Portal:Asia

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Asia (/ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ (About this soundlisten)) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people () constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)

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150pxA panoramic view of Bangalore from Corporation Circle
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Bangalore, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of over ten million, making it a megacity and the third-most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration in India.

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A gamelan is a kind of musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophones, drums, and gongs. The term can be used to refer either to the set of instruments or the players of those instruments. Traditionally, "gamelan" comes from the Javanese word "gamel", meaning hammer.

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Flag of Jordan.svg

Jordan (Arabic: الأردن‎; tr. Al-ʾUrdunn [al.ʔur.dunː]), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is a country in Western Asia. It is situated at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, within the levant region, on the East Bank of the Jordan River. Jordan is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel and the West Bank of Palestine. The Dead Sea is located along its western borders, and the country has a 26-kilometre (16 mi) coastline on the Red Sea in its extreme south-west. Amman is the nation's capital and largest city, as well as the economic, political and cultural centre.

Modern-day Jordan has been inhabited by humans since the Paleolithic period. Three stable kingdoms emerged there at the end of the Bronze Age: Ammon, Moab and Edom. Later rulers include the Nabataean Kingdom, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Rashidun, Umayyad, and Abbasid Caliphates, and the Ottoman Empire. After the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in 1916 during World War I, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned by Britain and France. The Emirate of Transjordan was established in 1921 by the Hashemite, then Emir, Abdullah I, and the emirate became a British protectorate. In 1946, Jordan became an independent state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, but was renamed in 1949 to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan after the country captured the West Bank during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and annexed it until it was lost to Israel in 1967. Jordan renounced its claim to the territory in 1988, and became the second Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. The sovereign state is a constitutional monarchy, but the king holds wide executive and legislative powers. (Full article...)

Featured biography

Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Ṭughj ibn Juff ibn Yiltakīn ibn Fūrān ibn Fūrī ibn Khāqān (8 February 882 – 24 July 946), better known by the title al-Ikhshīd (Arabic: الإخشيد‎) after 939, was an Abbasid commander and governor who became the autonomous ruler of Egypt and parts of Syria (or Levant) from 935 until his death in 946. He was the founder of the Sunni Ikhshidid dynasty, which ruled the region until the Fatimid conquest of 969.

The son of Tughj ibn Juff, a general of Turkic origin who served both the Abbasids and the autonomous Tulunid rulers of Egypt and Syria, Muhammad ibn Tughj was born in Baghdad but grew up in Syria and acquired his first military and administrative experiences at his father's side. He had a turbulent early career: he was imprisoned along with his father by the Abbasids in 905, was released in 906, participated in the murder of the vizier al-Abbas ibn al-Hasan al-Jarjara'i in 908, and fled Iraq to enter the service of the governor of Egypt, Takin al-Khazari. Eventually he acquired the patronage of several influential Abbasid magnates, chiefly the powerful commander-in-chief Mu'nis al-Muzaffar. These ties led him to being named governor first of Palestine and then of Damascus. In 933, he was briefly named governor of Egypt, but this order was revoked after the death of Mu'nis, and Ibn Tughj had to fight to preserve even his governorship of Damascus. In 935, he was re-appointed to Egypt, where he quickly defeated a Fatimid invasion and stabilized the turbulent country. His reign marks a rare period of domestic peace, stability and good government in the annals of early Islamic Egypt. In 938 Caliph al-Radi granted his request for the title of al-Ikhshid, which had been borne by the rulers of his ancestral Farghana Valley. It is by this title that he was known thereafter. (Full article...)

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Black and white photo of people walking along a road passing through a large area of destroyed buildings
A road passing through a part of Tokyo which was destroyed in the 10 March 1945 air raid

On the night of 9/10 March 1945, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) conducted a devastating firebombing raid on Tokyo, the Japanese capital city. This attack was code-named Operation Meetinghouse by the USAAF and is known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid in Japan. Bombs dropped from 279 Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers burned out much of eastern Tokyo. More than 90,000 and possibly over 100,000 Japanese people were killed, mostly civilians, and one million were left homeless, making it the most destructive single air attack in human history. The Japanese air and civil defenses proved largely inadequate; 14 American aircraft and 96 airmen were lost.

The attack on Tokyo was an intensification of the air raids on Japan which had begun in June 1944. Prior to this operation, the USAAF had focused on a precision bombing campaign against Japanese industrial facilities. These attacks were generally unsuccessful, which contributed to the decision to shift to firebombing. The operation during the early hours of 10 March was the first major firebombing raid against a Japanese city, and the USAAF units employed significantly different tactics from those used in precision raids, including bombing by night with the aircraft flying at low altitudes. The extensive destruction caused by the raid led to these tactics becoming standard for the USAAF's B-29s until the end of the war. (Full article...)
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Updated: 12:33, 18 May 2021

In the news

18 May 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Asia
COVID-19 pandemic in India
India reports a record 4,329 new deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, thereby bringing the nationwide death toll to 278,719. (The Times of India)
COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education
COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand
Thailand reports a record 35 fatalities from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, thereby bringing the nationwide death toll to 649. (CNA)

Updated: 12:33, 18 May 2021

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