Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with an estimated 8 million people in 2013, and an area of 143,100 km2. It is bordered by Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the south, the Republic of Uzbekistan to the west, the Kyrgyz Republic to the north, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan lies to the south, separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Traditional homelands of Tajik people included present-day Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, a civil war was fought almost immediately after independence, lasting from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly established political stability, Tajikistan is a presidential republic consisting of four provinces. Most of Tajikistans 8 million people belong to the Tajik ethnic group, many Tajiks speak Russian as their second language. Mountains cover more than 90% of the country and it has a transition economy that is highly dependent on remittances and cotton production. Tajikistan means the Land of the Tajiks, the suffix -stan is Persian for place of or country and Tajik is, most likely, the name of a pre-Islamic tribe.
Tajikistan appeared as Tadjikistan or Tadzhikistan in English prior to 1991 and this is due to a transliteration from the Russian, Таджикистан. In Russian, there is no single letter j to represent the phoneme /ʤ/ and дж, Tadzhikistan is the most common alternate spelling and is widely used in English literature derived from Russian sources. Tadjikistan is the spelling in French and can occasionally be found in English language texts, the way of writing Tajikistan in the Perso-Arabic script is. The earliest recorded history of the dates back to about 500 BCE when much, if not all. After the regions conquest by Alexander the Great it became part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, northern Tajikistan was part of Sogdia, a collection of city-states which was overrun by Scythians and Yuezhi nomadic tribes around 150 BCE. The Silk Road passed through the region and following the expedition of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian during the reign of Wudi commercial relations between Han China and Sogdiana flourished.
Sogdians played a role in facilitating trade and worked in other capacities, as farmers, glassmakers. Later the Hephthalite Empire, a collection of tribes, moved into the region. Central Asia continued in its role as a crossroads, linking China, the steppes to the north. It was temporarily under the control of the Tibetan empire and Chinese from 650–680, the Samanid Empire,819 to 999, restored Persian control of the region and enlarged the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara which became the cultural centres of Iran and the region was known as Khorasan. The Kara-Khanid Khanate conquered Transoxania and ruled between 999–1211, during Genghis Khans invasion of Khwarezmia in the early 13th century the Mongol Empire took control over nearly all of Central Asia
Romania is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea, Ukraine, Serbia and it has an area of 238,391 square kilometres and a temperate-continental climate. With over 19 million inhabitants, the country is the member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city, Bucharest, is the sixth-largest city in the EU, the River Danube, Europes second-longest river, rises in Germany and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romanias Danube Delta. The Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest are marked by one of their tallest peaks, modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877, at the end of World War I, Transylvania and Bessarabia united with the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. Romania lost several territories, of which Northern Transylvania was regained after the war, following the war, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact.
After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards democracy and it has been a member of NATO since 2004, and part of the European Union since 2007. A strong majority of the population identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are speakers of Romanian. The cultural history of Romania is often referred to when dealing with artists, inventors. For similar reasons, Romania has been the subject of notable tourist attractions, Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning citizen of Rome. The first known use of the appellation was attested in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania, after the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân gradually fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a leader of the early 19th century. The use of the name Romania to refer to the homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been officially in use since 11 December 1861, in English, the name of the country was formerly spelt Rumania or Roumania.
Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975, Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. The Neolithic-Age Cucuteni area in northeastern Romania was the region of the earliest European civilization. Evidence from this and other sites indicates that the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture extracted salt from salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage
There are 56 islands and many minor rocks. It consists of Greater Kuril Ridge and Lesser Kuril Ridge, the total land area is 10,503.2 square kilometres and the total population is 19,434. All the islands are currently under Russian jurisdiction, Japan claims the two southernmost large islands as part of its territory, as well as Shikotan and the Habomai islets, which has led to the ongoing Kuril Islands dispute. The disputed islands are known in Japan as the countrys Northern Territories, the name Kuril originates from the autonym of the aboriginal Ainu, the islands original inhabitants, meaning man. It may be related to names for other islands that have traditionally inhabited by the Ainu people, such as Kuyi or Kuye for Sakhalin. In Japanese, the Kuril Islands are known as the Chishima Islands, once the Russians reached the islands in the 18th century they found a pseudo-etymology from Russian kurit due to the continual fumes and steam above the islands from volcanoes. The Kuril Islands form part of the ring of tectonic instability encircling the Pacific Ocean referred to as the Ring of Fire, the chain has around 100 volcanoes, some 40 of which are active, and many hot springs and fumaroles.
The climate on the islands is generally severe, with long, stormy winters and short, the average annual precipitation is 30–40 inches, most of which falls as snow. The chain ranges from temperate to sub-Arctic climate types, and the vegetative cover ranges from tundra in the north to dense spruce. The highest elevations on the islands are Alaid volcano on Atlasov Island at the end of the chain. The soils are generally productive, owing to the influxes of volcanic ash and, in certain places. However, many of the steep, unconsolidated slopes are susceptible to landslides, only the southern most island has large areas covered by trees, while more northerly islands have no trees, or spotty tree cover. Invertebrates, Extensive kelp beds surrounding almost every island provide habitat for sea urchins, various mollusks and countless other invertebrates. Many species of squid provide a principal component of the diet of many of the marine mammals. Fish, Further offshore, walleye pollock, Pacific cod, several species of flatfish are of the greatest commercial importance, the long term fluctuations in the range and distribution of human settlements along the Kuril island presumably tracked the pinniped ranges.
In historical times, fur seals were exploited for their fur in the 19th and early 20th centuries and several of the largest reproductive rookeries. In contrast, commercial harvest of the seals and Steller sea lions has been relatively insignificant on the Kuril islands proper. Since the 1960s there has been no additional harvest and the pinniped populations in the Kuril islands appear to be fairly healthy
Taiga known as boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines and larches. The taiga is the worlds largest biome apart from the oceans, in North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States, where it is known as the Northwoods or North woods. However, the tree species, the length of the growing season. Hoffman discusses the origin of this use in North America. Although at high elevations taiga grades into alpine tundra through Krummholz, it is not an alpine biome only like subalpine forest, Taiga is the worlds largest land biome, and makes up 29% of the worlds forest cover, the largest areas are located in Russia and Canada. The taiga is the terrestrial biome with the lowest annual average temperatures after the tundra, extreme winter minimums in the northern taiga are typically lower than those of the tundra. The lowest reliably recorded temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were recorded in the taiga of northeastern Russia, the taiga or boreal forest has a subarctic climate with very large temperature range between seasons, but the long and cold winter is the dominant feature.
This climate is classified as Dfc, Dsc and Dwd in the Köppen climate classification scheme, meaning that the summer lasts 1–3 months. In Siberian taiga the average temperature of the coldest month is between −6 °C and −50 °C, the mean annual temperature generally varies from -5 °C to 5 °C, but there are taiga areas in eastern Siberia and interior Alaska-Yukon where the mean annual reaches down to -10 °C. According to some sources, the boreal forest grades into a mixed forest when mean annual temperature reaches about 3 °C. The winters, with temperatures below freezing, last five to seven months. Temperatures vary from −54 °C to 30 °C throughout the whole year, the summers, while short, are generally warm and humid. In much of the taiga, -20 °C would be a winter day temperature and 18 °C an average summer day. In Canada and Finland, the season is often estimated by using the period of the year when the 24-hour average temperature is +5 °C or more. For the Taiga Plains in Canada, growing season varies from 80 to 150 days, some sources claim 130 days growing season as typical for the taiga.
Other sources mention that 50–100 frost-free days are characteristic, data for locations in southwest Yukon gives 80–120 frost-free days. The closed canopy boreal forest in Kenozersky National Park near Plesetsk, Arkhangelsk Province, the longest growing season is found in the smaller areas with oceanic influences, in coastal areas of Scandinavia and Finland, the growing season of the closed boreal forest can be 145–180 days. High latitudes mean that the sun not rise far above the horizon
In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated stem, or trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only woody plants with secondary growth, plants that are usable as lumber or plants above a specified height. Trees are not a group but include a variety of plant species that have independently evolved a woody trunk. In looser senses, the palms, the tree ferns, bananas. Trees tend to be long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old, the tallest known tree, a coast redwood named Hyperion, stands 115.6 m high. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years and it is estimated that there are just over 3 trillion mature trees in the world. A tree typically has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground by the trunk and this trunk typically contains woody tissue for strength, and vascular tissue to carry materials from one part of the tree to another. For most trees it is surrounded by a layer of bark which serves as a protective barrier, below the ground, the roots branch and spread out widely, they serve to anchor the tree and extract moisture and nutrients from the soil.
Above ground, the divide into smaller branches and shoots. The shoots typically bear leaves, which light energy and convert it into sugars by photosynthesis, providing the food for the trees growth. Flowers and fruit may be present, but some trees, such as conifers, instead have pollen cones and seed cones, such as tree ferns, trees play a significant role in reducing erosion and moderating the climate. They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues and forests provide a habitat for many species of animals and plants. Tropical rainforests are one of the most biodiverse habitats in the world, trees provide shade and shelter, timber for construction, fuel for cooking and heating, and fruit for food as well as having many other uses. In parts of the world, forests are shrinking as trees are cleared to increase the amount of available for agriculture. Because of their longevity and usefulness, trees have always revered, with sacred groves in various cultures.
Although tree is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition of what a tree is, either botanically or in common language. In its broadest sense, a tree is any plant with the form of an elongated stem, or trunk. Trees are defined by height, with smaller plants from 0.5 to 10 m being called shrubs
Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is a democratic, unitary, parliamentary republic with a cultural heritage. The country is encircled by seas on three sides, the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the countrys largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the countrys citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks, other ethnic groups include legally recognised and unrecognised minorities. Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population, the area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. After Alexander the Greats conquest, the area was Hellenized, a process continued under the Roman Empire.
The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, the empire reached the peak of its power in the 16th century, especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states. Turkey is a member of the UN, an early member of NATO. Turkeys growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power while her location has given it geopolitical, the name of Turkey is based on the ethnonym Türk. The first recorded use of the term Türk or Türük as an autonym is contained in the Old Turkic inscriptions of the Göktürks of Central Asia, the English name Turkey first appeared in the late 14th century and is derived from Medieval Latin Turchia. Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire, a Turkic state on the shores of the Black.
The medieval Arabs referred to the Mamluk Sultanate as al-Dawla al-Turkiyya, the Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred to as Turkey or the Turkish Empire among its European contemporaries. The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world, various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period. Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family, in fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty years ago. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date, the settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron Age
Mount Washington (New Hampshire)
Mount Washington, called Agiocochook by some Native American tribes, is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft and the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River. The mountain is notorious for its erratic weather, the mountain is located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains, in the township of Sargents Purchase, Coös County, New Hampshire. While nearly the whole mountain is in the White Mountain National Forest, the Mount Washington Cog Railway ascends the western slope of the mountain, and the Mount Washington Auto Road climbs to the summit from the east. The mountain is popular with hikers, other common activities include glider flying, and annual cycle and running races such as the Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Road Race. Before European settlers arrived in the region, the mountain was known by various peoples as Kodaak Wadjo or Agiochook or Agiocochook. The Algonquians called it Waumbik, white rocks, the first European to mention the mountain was Giovanni da Verrazzano.
Viewing it from the Atlantic Ocean in 1524, he described what he saw as high interior mountains, darby Field claimed to have made the first ascent of Mt. Washington in 1642. A geology party, headed by Manasseh Cutler, named the mountain in 1784, the Crawford Path, the oldest mountain hiking trail in the United States, was laid out in 1819 as a bridle path from Crawford Notch to the summit and has been in use ever since. Ethan Allen Crawford built a house on the summit in 1821, little occurred on the summit itself until the mid-19th century, when it was developed into one of the first tourist destinations in the nation, with construction of more bridle paths and two hotels. The Summit House opened in 1852, a 64-foot-long stone hotel anchored by four heavy chains over its roof, in 1853, the Tip-Top House was erected to compete. Rebuilt of wood with 91 rooms in 1872–1873, the Summit House burned in 1908, the Tip-Top House alone survived the fire, today it is a state historic site, recently renovated for exhibits.
Other Victorian era tourist attractions include a coach road —now the Mount Washington Auto Road—and the Mount Washington Cog Railway, for forty years, an intermittent daily newspaper, called Among the Clouds, was published by Henry M. Burt at the summit each summer, until 1917. CNL officials said they were directing their efforts against other hotels that use the mountains name and Trademark Office seeks registration of the trademark Mount Washington for any retail service, any restaurant service, and any entertainment service. The summit station of Mount Washington has a climate or tundra climate, although it receives an extremely high amount of precipitation. Lower elevations have a subarctic climate, the weather of Mount Washington is notoriously erratic. This is partly due to the convergence of several tracks, mainly from the Atlantic to the south, the Gulf region. The vertical rise of the Presidential Range, combined with its north-south orientation, low-pressure areas are more favorable to develop along the coastline in the winter due to the relative temperature differences between the Northeastern United States and the Atlantic Ocean.
With these factors combined, hurricane-force wind gusts are observed from the summit of the mountain on average of 110 days per year
Russian Far East
The Russian Far East is the Russian part of the Far East, i. e. the extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. The Far Eastern Federal District, which covers this area, borders with the Siberian Federal District to the west. The Far Eastern Federal District has land borders with the Peoples Republic of China and North Korea to the south west and maritime borders with Japan, although traditionally considered part of Siberia, the Russian Far East is categorized separately from Siberia in Russian regional schemes. In Russia, the region is referred to as just Far East. What is known in English as the Far East is usually referred to as the Asia-Pacific Region, primorskaya Oblast was established as a separate administrative division of the Russian Empire in 1856, with its administrative center at Khabarovsk. Until 2000, the Russian Far East lacked officially defined boundaries, a single term Siberia and the Far East was often used to refer to Russias regions east of the Urals without drawing a clear distinction between Siberia and the Far East.
Since 2000, the term Far East has been used in Russia to refer to the federal district. Defined by the boundaries of the district, the Far East has an area of 6.2 million square kilometers—over one-third of Russias total area. Russia in the early 1900s persistently sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean for the navy as well as to facilitate maritime trade, the recently established Pacific seaport of Vladivostok was operational only during the summer season, but Port Arthur in Manchuria was operational all year. After the First Sino-Japanese War and the failure of the 1903 negotiations between Japan and the Tsarss government, Japan chose war to protect its domination of Korea and adjacent territories. Russia, saw war as a means of distracting its populace from government repression, Japan issued a declaration of war on 8 February 1904. However, three hours before Japans declaration of war was received by the Russian Government, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur, eight days Russia declared war on Japan.
Japan received the southern half of the Island of Sakhalin from Russia, between 1937 and 1939, the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin deported over 200,000 Koreans to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, fearing that the Koreans might act as spies for Japan. Many Koreans died on the way in cattle due to starvation, illness. Many community leaders were purged and executed, Koryo-saram were not allowed to travel outside of Central Asia for the next 15 years, Koreans were not allowed to use the Korean language and its use began to become lost with the involvement of Koryo-mar and the use of Russian. Development of numerous remote locations relied on GULAG labour camps during Stalins rule, after that, the large-scale use of forced labour waned and was superseded by volunteer employees attracted by relatively high wages. Indeed, Japan turned its interests to Soviet territories. Conflicts between the Japanese and the Soviets frequently happened on the border of Manchuria between 1938 and 1945, the first confrontation occurred in Primorsky Krai, the Battle of Lake Khasan was an attempted military incursion of Manchukuo into the territory claimed by the Soviet Union
Winter is the coldest season of the year in polar and temperate climates, between autumn and spring. Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth in that hemisphere being oriented away from the Sun, different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, and some use a definition based on weather. When it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, in many regions, winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. The moment of winter solstice is when the elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value, meaning this day will have the shortest day. The English word winter comes from the Proto-Indo-European root wend, relating to water, the tilt of the Earths axis relative to its orbital plane plays a large role in the formation of weather. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23. 44° to the plane of its orbit, when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere faces the Sun more directly and thus experiences warmer temperatures than the Northern Hemisphere.
Conversely, winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun, from the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun. During winter in either hemisphere, the altitude of the Sun causes the sunlight to hit that hemisphere at an oblique angle. In regions experiencing winter, the amount of solar radiation is spread out over a larger area. This effect is compounded by the distance that the light must travel through the atmosphere. Compared with these effects, the changes in the distance of the earth from the sun are negligible, the manifestation of the meteorological winter in the northerly snow–prone parallels is highly variable depending on elevation, position versus marine winds and the amount of precipitation. A case in point is Canada, a country associated with tough winters. Winnipeg on the Great Plains at a distance from large bodies of water has a January high of −11.3 °C.
In comparison, Vancouver on the coast with an influence from moderating Pacific winds has a January low of 1.4 °C with days well above freezing at 6.9 °C. Both areas are on the 49th parallel north and in the western half of the continent. Winter is often defined by meteorologists to be the three months with the lowest average temperatures. This corresponds to the months of December and February in the Northern Hemisphere, the coldest average temperatures of the season are typically experienced in January or February in the Northern Hemisphere and in June, July or August in the Southern Hemisphere. Blizzards often develop and cause many transportation delays, diamond dust, known as ice needles or ice crystals, forms at temperatures approaching −40 °F due to air with slightly higher moisture from aloft mixing with colder, surface based air
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law.
Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.
Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a federal republic in Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, and the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in western-Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning an area of 41,285 km2. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation, it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815, nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to international organisations.
On the European level, it is a member of the European Free Trade Association. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties, spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions, French and Romansh. Due to its diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names, Suisse, Svizzera. On coins and stamps, Latin is used instead of the four living languages, Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Zürich and Geneva have each been ranked among the top cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the former ranked second globally, according to Mercer. The English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, a term for the Swiss. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse, in use since the 16th century.
The name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, the Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for Confederates, used since the 14th century. The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes, ultimately related to swedan ‘to burn’
Iran, known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second-largest country in the Middle East, with 82.8 million inhabitants, Iran is the worlds 17th-most-populous country. It is the country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The countrys central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, Tehran is the countrys capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is the site of to one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the area was first unified by the Iranian Medes in 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Islam, Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars and thinkers.
During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a monarchy and the countrys first legislative body. Following a coup instigated by the U. K. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution, Irans rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and 11th-largest in the world. Iran is a member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC. Its political system is based on the 1979 Constitution which combines elements of a democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership. A multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, most inhabitants are Shia Muslims, the largest ethnic groups in Iran are the Persians, Azeris and Lurs.
Historically, Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due mainly to the writings of Greek historians who called Iran Persis, meaning land of the Persians. As the most extensive interactions the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, Persis was originally referred to a region settled by Persians in the west shore of Lake Urmia, in the 9th century BC. The settlement was shifted to the end of the Zagros Mountains. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, and Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably