Mali the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres; the population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako; the sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on mining; some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, salt. Present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade: the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy and art. At its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa.
In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan. French Sudan joined with Senegal in 1959. Shortly thereafter, following Senegal's withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. In January 2012, an armed conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of a territory in the north, in April declared the secession of a new state, Azawad; the conflict was complicated by a military coup that took place in March and fighting between Tuareg and rebels. In response to territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013. A month Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north. Presidential elections were held on 28 July 2013, with a second-round run-off held on 11 August, legislative elections were held on 24 November and 15 December 2013.
The name Mali is taken from the name of the Mali Empire. The name was derived from the Mandinka or Bambara word mali, meaning "hippopotamus", but it came to mean "the place where the king lives"; the word carries the connotation of strength. Guinean writer Djibril Niane suggests in Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali that it is not impossible that Mali was the name given to one of the capitals of the emperors. 14th-century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta reported that the capital of the Mali Empire was called Mali. One Mandinka tradition tells that the legendary first emperor Sundiata Keita changed himself into a hippopotamus upon his death in the Sankarani River, that it's possible to find villages in the area of this river, termed "old Mali", which have Mali for a name; this name could have been that of a city. In old Mali, there is one village called Malika which means "New Mali."Another theory suggests that Mali is a Fulani pronunciation of the name of the Mande peoples. It is suggested that a sound shift led to the change, whereby in Fulani the alveolar segment /nd/ shifts to /l/ and the terminal vowel denasalises and raises, thus "Manden" shifts to /Mali/.
Mali was once part of three famed West African empires which controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt and other precious commodities. These Sahelian kingdoms had rigid ethnic identities; the earliest of these empires was the Ghana Empire, dominated by the Soninke, a Mande-speaking people. The empire expanded throughout West Africa from the 8th century until 1078, when it was conquered by the Almoravids; the Mali Empire formed on the upper Niger River, reached the height of power in the 14th century. Under the Mali Empire, the ancient cities of Djenné and Timbuktu were centers of both trade and Islamic learning; the empire declined as a result of internal intrigue being supplanted by the Songhai Empire. The Songhai people originated in current northwestern Nigeria; the Songhai had long been a major power in West Africa subject to the Mali Empire's rule. In the late 14th century, the Songhai gained independence from the Mali Empire and expanded subsuming the entire eastern portion of the Mali Empire.
The Songhai Empire's eventual collapse was the result of a Moroccan invasion in 1591, under the command of Judar Pasha. The fall of the Songhai Empire marked the end of the region's role as a trading crossroads. Following the establishment of sea routes by the European powers, the trans-Saharan trade routes lost significance. One of the worst famines in the region's recorded history occurred in the 18th century. According to John Iliffe, "The worst crises were in the 1680s, when famine extended from the Senegambian coast to the Upper Nile and'many sold themselves for slaves, only to get a sustenance', in 1738–1756, when West Africa's greatest recorded subsistence crisis, due to drought and locusts killed half the population of Timbuktu." Mali fell under the control of France during the late 19th century. By 1905, most of the area was under firm French control as a part of French Sudan. In early 1959, French Sudan and Senegal united to become the Mali Federation; the Mali Federation gained independence from France on 20 June 1960.
Senegal withdrew from the federation in August 1960, which allowed the Sudanes
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
Kuwait the State of Kuwait, is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia; as of 2016, Kuwait has a population of 4.5 million people: 1.3 million are Kuwaitis and 3.2 million are expatriates. Expatriates account for 70% of the population. Oil reserves were discovered in commercial quantities in 1938. From 1946 to 1982, the country underwent large-scale modernization. In the 1980s, Kuwait experienced a period of geopolitical instability and an economic crisis following the stock market crash. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded, annexed, by Saddam's Iraq; the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait came to an end in 1991 after military intervention by a military coalition led by the United States. Kuwait is a major non-NATO ally of the United States, it is a major ally of ASEAN, while maintaining a strong relationship with China. Kuwait is a constitutional sovereign state with a semi-democratic political system.
Kuwait has a high-income economy backed by the world's sixth largest oil reserves. The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest valued currency in the world. According to the World Bank, the country has the fourth highest per capita income; the Constitution was promulgated in 1962. Kuwait is home to the largest opera house in the Middle East; the Kuwait National Cultural District is a member of the Global Cultural Districts Network. In 1613, the town of Kuwait was founded in modern-day Kuwait City. Administratively, it was a sheikhdom, ruled by local sheikhs. In 1716, the Bani Utub settled in Kuwait, which at this time was inhabited by a few fishermen and functioned as a fishing village. In the eighteenth century, Kuwait prospered and became the principal commercial center for the transit of goods between India, Muscat and Arabia. By the mid 1700s, Kuwait had established itself as the major trading route from the Persian Gulf to Aleppo. During the Persian siege of Basra in 1775–79, Iraqi merchants took refuge in Kuwait and were instrumental in the expansion of Kuwait's boat-building and trading activities.
As a result, Kuwait's maritime commerce boomed, as the Indian trade routes with Baghdad, Aleppo and Constantinople were diverted to Kuwait during this time. The East India Company was diverted to Kuwait in 1792; the East India Company secured the sea routes between Kuwait and the east coasts of Africa. After the Persians withdrew from Basra in 1779, Kuwait continued to attract trade away from Basra. Kuwait was the center of boat building in the Persian Gulf region. During the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, vessels made in Kuwait carried the bulk of trade between the ports of India, East Africa and the Red Sea. Kuwaiti ships were renowned throughout the Indian Ocean. Regional geopolitical turbulence helped foster economic prosperity in Kuwait in the second half of the 18th century; the biggest catalyst for much of Kuwait becoming prosperous was due to Basra's instability in the late 18th century. In the late 18th century, Kuwait functioned as a haven for Basra's merchants, who were fleeing Ottoman government persecution.
Kuwaitis developed a reputation as the best sailors in the Persian Gulf. In the 1890s, Kuwait began to feel threatened by the Ottoman empire. In a bid to address its security issues, the ruler, Sheikh Mubarak Al Sabah signed an agreement with the British government in India, subsequently known as the Anglo-Kuwaiti Agreement of 1899 and became a British protectorate; the Sheikhdom of Kuwait remained a British protectorate from 1899. Following the Kuwait–Najd War of 1919–20, Ibn Saud imposed a trade blockade against Kuwait from the years 1923 until 1937; the goal of the Saudi economic and military attacks on Kuwait was to annex as much of Kuwait's territory as possible. At the Uqair conference in 1922, the boundaries of Kuwait and Najd were set. Ibn Saud persuaded Sir Percy Cox to give him two-thirds of Kuwait's territory. More than half of Kuwait was lost due to Uqair. After the Uqair conference, Kuwait was still subjected to a Saudi economic blockade and intermittent Saudi raiding; the Great Depression harmed Kuwait's economy.
International trading was one of Kuwait's main sources of income before oil. Kuwaiti merchants were intermediary merchants; as a result of the decline of European demand for goods from India and Africa, Kuwait's economy suffered. The decline in international trade resulted in an increase in gold smuggling by Kuwaiti ships to India; some Kuwaiti merchant families became rich from this smuggling. Kuwait's pearl industry collapsed as a result of the worldwide economic depression. At its height, Kuwait's pearl industry had led the world's luxury market sending out between 750 and 800 ships to meet the European elite's desire for pearls. During the economic depression, luxuries like pearls were in little demand; the Japanese invention of cultured pearls contributed to the collapse of Kuwait's pearl industry. Historian Hanna Batatu explains how the British threatened to take the Kurdish area and Mosul out of Iraq provided that King Faisal granted Britain control of the oil in the region. In 1938 the Kuwaiti Legislative Council unanimously approved a request for Kuwait’s reintegration with Iraq.
A year an armed uprising which had raised the integration banner as its objective was put down by the British. With the end of the world war, increasing need for oil across the world, Kuwait experienced a period of prosperity driven by oil and its liberal atmosphere; the period
War on Terror
The War on Terror known as the Global War on Terrorism, is an international military campaign, launched by the United States government after the September 11 attacks against the United States. The naming of the campaign uses a metaphor of war to refer to a variety of actions that do not constitute a specific war as traditionally defined. U. S. president George W. Bush first used the term "war on terrorism" on 16 September 2001, "war on terror" a few days in a formal speech to Congress. In the latter speech, George Bush stated, "Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them." The term was used with a particular focus on countries associated with al-Qaeda. The term was criticised by such people as Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, more nuanced terms subsequently came to be used by the Bush administration to publicly define the international campaign led by the U. S.. S. operations in internal government documentation. U. S. President Barack Obama announced on 23 May 2013 that the Global War on Terror was over, saying the military and intelligence agencies will not wage war against a tactic but will instead focus on a specific group of networks determined to destroy the U.
S. On 28 December 2014, the Obama administration announced the end of the combat role of the U. S.-led mission in Afghanistan. However, the unexpected rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group—also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria —led to a new operation against terror in the Middle East and South Asia, Operation Inherent Resolve. Criticism of the War on Terror focused on morality, economics; the notion of a "war" against "terrorism" has proven contentious, with critics charging that it has been exploited by participating governments to pursue long-standing policy/military objectives, reduce civil liberties, infringe upon human rights. Critics assert that the term "war" is not appropriate in this context since there is no identifiable enemy and it is unlikely that international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means; the phrase "War on Terror" has been used to refer to the ongoing military campaign led by the U. S. U. K. and their allies against organizations and regimes identified by them as terrorist, excludes other independent counter-terrorist operations and campaigns such as those by Russia and India.
The conflict has been referred to by names other than the War on Terror. It has been known as: World War III World War IV Bush's War on Terror The Long War The Forever War The Global War on Terror The War Against al-Qaeda In 1984, the Reagan administration, which had expanded the CIA-run program of funding the Jihadi militants in Afghanistan, employed the term "war against terrorism" to pass legislation aimed at countering terrorist groups in the wake of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 U. S. and 58 French peacekeepers. In 2017, U. S. Vice President Mike Pence called the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing "the opening salvo in a war that we have waged since—the global war on terror."The concept of the U. S. at war with terrorism may have begun on 11 September 2001 when Tom Brokaw, having just witnessed the collapse of one of the towers of the World Trade Center, declared "Terrorists have declared war on."On 16 September 2001, at Camp David, U. S. president George W. Bush used the phrase war on terrorism in an ostensibly unscripted comment when answering a journalist's question about the impact of enhanced law enforcement authority given to the U.
S. surveillance agencies on Americans' civil liberties: "This is a new kind of—a new kind of evil. And we understand, and the American people are beginning to understand. This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while, and the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient." Shortly after, the White House said the president regretted use of the term crusade, as it might have been misunderstood as referring to the historical Crusades. On 20 September 2001, during a televised address to a joint session of Congress, George Bush said, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there, it will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found and defeated."In April 2007, the British government announced publicly that it was abandoning the use of the phrase "War on Terror" as they found it to be less than helpful. This was explained more by Lady Eliza Manningham-Buller. In her 2011 Reith lecture, the former head of MI5 said that the 9/11 attacks were "a crime, not an act of war.
So I never felt it helpful to refer to a war on terror."U. S. president Barack Obama used the term, but in his inaugural address on 20 January 2009, he stated: "Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred." In March 2009 the Defense Department changed the name of operations from "Global War on Terror" to "Overseas Contingency Operation". In March 2009, the Obama administration requested that Pentagon staff members avoid the use of the term and instead to use "Overseas Contingency Operation". Basic objectives of the Bush administration "war on terror", such as targeting al Qaeda and building international counterterrorism alliances, remain in place. In May 2010, the Obama administration published a report outlining its National Security Strategy; the document dropped the Bush-era phrase "global war on terror" and reference to "Islamic extremism," and stated, "This is not a g
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina, known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe, located within the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is largest city. Bosnia and Herzegovina is an landlocked country – it has a narrow coast at the Adriatic Sea, about 20 kilometres long surrounding the town of Neum, it is bordered by Croatia to the north and south. In the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, the northeast is predominantly flatland; the inland, Bosnia, is a geographically larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The southern tip, has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries.
In the 12th century the Banate of Bosnia was established, which evolved into the Kingdom of Bosnia in the 14th century, after which it was annexed into the Ottoman Empire, under whose rule it remained from the mid-15th to the late 19th centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam to the region, altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country; this was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I. In the interwar period and Herzegovina was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, it was granted full republic status in the newly formed Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. Tourism in Bosnia and Herzegovina has grown at double digit rates in recent years. Bosnia and Herzegovina is regionally and internationally renowned for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe.
The country is home to three main ethnic groups or constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second, Croats third. A native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. Minorities, defined under the constitutional nomenclature "Others", include Jews, Poles and Turks. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. However, the central government's power is limited, as the country is decentralized and comprises two autonomous entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with a third unit, the Brčko District, governed under local government; the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 cantons. Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks in terms of human development, has an economy dominated by the industry and agriculture sectors, followed by the tourism and service sectors; the country has a social security and universal healthcare system, primary- and secondary-level education is tuition-free.
It is a member of the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, PfP, CEFTA, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in July 2008. The country is a potential candidate for membership to the European Union and has been a candidate for NATO membership since April 2010, when it received a Membership Action Plan; the first preserved acknowledged mention of Bosnia is in De Administrando Imperio, a politico-geographical handbook written by the Byzantine emperor Constantine VII in the mid-10th century describing the "small land" of "Bosona". The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian *"Bass-an-as"), which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water". According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia "adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna and themselves Bosniaks ".
The name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stjepan Vukčić Kosača's title, "Herceg of Hum and the Coast". Hum Zahumlje, was an early medieval principality, conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century; the region was administered by the Ottomans as the Sanjak of Herzegovina within the Eyalet of Bosnia up until the formation of the short-lived Herzegovina Eyalet in the 1830s, which remerged in the 1850s, after which the entity became known as Bosnia and Herzegovina. On initial proclamation of independence in 1992, the country's official name was the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina but following the 1995 Dayton Agreement and the new constitution that accompanied it the official name was changed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia has been inhabited by humans since at least the Neolithic age; the earliest Neolithic population became known in the Antiquity as the Illyrians. Celtic migrations in the 4th century BC were notable. Concrete historical e
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