Most-wanted Iraqi playing cards
During the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition, the U. S. military developed a set of playing cards to help troops identify the most-wanted members of President Saddam Hussein's government high-ranking members of the Iraqi Regional Branch of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party or members of the Revolutionary Command Council. The cards were named the "personality identification playing cards"; as of 2018, all but 6 of the 52 most wanted have been either captured. Each card contains the wanted person's address and, if available, the job performed by that individual; the highest-ranking cards, starting with the aces and kings, were used for the people at the top of the most-wanted list. The ace of spades is Saddam Hussein, the aces of clubs and hearts are his sons Qusay and Uday and the ace of diamonds is Saddam's presidential secretary Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti; this strict correspondence to the order of the most-wanted list was not carried through the entire deck, but some time in 2003, the list itself was renumbered to conform to the deck of cards.
The card backs feature a green military camouflage pattern. According to US Navy Lieutenant commander Jim Brooks, a spokesman for the Defense Intelligence Agency, such playing cards have been used as far back as the US Civil War and again in World War II—Army Air Corps decks printed with the silhouettes of German and Japanese fighter aircraft fetch hundreds of dollars today—and in the Korean War. Troops play cards to pass the time, seeing the names and titles of the wanted Iraqis during their games will help soldiers and Marines in case they run into the wanted individuals in the field, Brooks said; the list of "Most Wanted" was the result of a multi-intelligence agency collaboration which included the Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Command, representatives from all US Service Branch Intelligence entities. The "Most Wanted" names were assigned to their respective cards by five US Army soldiers, 2LT Hans Mumm, SSG Shawn Mahoney, SGT Andrei Salter, SGT Scott Boehmler, SPC Joseph Barrios, who were assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The pictures used on the cards came from a number of intelligence agencies, but most were derived from "open sources". The deck of cards was first announced publicly in Iraq on 11 April 2003, in a press conference by Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, deputy director of operations at U. S. Central Command. On that same evening Max Hodges, a Houston-based entrepreneur and downloaded a high-resolution artwork file for the deck from a Defense Department web server. Discovering the following day that the file had vanished from the military web server he became the first eBay seller to offer the artwork file, in PDF, which could be used to reproduce the deck, he contracted Gemaco Playing Card Company to print 1,000 decks for about $4,000 and started selling both the decks, in advance of receiving them from the printer, on eBay, Amazon.com and his own web site. When some of his early auctions for a $4 deck of cards rose to over $120, it did not take long for other eBayers to jump on the bandwagon and print or order decks of their own to sell.
In just a few days hundreds of sellers materialized and the price dropped to just a few dollars per deck. Texas-based Liberty Playing Card Co. received an order to manufacture the cards for the U. S. Embassy in Kuwait and by claiming to be "the authorized government contractor" became another popular domestic supplier for the commercial market; the U. S. military inadvertently included in the jokers the trademarked Hoyle joker owned by the United States Playing Card Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Although The U. S. Playing Card company does not object to the government's use of the image, they do object to other companies using the trademarked image. Thus, in some sense, the U. S. military inadvertently granted The U. S. Playing Card Company exclusive rights to manufacture the authentic decks, if the trademarked images on the jokers are considered a requirement for being authentic. Ace ♠: Saddam Husayn Al-Tikriti, President. King ♠: Ali Hasan al-Majid, Presidential Advisor/RCC Member known as Chemical Ali.
Queen ♠: Muhammad Hamza Zubaydi, Retired RCC member. Jack ♠: Ibrahim Ahmad Abd al-Sattar Muhammad, Iraqi Armed Forces Chief of Staff. Ten ♠: Hamid Raja Shalah, Air Force Commander. Nine ♠: Rukan Razuki Abd al-Ghafar, Head of Tribal Affairs Office. Eight ♠: Tariq Aziz, deputy prime minister. Seven ♠: Mahmud Dhiyab, minister of interior. Six ♠: Amir Rashid Muhammad al-Ubaydi, presidential adviser/former oil minister. Five ♠: Watban Ibrahim Hasan, presidential adviser. Four ♠: Muhammad Zimam Abd al-Razzaq, Ba'ath Party branch command chairman. Three ♠: Sa'd Abdul-Majid Al-Faisal, Ba'ath Party branch command chairman. Two ♠: Rashid Taan Kazim, Ba'ath Party regional chairman, or still fugitive. Ace ♣: Qusay Saddam Husayn, son of Saddam, killed in standoff with the U. S. Army in M
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region the Iraqi Regional Branch, is an Iraqi Ba'athist political party founded in 1951 by Fuad al-Rikabi. It was the Iraqi regional branch of the original Ba'ath Party before changing its allegiance to the Iraqi-dominated Ba'ath movement following the 1966 split within the original party; the party was banned following the American invasion of Iraq, but despite this it still continues to function. The Iraqi Regional Branch of the Ba'ath Party was established in 1951 or 1952; some historians claim that the Iraqi Regional Branch was established by Abd ar Rahman ad Damin and Abd al Khaliq al Khudayri in 1947 after their return from the founding congress of the Ba'ath Party held in Damascus, Syria the same year. In another version, Fuad al-Rikabi established the Iraqi Regional Branch in 1948 with Sa'dun Hamadi, a Shia Muslim, but became secretary of the Regional Command in 1952; the Iraqi Regional Branch was Arab nationalist and vague in its socialist orientation.
Al-Rikabi, expelled from the party in 1961 for being a Nasserist, was an early follower of Michel Aflaq, the founder of Ba'athism. During the party's early days, members discussed topics regarding Arab nationalism, the social inequalities that had grown out of the British "Tribal Criminal and Civil Disputes Regulation," and the Iraqi Parliament's Law 28 of 1932 "Governing the Rights and Duties of Cultivators". By 1953, the party, led by al-Rikabi, was engaged in subversive activities against the government; the party consisted of a majority of Shia Muslims, as al-Rikabi recruited his friends and family, but it became Sunni-dominated. The Ba'ath Party, others of pan-Arab orientation, found it difficult to recruit Shia members within the party organisation. Most Shias saw pan-Arab as Sunni, since most Arabs are Sunni; as a result, more Shias joined the Iraqi Communist Party than the Ba'ath Party. In the mid-1950s, eight of 17 members of the Ba'ath leadership were Shia. According to Talib El-Shibib, the Ba'ath foreign minister in the Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr government, the sectarian background of the leading Ba'ath members was considered of little importance because most Ba'athists did not know each other's sectarian denominations.
Between 1952 and 1963, 54% of the members of the Ba'ath Regional Command were Shia Muslims because of al-Rikabi's effective recruitment drive in Shia areas. Between 1963 and 1970, after al-Rikabi's resignation, Shia representation in the Regional Command had fallen to 14 percent. However, of the three factions within the Ba'ath Party, two out of three faction leaders were Shia. By the end of 1951, the party had at least 50 members. With the collapse of the pan-Arabist United Arab Republic, several leading Ba'ath members, including al-Rikabi, resigned from the party in protest. In 1958, the year of the 14 July Revolution that overthrew the Hashemite monarchy, the Ba'ath Party had 300 members nationwide. General Abd al-Karim Qasim, the leader of the Free Officers Movement which overthrew the king, supported joining the UAR, but changed his position when he took power. Several members of the Free Officer Movement were members of the Ba'ath Party; the Ba'ath Party considered the President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser, the leader of the pan-Arab movement, to be the leader most to succeed, supported Iraq's joining the union.
Of the 16 members of Qasim's cabinet, 12 were Ba'ath Party members. However, the Ba'ath Party supported Qasim on the grounds that he would join Nasser's UAR. Shortly after taking power, Qasim changed his position on joining the UAR and started campaigning for the "Iraq first policy". To strengthen his own position within the government, Qasim created an alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party, opposed to the notion of pan-Arabism; the change of policy provoked several pan-Arab organisations the Ba'ath Party. That year, the Ba'ath Party leadership was planning to assassinate Qasim and take power to continue the policy of pan-Arabism. Saddam Hussein, the Iraq region's secretary-general, was a leading member of the operation. At the time, the Ba'ath Party was more of an ideological experiment than a strong, anti-government, fighting machine. Most of its members were either educated professionals or students, Saddam fit the bill; the choice of Hussein was, according to historian Con Coughlin, hardly surprising.
Abdul Karim al-Shaikhly, the leader of the operation, asked Hussein to join it when one of team members left. The idea of assassinating Qasim may have been Nasser's and speculations exist that some participants in the operation received training in Damascus, part of the UAR. However, "no evidence has been produced to implicate Nasser directly in the plot."The assassins planned to ambush Qasim at Al-Rashid Street on 7 October 1959. One man was to kill those sitting in the back of the car, the rest would kill those in front. During the ambush, Hussein began shooting prematurely. Qasim's chauffeur was killed and Qasim was hit in the arm and shoulder; the assassins thought they had killed him and retreated to their headquarters, but Qasim survived. At the time of the attack, the Ba'ath Party had less than 1,000 members; some of the plotters left the country for Syria, where Michel Aflaq gave Hussein full party membership. The Iraqi government took them into custody. At the show trial, six of the defendants were sentenced to death and, for unknown reasons, the sentences were not carried out.
Aflaq, the leader of the Ba'athist movement, organised the expulsion of leading Iraqi Ba'athist members, such as Fuad al-Rikabi
Amman is the capital and most populous city of Jordan, the country's economic and cultural centre. Situated in north-central Jordan, Amman is the administrative centre of the Amman Governorate; the city has a land area of 1,680 square kilometres. Today, Amman is considered to be among the most modernized Arab cities, it is a major tourist destination in the region among Arab and European tourists. The earliest evidence of settlement in Amman is in a Neolithic site known as'Ain Ghazal, where some of the oldest human statues found dating to 7250 BC were uncovered. During the Iron Age, the city was known as Ammon, home to the Kingdom of the Ammonites, it was named Philadelphia during its Greek and Roman periods, was called Amman during the Islamic period. Abandoned for much of the medieval and post-medieval period, modern Amman dates to the late 19th century when Circassian immigrants were settled there by the Ottoman Empire in 1867; the first municipal council was established in 1909. Amman witnessed rapid growth after its designation as Jordan's capital in 1921, after several successive waves of refugees: Palestinians in 1948 and 1967.
It was built on seven hills but now spans over 19 hills combining 27 districts, which are administered by the Greater Amman Municipality headed by its mayor Yousef Shawarbeh. Areas of Amman have gained their names from either the hills or the valleys they occupy, such as Jabal Lweibdeh and Wadi Abdoun. East Amman is predominantly filled with historic sites that host cultural activities, while West Amman is more modern and serves as the economic center of the city. Two million visitors arrived in Amman in 2014, which made it the 93rd most visited city in the world and the 5th most visited Arab city. Amman has a fast growing economy, it is ranked Beta− on the global city index. Moreover, it was named one of the Middle East and North Africa's best cities according to economic, labor and socio-cultural factors; the city is among the most popular locations in the Arab world for multinational corporations to set up their regional offices, alongside Doha and only behind Dubai. It is expected that in the next 10 years these three cities will capture the largest share of multinational corporation activity in the region.
Amman derives its name from the 13th century BC when the Ammonites named it "Rabbath Ammon", with the term Rabbath meaning the "Capital" or the "King's Quarters". Over time, the term "Rabbath" was no longer used and the city became known as "Ammon"; the influence of new civilizations that conquered the city changed its name to "Amman". In the Hebrew Bible, it is referred to as "Rabbat ʿAmmon". However, Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom who reigned from 283 to 246 BC, renamed the city to "Philadelphia" after occupying it; the name was given as an adulation to Philadelphus. The neolithic site of'Ain Ghazal was found in the outskirts of Amman. At its height, around 7000 BC, it was inhabited by ca. 3000 people. At that time the site was a typical aceramic Neolithic village, its houses were rectangular mud-bricked buildings that included a main square living room, whose walls were made up of lime plaster. The site was discovered in 1974. By 1982, when the excavations started, around 600 meters of road ran through the site.
Despite the damage brought by urban expansion, the remains of'Ain Ghazal provided a wealth of information.'Ain Ghazal is well known for a set of small human statues found in 1983, when local archaeologists stumbled upon the edge of a large pit 2.5 meters containing them. These statues are human figures made with white plaster, with painted clothes, in some cases ornamental tattoos. Thirty-two figures were found in two caches, fifteen of them full figures, fifteen busts, two fragmentary heads. Three of the busts were two-headed, the significance of, not clear. In the 13th century BC Amman was the capital of the Ammonites, became known as "Rabbath Ammon". Ammon provided several natural resources to the region, including sandstone and limestone, along with a productive agricultural sector that made Ammon a vital location along the King's Highway, the ancient trade route connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia and Anatolia; as with the Edomites and Moabites, trade along this route gave the Ammonites considerable revenue.
Ammonites worshiped. Excavations by archaeologists near Amman Civil Airport uncovered a temple, which included an altar containing many human bone fragments; the bones showed evidence of burning, which led to the assumption that the altar functioned as a pyre. Today, several Ammonite ruins across Amman exist, such as Qasr Al-Abd, Rujm Al-Malfouf and some parts of the Amman Citadel; the ruins of Rujm Al-Malfouf consist of a stone watchtower used to ensure protection of their capital and several store rooms to the east. The city was conquered by the Assyrian Empire, followed by the Persian Empire. Conquest of the Middle East and Central Asia by Alexander the Great consolidated the influence of Hellenistic culture; the Greeks founded new cities in the area of modern-day Jordan, including Umm Qays and Amman. Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Macedonian ruler of Egypt, who occupied and rebuilt the city, na
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was President of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and its regional organization the Iraqi Ba'ath Party—which espoused Ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and socialism—Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to power in Iraq; as vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he controlled conflicts between the government and the armed forces. In the early 1970s, Saddam nationalized oil and foreign banks leaving the system insolvent due to the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War, UN sanctions. Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatus of government as oil money helped Iraq's economy to grow at a rapid pace. Positions of power in the country were filled with Sunni Arabs, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population.
Saddam formally rose to power in 1979, although he had been the de facto head of Iraq for several years. He suppressed several movements Shi'a and Kurdish movements which sought to overthrow the government or gain independence and maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War and the Gulf War. Whereas some in the Arab world lauded Saddam for opposing the United States and attacking Israel, he was condemned for the brutality of his dictatorship; the total number of Iraqis killed by the security services of Saddam's government in various purges and genocides is conservatively estimated to be 250,000, or liberally estimated at 1.5 million. Saddam's invasions of Iran and Kuwait resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, he acquired the title "Butcher of Baghdad". In 2003, a coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq to depose Saddam, in which U. S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair falsely accused him of possessing weapons of mass destruction and having ties to al-Qaeda.
Saddam's Ba'ath party was disbanded and elections were held. Following his capture on 13 December 2003, the trial of Saddam took place under the Iraqi Interim Government. On 5 November 2006, Saddam was convicted by an Iraqi court of crimes against humanity related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'a, sentenced to death by hanging, he was executed on 30 December 2006. Before he was born, cancer killed both Saddam's brother; these deaths so depressed Saddam's mother that she attempted to abort her pregnancy and commit suicide. When her son was born, Sabha "would have nothing to do with him", Saddam was taken in by an uncle, his mother remarried, Saddam gained three half-brothers through this marriage. His stepfather, Ibrahim al-Hassan, treated Saddam harshly after his return. At about age 10, Saddam fled the family and returned to live in Baghdad with his uncle Kharaillah Talfah. Talfah, the father of Saddam's future wife, was a devout Sunni Muslim and a veteran of the 1941 Anglo-Iraqi War between Iraqi nationalists and the United Kingdom, which remained a major colonial power in the region.
In his life relatives from his native Tikrit became some of his closest advisors and supporters. Under the guidance of his uncle he attended a nationalistic high school in Baghdad. After secondary school Saddam studied at an Iraqi law school for three years, dropping out in 1957 at the age of 20 to join the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, of which his uncle was a supporter. During this time, Saddam supported himself as a secondary school teacher. Revolutionary sentiment was characteristic throughout the Middle East. In Iraq progressives and socialists assailed traditional political elites. Moreover, the pan-Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt profoundly influenced young Ba'athists like Saddam; the rise of Nasser foreshadowed a wave of revolutions throughout the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s, with the collapse of the monarchies of Iraq and Libya. Nasser inspired nationalists throughout the Middle East by fighting the British and the French during the Suez Crisis of 1956, modernizing Egypt, uniting the Arab world politically.
In 1958, a year after Saddam had joined the Ba'ath party, army officers led by General Abd al-Karim Qasim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq in the 14 July Revolution. Of the 16 members of Qasim's cabinet, 12 were Ba'ath Party members. To strengthen his own position within the government, Qasim created an alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party, opposed to any notion of pan-Arabism; that year, the Ba'ath Party leadership was planning to assassinate Qasim. Saddam was a leading member of the operation. At the time, the Ba'ath Party was more of an ideological experiment than a strong anti-government fighting machine; the majority of its members were either educated professionals or students, Saddam fit the bill. The choice of Saddam was, according to historian Con Coughlin, "hardly surprising"; the idea of assassinating Qasim may have been Nasser's, there is speculation that some of those who participated in the operation received training in Damascus, part of the UAR. However, "no evidence has been produced to implicate Nasser directly in the plot."
The assassination attempt was conceived as revenge for communist massacres that killed h
Erbil spelled Arbil, locally called Hewlêr by the Kurds, is the capital city of Kurdistan and the most populated city in the Kurdish inhabited areas of Iraq. It is located in the center of Iraqi Kurdistan region and north of Iraq, it has about 850,000 inhabitants, Erbil governorate has a permanent population of 2,009,367 as of 2015. Human settlement at Erbil can be dated back to 5th millennium BC, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the world. At the heart of the city is the ancient Citadel of Erbil; the earliest historical reference to the region dates to the Third Dynasty of Ur of Sumer, when King Shulgi mentioned the city of Urbilum. The city was conquered by the Assyrians. Erbil became an integral part of the kingdom of Assyria by at least the 21st century BC through to the end of the seventh century BC, after it was captured by the Gutians, it was known in Assyrian annals variously as Urbilim and Arba-ilu. After this it was part of the geopolitical province of Assyria under several empires in turn, including the Median Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, Macedonian Empire, Seleucid Empire, Parthian Empire, Roman Assyria and Sasanian Empire, as well as being the capital of the tributary state of Adiabene between the mid-second century BC and early second century AD.
Following the Muslim conquest of Persia, it no longer remained a unitary region, during the Middle Ages, the city came to be ruled by the Seljuk and Ottoman empires. Erbil's archaeological museum houses a large collection of pre-Islamic artefacts the art of Mesopotamia, is a center for archaeological projects in the area; the city was designated as Arab Tourism Capital 2014 by the Arab Council of Tourism. In July 2014, the Citadel of Arbil was inscribed as a World Heritage site; the city has an ethnically diverse population of Kurds, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Iraqi Turkmens, Yezidis and Mandaeans. It is religiously diverse, with believers of Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Yezidism, Yarsanism and Mandaeism extant in and around Erbil; the name Erbil was mentioned in Sumerian holy writings of third millennium BC as Urbilum, Urbelum or Urbillum, which appears to originate from Arbilum Later, the Akkadians and Assyrians by a folk etymology rendered the name as arba'ū ilū to mean. The city became a centre for the worship of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar.
In classical times the city became known from the Syriac form of the name. In Old Persian, the city was called Arbairā. Today, the modern Kurdish name of the city, Hewlêr, appears to be a corruption of the name Arbel by a series of metatheses of consonants; the region in which Erbil lies was under Sumerian domination from c. 3000 BC, until the rise of the Akkadian Empire which united all of the Akkadian Semites and Sumerians of Mesopotamia under one rule. Today the Assyrian people, a Syriac-speaking community who claim descent from Akkadian speakers, endure as a minority in northern Iraq, north east Syria, south east Turkey and north west Iran, their population is estimated to be 3.3 million. The first mention of Erbil in literary sources' comes from the archives of the east Semitic speaking kingdom of Ebla, they record two journeys to Erbil by a messenger from Ebla around 2300 BC. Erridupizir, king of the language isolate speaking kingdom of Gutium, captured the city in 2150 BC; the Neo-Sumerian ruler of Ur, Amar-Sin, sacked Urbilum in his second year, c. 1975 BCErbil was an integral part of Assyria from around 2050 BC, becoming a important city during the Old Assyrian Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire and the Neo Assyrian Empire, until the last of these empires fell between 612–599 BC, however it remained part of Assyria under Persian, Parthian and Sassanid rule until the first half of the 7th century AD.
Under the Median Empire, Cyaxares might have settled a number of people from the Ancient Iranian tribe of Sagartians in the Assyrian cities of Arbela and Arrapha as a reward for their help in the capture of Nineveh. The Persian emperor Cyrus the Great occupied Assyria in 547 BC and established it as an Achaemenid satrapy called in Old Persian Aθurā, with Arbela as the capital; the Battle of Gaugamela, in which Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in 331 BC, took place 100 kilometres west of Erbil. After the battle, Darius managed to flee to the city, somewhat inaccurately, the confrontation is sometimes known as the "Battle of Arbela". Subsequently, Arbela was part of Alexander's Empire. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, Arbela became part of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire. Erbil became part of the region disputed between Persia under the Sasanids; the ancient Assyrian kingdom of Adiabene had its centre at Erbil, the town and kingdom are known in Jewish Middle Eastern history for the conversion of the royal family to Judaism.
During the Parthian era to early Sassanid era, Erbil became the capital of the Assyrian state of Adiabene. Its populace gradually converted from the Mesopotamian religion between the 1st and 4th centuries to the Chaldean Catholic Church Christianity, with Pkidha traditionally becoming its first bishop around 104 AD, although the ancient Mesopotamian religion did not die out in the region until the 10th century AD; the metropolitanate of Ḥadyab in Arbela became a centre of eastern Syriac Christianity
Albania the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Italy to the west. Geographically, the country displays varied climatic, geological and morphological conditions, defined in an area of 28,748 km2, it possesses remarkable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped mountains in the Albanian Alps as well as the Korab, Skanderbeg and Ceraunian Mountains to the hot and sunny coasts of the Albanian Adriatic and Ionian Sea along the Mediterranean Sea. The area of Albania was populated by various Illyrian and Ancient Greek tribes as well as several Greek colonies established in the Illyrian coast; the area was annexed in the 3rd century by Romans and became an integral part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyricum. The autonomous Principality of Arbër emerged in 1190, established by archon Progon in the Krujë, within the Byzantine Empire.
In the late thirteenth century, Charles of Anjou conquered Albanian territories from the Byzantines and established the medieval Kingdom of Albania, which at its maximal extension was extending from Durrës along the coast to Butrint in the south. In the mid-fifteenth century, it was conquered by the Ottomans; the modern nation state of Albania emerged in 1912 following the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan Wars. The modern Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy in 1939, which formed Greater Albania, before becoming a Nazi German protectorate in 1943. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, a Communist state titled the People's Socialist Republic of Albania was founded under the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour; the country experienced widespread social and political transformations in the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established.
Politically, the country is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the tertiary sector followed by the secondary and primary sector. It went through a process of transition, following the end of communism in 1990, from a centralized to a market-based economy, it provides universal health care and free primary and secondary education to its citizens. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC, it is an official candidate for membership in the European Union. In addition it is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; the term Albania is the medieval Latin name of the country. It may be derived from the Illyrian tribe of Albani recorded by Ptolemy, the geographer and astronomer from Alexandria, who drafted a map in 150 AD, which shows the city of Albanopolis located northeast of the city of Durrës.
The term may have a continuation in the name of a medieval settlement called Albanon or Arbanon, although it is not certain that this was the same place. In his history written in the 10th century, the Byzantine historian Michael Attaliates was the first to refer to Albanoi as having taken part in a revolt against Constantinople in 1043 and to the Arbanitai as subjects of the Duke of Dyrrachium. During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëreshë or Arbëneshë. Nowadays, Albanians call their country Shqipëria; as early as the 17th century the placename Shqipëria and the ethnic demonym Shqiptarë replaced Arbëria and Arbëresh. The two terms are popularly interpreted as "Land of the Eagles" and "Children of the Eagles"; the first traces of human presence in Albania, dating to the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic eras, were found in the village of Xarrë close to Sarandë and Dajti near Tiranë. The objects found in a cave near Xarrë include flint and jasper objects and fossilized animal bones, while those found at Mount Dajt comprise bone and stone tools similar to those of the Aurignacian culture.
The Paleolithic finds of Albania show great similarities with objects of the same era found at Crvena Stijena in Montenegro and north-western Greece. Several Bronze Age artefacts from tumulus burials have been unearthed in central and southern Albania that show close connection with sites in south-western Macedonia and Lefkada, Greece. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these regions were inhabited from the middle of the third millennium BC by Indo-European people who spoke a Proto-Greek language. A part of this population moved to Mycenae around 1600 BC and founded the Mycenaean civilisation there. In ancient times, the territory of modern Albania was inhabited by a number of Illyrian tribes; the Illyrian tribes never collectively regarded themselves as'Illyrians', it is unlikely that they used any collective nomenclature for themselves. The name Illyrians seems to be the name applied to a specific Illyrian tribe, the first to come in contact with the ancient Greeks during the Bronze Age, causing the name Illyrians to be applied pars pro toto to all people of similar language and customs.
The territory known as Illyria corresponded to the area east of the Adriatic sea, extending in the south to the mouth of the Vjosë river. The first accou