keyboard

Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is nowGalicia (Spain) and Northern Portugal, from the Galician-Portuguese language. It is derived from the Latin spoken by the romanized Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula around 2000 years ago. In the 15th and 16th centuries, ASUS A3Ac Laptop Keyboard

it spread worldwide as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire (1415–1999). In the present day, Portuguese is spoken as a native language on 4 different continents, with Brazil accounting for the largest number of native Portuguese speakers in any country. SONY VAIO VPCF12AFM Laptop Keyboard

As a result, nowadays the Portuguese language is also official and spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and East Timor. These countries, plus MacauSpecial Administrative Region (People's Republic of China), make up the Lusosphere, DELL Inspiron 1750 Laptop Keyboard

term derived from the ancientRoman province of Lusitania, which currently matches the Portuguese territory south of the Douro river. Mirandeseis also recognized as a co-official regional language in some municipalities of northeastern Portugal. Compaq Presario CQ56-187SL laptop keyboard

It retains fewer than 5,000 speakers in Portugal (a number that can be up to 12,000 if counting second language speakers).

The educational system is divided into preschool (for those under age 6), basic education (9 years, in three stages, compulsory), secondary education (3 years, until 12th grade), and higher education (university and polytechnic). Lenovo Thinkpad T520 Laptop Keyboard

The total adult literacy rate is 99 percent. Portuguese primary school enrollments are close to 100 percent. According to the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009, the average Portuguese 15-year-old student, when rated in terms of reading literacy, mathematics and science knowledge, is placed at the same level as those students from the United States, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, France, Denmark, Compaq Presario CQ71-101XX laptop keyboard

United Kingdom, Hungary and Taipei, with 489 points (493 is the average).[104] Over 35% of college-age citizens (20 years old) attend one of the country's higher education institutions[105] (compared with 50% in the United States and 35% in the OECD countries). In addition to being a destination for international students, Portugal is also among the top places of origin for international students. All higher education students, both domestic and international, totaled 380,937 in 2005.

Portuguese universities have existed since 1290. SONY VAIO VGN-FS920 laptop keyboard

Historically, within the scope of the Portuguese Empire, the Portuguese founded in 1792 the oldest engineering school of Latin America (the Real Academia de Artilharia, Fortificação e Desenho), as well as the oldest medical college in Asia (the Escola Médico-Cirúrgica de Goa) in 1842. Lenovo 3000 G230 laptop keyboard

Institutes and schools are also common designations for autonomous subdivisions of Portuguese higher education institutions. The Bologna process has been adopted since 2006 by Portuguese universities and polytechnical institutes. Higher education in state-run educational establishments is provided on a competitive basis, Dell Latitude D410 laptop keyboard

a system of numerus clausus is enforced through a national database on student admissions. However, every higher education institution offers also a number of additional vacant places through other extraordinary admission processes for sportsmen, mature applicants (over 23 years old),international students, ACER Aspire 1680 laptop keyboard

foreign students from the Lusosphere, degree owners from other institutions, students from other institutions (academic transfer), former students (readmission), and course change, which are subject to specific standards and regulations set by each institution or course department. Most student costs are supported with public money. TOSHIBA Tecra A9-S9016X laptop keyboard

However, with the increasing tuition fees a student has to pay to attend a Portuguese state-run higher education institution and the attraction of new types of students (many as part-time students or in evening classes) like employees, businessmen, parents, and pensioners, many departments make a substantial profit from every additional student enrolled in courses, HP Mini 210-2006sa laptop keyboard

with benefits for the college or university's gross tuition revenue and without loss of educational quality (teacher per student, computer per student, classroom size per student, etc.).

Portugal has entered into cooperation agreements with MIT (US) and other North American institutions to further develop and increase the effectiveness of Portuguese higher education and research. Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard

The Portuguese health system is characterized by three coexisting systems: the National Health Service (NHS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions (health subsystems) and voluntary private health insurance. The NHS provides universal coverage. In addition, about 25% of the population is covered by the health subsystems, 10% by private insurance schemes and another 7% by mutual funds. Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing health policy as well as managing the NHS. Five regional health administrations are in charge of implementing the national health policy objectives, developing guidelines and protocols and supervising health care delivery. Decentralization efforts have aimed at shifting financial and management responsibility to the regional level. In practice, however, the autonomy of regional health administrations over budget setting and spending has been limited to primary care. ACER Aspire AS5335-2257 laptop keyboard

The NHS is predominantly funded through general taxation. Employer (including the state) and employee contributions represent the main funding sources of the health subsystems. In addition, direct payments by the patient and voluntary health insurance premiums account for a large proportion of funding. SAMSUNG NP-N145-JP02 laptop keyboard

Similar to the other Eur-A countries, most Portuguese die from noncommunicable diseases. Mortality from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is higher than in the eurozone, but its two main components, ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, display inverse trends compared with the Eur-A, with cerebrovascular disease being the single biggest killer in Portugal (17%). HP Pavilion DV6-1210ew laptop keyboard

Portuguese people die 12% less often from cancer than in the Eur-A, but mortality is not declining as rapidly as in the Eur-A. Cancer is more frequent among children as well as among women younger than 44 years. Although lung cancer (slowly increasing among women) and breast cancer (decreasing rapidly) are scarcer, cancer of the cervix and the prostate are more frequent. Portugal has the highest mortality rate for diabetes in the Eur-A, with a sharp increase since the late 1980s. HP HDX18-1100 CTO laptop keyboard

Portugal's infant mortality rate has dropped sharply since the 1980s, when 24 of 1000 newborns died in the first year of life. It is now around 3 deaths per a 1000 newborns. This improvement was mainly due to the decrease in neonatal mortality, from 15.5 to 3.4 per 1000 live births.

People are usually well informed about their health status, the positive and negative effects of their behaviour on their health and their use of health care services. TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S9337 laptop keyboard

Yet their perceptions of their health can differ from what administrative and examination-based data show about levels of illness within populations. Thus, survey results based on self-reporting at the household level complement other data on health status and the use of services. Only one third of adults rated their health as good or very good in Portugal (Kasmel et al., 2004). This is the lowest of the Eur-A countries reporting and reflects the relatively adverse situation of the country in terms of mortality and selected morbidity.[106] HP Pavilion ze4600 laptop keyboard

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Portugal has developed a specific culture while being influenced by various civilizations that have crossed the Mediterranean and the European continent, or were introduced when it played an active role during the Age of Discovery. In the 1990s and 2000s (decade), Portugal modernized its public cultural facilities, in addition to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundationestablished in 1956 in Lisbon. These include the Belém Cultural Center in Lisbon, HP Pavilion dv6-2162nr laptop keyboard

Serralves Foundation and the Casa da Música, both in Porto, as well as new public cultural facilities like municipal libraries and concert halls that were built or renovated in many municipalities across the country.  SONY VAIO VGN-AW2XRY laptop keyboard

Portugal is home to fourteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ranking it 9th in Europe and 18th in the world.

Portuguese literature, one of the earliest Western literatures, developed through text as well as song. Until 1350, thePortuguese-Galician troubadours spread their literary influence to most of the Iberian Peninsula.[110] Gil Vicente (c. 1465–c. 1536), was one of the founders of both Portuguese and Spanish dramatic traditions. HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

Adventurer and poet Luís de Camões (c. 1524–1580) wrote the epic poem "Os Lusíadas" (The Lusiads), with Virgil's Aeneid as his main influence. Modern Portuguese poetry is rooted in neoclassic and contemporary styles, DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

as exemplified by Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). Modern Portuguese literature is represented by authors such as Almeida Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco,Eça de Queiroz, Fernando Pessoa, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, António Lobo Antunes and Miguel Torga. Particularly popular and distinguished is José Saramago, recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature. TOSHIBA Satellite P300 Laptop Keyboard

Portuguese cuisine is diverse. The Portuguese consume a lot of dry cod (bacalhau in Portuguese), for which there are hundreds of recipes. There are more than enough bacalhau dishes for each day of the year. Two other popular fish recipes are grilledsardines and caldeirada, a potato-based stew that can be made from several types of fish. ACER Aspire 7535 Laptop Keyboard

Typical Portuguese meat recipes, that may be made out of beef, pork, lamb, or chicken, include cozido à portuguesa, feijoada, frango de churrasco, leitão (roast suckling pig) and carne de porco à alentejana, a very popular northern dish is the arroz de sarrabulho (rice stewed in pigs blood) or the arroz de cabidela (Rice and chickens meat stewed in chickens blood). Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Traditional architecture is distinctive and include the Manueline, also known as Portuguese late Gothic, a sumptuous, composite Portuguese style of architectural ornamentation of the first decades of the 16th century. A 20th-century interpretation of traditional architecture, Soft Portuguese style, appears extensively in major cities, DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

especially Lisbon. Modern Portugal has given the world renowned architects like Eduardo Souto de Moura, Álvaro Siza Vieira (both Pritzker Prizewinners) and Gonçalo Byrne. In Portugal Tomás Taveira is also noteworthy, particularly for stadium design.[107][108][109]

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The Portuguese art of pastry has its origins in Middle Ages Catholic monasteries widely spread across the country. These monasteries, using very few ingredients (mostly almonds, flour, eggs and some liquor), managed to create a spectacular wide range of different pastries, of which pastéis de Belém (or pastéis de nata) originally from Lisbon, and ovos moles from Aveiro are examples. Portuguese cuisine is very diverse, Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

with different regions having their own traditional dishes. The Portuguese have a culture of good food and throughout the country there are myriad good restaurants and small typical tascas.

Portuguese wines have deserved international recognition since the times of the Roman Empire, which associated Portugal with their god Bacchus. HP 383495-001 Laptop Keyboard

Today the country is known by wine lovers and its wines have won several international prizes. Some of the best Portuguese wines are: Vinho Verde, Vinho Alvarinho, Vinho do Douro, Vinho do Alentejo, Vinho do Dão, Vinho da Bairradaand the sweet: Port Wine, Madeira Wine and the Moscatel from Setúbal and Favaios. Port Wine is well known around the world and the most widely known wine type in the world.[citation needed] The Douro wine region is the oldest in the world.[citation needed] SAMSUNG N145 Laptop Keyboard

Portuguese music encompasses a wide variety of genres. The most renowned is fado, a melancholy urban music, usually associated with the Portuguese guitar and saudade, or longing. Coimbra fado, a unique type of fado, is also noteworthy. Internationally notable performers include Amália Rodrigues, Carlos Paredes, José Afonso, Mariza, Carlos do Carmo, António Chainho, Mísia, and Madredeus. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

In addition to fado and folk, the Portuguese listen to pop and other types of modern music, particularly from North America and the United Kingdom, as well as a wide range of Portuguese and Brazilian artists and bands. Artists with international recognition include Moonspell, Buraka Som Sistema, Blasted Mechanism and The Gift, with the two latter being nominees for a MTV Europe Music Award. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Portugal has several summer music festivals, such as Festival Sudoeste in Zambujeira do Mar, Festival de Paredes de Coura in Paredes de Coura, Festival Vilar de Mouros near Caminha, Boom Festival in Idanha-a-Nova Municipality, andOptimus Alive!, Rock in Rio Lisboa and Super Bock Super Rock in Greater Lisbon. SONY VAIO VGN-FS485B Laptop Keyboard

Out of the summer season, Portugal has a large number of festivals, designed more to an urban audience, like Flowfest or Hip Hop Porto. Furthermore, one of the largest international Goa trance festivals takes place in central Portugal every two years, the Boom Festival, that is also the only festival in Portugal to win international awards: SONY VAIO VGN-FS195XP Laptop Keyboard

European Festival Award 2010 – Green'n'Clean Festival of the Year and the Greener Festival Award Outstanding 2008 and 2010. There is also the student festivals of Queima das Fitas are major events in a number of cities across Portugal. In 2005, Portugal held the MTV Europe Music Awards, in Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon. HP 317443-001 Laptop Keyboard

It has also a rich history as far as painting is concerned. The first well-known painters date back to the 15th century – likeNuno Gonçalves – were part of the Gothic painting period. José Malhoa, known for his work Fado, and Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro(who painted the portraits of Teófilo Braga and Antero de Quental) were both references in naturalist painting.

The 20th century saw the arrival of Modernism, and along with it came the most prominent SONY VAIO VGN-FS195XP laptop keyboard

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