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their are 6 regions in Asia or Asia is broken into six sections that are: Central Asia: Kazakhstan - Astana

Kyrgyzstan - Bishkek Tajikistan - Dushanbe Turkmenistan - Ashgabat Uzbekistan - Tashkent Eastern Asia: China - Beijing Hong Kong, China - no capital Japan - Tokyo Macau, China - no capital Mongolia - Ulaanbaatar North Korea - Pyongyang South Korea - Seoul Republic of China (Taiwan) - Taipei Northern Asia: Russia - Moscow Southeastern Asia: Brunei - Bandar Seri Begawan Cambodia - Phnom Penh East Timor (Timor-Leste) - Dili Indonesia - Jakarta Laos - Vientiane Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur Myanmar (Burma) - Naypyidaw Philippines - Manila Singapore - Singapore Thailand - Bangkok Vietnam - Hanoi Southern Asia: Afghanistan - Kabul Bangladesh - Dhaka Bhutan - Thimphu India - New Delhi Iran - Tehran

Maldives - Mal Nepal - Kathmandu Pakistan - Islamabad Sri Lanka - Colombo Western Asia: Armenia - Yerevan Azerbaijan - Baku Bahrain - Manama Cyprus - Nicosia Gaza - Gaza Georgia - Tbilisi Iraq - Baghdad Israel - Jerusalem Jordan - Amman Kuwait - Kuwait City Lebanon - Beirut Oman - Muscat Qatar - Doha Saudi Arabia - Riyadh Syria - Damascus Turkey - Ankara United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi West Bank - no capital Yemen - Sana

Southeast Asia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Southeast Asia

Member states of ASEAN 5,000,000 km2 (1,900,000 Area sq mi) Population 593,000,000 Density 118.6 /km2 (307 /sq mi) Countries 11[show] Territories 4+2[show] $1.486 trillion (exchange GDP (2009) rate) GDP per capita $2,500 (exchange rate) (2009) Languages [show] Time Zones UTC+5:30 (Andaman and

Nicobar Islands) to UTC+9:00 (Indonesia) Capital cities Largest cities [show] [show]

Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprises Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, and Maritime Southeast Asia, which is analogous to the Malay Archipelago, comprises Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines, Christmas Island and Singapore[citation needed].[1] Geographically Hong Kong,[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Macau,[13][14][15] and Taiwan[16] [17][18][19][20][21] are sometimes[when?] grouped in the Southeast Asia subregion, although such grouping is rare politically, since in political usage the definition of Southeast Asia is overshadowed by ASEAN memberships. The same is true for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India,[22][23] and occasionally regions of the Seven Sister States such as Manipur.[24][25][26] Austronesian peoples predominate in this region. The major religions are Buddhism and Islam, followed by Christianity. However, a wide variety of religions are found throughout the region, including many Hindu and animistinfluenced practices.[27] Divisions Political Definitions of "Southeast Asia" vary, but most definitions include the area represented by the countries and territories listed below. All of the countries excluding East Timor are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The area, together with part of South Asia, was widely known as the East Indies or simply the Indies until the 20th century. Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are considered part of Southeast Asia though they are governed by Australia. Sovereignty issues exist over some islands in the South China Sea. Papua New Guinea has stated that it might join ASEAN, and is currently an observer.[28][29] Countries

Country

Densi Area Population(200 ty (km2) 9)[31] (/km2 [30] ) 5,765 428,000 70 74 82 76 126 27 83 307 7,023 132

GDP USD (2009)[32]

GDP (nomin al) per Capital capita (2010)


[33]

Brunei Burma

676,57 50,020,000 8

Bandar 10,405,000,0 $29,675 Seri 00 Begawan 34,262,000,0 Naypyid $742 00 aw 10,871,000,0 $814 00 590,000,000 $588 539,377,000, $2,974 000 5,598,000,00 $1,004 0 192,955,000, $8,423 000 160,991,000, $2,123 000 Phnom Penh Dili Jakarta Vientian e Kuala Lumpur Manila

Cambod 181,03 14,805,000 5 ia East Timor a 14,874 1,134,000

Indonesi 1,904,5 240,271,522 69 236,80 6,320,000 0 329,84 28,318,000 Malaysia 7 Laos

Philippin 300,00 91,983,000 0 es re Singapo 697 5,076,700[34]

291,900,000, Singapor $43,117 000 e Bangkok Hanoi

613,12 64,764,000 Thailand 0 331,21 88,069,000 Vietnam 0 Territories Territory Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Area (km2) 135[35] 14[36]

312,605,000, $4,992 000 259 104,600,000, $1,174 (2011) 000 (2011) Populati on 1,402[35] 596[36] Density (/km2) 10.4 42.6

Administrative subdivisions of countries

Territory India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) China (Hainan) Geographical

Area (km2) 8250 33920


]

Populati on 356,152[37 43

Density (/km2)

8,640,700 241[38]

Location of Southeast Asia.[39]

Compare Regions of Asia described by UN: North Asia Central Asia Southwest Asia South Asia East Asia Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is geographically divided into two subregions, namely Mainland Southeast Asia (or Indochina) and Maritime Southeast Asia (or the similarly defined Malay Archipelago) (Indonesian: Nusantara). Mainland Southeast Asia includes:

Cambodia Laos Burma (Myanmar) Thailand

Vietnam Peninsular Malaysia East Malaysia Brunei Indonesia Philippines Singapore East Timor

Maritime Southeast Asia includes:

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India are geographically considered part of Southeast Asia. Eastern Bangladesh and the Seven Sister States of India are culturally part of Southeast Asia and sometimes considered both South Asian and Southeast Asian. The Seven Sister States of India are also geographically part of southeast Asia. Hainan Island and several other southern Chinese regions such as Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi are considered both East Asian and Southeast Asian. The rest of New Guinea is sometimes included so are Palau, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, which were all part of the Spanish East Indies. The eastern half of Indonesia and East Timor (east of Wallace Line) are considered to be ecologically part of Oceania while the Indonesian part of New Guinea is both ecologically and geographically part of Oceania. History Main article: History of Southeast Asia Homo sapiens reached the region by around 45,000 years ago.[40] Homo floresiensis seems to have shared some islands with modern humans until only 12,000 years ago, when they became extinct.[41] Austronesian people, who form the majority of the modern population in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, East Timor and the Philippines, migrated to South East Asia from Taiwan. They arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, confined the native Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions.[42] Contrary to the above, studies presented by HUGO (Human Genome Organization) through genetic studies of the Asian races, scientifically points out to a single Asian migration from South East Asia travelling northwards slowly populating Southern parts of East Asia and then East Asia itself instead of the other way around.[43] Solheim and others have shown evidence for a Nusantao (Nusantara) maritime trading network ranging from Vietnam to the rest of the archipelago as early as 5000 BCE to 1 CE.[44] The peoples of Southeast Asia,

especially those of Austronesian descent, have been seafarers for thousands of years, some reaching the island of Madagascar. Their vessels, such as the vinta, were ocean-worthy. Magellan's voyage records how much more maneuvreable their vessels were, as compared to the European ships.[45] Passage through the Indian Ocean aided the colonization of Madagascar by the Austronesian people, as well as commerce between West Asia and Southeast Asia. Gold from Sumatra is thought to have reached as far west as Rome, while a slave from the Sulu Sea was believed to have been used in Magellan's voyage as a translator. Originally most people were animist. This was later replaced by Hinduism. Theravada Buddhism soon followed in 525. In 15th century, Islamic influences began to enter. This forced the last Hindu court in Indonesia to retreat to Bali. In Mainland Southeast Asia, Burma, Cambodia and Thailand retained the Theravada form of Buddhism, brought to them from Sri Lanka. This type of Buddhism was fused with the Hindu-influenced Khmer culture.

Architecture in the Srivijayan style, Surat Thani, Thailand Indianized kingdoms Main article: Greater India Very little is known about Southeast Asian religious beliefs and practices before the advent of Indian merchants and religious influences from the 2nd century BCE onwards. Prior to the 13th century CE, Hinduism and Buddhism were the main religions in Southeast Asia. The Jawa Dwipa Hindu kingdom in Java and Sumatra existed around 200 BCE. The history of the Malay-speaking world begins with the advent of

Indian influence, which dates back to at least the 3rd century BCE. Indian traders came to the archipelago both for its abundant forest and maritime products and to trade with merchants from China, who also discovered the Malay world at an early date. Both Hinduism and Buddhism were well established in the Malay Peninsula by the beginning of the 1st century CE, and from there spread across the archipelago.

Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is the largest religious temple in the world and Angkor the largest pre-industrial city in the world Cambodia was first influenced by Hinduism during the beginning of the Funan kingdom. Hinduism was one of the Khmer Empire's official religions. Cambodia is the home to one of the only two temples dedicated to Brahma in the world. Angkor Wat is also a famous Hindu temple of Cambodia. The Champa civilization was located in what is today central Vietnam, and was a highly indianized Hindu Kingdom. The Vietnamese committed genocide against the Cham people during the 1471 Vietnamese invasion of Champa, ransacking and burning Champa, slaughtering thousands of Cham people, and forcibly assimilating them into Vietnamese culture.[46] The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. Its greatest ruler was Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked the empire's peak when it dominated other kingdoms in the southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and Bali. Various sources such as the Nagarakertagama also mention that its influence spanned over parts of Sulawesi, Maluku, and some areas of western New Guinea, making it the largest empire to ever exist in Southeast Asian history. The Cholas excelled in maritime activity in both military and the mercantile fields. Their raids of Kedah and the Srivijaya, and their continued commercial contacts with the Chinese Empire, enabled them to influence the local cultures. Many of the surviving examples of the Hindu cultural influence found today throughout the Southeast Asia are the result of the Chola expeditions.[47] Spread of Islam See also: Spread of Islam in Indonesia

Children studying Koran in Java during colonial period. In the 11th century, a turbulent period occurred in the history of Maritime Southeast Asia, the Indian Chola navy crossed the ocean and attacked the Srivijaya kingdom of Sangrama Vijayatungavarman in Kadaram (Kedah), the capital of the powerful maritime kingdom was sacked and the king was taken captive. Along with Kadaram, Pannai in present day Sumatra and Malaiyur and the Malayan peninsula were attacked too. Soon after that, the king of Kedah Phra Ong Mahawangsa became the first ruler to abandon the traditional Hindu faith, and converted to Islam with the Sultanate of Kedah established in year 1136. Samudera Pasai converted to Islam in the year 1267, the King of Malacca Parameswara married with princess of Pasai, the son became the first sultan of Malacca, soon Malacca became the center of Islam study and maritime trade, other rulers followed suit. Indonesian religious leader and Islamic scholar Hamka (19081981) wrote in 1961: "The development of Islam in Indonesia and Malaya is intimately related to a Chinese Muslim, Admiral Zheng He."[48] There are several theories to the Islamization process in Southeast Asia. The first theory is trade. The expansion of trade among West Asia, India and Southeast Asia helped the spread of the religion as Muslim traders brought Islam to the region. The second theory is the role of missionaries or Sufis. [citation needed] The Sufi missionaries played a significant role in spreading the faith by syncretising Islamic ideas with existing local beliefs and religious notions. Finally, the ruling classes embraced Islam and that further aided the permeation of the religion throughout the region. The ruler of the region's most important port, Malacca Sultanate, embraced Islam in the 15th century, heralding a period of accelerated conversion of Islam throughout the region as the religion provided a unifying force among the ruling and trading classes.[citation needed] Trade and colonization China See also: List of tributaries of Imperial China and Imperialism in Asia

Chinese merchants have traded with the region for a long time as evidence of Magellan's voyage records that Brunei possessed more cannon than the European ships so it appears that the Chinese fortified them.[45] Malaysian legend has it that a Chinese Ming emperor sent a princess, Hang Li Po, to Malacca, with a retinue of 500, to marry Sultan Mansur Shah after the emperor was impressed by the wisdom of the sultan. Han Li Po's well (constructed 1459) is now a tourist attraction there, as is Bukit Cina, where her retinue settled. The strategic value of the Strait of Malacca, which was controlled by Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th and early 16th century, did not go unnoticed by Portuguese writer Duarte Barbosa, who in 1500 wrote "He who is lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice".

Strait of Malacca, (narrows). Europe Western influence started to enter in the 16th century, with the arrival of the Portuguese and Spanish in Maluku and the Philippines. Later the Dutch established the Dutch East Indies; the French Indochina; and the British Strait Settlements. Later, all southeast Asian countries were colonized except for Thailand. European explorers were reaching Southeast Asia from the west and from the east. Regular trade between the ships sailing east from the Indian Ocean and south from mainland Asia provided goods in return for natural products, such as honey and hornbill beaks from the islands of the archipelago. Europeans brought Christianity allowing Christian missionaries to become widespread. Thailand also allowed Western scientists to enter its country to develop its own education system as well as start sending Royal members and Thai scholars to get higher education from Europe and Russia. Education-emphasize policy is one of the major key for Thailand to prevent itself from colonization. Japan See also: Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Slavery in Japan, Japanese occupation of Indonesia, and Japanese war crimes

During World War II, the Imperial Japan invaded most of the former western colonies. The Shwa occupation regime committed violent actions against civilians such as the Manila Massacre and the implementation of a system of forced labor, such as the one involving 4 to 10 million romusha in Indonesia. [49] A later UN report stated that four million people died in Indonesia as a result of famine and forced labour during the Japanese occupation.[50]

The Keppel Container Terminal in the Port of Singapore. The Port of Singapore is the busiest transshipment and container port in the world, and is an important transportation and shipping hub in Southeast Asia. Present See also: Japanese foreign policy in Southeast Asia Most countries in the region enjoy national autonomy. Democratic forms of government and the recognition of human rights are taking root. ASEAN provides a framework for the integration of commerce. Conflicting territorial and maritime claims continue to exist, including the conflicting claims by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines over the Spratly Islands. Geography

Mayon Volcano in the Philippines overlooks a pastoral scene. See also: Golden Triangle (Southeast Asia), List of Southeast Asian mountains, and Zomia (geography) Geologically, the Indonesian archipelago is one of the most active volcanological regions in the world. Geological uplifts in the region have also

produced some impressive mountains, culminating in Puncak Jaya in Papua, Indonesia at 5,030 metres (16,024 ft), on the island of New Guinea, it is the only place where ice glacier can be found in Southeast Asia. While the second tallest peak is Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo with a height of 4,095 meters (13,435 ft). The highest mountain in the Southeast Asia is Hkakabo Razi at 5,967 meters and can be found in northern Burma sharing the same range of its parent peak, Mount Everest. The largest archipelago in the world by size is Indonesia (according to the CIA World Factbook) Boundaries See also: Austronesia The Australian continent defines a region adjacent to Southeast Asia, which is also politically separated from the countries of Southeast Asia. But a cultural touch point lies between Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian region of Papua and West Papua, which shares the island of New Guinea with Papua New Guinea. Climate The climate in Southeast Asia is mainly tropicalhot and humid all year round with plentiful rainfall. Southeast Asia has a wet and dry season caused by seasonal shift in winds or monsoon. The tropical rain belt causes additional rainfall during the monsoon season. The rain forest is the second largest on earth (with the Amazon being the largest). An exception to this type of climate and vegetation is the mountain areas in the northern region, where high altitudes lead to milder temperatures and drier landscape. Other parts fall out of this climate because they are desert like. Environment See also: Southeast Asian coral reefs and Wallace line

Wallace's hypothetical line between Australasian and Southeast Asian fauna.

Great Hornbill bird from Southeast Asia All of Southeast Asia falls within the warm, humid tropics, and its climate generally can be characterized as monsoonal. The animals of Southeast Asia are diverse; on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, the Orangutan (man of the forest), the Asian Elephant, the Malayan tapir, the Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Bornean Clouded Leopard can be also found. Six subspecies of the Binturong or bearcat exist in the region, though the one endemic to the island of Palawan is now classed as vulnerable. Tigers of three different subspecies are found on the island of Sumatra (the Sumatran tiger), in peninsular Malaysia (the Malayan tiger), and in Indochina (the Indochinese tiger); all of which are endangered. The Komodo Dragon is the largest living species of lizard and inhabits the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang in Indonesia. The Wild Asian Water Buffalo, and on various islands related dwarf species of Bubalus such as Anoa were once widespread in Southeast Asia, nowadays the Domestic Asian Water buffalo is common across the region, but its remaining relatives are rare and endangered. The mouse deer, a small tusked deer as large as a toy dog or cat, can be found on Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan Islands. The gaur, a gigantic wild ox larger than even wild Water buffalo, is found mainly in Indochina. Birds such as the peafowl and drongo live in this subregion as far east as Indonesia. The babirusa, a four-tusked pig, can be found in Indonesia as well. The hornbill was prized for its beak and used in trade with China. The horn of the rhinoceros, not part of its skull, was prized in China as well. The Indonesian Archipelago is split by the Wallace Line. This line runs along what is now known to be a tectonic plate boundary, and separates Asian (Western) species from Australasian (Eastern) species. The islands between Java/Borneo and Papua form a mixed zone, where both types occur, known as Wallacea. As the pace of development accelerates and populations

continue to expand in Southeast Asia, concern has increased regarding the impact of human activity on the region's environment. A significant portion of Southeast Asia, however, has not changed greatly and remains an unaltered home to wildlife. The nations of the region, with only few exceptions, have become aware of the need to maintain forest cover not only to prevent soil erosion but to preserve the diversity of flora and fauna. Indonesia, for example, has created an extensive system of national parks and preserves for this purpose. Even so, such species as the Javan rhinoceros face extinction, with only a handful of the animals remaining in western Java. The shallow waters of the Southeast Asian coral reefs have the highest levels of biodiversity for the world's marine ecosystems, where coral, fish and molluscs abound. According to Conservation International, marine surveys suggest that the marine life diversity in the Raja Ampat area is the highest recorded on Earth.[1] Diversity is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle composed of Indonesia, Philippines and Papua New Guinea. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystems in the world. The whale shark, the world's largest species of fish and 6 species of pawikans can also be found in the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean territories of the Philippines. The trees and other plants of the region are tropical; in some countries where the mountains are tall enough, temperate-climate vegetation can be found. These rainforest areas are currently being logged-over, especially in Borneo. While Southeast Asia is rich in flora and fauna, Southeast Asia is facing severe deforestation which causes habitat loss for various endangered species such as orangutan and the Sumatran tiger. Predictions have been made that more than 40% of the animal and plant species in Southeast Asia could be wiped out in the 21st century.[51] At the same time, haze has been a regular occurrence. The two worst regional hazes were in 1997 and 2006 in which multiple countries were covered with thick haze, mostly caused by "slash and burn" activities in Indonesia. In reaction, several countries in Southeast Asia signed the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in order to combat haze pollution. Economy Even prior to the penetration of European interests, Southeast Asia was a critical part of the world trading system. The Ryukyu Kingdom often participated in maritime trade in Southeast Asia. A wide range of commodities originated in the region, but especially important were such spices as pepper, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. The spice trade initially was developed by Indian and Arab merchants, but it also brought Europeans to the region. First Spaniards (Manila galleon) and Portuguese, then the Dutch, and finally the British and French became involved in this enterprise in

various countries. The penetration of European commercial interests gradually evolved into annexation of territories, as traders lobbied for an extension of control to protect and expand their activities. As a result, the Dutch moved into Indonesia, the British into Malaya, the French into Indochina and the Spanish and the U.S. into the Philippines.

Downtown Singapore. Despite small size, the city-state has the most vibrant economy in the region, including the world's busiest port. While the region's economy greatly depends on agriculture, manufacturing and services are becoming more important. An emerging market, Indonesia is the largest economy in this region. Newly industrialized countries include Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines while Singapore and Brunei are affluent developed economies. The rest of Southeast Asia is still heavily dependent on agriculture, but Vietnam is notably making steady progress in developing its industrial sectors. The region notably manufactures textiles, electronic high-tech goods such as microprocessors and heavy industrial products such as automobiles. Reserves of oil are also present in the region. Seventeen telecommunications companies have contracted to build a new submarine cable to connect Southeast Asia to the U.S.[52] This is to avoid disruption of the kind recently caused by the cutting of the undersea cable from Taiwan to the U.S. in a recent earthquake. Tourism has been a key factor in economic development for many Southeast Asian countries, especially Cambodia. According to UNESCO, tourism, if correctly conceived, can be a tremendous development tool and an effective means of preserving the cultural diversity of our planet.[53] Since the early 1990s, even the non-ASEAN nations such as Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Burma, where the income derived from tourism is low, are attempting to expand their own tourism industries.[54] In 1995, Singapore was the regional leader in tourism receipts relative to GDP at over 8%. By 1998, those receipts had dropped to less than 6% of GDP while Thailand and Lao PDR increased receipts to over 7%. Since 2000, Cambodia has surpassed all other ASEAN countries and generated almost 15% of its GDP from tourism in 2006.
[55]

Indonesia is the only member of G-20 major economies and considered as the largest economy in the region.[56] Indonesia's estimated gross domestic product (nominal) for 2008 was US$511.7 billion with estimated nominal per capita GDP was US$2,246, and per capita GDP PPP was US$3,979 (international dollars).[57] Stock markets in Southeast Asia have performed better than other bourses in the Asia-Pacific region in 2010, with the Philippines' PSE leading the way with 22 percent growth, followed by Thailand's SET with 21 percent and Indonesia's JKSE with 19 percent.[58][59] Demographics

Pie chart showing the distribution of population among the nations of Southeast Asia and among the islands of Indonesia Southeast Asia has an area of approximately 4,000,000 km2 (1.6 million square miles). As of 2004, more than 593 million people lived in the region, more than a fifth of them (125 million) on the Indonesian island of Java, the most densely populated large island in the world. Indonesia is the most populous country with 230 million people and also 4th most populous country in the world. The distribution of the religions and people is diverse in Southeast Asia and varies by country. Some 30 million overseas Chinese, not including the heritage, also live in Southeast Asia, most prominently in Christmas Island, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, and also, as the Hoa, in Vietnam. Main urban centres in Southeast Asia

Sijori Growth Triangle (Singapore/Johor Bahru/Riau Islands), SingaporeMalaysia-Indonesia Jabodetabek (Jakarta/West Java/Banten), Indonesia Bangkok Metropolitan Region (Bangkok/Samut Prakan), Thailand Metro Manila (Manila/Quezon/Makati), Philippines Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur/Selangor), Malaysia

Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area (Ho Chi Minh City/Vung Tau), Vietnam Yangon Region (Yangon/Thanlyin), Burma

Ethnic groups Main article: ethnic groups of Southeast Asia See also: Austronesian people, Chinese ethnic groups, Overseas Indians, Eurasian (mixed ancestry), Filipino people, Malays (ethnic group), Khmer people, Negrito, and Tai peoples According to a recent Stanford genetic study, the Southeast Asian population is far from being homogeneous. Although primarily descendants of Austronesian, Tai, and MonKhmer-speaking immigrants who migrated from Southern China during the Bronze Age and Iron Age, there are overlays of Arab, Chinese, Indian, Polynesian and Melanesian genes. There are also large pockets of intermarriage between indigenous Southeast Asians and those of Chinese descent. They form a substantial part of everyday life in countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Indonesia and Malaysia also has mixed Southeast Asian-Chinese populations.

Ati woman the Negritos were the earliest inhabitants of Southeast Asia Remnants of the Mon group are found in parts of Burma and Thailand; the ethnic mixture there has been produced by overlaying Tibeto-Burman and Tai, Lao, and Shan peoples. The contemporary Vietnamese population originated from the Red River area in the north and may be a mixture of Tai and Malay peoples.[citation needed] Added to these major ethnic groups are such less numerous peoples as the Karens, Chins, and Nagas in Burma, who have affinities with other Asiatic peoples. Insular Southeast Asia contains a mixture of descendants of Proto-Malay (Nesiot) and Pareoean peoples who were influenced by Malayo-Polynesian and other groups. In addition, Arabic, Indian, and Chinese influences have affected the ethnic pattern of the islands. In modern times, the Javanese are the largest ethnic group in Southeast Asia, with more than 86 million people, mostly concentrated in Java, Indonesia. In Burma, the Burmese account for more than two-thirds of the

ethnic stock in this country, while ethnic Thais and Vietnamese account for about four-fifths of the respective populations of those countries. Indonesia is clearly dominated by the Javanese and Sundanese ethnic groups, while Malaysia is more evenly split between the Malays and the Chinese. Within the Philippines, the Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, and Bicol groups are significant.

A Malay family from Malaysia [edit] Religions See also: Buddhism in Southeast Asia, Hinduism in Southeast Asia, Islam in Southeast Asia, Muslim Southeast Asia, and Christianity in Asia

Thai Theravada Buddhists in Chiang Mai, Thailand Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Southeast Asia, numbering approximately 240 million adherents which translate to about 40% of the entire population, with majorities in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Countries in Southeast Asia practice many different religions. Buddhism is predominant in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam and Singapore. Ancestor worship and Confucianism are also widely practiced in Vietnam and

Singapore. Christianity is predominant in the Philippines, eastern Indonesia, East Malaysia and East Timor. The Philippines has the largest Roman Catholic population in Asia. East Timor is also predominantly Roman Catholic due to a history of Portuguese rule. The religious composition for each country is as follows. Some values are taken from the CIA World Factbook:[60] Religions and peoples are diverse in Southeast Asia and not one country is homogeneous. In the world's most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia, Hinduism is dominant on islands such as Bali. Christianity also predominates in Philippines, New Guinea and Timor. Pockets of Hindu population can also be found around Southeast Asia in Singapore, Malaysia etc. Garuda (Sanskrit: Garua), the phoenix who is the mount (vahanam) of Vishnu, is a national symbol in both Thailand and Indonesia; in the Philippines, gold images of Garuda have been found on Palawan; gold images of other Hindu gods and goddesses have also been found on Mindanao. Balinese Hinduism is somewhat different from Hinduism practiced elsewhere, as Animism and local culture is incorporated into it. Christians can also be found throughout Southeast Asia; they are in the majority in East Timor and the Philippines, Asia's largest Christian nation. In addition, there are also older tribal religious practices in remote areas of Sarawak in East Malaysia and Papua in eastern Indonesia. In Burma, Sakka (Indra) is revered as a nat. In Vietnam, Mahayana Buddhism is practiced, which is influenced by native animism but with strong emphasis on Ancestor Worship. Brunei Burma Cambodia Christmas Island Islam (67%), Buddhism (13%), Christianity (10%), others (indigenous beliefs, etc.) (10%) Theravada Buddhism (89%), Islam (4%), Christianity (4%), Animism (1%), others (2%) Theravada Buddhism (95%), Islam, Christianity, Animism other (5%) Buddhism (36%), Islam (25%), Christianity (18%), Taoism (15%), others (6%)

Cocos Sunni Islam (80%), others (20%) (Keeling) Islands Roman Catholicism (90%), Islam (5%), Protestant (3%), East Timor others (Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.) (2%) Islam (86.1%), Protestant (5.7%), Roman Catholicism (3%), Hinduism (1.8%), others including Buddhism, or unspecified Indonesia (3.4%)[61] Theravada Buddhism (65%) with Animism (32.9%), Laos Christianity (1.3%), others (0.8%) Islam (60.4%), Mahayana Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity Malaysia (9.1%), Hinduism (6.1%), Animism (5.2%)

Roman Catholicism (27%), Evangelical Lutheran (20%), Papua New United Church (12%), Seventh-day Adventist Church (10%), Pentecostal (9%), Evangelical (7%), Anglican (3%), other Guinea Christian (8%), others (4%) Roman Catholicism (80%), Islam (5%), Evangelical (2.8%), Iglesia ni Cristo (2.2%), Philippine Independent Church Philippines (Aglipayan) (2%), other Christian (3%), others (Traditional beliefs, Buddhism, Judaism, nonreligious, etc.) (5%) Buddhism (42.5%), Islam (15%), Taoism (8%), Roman Catholicism (4.5%), Hinduism (4%), nonreligious (15%), Singapore Christian (10%), others (1%) South China Sea Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Taoism, Islands nonreligious Thailand Theravada Buddhism (94.6%), Islam (4.6%), others (0.8%) Mahayana Buddhism (81%), Roman Catholicism (5%), Theravada Buddhism (2%), Cao Dai (1%), Protestant (1%), Vietnam others (Animism, Hoa Hao, Islam, nonreligious, etc.; 10%) Andaman and Predominantly Hinduism, with significant Muslim, Christian Nicobar Islands and Sikh minorities. Predominantly Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism and Hainan Confucianism; with small Christian and Muslim minorities [edit] Languages See also: Classification schemes for Southeast Asian languages, Sino-Tibetan languages, Austro-Asiatic languages, Austronesian languages, HmongMien languages, and TaiKadai languages Each of the languages have been influenced by cultural pressures due to trade and historical colonization as well. Thus, for example, a Filipino, educated in English and Filipino, as well as in his native language (e.g. Visayan or Ilocano), might well speak another language, such as Spanish for historical reasons, or Chinese, Korean, or Japanese for economic reasons; a Malaysian might well speak English, Chinese, Tamil as well as Malay as a second language. The language composition for each country is as follows: (official languages are in bold.) Brunei Burma Cambodia Christmas Island Cocos Malay, English, Chinese, indigenous Borneian dialects[62] Burmese,Thai, Shan, Karen, Rakhine, Kachin, Chin, Mon, English, Chinese languages, Indian languages, others Khmer,Thai, English, French, Vietnamese, Chamic dialects, Chinese languages, others[63] English, Chinese, Malay[64] English, Cocos Malay[65]

(Keeling) Islands East Timor Tetum, Portuguese, Indonesian, English, Mambae, Makasae, Tukudede, Bunak, Galoli, Kemak, Fataluku, Baikeno, others[66] Indonesian, Hokkien, Mandarin, Hakka, Minnan, Cantonese, Acehnese, Batak, Malay, Minang, Sundanese, Javanese, Banjarese, Sasak, Tetum, Dayak, Minahasa, Toraja, Buginese, Halmahera, Ambonese, Ceramese, Bare'e, Dutch, Papuan languages, others[67] Lao,Thai, Vietnamese, Hmong, Miao, Mien, Dao, Shan; French, English others[68] Malay, English, Hokkien, Mandarin, Tamil, Hakka, Cantonese, Minnan, Indian languages, Thai, Iban, Kadazan and others[69] Filipino, English, Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Bicol, Waray, Pangasinense, Chavacano, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic (optional),[70] English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Minnan, Cantonese, Hakka, Shanghainese, other Indian languages, Arabic dialects, others

Indonesia

Laos Malaysia Philippines Singapore

South China English, Filipino, Malay, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Thai Sea Islands Thai, Minnan Chinese, Hakka, Cantonese, English, Malay, Lao, Thailand Khmer, Isaan, Shan, Lue, Phutai, Mon, Mein, Hmong, Karen, Burmese, others[71] Vietnamese, English, Cantonese, Minnanese, French,thai, Vietnam Khmer, mountain-area languages (MonKhmer and MalayoPolynesian, Hmong)[72] Culture See also: Southeast Asian cinema, Southeast Asian Games, and Southeast Asian music

The Banaue Rice Terraces in Luzon Island, Philippines. Rice paddy agriculture has existed in Southeast Asia for thousands of years, ranging across the subregion. Some dramatic examples of these rice paddies populate the Banaue Rice Terraces in the mountains of Luzon in the

Philippines. Maintenance of these paddies is very labor-intensive. The rice paddies are well-suited to the monsoon climate of the region. Stilt houses can be found all over Southeast Asia, from Thailand and Laos, to Borneo, to Luzon in the Philippines, to Papua New Guinea. The region has diverse metalworking, especially in Indonesia. This include weaponry, such as the distinctive kris, and musical instruments, such as the gamelan. Influences The region's chief cultural influences have been from either China or India or both, with Vietnam considered by far the most Chinese-influenced. Burma can be said to be influenced equally by both India and China. Western cultural influence is most pronounced in the Philippines, derived particularly from the period of Spanish and American rule. As a rule, the peoples who ate with their fingers were more likely influenced by the culture of India, for example, than the culture of China, where the peoples first ate with chopsticks; tea, as a beverage, can be found across the region. The fish sauces distinctive to the region tend to vary. The Arts

"Buffalo boy plays a flute", ng H painting, Vietnam.

A Thai boy plays the khim, a traditional Thai instrument similar to the yangqin from China.*Khim audio The arts of Southeast Asia have no affinity with the arts of other areas. Dance in much of Southeast Asia also includes movement of the hands, as well as the feet to express the emotion and meaning of dance upon the story that the ballerina going to tell the audience. Most of Southeast Asian confirmed the Dance into their court, according to Cambodian royal ballet represent them in earlier of 7th century before Khmer Empire which highly influenced by Indian Hinduism. Apsara Dance, famous for its strongly hand and feet movement, is a great example of Hindism symbol dance. Puppetry and shadow plays were also a favoured form of entertainment in past centuries as the famous one known as Wayang from Indonesia.The Arts and Literature in some of Southeast Asia is quite influenced by Hinduism brought to them centuries ago. The Tai, coming late into Southeast Asia, brought with them some Chinese artistic traditions, but they soon shed them in favour of the Khmer and Mon traditions, and the only indications of their earlier contact with Chinese arts were in the style of their temples, especially the tapering roof, and in their lacquerware. In Indonesia, despite conversion to Islam opposed to certain forms of art, they retained many forms of Hindu influenced practices, cultures, arts and literatures. An example will be the Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppet) and literatures like the Ramayana. This is also true for mainland Southeast Asia (excluding Vietnam). Dance movements, Hindu gods, arts were also fused into Thai, Khmer, Lao and Burmese cultures. It has been pointed out that Khmer and Indonesian classical arts were concerned with depicting the life of the gods, but to the Southeast Asian mind the life of the gods was the life of the peoples themselvesjoyous, earthy, yet divine. Music

Traditional music in Southeast Asia is as varied as its many ethnic and cultural divisions. Main styles of traditional music can be seen: Court music, folk music, music styles of smaller ethnic groups, and music influenced by genres outside the geographic region. Of the court and folk genres, Gong-chime ensembles and orchestras make up the majority (the exception being lowland areas of Vietnam). Gamelan orchestras from Indonesia, Piphat /Pinpeat ensembles of Thailand & Cambodia and the Kulintang ensembles of the southern Philippines, Borneo, Sulawesi and Timor are the three main distinct styles of musical genres that have influenced other traditional musical styles in the region. String instruments also are popular in the region. Writing Main articles: Baybayin, Jawi script, S.E.A. Write Award, and Thai alphabet

Balinese writing on palm leaf. Artifacts can be seen in the Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois. The history of Southeast Asia has led to a wealth of different authors, from both within and without writing about the region. Originally, Indians were the ones who taught the native inhabitants about writing. This is shown through Brahmic forms of writing present in the region such as the Balinese script shown on split palm leaf called lontar, right: The antiquity of this form of writing extends before the invention of paper around the year 100 in China. Note each palm leaf section was only several lines, written longitudinally across the leaf, and bound by twine to the other sections. The outer portion was decorated. The alphabets of Southeast Asia tended to be abugidas, until the arrival of the Europeans, who used words that also ended in consonants, not just vowels. Other forms of official documents, which did not use paper, included Javanese copperplate scrolls. This would have been more durable in the tropical climate of Southeast Asia.

Central Asia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Central Asia

Area Population Density

4,003,400 km2 (1,545,721 sq mi)[1] 61,551,945[2] 15 /km2 (39 /sq mi) Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan

Countries

Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Nominal GDP (2009) GDP per capita (2009)

$ 166 Billion $ 2,700

Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the five countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with that suffix)[3] and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. Various definitions of its exact composition exist, and no one definition is universally accepted. Despite this uncertainty in defining borders, it does have some important overall characteristics. For one, Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road. [4] As a result, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, goods, and ideas between Europe, West Asia, South Asia, and East Asia.[5] In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan (pop. 16.0 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.5 million), Tajikistan (7.3 million), Turkmenistan (5.1 million), and Uzbekistan (27.6 million), for a total population of 61.5 million

as of 2009. Other areas often included are Mongolia, Afghanistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northeastern Iran, Kashmir, and sometimes Xinjiang and Tibet in western China and southern Siberia in Russia. During pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was a predominantly Iranian[6][7] region that included sedentary Sogdians, Chorasmians, semi-nomadic Scythians and Alans. The ancient sedentary population played an important role in the history of Central Asia. After expansion by Turkic peoples, Central Asia also became the homeland for many Turkic peoples, including the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Kyrgyz and Uyghurs. Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan.

Definitions

Three sets of possible boundaries for the region

Central Asia's location as a region of the world The idea of Central Asia as a distinct region of the world was introduced in 1843 by the geographer Alexander von Humboldt. The borders of Central Asia are subject to multiple definitions. The most limited definition was the official one of the Soviet Union, which defined Middle Asia as consisting solely of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. This definition was also often used outside the USSR during this period. However, the Russian culture has two distinct terms: (Srednjaja Azija or "Middle Asia", the narrower definition, which includes only those traditionally non-Slavic, Central Asian lands that were incorporated within those borders of historical Russia) and

(Central'naja Azija or "Central Asia", the wider definition, which includes Central Asian lands that have never been part of historical Russia). Soon after independence, the leaders of the four former Soviet Central Asian Republics met in Tashkent and declared that the definition of Central Asia should include Kazakhstan as well as the original four included by the Soviets. Since then, this has become the most common definition of Central Asia. The UNESCO general history of Central Asia, written just before the collapse of the USSR, defines the region based on climate and uses far larger borders. According to it, Central Asia includes Mongolia, Tibet, northeast Iran (Golestan, North Khorasan and Razavi provinces), Afghanistan, Northern Areas, N.W.F.P., Azad Kashmir and Punjab provinces of Pakistan, Punjab, Kashmir and Ladakh of India, central-east Russia south of the Taiga, and the former Central Asian Soviet republics (the five "Stans" of the former Soviet Union). An alternative method is to define the region based on ethnicity, and in particular, areas populated by Eastern Turkic, Eastern Iranian, or Mongolian peoples. These areas include Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Turkic regions of southern Siberia, the five republics, and Afghan Turkestan. Afghanistan as a whole, the Northern Areas of Pakistan and the Kashmir Valley may also be included. The Tibetans and Ladakhi are also included. Insofar, most of the mentioned peoples are considered the "indigenous" peoples of the vast region. There are several places that claim to be the geographic center of Asia, for example Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva in the Russian Federation, and a village 200 miles (320 km) north of rmqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region of China.[8]

Geography

United Nations geoscheme for Asia: North Asia Central Asia Southwest Asia South Asia East Asia Southeast Asia Central Asia is an extremely large region of varied geography, including high passes and mountains (Tian Shan), vast deserts (Kara Kum, Kyzyl Kum, Taklamakan), and especially treeless, grassy steppes. The vast steppe areas of Central Asia are considered together with the steppes of Eastern Europe as a homogeneous geographical zone known as the Eurasian Steppe.

Much of the land of Central Asia is too dry or too rugged for farming. The Gobi desert extends from the foot of the Pamirs, 77 E, to the Great Khingan (Da Hinggan) Mountains, 116118 E. Central Asia has the following geographic extremes:

The world's northernmost desert (sand dunes), at Buurug Deliin Els, Mongolia, 5018 N. The Northern Hemisphere's southernmost permafrost, at Erdenetsogt sum, Mongolia, 4617 N. The world's shortest distance between non-frozen desert and permafrost: 770 km (480 mi). The Eurasian pole of inaccessibility.

A majority of the people earn a living by herding livestock. Industrial activity centers in the region's cities. Major rivers of the region include the Amu Darya, the Syr Darya, the Hari River and the Murghab River. Major bodies of water include the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, both of which are part of the huge west-central Asian endorheic basin that also includes the Caspian Sea. Both of these bodies of water have shrunk significantly in recent decades due to diversion of water from rivers that feed them for irrigation and industrial purposes. Water is an extremely valuable resource in arid Central Asia and can lead to rather significant international disputes.

[edit] Divisions
The northern belt is part of the Eurasian Steppe. In the northwest, north of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia merges into the Russian Steppe. To the northeast, Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin may sometimes be included in Central Asia. Just west of Dzungaria, Zhetysu, or Semirechye, is south of Lake Balkhash and north of the Tian Shan Mountains. Khorezm is south of the Aral Sea along the Amu Darya. Southeast of the Aral Sea, Maveranahr is between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Transoxiana is the land north of the middle and upper Amu Darya (Oxus). Bactria included northern Afghanistan and the upper Amu Darya. Sogdiana was north of Bactria and included the trading cities of Bukhara and Samarkhand. Khorasan and Margiana approximate northeastern Iran. The Kyzyl Kum Desert is northeast of the Amu Darya, and the Karakum Desert southwest of it.

[edit] Climate
Since Central Asia is not buffered by a large body of water, temperature fluctuations are more severe. According to the WWF Ecozones system, Central Asia is part of the Palearctic ecozone. The largest biome in Central Asia is the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome. Central Asia also contains the montane grasslands and shrublands, deserts and xeric shrublands and temperate coniferous forests biomes.

[edit] History
Main article: History of Central Asia

Geographical extent of Iranian influence in the 1st century BC. Scythia (mostly Eastern Iranian) is shown in orange. The history of Central Asia is defined by the area's climate and geography. The aridness of the region made agriculture difficult, and its distance from the sea cut it off from much trade. Thus, few major cities developed in the region; instead, the area was for millennia dominated by the nomadic horse peoples of the steppe. Relations between the steppe nomads and the settled people in and around Central Asia were long marked by conflict. The nomadic lifestyle was well suited to warfare, and the steppe horse riders became some of the most militarily potent peoples in the world, limited only by their lack of internal unity. Any internal unity that was achieved was most probably due to the influence of the Silk Road, which traveled along Central Asia. Periodically, great leaders or changing conditions would organize several tribes into one force and create an almost unstoppable power. These included the Hun invasion of Europe, the Wu Hu attacks on China and most notably the Mongol conquest of much of Eurasia.[9]

Uzbek men from Khiva During pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, southern Central Asia was inhabited predominantly by speakers of Iranian languages.[6][10] Among the ancient sedentary Iranian peoples, the Sogdians and Chorasmians played an important role, while Iranian peoples such as Scythians and the later on Alans lived a nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle. The well-preserved Tarim mummies with Caucasoid features have been found in the Tarim Basin.[11] The main migration of Turkic peoples occurred between the 5th and 10th centuries, when they spread across most of Central Asia. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongols conquered and ruled the largest contiguous empire in recorded history.

Kazakh man on a horse with golden eagle The dominance of the nomads ended in the 16th century, as firearms allowed settled peoples to gain control of the region. Russia, China, and other powers expanded into the region and had captured the bulk of Central Asia by the end of the 19th century. After the Russian Revolution, the Central Asian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. Mongolia remained independent but became a Soviet satellite state. However, Afghanistan remained independent of any influence by the Russian empire. The Soviet areas of Central Asia saw much industrialization and construction of infrastructure, but also the suppression of local cultures, hundreds of thousands of deaths from failed collectivization programs, and a lasting legacy of ethnic tensions and environmental problems. Soviet authorities deported millions of people, including entire nationalities,[12] from western areas of the USSR to Central Asia and Siberia.[13] According to Touraj Atabaki and Sanjyot Mehendale, "From 1959 to 1970, about two million people from various parts of the Soviet Union migrated to Central Asia, of which about one million moved to Kazakhstan."[14] With the collapse of the Soviet Union, five countries gained independence. In nearly all the new states, former Communist Party officials retained power as local strongmen. None of the new republics could be considered functional democracies in the early days of independence, although it appears Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia have made great strides, unlike Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.[citation needed]

[edit] Culture

The rtogrul Gazy Mosque in Ashgabat named after the father of Osman Ghazi, the founder of the Ottoman Empire

[edit] Religions
Further information: Islam in Central Asia

Islam is the religion most common in the Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan, Xinjiang and the peripheral western regions, such as Bashkiria. Most Central Asian Muslims are Sunni, although there are sizable Shia minorities in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Zoroastrianism, a religion with origins in Afghanistan, was a major faith in Central Asia prior to the arrival of Islam. It's influences is still felt today in such celebrations as Nowruz, held in all five of the "core" Central Asian states. Buddhism was a prominent religion in Central Asia prior to the arrival of Islam, and the transmission of Buddhism along the Silk Road eventually brought the religion to China. Amongst the Turkic peoples, Tengrianism was the popular religion before arrival of Islam. Tibetan Buddhism is most common in Tibet, Mongolia, Ladakh and the southern Russian regions of Siberia, where Shamanism is also popular (including forms of divination, such as Kumalak). Contact and migration with Han people from China has brought Confucianism and other beliefs into the region. Nestorianism was the form of Christianity most practiced in the region in previous centuries, but now the largest denomination is the Russian Orthodox Church, with many members in Kazakhstan. The Bukharan Jews were once a sizable community in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but nearly all have emigrated since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

[edit] Arts
Further information: Music of Central Asia

Yama, the Lord of Death. Note the human skulls and severed heads that festoon Yama's crown and necklace, which give some concept of the size that Yama was expected to be when one faced him at one's death. This particular Dharmapala is painted wood, four feet high in total. At the crossroads of Asia, shamanistic practices live alongside Buddhism. Thus, Yama, Lord of Death, was revered in Tibet as a spiritual guardian and judge. Mongolian Buddhism, in particular, was influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. The Qianlong Emperor of China in the 18th century was Tibetan Buddhist and would sometimes travel from Beijing to other cities for personal religious worship. Central Asia also has an indigenous form of improvisational oral poetry that is over 1000 years old. It is principally practiced in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan by akyns, lyrical improvisationists. They engage in lyrical battles, the aitysh or the alym sabak. The tradition arose out of early bardic oral historians. They are usually accompanied by a stringed instrumentin Kyrgyzstan, a three-stringed komuz, and in Kazakhstan, a similar two-stringed instrument. Photography in Central Asia began to develop after 1882, when a Russian Mennonite photographer named Wilhelm Penner moved to the Khanate of Khiva during the Mennonite migration to Central Asia led by Claas Epp, Jr.. Upon his arrival to Khanate of Khiva, Penner

shared his photography skills with a local student Khudaybergen Divanov, who later became the founder of the Uzbek photography.[15] Some also learn to sing the Manas, Kyrgyzstan's epic poem (those who learn the Manas exclusively but do not improvise are called manaschis). During Soviet rule, akyn performance was co-opted by the authorities and subsequently declined in popularity. With the fall of the Soviet Union, it has enjoyed a resurgence, although akyns still do use their art to campaign for political candidates. A 2005 Washington Post article proposed a similarity between the improvisational art of akyns and modern freestyle rap performed in the West.[16] As a consequence of Russian colonization, European fine arts - painting, sculpture and graphics have developed in Central Asia. The first years of the Soviet regime saw the appearance of modernism, which took inspiration from the Russian avant-garde movement. Until the 80's Central Asian arts had developed along with general tendencies of Soviet arts. In the 90's, arts of the region underwent some significant changes. Institutionally speaking, some fields of arts were regulated by the birth of the art market, some stayed as representatives of official views, while many were sponsored by international organizations. The years of 1990 - 2000 were times for the establishment of contemporary arts. In the region, many important international exhibitions are taking place, Central Asian art is represented in European and American museums, and the Central Asian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has been organized since 2005.

[edit] Territory and region data


Country Nominal GDP Population GDP Area Population per Official density millions of Capital km (2009) capita languages per km USD (2009) (2009) Kazakh, 2,724,900 16,004,800 6 109,273 $6,823 Astana Russian Kyrgyz, 199,900 5,482,000 27 4,570 $850 Bishkek Russian Tajik 143,100 7,349,145 51 4,982 $766 Dushanbe (Persian) 10 62 16,197 32,816 $3,242 Ashgabat Turkmen $1,175 Tashkent Uzbek

Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan

Turkmenistan 488,100 5,110,000 Uzbekistan 447,400 27,606,000

[edit] Nations with territories sometimes included


Country or Territory Afghanistan China Iran Mongolia Area km 647,500 Population (2009) 31,889,923 Population density per km 49 139.6 45 2 Capital Kabul Beijing Tehran Official languages Persian, Pashto Chinese Persian

9,640,821 1,338,612,968 1,648,195 1,564,116 76,923,300 2,736,800

Ulan Bator Mongolian

Country or Territory Pakistan Russia

Area km 803,940

Population (2009) 168,925,500

Population density per km 210 8.3

Capital

Official languages

Islamabad Urdu, English Moscow Russian

13,000,000 141,945,966

[edit] Demographics
Main article: Demography of Central Asia

The ethnolinguistic patchwork of Central Asia By a broad definition including Mongolia and Afghanistan, but excluding Pakistan, more than 90 million people live in Central Asia, about 2% of Asia's total population. Of the regions of Asia, only North Asia has fewer people. It has a population density of 9 people per km, vastly less than the 80.5 people per km of the continent as a whole.

[edit] Languages
Russian, as well as being spoken by around six million ethnic Russians and Ukrainians of Central Asia,[17] is the defacto lingua franca throughout the former Soviet Central Asian Republics. Mandarin Chinese has an equally dominant presence in Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Xinjiang. The languages of the majority of the inhabitants of the former Soviet Central Asian Republics come from the Turkic language group.[18] Turkmen, is mainly spoken in Turkmenistan, and as a minority language in Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. Kazakh and Kyrgyz are related languages of the Kypchak group of Turkic languages and are spoken throughout Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and as a minority language in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Xinjiang. Uzbek and Uyghur are spoken in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Xinjiang. The Turkic languages may belong to a larger, but controversial, Altaic language family, which includes Mongolian. Mongolian is spoken throughout Mongolia and into Buryatia, Kalmyk, Tuva, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang. Iranian languages were once spoken throughout Central Asia, such as the once prominent Sogdian, Khwarezmian, Bactrian and Scythian languages are now extinct. The Eastern Iranian language of Pashto is still spoken in Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, and other minor East Iranian languages, such as Shughni, Munji, Ishkashimi, Sarikoli, Wakhi, Yaghnobi and Ossetian, are also spoken in various places in Central Asia. Varieties of Persian are also spoken

as a major language in the region. Locally known as Dar (in Afghanistan), Tojik (by Tajiks in Tajikistan), and Bukhori (by the Bukharan Jews all over Central Asia). Other languages and language groups include the Tibetan language, spoken by around six million people across the Tibetan Plateau and into Qinghai, Sichuan and Ladakh. Dardic languages, such as Shina, Kashmiri and Khowar, are predominant in the northern areas of Pakistan, as well as in Ladakh of India and NWFP of Pakistan. As a note, Tocharian, an Indo-European language, was once spoken in Xinjiang and parts of Afghanistan, but is now extinct.

[edit] Geostrategy
Main article: Geostrategy in Central Asia Central Asia has long been a strategic location merely because of its proximity to several great powers on the Eurasian landmass. The region itself never held a dominant stationary population nor was able to make use of natural resources. Thus, it has rarely throughout history become the seat of power for an empire or influential state. Central Asia has been divided, redivided, conquered out of existence, and fragmented time and time again. Central Asia has served more as the battleground for outside powers than as a power in its own right. Central Asia had both the advantage and disadvantage of a central location between four historical seats of power. From its central location, it has access to trade routes to and from all the regional powers. On the other hand, it has been continuously vulnerable to attack from all sides throughout its history, resulting in political fragmentation or outright power vacuum, as it is successively dominated.

Political cartoon from the period of the Great Game showing the Afghan Amir Sher Ali with his "friends" Imperial Russia and the United Kingdom (1878) To the North, the steppe allowed for rapid mobility, first for nomadic horseback warriors like the Huns and Mongols, and later for Russian traders, eventually supported by railroads. As the Russian Empire expanded to the East, it would also push down into Central Asia towards the sea, in a search for warm water ports. The Soviet bloc would reinforce dominance from the North and attempt to project power as far south as Afghanistan. To the East, the demographic and cultural weight of Chinese empires continually pushed outward into Central Asia. The Manchu Qing dynasty would conquer Xinjiang and Tibet. However, with the Sino-Soviet split, China would project power into Central Asia, most notably in the case of Afghanistan, to counter Russian dominance of the region.

To the Southeast, the demographic and cultural influence of India was felt in Central Asia, notably in Tibet, the Hindu Kush, and slightly beyond. Several historical Indian dynasties, especially those seated along the Indus River, would expand into Central Asia. India's ability to project power into Central Asia has been limited due to the mountain ranges in Pakistan, as well as the cultural differences between Hindu India and what would become a mostly Muslim Central Asia. From its base in India, the British Empire competed with the Russian Empire for influence in the region in the 19th and 20th centuries. To the Southwest, Western Asian powers have expanded into the southern areas of Central Asia (usually Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). Several Persian empires would conquer and reconquer parts of Central Asia; Alexander the Great's Hellenic empire would extend into Central Asia; two Islamic empires would exert substantial influence throughout the region; and the modern state of Iran has projected influence throughout the region as well.

In the postCold War era, Central Asia is an ethnic cauldron, prone to instability and conflicts, without a sense of national identity, but rather a mess of historical cultural influences, tribal and clan loyalties, and religious fervor. Projecting influence into the area is no longer just Russia, but also Turkey, Iran, China, Pakistan, India and the United States:

Russia continues to dominate political decision-making throughout the former SSRs; although, as other countries move into the area, Russia's influence has begun to wane. The United States, with its military involvement in the region and oil diplomacy, is also significantly involved in the region's politics. The United States and other NATO members are the main contributors to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and also exert considerable influence in other Central Asian nations. China has security ties with Central Asian states through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and conducts energy trade bilaterally.[19] India has geographic proximity to the Central Asian region and, in addition, enjoys considerable influence on Afghanistan.[20][21] India maintains a military base at Farkhor, Tajikistan, and also has extensive military relations with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.[22] Turkey also exerts considerable influence in the region on account of its ethnic and linguistic ties with the Turkic peoples of Central Asia and its involvement in the BakuTbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Political and economic relations are growing rapidly (e.g., Turkey recently eliminated visa requirements for citizens of the Central Asian Turkic republics). Iran, the seat of historical empires that controlled parts of Central Asia, has historical and cultural links to the region and is vying to construct an oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf. Pakistan, a nuclear-armed Islamic state, has a history of political relations with neighboring Afghanistan and is termed capable of exercising influence. For some Central Asian nations, the shortest route to the ocean lies through Pakistan. Pakistan seeks natural gas from Central Asia and supports the development of pipelines from its countries. The mountain ranges and areas in northern Pakistan lie on the fringes of greater Central Asia; the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan lies adjacent to Tajikistan, separated only by the narrow Afghan Wakhan Corridor. Being located on the northwest of South Asia, the area

forming modern-day Pakistan maintained extensive historical and cultural links with the region.

War on Terror
In the context of the United States' War on Terror, Central Asia has once again become the center of geostrategic calculations. Pakistan's status has been upgraded by the U.S. government to Major non-NATO ally because of its central role in serving as a staging point for the invasion of Afghanistan, providing intelligence on Al-Qaeda operations in the region, and leading the hunt on Osama bin Laden. Afghanistan, which had served as a haven and source of support for Al-Qaeda under the protection of Mullah Omar and the Taliban, was the target of a U.S. invasion in 2001 and ongoing reconstruction and drug-eradication efforts. U.S. military bases have also been established in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, causing both Russia and the People's Republic of China to voice their concern over a permanent U.S. military presence in the region. Western governments have accused Russia, China and the former Soviet republics of justifying the suppression of separatist movements, and the associated ethnics and religion with the War on Terror.

Major cultural and economic centres


Cities within the possible boundaries of Central Asia

City Astana

Country Kazakhstan

Population 708,794 (2010)

Image

Information The capital and second largest city in Kazakhstan. After Kazakhstan gained its independence in 1991, the city and the region were renamed Aqmola. The name was often translated as "White Tombstone", but actually means "Holy Place" or "Holy Shrine". The "White Tombstone" literal translation was too appropriate for many visitors to escape notice in almost all guide books and travel accounts. In 1994, the city was designated as the future capital of the newly independent country and again

City

Country

Population

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Almaty

Kazakhstan

1,421,868 (2010)

Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan

865,527 (2009)

Osh

Kyrgyzstan

243,216 (2009)

Information renamed to the present Astana after the capital was officially moved from Almaty in 1997. It was the capital of Kazakhstan (and its predecessor, the Kazakh SSR) from 1929 to 1998. Despite losing its status as the capital, Almaty remains the major commercial center of Kazakhstan. It is a recognised financial centre of Kazakhstan and the Central Asian region. The capital and the largest city of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is also the administrative center of Chuy Province, which surrounds the city, even though the city itself is not part of the province, but rather a provincelevel unit of Kyrgyzstan. The second largest city of Kyrgyzstan. Osh is also the administrative center of Osh Province, which surrounds the city, even though the city itself is not part of the province, but rather a provincelevel unit of Kyrgyzstan.

City

Country

Population

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Dushanbe

Tajikistan

679,400 (2008)

Ashgabat

909,000 Turkmenistan (2009)

Information The capital and largest city of Tajikistan. Dushanbe means "Monday" in Tajik and Persian,[23] and the name reflects the fact that the city grew on the site of a village that originally was a popular Monday marketplace. The capital and largest city of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat is a relatively young city, growing out of a village of the same name established by Russians in 1818. It is not far from the site of Nisa, the ancient capital of the Parthians, and it grew on the ruins of the Silk Road city of Konjikala, which was first mentioned as a wine-producing village in the 2nd century BCE and was leveled by an earthquake in the 1st century BCE (a precursor of the 1948 Ashgabat earthquake). Konjikala was rebuilt because of its advantageous location on the Silk Road, and it flourished until its destruction by Mongols in the 13th century CE. After that, it survived as a

City

Country

Population

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Bukhara

Uzbekistan

237,900 (1999)

Samarkand

Uzbekistan

596,300 (2008)

Tashkent

Uzbekistan

2,180,000 (2008)

Information small village until the Russians took over in the 19th century.[24][25] The nation's fifthlargest city and the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. Bukhara has been one of the main centres of Persian civilization from its early days in the 6th century BCE, and, since 12th century CE, Turkic speakers gradually moved in. Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of Central Asian history and art. The second largest city in Uzbekistan and the capital of Samarqand Province. The city is most noted for its central position on the Silk Road between China and the West, and for being an Islamic centre for scholarly study. The capital and largest city of Uzbekistan. In preIslamic and early Islamic times, the town and the province were known as Chach. Tashkent started as an oasis on the Chirchik River, near the foothills of the Golestan Mountains. In ancient

City

Country

Population

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Information times, this area contained Beitian, probably the summer "capital" of the Kangju confederacy.
[26]

Kabul

3,895,000 Afghanistan (2011)

The capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The city of Kabul is thought to have been established between 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE.[27] In the Rig Veda (composed between 17001100 BCE), the word Kubh is mentioned, which appears to refer to the Kabul River.[28] The fourth largest city in Afghanistan and capital of Balkh province is linked by roads to Kabul in the southeast, Herat to the west and Uzbekistan to the north. The capital and largest city in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the cultural center of the Mongols in China. The capital and largest city in Gansu Province and one of the economic center of western China. Two thousand years ago, Lanzhou was an important town on the Silk Road, a vast

Mazar-e Sharif

375,181 Afghanistan (2008)

Hohhot

China

2,866,615 (2010)

Lanzhou

China

3,616,163 (2010)

City

Country

Population

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rmqi

China

3,110,280 (2010)

Information network of trade routes that also facilitated cultural exchanges throughout Eurasia. The capital and largest city in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the cultural center of the Uyghurs. Two thousand years ago, rmqi was an important town on the northern route of the Silk Road, a vast network of trade routes that also facilitated cultural exchanges throughout Eurasia. The capital and largest city in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and the cultural center of the Hui in China. The second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia world. At the beginning of the 9th century (3rd century AH), Mashhad was a small village called Sanabad situated 24 km away from Tus. It was not considered a great city until Mongol raids in 1220 caused the destruction of

Yinchuan

China

1,993,088 (2010)

Mashhad

Iran

2,907,316 (2006)

City

Country

Population

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Nishapur

Iran

270,972 (2006)

Tus

Iran

N/A

Ulaanbaatar

Mongolia

1,172,400 (2011)

Information many large cities in the Greater Khorasan territories, leaving Mashhad relatively intact. Thus, the survivors of the massacres migrated to Mashhad.[29] The city is located in the Razavi Khorasan province in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot of the Binalud Mountains, near the regional capital of Mashhad. It is the hometown of several respected Persian poets and artists, including Omar Khayym, Attar Neyshapuri and Kamal-ol-molk. An ancient city in the Iranian province of Razavi Khorasan. To the ancient Greeks, it was known as Susia (Gr. ). It was captured by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. The city was almost entirely destroyed by Genghis Khan's Mongol conquest in 1220. The capital and largest city in Mongolia and the cultural center of the Mongolians. The city was founded in 1639 as an initially nomadic Buddhist monastic centre. Since 1778, it has

City

Country

Population

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Peshawar

Pakistan

3,625,000 (2010)

Novosibirsk

Russia

1,473,700 (2010)

Information been located in the Tuul River valley. In the 20th century, Ulaanbaatar grew into a major manufacturing centre. Peshawar is the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, located on the edge of the Khyber Pass near the Afghan border. In ancient times, a major settlement called Purushpur (Sanskrit for "city of men") was established by Kanishka, the Kushan king, in the general area of modern Peshawar. Purushpur emerged as a major center of Buddhist learning, and the capital of the ancient Gandhara was moved to Peshawar in the 2nd century CE. During much of its history, Peshawar was one of the main trading centres on the ancient Silk Road and was a major crossroads for various cultures between Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. Novosibirsk is the capital of Novosibirsk Oblast, located on the edge of Siberia near the Kazakhstan border. Novosibirsk is the largest city in

City

Country

Population

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Omsk

Russia

1,154,000 (2010)

Information Siberia and third largest city in Russia. Omsk is the capital of Omsk Oblast, located on the edge of Siberia near the Kazakhstan border.Omsk is the second largest city in east of the Ural Mountains in Russia.

Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms

are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia. Due to this perceived Eurocentrism, international organizations such as the United Nations,[1] have replaced Middle East and Near East with Western Asia. This region and Europe are collectively referred to as Western Eurasia.

History
See also: History of Western Asia and Ancient Western Asia The world's earliest civilizations developed in Western Asia. For most of the last three millennia, the region has been united under one or two powerful states; each one succeeding the last, and at times, eastern and western based polities. The main states in this regard were the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Achaemenid Empire, the Seleucid Empire, the Parthian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Sassanid Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate, the Safavid Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. Western Asia is the birthplace of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and other monotheistic religions.

Geography
See also: Geography of Asia

Western Asia is located directly south of Eastern Europe. The region is surrounded by seven major seas; the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. To the north, the region is delimited from Europe by the Caucasus Mountains, to the southwest, it is delimited from Africa by the Isthmus of Suez, while to the east, the region adjoins Central Asia and South Asia. The Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut deserts in eastern Iran somewhat naturally delimit the region from Asia itself.

Climate

Cedar forest in winter, located in Lebanon Western Asia is primarily arid and semi-arid, and can be subject to drought, but it also contains vast expanses of forest and fertile valleys. The region consists of grasslands, rangelands, deserts, and mountains. Water shortages are a problem in many parts of West Asia, with rapidly growing populations increasing demands for water, while salinization and pollution threaten water supplies.[2] Major rivers, including the Tigris and Euphrates, provide sources for irrigation water to support agriculture. There are two wind phenomena in Western Asia: the sharqi and the shamal. The sharqi (or sharki) is a wind that comes from the south and southeast. It is seasonal, lasting from April to early June, and comes again between late September and November. The winds are dry and dusty, with occasional gusts up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour) and often kick up violent sand and dust storms that can carry sand a few thousand meters high, and can close down airports for short periods of time. These winds can last for a full day at the beginning and end of the season, and for several days during the middle of the season. The shamal is a summer northwesterly wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states (including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), often strong during the day, but decreasing at night. This weather effect occurs anywhere from once to several times a year.[3]

Topography

The mountainous village of Pyrgos, overlooking Morphou Bay, in Cyprus. Western Asia contains large areas of mountainous terrain. The Anatolian Plateau is sandwiched between the Pontus Mountains and Taurus Mountains in Turkey. Mount Ararat in Turkey rises to 5,165 meters. The Zagros Mountains are located in Iran, in areas along its border with Iraq. The Central Plateau of Iran is divided into two drainage basins. The northern basin is Dasht-e Kavir (Great Salt Desert), and Dasht-e-Lut is the southern basin. In Yemen, elevations exceed 3,700 meters in many areas, and highland areas extend north along the Red Sea coast and north into Lebanon. A fault-zone also exists along the Red Sea, with continental rifting creating trough-like topography with areas located well-below sea level.[4] The Dead Sea, located on the border between the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan, is situated at 418 m (1371 ft) below sea level, making it the lowest point on the surface of the Earth.[5]

Khinalug village in Azerbaijan is the highest and most isolated settlement in the Caucasus Rub' al Khali, one of the world's largest sand deserts, spans the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia, parts of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Jebel al Akhdar is a small range of mountains located in northeastern Oman, bordering the Gulf of Oman.

Geology
Plate tectonics
Three major tectonic plates converge on Western Asia, including the African, Eurasian, and Arabian plates. The boundaries between the tectonic plates make up the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, extending across North Africa, the Red Sea, and into Iran.[6] The Arabian Plate is moving northward into the Anatolian plate (Turkey) at the East Anatolian Fault,[7] and the boundary between the Aegean and Anatolian plate in eastern Turkey is also seismically active.[6]

Water resources
Several major aquifers provide water to large portions of Western Asia. In Saudi Arabia, two large aquifers of Palaeozoic and Triassic origins are located beneath the Jabal Tuwayq mountains and areas west to the Red Sea.[8] Cretaceous and Eocene-origin aquifers are located beneath large portions of central and eastern Saudi Arabia, including Wasia and Biyadh which contain amounts of both fresh water and saline water.[8] Flood or furrow irrigation, as well as sprinkler methods, are extensively used for irrigation, covering nearly 90,000 km across Western Asia for agriculture.[9]

Demographics
The population of Western Asia is over 300 million. The most populous countries in the region are Iran and Turkey, each with around 74 million people, followed by Iraq with around 32 million people. The major languages are Arabic, which is an official language in 14 regional countries, followed by Turkish, and Persian. Islam is the major faith in Western Asia.

Economy
See also: Economy of Western Asia The economy of Western Asia is diverse and the region experiences high economic growth. Turkey has the largest economy in the region, followed by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Petroleum is the major industry in the regional economy, as more than half of the world's oil reserves and around 40 percent of the world's natural gas reserves are located in the region.

Current definitions
United Nations Statistics Division

Regions of Asia described by the UN: North Asia Central Asia Western Asia South Asia East Asia Southeast Asia

Eastern Europe The countries and territories in the UN Subregion of Western Asia,[10] listed below:

Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain Cyprus Georgia Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey United Arab Emirates Yemen

Though not included in the UN subregion of Western Asia, Iran is commonly included within Western Asia.[11][12] Afghanistan is also sometimes included in a broader definition of "Western Asia", although Afghanistan can be considered Central Asian,[13][14] South Asian,[15][16] or West Asian.[12] The Sinai Peninsula of Egypt geographically belongs to West Asia.

Government of Canada
The Canadian government uses "West Asian" in its statistics.[12]

General data

Territory and region


Country, with flag Anatolia: Turkey1 783,562 Arabian Peninsula: Bahrain 665 Constitutio 1,234,59 1,646. $22.66 $20,47 Bahraini Manama nal Arabic 6 1 billion 5 dinar monarchy 3,566,43 Kuwait 167.5 7 City 2,694,09 4 9.2 Muscat $131.3 $36,41 Kuwaiti 2 2 dinar billion $55.62 $18,65 Omani billion 7 rial $129.4 $76,16 Qatari 9 8 riyal billion $443.6 $16,99 Saudi 9 6 riyal billion $301.8 $59,71 UAE 8 7 dirham billion $31.27 Yemeni $1,282 billion rial Constitutio nal Arabic monarchy Absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy Arabic Arabic 73,722,9 88 94.1 Ankara $741.8 $10,39 Turkish 5 9 lira billion Parliament ary Turkish republic Area (km) Populati on (2010) Nomin Densi Per al Official ty capita[ Currenc Governme Capital GDP[17 languag 18] (per y nt ] es km) (2010) (2010)

Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates

17,820 212,460 11,437

1,696,56 123.2 Doha 3 12 Riyadh

1,960,5 27,136,9 82 77 8,264,07 82,880 0 23,580,0 00

Arabic

Abu 97 Dhabi 44.7 Sana'a

Federal Constitutio Arabic nal monarchy Presidentia Arabic l republic

Yemen 527,970 South Caucasus: Armeni a Azerbai jan Georgia 29,800

3,264,50 $9.39 Armenia Presidentia Armenia 108.4 Yerevan $2,846 0 billion n dram l republic n 9,165,00 105.8 Baku 0 4,636,40 0 68.1 Tbilisi Azerbaij $54.37 Presidentia Azerbaij $6,008 ani billion l republic ani manat Semi$11.67 Georgian $2,658 presidentia Georgian billion lari l republic

86,600

69,700

Fertile Crescent:

Iraq

438,317

31,672,0 00

73.5

Baghda d

$82.15 Iraqi $2,564 billion dinar

Parliament Arabic, ary Kurdish republic Parliament Arabic, ary Hebrew republic

Israel

20,770

$213.1 Israeli 7,653,60 Jerusale $28,68 365.3 3 5 new 0 m 6 billion shekel 6,318,67 7 4,228,00 0 4,260,63 6 68.4 Amman

Jordan Lebano n Palestin e Syria

92,300

Constitutio $27.53 Jordania $4,500 nal Arabic billion n dinar monarchy Parliament $39.25 $10,04 Lebanese ary Arabic billion 4 pound republic Presidentia Arabic l republic Presidentia Arabic l republic

10,452

404 Beirut

6,220 185,180

667

Jerusale $6.6 dinar, $1,600 m3 billion shekel

23,695,0 Damasc $59.33 Syrian 118.3 $2,877 00 us billion pound $357.2 Iranian 2 $4,741 rial billion $23.17 $28,23 Euro billion 7

Iranian Plateau: Iran 1,648,1 74,700,0 95 00 45 Tehran Islamic republic Persian

Mediterranean Sea: Cyprus 9,250 1,088,50 3 117 Nicosia Presidentia Greek, l republic Turkish

Sinai Peninsula: Egypt Notes:


1 2 3

61,000

850,000

82 Cairo

$218.4 Egyptian Military 7 $2,789 pound junta billion

Arabic

The figures for Turkey includes East Thrace, which is not a part of Anatolia. The area and population figures for Egypt only include the Sinai Peninsula. The status of Jerusalem is disputed.

Map of Western Asia

Arm. Azerbaijan Bah. Cyprus Egypt Georgia Iran Iraq Isr. Jordan Kuwait Leb. (Az.) Oman Pal. Pal. Qatar