Most people are familiar with the fact that the Korean peninsula and Korean people have been separated for over half a century. Following the Second World War, the nation was divided along the 38th parallel and each nation developed along different routes. The Northerners embraced Communism and followed the Juche ideal, while their southern neighbors became an outpost of the capitalist system on the Asian mainland. Continue reading Korean Unification Flag?
Turkey Turkey, roughly the size of both France and Britain, is situated on the Bosporus Straits, a bridge between European and Asian cultures. Due to its close relations with the West, Turkey is a founding member of the United Nations, a significant troop contributor to NATO, and is currently negotiating membership in the European Union. Turkey maintains a predominantly Sunni Muslim population of nearly 70 … Continue reading Turkey: Quick tour of modern issues
The Islamic Republic of Iran
Roughly the size of Alaska, Iran is home to nearly 70 million people and its capital, Tehran, is the Middle East’s largest city. Known as Persia until 1935, Iranians consider themselves Persian, not Arab. Farsi is the national language and Iran is overwhelmingly a Shi’a Muslim nation. Iran’s geographical position oversees the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz, through which nearly half of the world’s maritime oil shipments flow, making Iran an important regional and global power. Iran is also a founding member of both the United Nations and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Continue reading Iran: A brief tour
Bahrain The Kingdom of Bahrain is a predominantly Shia island-nation of 700,000 people situated in the southern Persian Gulf. Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia by the 28 kilometer King Fahd Causeway. Bahrain received its independence from Britain in 1971 and its capital city is Manama. Government: Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy under the Al Kahlifa family. The current emir and head of state is … Continue reading The Middle East: a brief political tour (2009)
Called “the Graveyard of Empires”, Afghanistan has long been the battlefield of foreign powers. The Macedonians under Alexander the Great, the Mongols and more recently the British and Soviet empires all have tried and failed to exert control over the rugged landscape of Afghanistan. Afghanistan has existed under nearly every form of government known, at some point in time. Slightly larger than the Ukraine and home to nearly 30 million people, Afghanistan is a primarily Sunni Muslim nation with many ethnic group, Pashtun and Tajik being two of the most predominant. Afghanistan is characterized by its inaccessible mountainous countryside dotted with villages but few large cities. Continue reading Afghanistan: Short history of modern Afghanistan