Saudi Arabia the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a country in Western Asia constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. With a land area of 2,150,000 km2, Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second-largest in the Arab world, the fifth-largest in Asia, the 12th-largest in the world. Saudi Arabia is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast and Yemen to the south, it is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast, most of its terrain consists of arid desert and mountains. As of October 2018, the Saudi economy was the largest in the Middle East and the 18th largest in the world. Saudi Arabia enjoys one of the world's youngest populations; the territory that now constitutes Saudi Arabia was the site of several ancient cultures and civilizations. The prehistory of Saudi Arabia shows some of the earliest traces of human activity in the world.
The world's second-largest religion, emerged in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In the early 7th century, the Islamic prophet Muhammad united the population of Arabia and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge and unprecedented swathes of territory in a matter of decades. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Saudi Arabia founded the Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates as well as numerous other dynasties in Asia and Europe; the area of modern-day Saudi Arabia consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz and parts of Eastern Arabia and Southern Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud, he united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia has since been a totalitarian absolute monarchy a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamist lines.
The ultraconservative Wahhabi religious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spread financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam; the state's official language is Arabic. Petroleum was discovered on 3 March 1938 and followed up by several other finds in the Eastern Province. Saudi Arabia has since become the world's second largest oil producer and the world's largest largest oil exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves and the sixth largest gas reserves; the kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human Development Index and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies. The state has attracted criticism for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to: its archaic treatment of women, its excessive and extrajudicial use of capital punishment, state-sponsored discrimination against religious minorities and atheists, its role in the Yemeni Civil War, sponsorship of Islamic terrorists, its strict interpretation of Sharia Law.
An autocratic monarchy, the kingdom has the world's third-highest military expenditure and, according to SIPRI, was the world's second largest arms importer from 2010 to 2014. Saudi Arabia is considered a middle power. In addition to the GCC, it is an active member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and OPEC. Following the unification of the Hejaz and Nejd kingdoms, the new state was named al-Mamlakah al-ʻArabīyah as-Suʻūdīyah by royal decree on 23 September 1932 by its founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud. Although this is translated as "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" in English, it means "the Saudi Arab kingdom", or "the Arab Saudi Kingdom"; the word "Saudi" is derived from the element as-Suʻūdīyah in the Arabic name of the country, a type of adjective known as a nisba, formed from the dynastic name of the Saudi royal family, the Al Saud. Its inclusion expresses the view. Al Saud is an Arabic name formed by adding the word Al, meaning "family of" or "House of", 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. There is evidence that human habitation in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to about 125,000 years ago, it is now believed that the first modern humans to spread east across Asia left Africa about 75,000 years ago across the Bab-el-Mandeb connecting the Horn of Africa and Arabia. The Arabian peninsula is regarded as a central figure in our understanding of hominin evolution and dispersals. Arabia underwent an extreme environmental fluctuation in the Quaternary that led to profound evolutionary and demographic changes. Arabia has a rich Lower Paleolithic record, the quantity of Oldwan-like sites in the region indicate a significant role that Arabia had played in the early hominin colonization of Eurasia. In the Neolithic period, prominent cultures such as al-Magar whose epicenter lay in mod
Nuristan spelled Nurestan or Nooristan, is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the eastern part of the country. It is divided into seven districts and has a population of about 140,900. Parun serves as the provincial capital, it was known as Kafiristan until the inhabitants were forcibly converted from an animist religion a form of ancient Hinduism infused with local variations, to Islam in 1895, thence the region has become known as Nuristan. The region was located in an area surrounded by Buddhist civilizations which were taken over by Muslims; the origins of the Nuristani has been disputed, ranging from being the indigenous inhabitants forced to flee to this region after refusing to surrender to Muslim invaders, to being linked to various ancient groups of people and the Turk Shahi kings. The primary occupations are agriculture, animal husbandry, day labor. Located on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush mountains in the northeastern part of the country, Nuristan spans the basins of the Alingar, Landai Sin, Kunar rivers.
Nuristan is bordered on the south by Laghman and Kunar provinces, on the north by Badakhshan province, on the west by Panjshir province, on the east by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The surrounding area fell to Alexander the Great in 330 BC, it fell to Chandragupta Maurya. The Mauryas introduced Buddhism to the region, were attempting to expand their empire to Central Asia until they faced local Greco-Bactrian forces. Seleucus is said to have reached a peace treaty with Chandragupta by giving control of the territory south of the Hindu Kush to the Mauryas upon intermarriage and 500 elephants. Before their conversion to Islam, the Nuristanis or Kafir people practiced a form of ancient Hinduism infused with locally developed accretions, they were called "kafirs" due to their enduring paganism while other regions around them became Muslim. However, the influence from district names in Kafiristan of Katwar or Kator and the ethnic name Kati has been suggested; the area extending from modern Nuristan to Kashmir was known as "Peristan", a vast area containing host of "Kafir" cultures and Indo-European languages that became Islamized over a long period.
Earlier, it was surrounded by Buddhist areas. The Islamization of the nearby Badakhshan began in the 8th century and Peristan was surrounded by Muslim states in the 16th century with Islamization of Baltistan; the Buddhist states temporarily brought state rule into the region. The decline of Buddhism resulted in it becoming isolated. There have been varying theories about the origins of Kafirs including the Arab tribe of Quraish, or Gabars of Persia, the Greek soldiers of Alexander as well as the Indians of eastern Afghanistan. George Scott Robertson considered them to be part of the old Indian population of Eastern Afghanistan and stated they fled to the mountains after the Muslim invasion in the 10th century, he added they found other races there whom they killed off and enslaved or amalgamated with them. Oral traditions of some of the Nuristanis place themselves to be at the confluence of Kabul River and Kunar River a millennium ago; these traditions state they were driven off from Kandahar to Kabul to Kapisa to Kama with the Muslim invasion.
They identify themselves as late arrivals in Nuristan, being driven by Mahmud of Ghazni who after establishing his empire forced the unsubmissive population to flee. The name Kator was used by last king of the Turk Shahi. Due to its usage by the last Turk-Shahi ruler, it was adopted as a title by the ruler of the north-west region of the Indian subcontinent, comprising Chitral and Kafiristan; the title "Shah Kator" was assumed by Chitral's ruler Mohtaram Shah who assumed it upon being impressed by the majesty of the erstwhile pagan rulers of Chitral. The theory of Kators being related to Turki Shahis is based on the information of Jami- ut-Tawarikh and Tarikh-i-Binakiti; the region was named after its ruling elite. The royal usage may be the origin behind the name of Kator; the high god of the pre-Islamic Nuristani religion was the god Imra, derived from the Hindu god Yama, was called Mara. Another god was Indr, derived from Indra, he was seen as the brother of the goddess Dishani. There were many other minor gods worshiped in the region.
The region was invaded by forces of Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan in 1896 and most of the people were converted either by force or did so to avoid the jizya: In the end, Kafiristan was subdued, most of its residents either by force or for economic reason - namely to avoid the jizya poll tax - were converted to Islam and the region became known as Nuristan. The region was renamed Nuristan, meaning Land of the enlightened, a reflection of the "enlightening" of the pagan Nuristani by the "light-giving" of Islam. Nuristan was once thought to have been a region through which Alexander the Great passed with a detachment of his army. Abdul Wakil Khan Nuristani is one of the most prominent figures in Nuristan's history, he fought against the British-led Punjabi army and drove them out of the eastern provinces of Afghanistan. He is buried on the same plateau. Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Afghan politicians have been focusing on re-annexing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of what is now Pakistan.
This has led to militancy on both sides of the Durand Line. In the meantime, Pakistani politicians have been focusing on connecting what is now Tajikistan with
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent; the ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol
History of Afghanistan
The history of Afghanistan, as a state began in 1747 with its establishment by Ahmad Shah Durrani. The written recorded history of the land presently constituting Afghanistan can be traced back to around 500 BCE when the area was under the Achaemenid Empire, although evidence indicates that an advanced degree of urbanized culture has existed in the land since between 3000 and 2000 BCE; the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up to large parts of Afghanistan in the north. Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army arrived at what is now Afghanistan in 330 BCE after conquering Persia. Since many empires have risen from Afghanistan, including the, Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Hindu Shahi, Samanids, Ghurids, Timurids, Mughals and Durranis. Afghanistan has been a strategically important location throughout history; the land served as "a gateway to India, impinging on the ancient Silk Road, which carried trade from the Mediterranean to China". Sitting on many trade and migration routes, Afghanistan may be called the'Central Asian roundabout' since routes converge from the Middle East, from the Indus Valley through the passes over the Hindu Kush, from the Far East via the Tarim Basin, from the adjacent Eurasian Steppe.
The Iranian languages were developed by one branch of these people. Elena E. Kuz'mina argues that the tents of Iranian-speaking nomads of Afghanistan developed from the light surface houses of the Eurasian steppe belt in the Bronze Age; the Arab invasions influenced the culture of Afghanistan, its pre-Islamic period of Zoroastrian, Macedonian and Hindu past has long vanished. Mirwais Hotak followed by Ahmad Shah Durrani unified Afghan tribes and founded the last Afghan Empire in the early 18th century CE. Afghanistan is inhabited by many and diverse peoples: the Pashtuns, Hazaras, Turkmen, Aimak and others; the Pashtuns, with 55% form the largest group, second are the Tajiks with 25%. Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others at Darra-e Kur in 1966 where 800 stone implements were recovered along with a fragment of Neanderthal right temporal bone, suggest that early humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 52,000 years ago. A cave called. Farming communities in Afghanistan were among the earliest in the world.
Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Afghanistan from as far back as 50,000 BC. The artifacts indicate that the indigenous people were small farmers and herdsmen probably grouped into tribes, with small local kingdoms rising and falling through the ages. Urbanization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE. Zoroastrianism predominated as the religion in the area. Other religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism flourished leaving a major mark in the region. Gandhara is the name of an ancient kingdom from the Vedic period and its capital city located between the Hindukush and Sulaiman Mountains, although Kandahar in modern times and the ancient Gandhara are not geographically identical. Early inhabitants, around 3000 BCE were to have been connected through culture and trade to neighboring civilizations like Jiroft and Tappeh Sialk and the Indus Valley Civilization. Urban civilization may have begun as early as 3000 BCE and it is possible that the early city of Mundigak was a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization.
The first known people were Indo-Iranians, but their date of arrival has been estimated from as early as about 3000 BCE to 1500 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization extending from present-day northwest Pakistan to present-day northwest India and present-day northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. Apart from Shortughai, Mundigak is another known site. There are several other smaller IVC sites to be found in Afghanistan as well; the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex became prominent in the southwest region between 2200 and 1700 BCE. The city of Balkh was founded about this time, it is possible that the BMAC may have been an Indo-European culture the Proto-Indo-Aryans. But the standard model holds the arrival of Indo-Aryans to have been in the Late Harappan which gave rise to the Vedic civilization of the Early Iron Age. There have been many different opinions about the extent of the Median kingdom.
For instance, according to Ernst Herzfeld, it was a powerful empire, which stretched from central Anatolia to Bactria, to around the borders of nowadays India. On the other side, Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg insists that there is no real evidence about the existence of the Median empire and that it was an unstable state formation; the region of nowadays Afghanistan came under Median rule for a short time. Afghanistan fell to the Achaemenid Empire; the area was divided into several provinces called satrapies, which were each ruled by a governor, or satrap. These ancient satrapies included: Aria. Alexander the Great arrived in the area of Afghanistan in 330 BCE after defeating Darius III of Persia a year ear