Welcome to the United States of America:
The United States of America (USA) is the oldest surviving federation that spreads over an area of 3,717,813 square miles (9,629,091 square kilometers) and is comprised of 50 states and one federal district. The full name 'United States of America' was used for the first time in the 'Declaration of Independence'. The USA is the third largest country in terms of land area and population and contains one of the most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations on earth. The US economy is the world’s largest, with an estimated gross domestic product of $14.7 trillion.
Located in the Western Hemisphere on the continent of North America, the United States is the third-largest country in the world. Its total area, including Alaska and Hawaii, is 3,717,813 square miles (9,629,091 square kilometer). It is bordered in the North by Canada, with the Atlantic Ocean on the east, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico on the south and on the West by the Pacific Ocean. The nation's capital, Washington, D.C., is located on the mid-Atlantic coast.
The first inhabitants of the United States were Native Indians, who then were augmented by Europeans who began to arrive in 1492. The traditional history of the United States however begins with the Declaration of Independence in the year 1776, when the British American colonies broke away from the crown and were recognized as the new nation of the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris in 1783. In 1789, the Constitution became the basis for the United States Federal government and George Washington was inaugurated as the first president. During the 19th and 20th centuries, 37 new states were added to the original 13 as the nation expanded across the North American continent and acquired a number of overseas possessions.
The two most traumatic experiences in the nation's history were the Civil War (1861-65) and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Following the victories in World Wars I and II and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the US remains the world's most powerful nation state. The economy is marked by steady growth, low unemployment and inflation, and rapid advances in technology.
The United States includes a wide variety of climate types due to its large size, the climate ranges from humid continental in the north to humid subtropical in the south. The southern tip of Florida is tropical while the Great Plains in the west of the country is semi-arid. Much of the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascade Range are alpine. The climate is arid in the Great Basin, desert in the Southwest, Mediterranean in coastal California, and oceanic in coastal Oregon and Washington. The state of Alaska—on the northwestern corner of the North American continent—is largely sub-arctic, with an oceanic climate in its southern edge and a polar climate in the north. The state of Hawaii, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is tropical.
Extreme weather is not uncommon—the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are prone to hurricanes, and tornadoes regularly occur in the area of the Midwest referred to as Tornado Alley. The United States has more tornadoes than the rest of the countries of the world combined.
The population of USA is estimated to be around 3,00,000,000. These included almost a total of 12 million migrants. The racial group in USA is largely diversified with the white race been the largest ethnic group, while there are minorities from all over the world. The main minority groups are: African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian and Native Americans.
The Federal Government of the United States is the national government of all fifty states in the nation. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government, a legislature, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and their various powers are outlined in the U.S. Constitution; with more specific detail within laws enacted by the Congress. The seat of government of the United States is in Washington, D.C., a geographical area that is not located within any state.
USA is the largest market economy in the world with the private sector capturing the bulk of the economy. The service sector contributes the largest share of the economy, accounting for approximately 75 percent of the GDP. The well-developed infrastructure together with the abundant natural resources makes it one of the most prosperous economies of the world.
American culture has significant regional variations. Most Americans are aware of these differences despite the fact that these regions have experienced economic transformations and that Americans are a mobile people who often leave their regions of origin.
The Northeast is densely populated and high degree of urbanization has led to the region been called the national "megalopolis." Once a leader in technology and industry, the Northeast has been overtaken in those areas by California's Silicon Valley.
The Midwest is both rural and industrial. It is the home of the family farm and is the "corn belt" and "breadbasket" of the nation. In the Great Lakes area of the upper Midwest, the automobile and steel industries were central to the community and economy. As those industries declined, the upper Midwest became known as the rust belt.
The South was shaped by its secession from the Union before the Civil War and is associated with slavery and with subsequent battles over civil rights for African-Americans. In contemporary terms, these are the sunshine states, retirement havens, and new economic frontiers.
The West, the last national frontier, is associated with national dreams and myths of unlimited opportunity and individualism. It has the nation's most open landscapes.
California, along with the southwestern states was ceded to the United States by Mexico in 1848 after the Mexican-American War. The Southwest is distinctive because of its historical ties to colonial Spain, its Native American populations, and its regional cuisine, which has been influenced by Native American and Spanish cultures.
Language & Religion
Regular usage has made English the official language. Spanish is spoken by 10% people and is the second most popular language. In addition to these languages, Chinese, French, Vietnamese and Tagalog are also used in major urban centers with high minority populations. While New Mexico has both English and Spanish as its official languages, Louisiana has both English and French.
The United States was founded on the basis of freedom of religion and expression and this has led to a diverse religious following in the country. The main religion of the country is Christianity (Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7% and other Christian 1.6%), while non-Christian groups include Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and many others.
The United States of America or USA lies in western hemisphere of the earth as part of the North American continent bordering Canada in the North and Mexico in the south.
The country of USA is recognized as one of the most technologically developed and economically successful nations of the world. With a population of more than 300 million people, USA boasts of a rich ethnic diversity and a unique conglomeration of cultures. USA is home to some of the most advanced cities of the world like New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and also boasts of the world's most successful cinema industry situated in Hollywood. Dotted with numerous attractive travel destinations, USA ranks among the world's topmost travel destinations.
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Welcome to Iran:
Historically known as Persia, Iran was one of the greatest empires of the ancient world and home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations. Iran has a rich heritage and ethnically diverse population with a distinct cultural identity within the Middle East region. With an area of 1,648,000 square kilometers, Iran is among twenty biggest countries in the world. Iran is located in southwestern Asia, and shares its border with Afghanistan and Pakistan to the East; Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the North; Iraq and Turkey to the West and the Persian Gulf to the South. Tehran is the capital, the country's largest city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the nation.
The economy of Iran is the eighteenth largest economy in the world and holds an important position in international energy security and world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas.
Numerous mountains and vast plains have given rise to various ecological attributes in Iran. It is mild and wet in the north, cold and dry in the west, mild and dry to hot in central regions; and hot in the south. A large part of the country consists of desert lands, the biggest of which are Dasht-iKavir and Dasht-iLut in central and southeastern Iran. Iran has a 391 miles (630 kilometers) long sea border in the north, at the Caspian, the world's largest lake, and another 1168 miles (1880 kilometers) long sea border in the south at the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Iran has 7 neighboring countries to her west, north and east.
The Iranian civilization was founded 6000 years ago in the southwestern part of present day Iran. The largest of the Persian empires were those of the Achaemenians, the Parthians and the Sassanids. Some of them ruled over great parts of the Asian continent for over 450 years. Since then there have been over 20 ruling dynasties in Iran. The major events that shaped Iranian history have been the arrival of Islam to Iran 1400 years ago and the invasion by Mongols 800 years ago. Iran became an Islamic Republic in 1979, when the ruling monarchy was overthrown in a popular revolution and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was forced into exile.
Iran has a diverse climate ranging from arid or semiarid, to subtropical along the Caspian coast and the forests in the north. In the northwest, winters are cold with heavy snowfall and subfreezing temperatures during December and January, while spring and fall are relatively mild with dry and hot summers. This is in contrast to the coastal plains of the Persian Gulf in southern Iran that has mild winters, and very humid and hot summers.
Iran has a population of more than 74 million people, with the rate population growth recently falling to 1.3%.More than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 30, and the literacy rate is 83%.Women today compose more than half of the incoming classes for universities around the country and increasingly continue to play pivotal roles in society. As far as employment is concerned, 29% of population are working in agriculture sector, 25% in Industrial sector and the rest are in the services sector.
Iran's government is an Islamic Republic with a constitutional law that includes 175 clauses. According to the constitutional law, the highest-ranking decision-making position in the country is that of the leader who is elected either directly by the people or by an Assembly of Experts. After the leader, an elected president is the country's highest-ranking official. The president implements the constitution and chairs the executive body. There is also a parliament with 270 elected MP's including those who represent religious minorities such as Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews.
Iran is ranked the 18th biggest economy in the world and relies heavily on its energy sector for foreign currency reserves and income. Iran is OPEC's second largest oil exporter and ranks third in terms of proven oil reserves; additionally it has the world’s second most reserves of natural gas. The economy is a mixture of state owned enterprises, central planning and private sector participation. The infrastructure of the economy has been gradually improving, however it suffers from chronic inflation and unemployment. Largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Iran is the service sector, followed by industry and agriculture.
Iranian culture is vibrant and diverse, owing to its long history and strategic location between Asia and Europe. This had led to a mixture of ancient Persian and Islamic cultures, rich in arts, poetry, science, craftsmanship and music. Iranian culture has long been a predominant culture of the Middle East and Central Asia, with Persian considered the language of intellectuals during much of the 2nd millennium, and the language of religion and the populace before that. Iranian New Year or Nowruz is a celebration of Vernal Equinox, which begins on or about March 21. A time of renewal and reunion, Nowruz has been widely celebrated by Iranians and other major cultures of ancient Mesopotamia for over 3000 years. In 2009, the United Nations recognized Nowruz as an International Day, following the UNESCO’s lead to include Nowruz as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Language & Religion
Iran has a heterogeneous population speaking a variety of Indo-Iranian, Semitic, and Turkic languages. The largest language group consists of the speakers of Farsi or Persian (58%), the official language of the country. Other language spoken include: Approximately 26% speaks various dialects of Turkish, 9% Kurdish, 2% Luri, 1% Arabic and 2% other.
The official religion in Iran is Islam with more than 90% following the Shia branch of Islam and 8% belonging to the Sunni sect. The remaining 2% are non-Muslim religious minorities, including Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians. These minority religious groups are officially recognized by the state and protected, with reserved seats in the Majlis (Parliament).
Iran with its rich heritage and ancient culture provides visitors with an abundance of historical sites and it is rated the 10th most touristy country in the world in terms of its history. The Iranian style of architecture is distinctive and creative. Persepolis and the rare impressive edifices of Isfahan as well as the Air Traps of the central desert region are the hallmarks of the Iranian unique architecture. The diverse climate also provides a range of activities from hiking and skiing in the Alborz Mountains, to beach holidays by the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.
The most important historical and natural touristic sites of Iran include the following:
Persepolis: Ancient ruins of a vast city-like complex built over 2,500 years ago, near the modern City of Shiraz. Persepolis is the symbol of Iranian nationality and grand history.
Kish Island: A free trade zone in the Persian Gulf, which is regarded as a ‘shopping paradise’, with numerous malls, tourist attractions, and resorts. Kish has one of the top ten hotels in the Middle East by the name of Dariush Grand Hotel.
Qeshm Island: Is Iran's largest island and is famous for its ecotourism. According to environmentalists, about 1.5% of the world birds and 25% of Iran's native birds annually migrate to Hara forests which is the first national geo park of Iran.
Susa, or Shush: Is one of Iran's most ancient city. The Zigurat of Chughazanbil, Darius the Great's palace, the Jewish prophet Daniel's temple and Artaxerxer II 's palace are among the historical sites.
Dizin: Is one of the highest ski resorts in the world located within two hours of Tehran.
Pasargad: Is where the Tomb of Cyrus is located and the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire.
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