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15 May '16


Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic World

Turkey straddles Europe and Asia at the northeast end of the Mediterranean Sea. To the north is the Black Sea and to the west is the Aegean Sea. Turkey has many neighbors from Europe and Asia. Greece and Bulgaria are to the west, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania, through the Black Sea, are to the north and northwest, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran lie in the east while the south features Syria and Iraq. The country is divided by Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus.

Turkey - Facts and Figures

  • Official name is Republic of Turkey.
  • Turkey is a mostly mountainous area with narrow coastal plains and a treeless central plateau.
  • Climate is temperate with hot and dry summers while winters are mild and wet. Interior weather, though, is harsher.
  • Turkey’s land borders are 2,627 kilometers long in total. Its coastline is 7,200 kilometers.
  • Area: 780,580 sq km, of which 770,760 sq km is land and 9,820 sq km is water.
  • Turkey was formed in 1923 from what remained of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled for around 600 years.
  • Population is around 70.5 million. Turkish people comprise 80% of the population with the rest being Kurdish.
  • The official language is Turkish. Kurdish, Dimli, Azeri and Kabardian are also spoken.
  • Islam is practiced by 99.8% while Christians and Jews comprise 0.2%.
  • Capital is Ankara. Other large cities are Istanbul, Izmir, Bursa, Adana and Gaziantep.
  • Major exports are apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metals and transport equipment.
  • The local currency is the Turkish lira.
  • Agricultural products are tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus products and livestock.
  • Major trading partners include Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Italy, France, Spain, Russia and China.
  • Government is a republican parliamentary democracy.
15 May '16


Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic World

Syria has the Mediterranean Sea to its west while the southwest areas border Lebanon and Israel. To the north is Turkey, Iraq on the east and Jordan to its south. The coastal area is a narrow plain behind which is a range of mountains. The Syrian desert is in the east while the Jebel Druze Range is in the south. Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

Syria - Facts and Figures

  • Official name is Syrian Arab Republic.
  • Syria’s terrain is mostly desert plateau, semi-arid with a narrow coastal plain and mountains in the west.
  • Its climate is mostly typical desert, hot and dry. Winters are rainy along the coast with snow sometimes affecting capital Damascus.
  • Syria’s has 2,253 kilometers of land boundaries and 193 kilometers of coastline.
  • Area: 185,180 sq km, of which 184,050 sq km is land and 1,130 sq km is water.
  • Syria was administered by the French after the break-up of the Ottoman Empire until independence in 1946.
  • Population is about 19 million with Arabs making up 90%. The rest comprise Kurds, Armenians and other races.
  • The official language is Arabic. Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, and English are also spoken.
  • About 74% of Syrians are Muslims, mainly Sunni Alawites and Druze. Other religions are Christianity (10%) and a small community of Jews.
  • Capital is Damascus. Other major cities include Aleppo, Homs, Latakia and Hama.
  • Major exports are crude oil, petroleum products, fruits, vegetables, cotton fiber, clothing, meat, livestock and wheat.
  • The local currency is the Syrian pound.
  • Agricultural products are wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets, beef, mutton, eggs, poultry and milk.
  • Major trading partners include Italy, France, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, China, Russia, United States and South Korea.
  • Government is based on a military republic.
15 May '16


Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic World

Somalia is on the Horn of Africa along the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Djibouti lies to the northwest, Ethiopia is in the west and Kenya is to the southwest. Somalia also has two major rivers, the Shebelle and the Juba. Somalia has often been wracked by fighting among warlords and factions.

Somalia - Facts and Figures

  • Official name is Soomaaliya.
  • The terrain is mostly flat, undulating plateaus, becoming hills in the north.
  • Somalia is mostly desert with moderate temperatures in the north and very hot in the south.
  • Somalia’s land borders are 2,366 kilometers long while 3,025 is coastline.
  • Area: 637,657 sq km, of which 627,337 sq km is land and 10,320 sq km is water.
  • There was no working government between 1991 and 2000. A parliamentary government was replaced in 2004 by a transitional government.
  • Somalia’s population is close to 9 million, 85% of which is Somali with Bantu and Arabs making up the rest.
  • The official language is Somali. Arabic, English and Italian are also spoken.
  • Islam is the dominant religion in Somalia.
  • Capital is Mogadishu.
  • Major exports are livestock, bananas, hides, fish, charcoal and scrap metal.
  • The local currency is the Somali shilling.
  • Agricultural products are bananas, sorghum, corn, coconuts, rice, sugarcane, mangoes, sesame seeds, beans, cattle, sheep, goats and fish.
  • Major trading partners include United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Djibouti, Kenya, India and Brazil.
15 May '16

Saudi Arabia

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic World

Saudi Arabia dominates the Arabian Peninsula with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east. Saudi Arabia is surrounded by neighbors with Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen and Bahrain sharing land and water borders. Saudi Arabia is also home to Islam’s two most important Holy places, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

Saudi Arabia - Facts and Figures

  • Official name is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • The terrain is mostly sandy desert. Much of it is uninhabited.
  • Climate is harsh and dry, typical of a desert with extremes temperature. Hot at daytime and cold at nights.
  • Its land boundaries are 4,415 kilometers, of which 2,640 is coastline.
  • Area: 1,960,582 sq km.
  • Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam in the seventh century. It became Saudi Arabia in the 20th Century with the Ottomans being overthrown by the Saud family.
  • Population is 27 million with Arabs making up 90% and Afro-Asians comprising 10%.
  • The official language is Arabic.
  • Saudi Arabia is 100% Muslim.
  • Capital is Riyadh. Other large cities include Jeddah and Mecca.
  • Major exports are petroleum and petroleum products.
  • The local currency is the riyal.
  • Agricultural products are wheat, barley, tomatoes, melon, dates, citrus fruits, mutton, chickens, eggs and milk.
  • Major trading partners include United States, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore and Germany.
  • Sharia Law was introduced in 1992. Previously, it was an absolute monarchy.
15 May '16


Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic World

Qatar is a tiny peninsular that juts out of the eastern part of the greater Arabian Peninsular. To the west is Saudi Arabia, with which it shares a border, and to the south is United Arab Emirates. The country is mainly a barren desert with very little arable land and no forests or woodlands. It is constantly threatened by haze and sandstorms.

Qatar - Facts and Figures

  • Official name is the State of Qatar (Dawlat Qatar).
  • Qatar’s terrain is mostly flat and barren desert covered in loose sand and gravel.
  • Climate is typical desert weather; hot and humid in the summer.
  • Qatar has a 60-kilometer land boundary with Saudi Arabia and a smaller border with United Arab Emirates. Its coastline is 563 kilometers long.
  • Area: Its land occupies 11,437 sq km in total.
  • Once controlled by Bahrain, Qatar almost became part of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. However, both Qatar and Bahrain decided to form independent nations.
  • Population is around 890,000. Arabs constitute 40% of the population with other races being Pakistanis (18%), Indian (18%), Iranian (10%) and others (14%).
  • The official language is Arabic with English being a common second language.
  • Islam practiced by 95% of the population.
  • Capital city is Doha. Other cities include Al-Rayyan and As Salwa near the Saudi border.
  • Qatar’s major exports are liquefied natural gas, petroleum products, fertilizer and steel. Natural resources include petroleum, natural gas and fish.
  • The local currency is the Qatari riyal.
  • Agricultural products include fruits, vegetables, poultry, dairy products, beef and fish.
  • Major trading partners include Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, France, United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Germany and United Kingdom.
  • Government is a constitutional monarchy.