Sunday, June 22, 2008

Week 12 - Cyprus

The country for this week is Cyprus.

Cyprus is Eurasian island located in the eastern Mediterranean, just below the Anatolian peninsula. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Here is a map of Cyprus in relation to the Mediterranean Sea and other countries around it (click to enlarge):

Cyprus has long been a crossing point between Europe, Asia and Africa and still has many traces of successive civilizations – Roman theaters and villas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles and prehistoric habitats.

The island’s main economic activities are tourism, clothing and craft exports and merchant shipping. Traditional crafts include embroidery, pottery and copper-work.

Since Turkey occupied the north of the island in 1974, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities have been separated by the so-called Green Line.

This is a map of the Green Line (click to enlarge):

Pictures of Cyprus:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Week 11 - Croatia

This week we'll be studying Croatia.

The capital of Croatia is Zagreb.

Croatia is shaped like a crescent or a horseshoe, which flanks its neighbors Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. To the north lie Slovenia and Hungary. Its southern and western sides border the Adriatic Sea, and it shares a sea border with Italy in the Gulf of Trieste. Its mainland territory is split in two non-contiguous parts by the short coastline of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Neum.

The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal Tito. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.

Pictures of Croatia: