Singapore the Republic of Singapore, is an island city-state in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%; the country is known for its transition from a developing to a developed one in a single generation under the leadership of its founder Lee Kuan Yew. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company's collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan, it gained independence from the British Empire in 1963 by joining Malaysia along with other former British territories, but separated two years over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.
After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global hub for education, finance, human capital, logistics, technology, tourism and transport; the city ranks in numerous international rankings, has been recognised as the most "technology-ready" nation, top International-meetings city, city with "best investment potential", world's smartest city, world's safest country, second-most competitive country, third least-corrupt country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, fifth-most innovative country, the second-busiest container port. The Economist has ranked Singapore as the most expensive city to live in, since 2013, it is identified as a tax haven. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies, one of 11 worldwide. Globally, the Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of leading "Maritime Capital" and "Best Airport" for consecutive years, while Singapore Airlines is the 2018 "World's Best Airline".
Singapore ranks 9th on the UN Human Development Index with the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is placed in key social indicators: education, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing. Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. According to the Democracy Index, the country is described as a "flawed democracy"; the city-state is home to 5.6 million residents, 39% of whom are foreign nationals, including permanent residents. There are four official languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil, its cultural diversity is reflected in major festivals. Pew Research has found. Multiracialism has been enshrined in its constitution since independence, continues to shape national policies in education, politics, among others. Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government; the People's Action Party has won every election since self-government began in 1959. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Secretariat, as well as many international conferences and events.
It is a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations. The English name of Singapore is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, in turn derived from Sanskrit, hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City, its inclusion in many of the nation's symbols. However, it is unlikely that lions lived on the island. There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name and scholars do not believe that the origin of the name is established; the central island has been called Pulau Ujong as far back as the third century CE "island at the end" in Malay. Singapore is referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence, the Little Red Dot for how the island-nation is depicted on many maps of the world and Asia, as a red dot. Singapore is referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" in 2017 due to its neutrality on international and regional issues; the Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy identified a place called Sabana in the general area in the second century, the earliest written record of Singapore occurs in a Chinese account from the third century, describing the island of Pu Luo Chung.
This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end". The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, referred to a settlement on the island called Tumasik. In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama. Although the historicity
World Squash Federation
The World Squash Federation is the international federation for squash, an indoor racquet sport, called "squash rackets." The WSF is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the International Federation for squash, is a member of the SportAccord and the Association of the IOC Recognised International Sports Federations. It is based in Hastings in England; as of 2016 it has 149 member federations. It is bidding for squash to be added to the Olympic program for the 2024 Summer Olympics having failed with a bid for Tokyo 2020; the first squash court was built in England in 1865. To harness this growth and to promote and co-ordinate the sport, the International Squash Rackets Federation was formed in 1967, its name being changed in 1992 to the World Squash Federation. Below is the list of presidents since 1967: The WSF has 149 Members, all of whom are National Associations of squash, recognised by their National Olympic Committee or Ministry of Sport as the sole and undisputed governing body for the sport in the country.
Members are required to join one of the five Regional Federations which are an integral part of the WSF structure. Members receive a number of votes to be used at General Meetings depending on the number of squash courts in their country; the WSF is managed by an Executive Board, responsible for day-to-day control of the Federation and an Executive Committee which assists the Board in the strategy and policy making process. Members of the Board are elected at General Meetings and consist of a President and three Vice-Presidents, who each serve four year terms of office. One additional Vice-President may be co-opted on an annual basis. ExCo comprises all members of the Board plus one Regional Vice-President appointed by each of the five Regional Federations; the Chairman of the Athletes Commission and a representative of PSA are members of ExCo. The Board is supported by a number of Committees and Panels whose members are volunteers with specialist knowledge coming from the Regional Federations and Player Association.
The WSF employs professional staff who are responsible for implementing the decisions of these bodies whose main activities are described below. The WSF works with the Player Association – the Professional Squash Association – to control and co-ordinate the world calendar for squash. Championships are held in all major squash playing nations and are integrated with the World Championships and Major Games calendar to ensure that there are no clashes of dates; the Championships Committee is responsible for running and promoting World Championships for men, women and masters at individual and team levels in both singles and doubles via National Federations. World Championships are run by WSF Members, who tender for the events at least four years in advance. Team Championships are held every two years; the Committee is responsible for ensuring that squash is represented in all major regional multi-sport games – squash is now included in the Pan-American Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Games Pacific Games and All Africa Games.
The WSF has established an Olympic Games Committee, responsible for conducting a high-profile campaign for squash to be accepted as a full medal sport in the Olympic Games. The Athletes Commission comprises representatives from PSA; the Chairman, an athlete, reports to ExCo and represents the interests of the current players in areas such as Championship Regulations and implementation of the new WADA Code. The WSF encourages the development of squash, not only in countries where it is a new sport but where it is well-established. Advice on all development matters is given to Members and is implemented through the group of WSF specialists in the Coaching & Development Committee and via "best practice" on the WSF website. Committee Members identify needs for development projects in their regions and recommend activity plans to the WSF for resources and funding; the Committee organises a Coaching Conference on an annual basis and runs coaching courses in new and developing squash nations to help develop local coaches.
The Committee organises a Management Conference for senior executives in National Associations so they can network, share resources and establish best practice on the WSF website. The Referees Committee has responsibility for implementing and running a Referees’ Programme which trains and assesses the top grade WSF Referees. A Referees Conference is organised on a biennial basis; the Rules Commission continually monitors the rules of the sport and makes recommendations for change. It provides a popular on-line Rules answers service to the public at large on interpretation of the rules; the Technical Committee sets standards for all technical aspects of squash including court construction, balls, eye protection and clothing. It inspects and accredits court components which meet the specifications and works with its partner companies to promote good practice in court construction worldwide; the Anti-Doping Commission ensures that squash is compliant with the new WADA Code. The Commission is responsible for establishing a Registered Testing Pool and an Athletes Whereabouts System for out-of-competition testing.
It has established a panel of physicians which reviews Therapeutic Use Exemptions and calls on specialist Doping Hearing and Review Panels when required. The Medical Commission generates positive guidelines for all medical aspects of playing and training for squash, it identifies and gives medical advice on topics such as eye protection, heart health, injury preventi
Iran called Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west by Turkey and Iraq; the country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE, it was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE; the Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, by the country's dominant religion, Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols; the rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for eight years and resulted in a high number of casualties and economic losses for both sides; the sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris and Lurs. Organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized Iran's women's rights record; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya-, recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "one who assembles". In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, remains in other Iranian ethnic names Alan and Iron.
Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís, meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, today defined as Fars. As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted long after the Greco-Persian Wars. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, effective March 22 that year; as The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceab
Squash is a ball sport played by two or four players in a four-walled court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players must alternate in striking the ball with their racquet and hit the ball onto the playable surfaces of the four walls of the court; the game was called squash rackets, a reference to the "squashable" soft ball used in the game. The governing body of Squash, the World Squash Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee, but the sport is not part of the Olympic Games, despite a number of applications. Supporters continue to lobby for its incorporation in a future Olympic program; the use of stringed rackets is shared with real tennis, which dates from the late sixteenth century, though is more directly descended from the game of rackets from England. In "rackets", instead of hitting over a net as in sports such as tennis, players hit a squeezable ball against walls. Squash was invented in Harrow School out of the older game rackets around 1830 before the game spread to other schools becoming an international sport.
The first courts built at this school were rather dangerous because they were near water pipes, buttresses and ledges. The school soon built four outside courts. Natural rubber was the material of choice for the ball. Students modified their rackets to have a smaller reach to play in these cramped conditions; the rackets have changed in a similar way to those used in tennis. Squash rackets used to be made out of laminated timber. In the 1980s, construction shifted to lighter materials with small additions of components like Kevlar and titanium. Natural "gut" strings were replaced with synthetic strings. In the 19th century the game increased in popularity with various schools and private citizens building squash courts, but with no set dimensions; the first squash court in North America appeared at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire in 1884. In 1904 in Philadelphia, the earliest national association of squash in the world was formed as the United States Squash rackets Association, now known as U.
S. Squash. In April 1907 the Tennis, rackets & Fives Association set up a sub committee to set standards for squash; the sport soon formed, combining the three sports together called “Squash”. In 1912, the RMS Titanic had a squash court in first class; the 1st-Class Squash Court was situated on G-Deck and the Spectators Viewing Gallery was on the deck above on F-Deck. To use the Court cost 50 cents in 1912. Passengers could use the court for 1 hour, it was not until 1923 that the Royal Automobile Club hosted a meeting to further discuss the rules and regulations and another five years elapsed before the Squash rackets Association was formed to set standards for squash in Great Britain. Standard rackets are governed by the rules of the game. Traditionally they were made with a small strung area using natural gut strings. After a rule change in the mid-1980s, they are now always made of composite materials or metals with synthetic strings. Modern rackets have maximum dimensions of 686 mm long and 215 mm wide, with a maximum strung area of 500 square centimetres.
The permitted maximum weight is 255 grams. Squash balls are between 39.5 and 40.5 mm in diameter, have a weight of 23 to 25 grams. They are made with two pieces of rubber compound, glued together to form a hollow sphere and buffed to a matte finish. Different balls are provided for varying temperature and atmospheric conditions and standards of play: more experienced players use slow balls that have less bounce than those used by less experienced players. Depending on its specific rubber composition, a squash ball has the property that it bounces more at higher temperatures. Squash balls must be hit dozens of times to warm them up at the beginning of a session. Small colored dots on the ball indicate its dynamic level, thus the standard of play for which it is suited; the recognized speed colors indicating the degree of dynamism are: Some ball manufacturers such as Dunlop use a different method of grading balls based on experience. They still have the equivalent dot rating, but are named to help choose a ball, appropriate for one's skill level.
The four different ball types are Intro, Progress and Pro. The "double-yellow dot" ball, introduced in 2000, is the competition standard, replacing the earlier "yellow-dot" ball. There is an "orange dot" ball for use at high altitudes. Players wear comfortable sports clothing. In competition, men wear shorts and a T-shirt, tank top or a polo shirt. Women wear a skirt or skort and a T-shirt or a tank top, or a sports dress; the National Institutes of Health recommends wearing goggles with polycarbonate lenses. Many squash venues mandate the use of eye protection and some association rules require that all juniors and doubles players must wear eye protection; the squash court is a playing surface surrounded by four walls. The court surface contains a front line separating the front and back of the court and a half court line, separating the left and right hand sides of the back portion of the court, creating three'boxes': the front half, the back left quarter and the back right quarter. Both the back two boxes
Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
Bahrain the Kingdom of Bahrain, is an island country in the Persian Gulf. The sovereign state comprises a small archipelago centered around Bahrain Island, situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain's population is 1,234,571, including 666,172 non-nationals, it is 765.3 square kilometres in size, making it the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilisation, it has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam, in 628 CE. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim.
In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. An emirate, the Arab constitutional monarchy of Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002. In 2011, the country experienced protests inspired by the regional Arab Spring. Bahrain's ruling al-Khalifa royal family has been accused and criticized for human rights abuses, including imprisonment and execution of dissidents, political opposition figures and its Shia Muslim population. Bahrain had the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has invested in the tourism sectors. Many large financial institutions have a presence in the country's capital, it is recognised by the World Bank as a high-income economy. Bahrain is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Bahrayn is the dual form of Arabic bahr, so al-Bahrayn means "the two seas".
However, the name has been lexicalised as a feminine proper noun and does not follow the grammatical rules for duals. Endings are added to the word with no changes, as in the name of the national anthem Bahraynunā or the demonym Bahraynī; the mediaeval grammarian al-Jawahari commented on this saying that the more formally correct term Bahrī would have been misunderstood and so was unused. It remains disputed which "two seas" the name Bahrayn refers to; the term appears five times in the Quran, but does not refer to the modern island—originally known to the Arabs as Awal—but, rather, to all of Eastern Arabia. Today, Bahrain's "two seas" are taken to be the bay east and west of the island, the seas north and south of the island, or the salt and fresh water present above and below the ground. In addition to wells, there are areas of the sea north of Bahrain where fresh water bubbles up in the middle of the salt water as noted by visitors since antiquity. An alternate theory with regard to Bahrain's toponymy is offered by the al-Ahsa region, which suggests that the two seas were the Great Green Ocean and a peaceful lake on the Arabian mainland.
Until the late Middle Ages, "Bahrain" referred to the region of Eastern Arabia that included Southern Iraq, Kuwait, Al-Hasa and Bahrain. The region stretched from Basra in Iraq to the Strait of Hormuz in Oman; this was Iqlīm al-Bahrayn's "Bahrayn Province". The exact date at which the term "Bahrain" began to refer to the Awal archipelago is unknown; the entire coastal strip of Eastern Arabia was known as "Bahrain" for a millennium. The island and kingdom were commonly spelled Bahrein into the 1950s. Bahrain was home to Dilmun, an important Bronze Age trade centre linking Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Bahrain was ruled by the Assyrians and Babylonians. From the sixth to third century BCE, Bahrain was part of the Achaemenid Empire. By about 250 BCE, Parthia brought the Persian Gulf under its control and extended its influence as far as Oman; the Parthians established garrisons along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf to control trade routes. During the classical era, Bahrain was referred to by the ancient Greeks as Tylos, the centre of pearl trading, when the Greek admiral Nearchus serving under Alexander the Great landed on Bahrain.
Nearchus is believed to have been the first of Alexander's commanders to visit the island, he found a verdant land, part of a wide trading network. The use of these is not confined to India, but extends to Arabia." The Greek historian Theophrastus states that much of Bahrain was covered by these cotton trees and that Bahrain was famous for exporting walking canes engraved with emblems that were customarily carried in Babylon. Alexander had planned to settle Greek colonists on Bahrain, although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Bahrain became much part of the Hellenised world: the language of the upper classes was Greek, while Zeus was worshipped in the form of the Arabian sun-god Shams. Bahrain became the site of
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle