Portal:Asia
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Portal:Asia
The Asia Portal
Asia (orthographic projection).svg

Asia 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. 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 (particularly East Asia) 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...)

Featured article

The Battle of Musa Qala (also Qaleh or Qal'eh) was a British-led military action in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, launched by the Afghan National Army and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) against the Taliban on 7 December 2007. After three days of intense fighting, the Taliban retreated into the mountains on 10 December. Musa Qala was officially reported captured on 12 December, with Afghan Army troops pushing into the town centre.

The operation was codenamed snakepit (Pashto: Mar Kardad‎). Senior ISAF officers, including U.S. general Dan K. McNeill, the overall ISAF commander, agreed to the assault on 17 November 2007. It followed more than nine months of Taliban occupation of the town, the largest the insurgents controlled at the time of the battle. ISAF forces had previously occupied the town, until a controversial withdrawal in late 2006. (Full article...)

Selected Country

Flag of Bahrain.svg

Bahrain ( bar-AYN; Arabic: ?‎, romanizedal-Ba?rayn, IPA: [al ba?'rajn], locally [æl ba?'re:n] ), officially the Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: ?Mamlakat al-Ba?rayn), is a country in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 50 natural islands and an additional 33 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country's landmass. The country is situated between the Qatari peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2020 census, Bahrain's population numbers 1,501,635 people, of which 712,362 are Bahraini nationals. At 760 square kilometres (290 sq mi) in size, it is the third-smallest nation in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore. The capital and largest city is Manama.

Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilization. It has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to be influenced by Islam, during the lifetime of Muhammad in 628 CE. Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was ruled by the Portuguese Empire from 1521 until 1602, following the conquest by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain's first hakim. (Full article...)

Featured biography

A photograph of Hrithik Roshan smiling away from the camera
Roshan at an event in 2016

Hrithik Roshan (, born 10 January 1974), is an Indian actor who works in Hindi films. He has portrayed a variety of characters and is known for his dancing skills. One of the highest-paid actors in India, he has won many awards, including six Filmfares, four for Best Actor and one each for Best Debut and Best Actor (Critics). Starting in 2012, he appeared several times in Forbes India Celebrity 100 based on his income and popularity.

Roshan has frequently collaborated with his father, Rakesh Roshan. He made brief appearances as a child actor in several films in the 1980s and later worked as an assistant director on four of his father's films. His first leading role was in the box-office success Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), for which he received several awards. Performances in the 2000 terrorism drama Fiza and the 2001 ensemble melodrama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... consolidated his reputation but were followed by several poorly received films. (Full article...)

General images

The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

Featured picture

A Cambodian girl begging for money with snake
Credit: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
A little girl making money for her family by posing with a snake in a water village of Tonle Sap Lake.

Did you know...

Updated: 21:33, 25 September 2021

In the news

26 September 2021 - Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Three Palestinians are killed in Biddu, Jerusalem, and two more are killed in Burqin during overnight military raids by Israeli soldiers. Two soldiers are wounded during one of the raids. (Al Jazeera)
25 September 2021 - Afghanistan conflict
Four men who kidnapped a businessman and his son in Herat are shot dead by Taliban police during a gunfight. The bodies of the kidnappers have been hanged in public, in an apparent warning to others to not commit crimes. (BBC)
A Taliban soldier is killed and seven more are injured in Jalalabad when their convoy hits a roadside bomb planted by ISIL-K. (Hindustan Times)
25 September 2021 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in South Korea
South Korea reports a record for the second consecutive day of 3,273 new cases of COVID-19, thereby bringing the nationwide total of confirmed cases to 298,402. (The Asahi Shimbun)
25 September 2021 - North Korea-South Korea relations
Kim Yo-jong, sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, says that North Korea is open to holding another summit in South Korea if mutual respect between the two countries can be assured. (The Korea Times)

Updated: 15:33, 26 September 2021

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150pxTaj Mahal world heritage site in Agra, India.
Credit: David Castor

The Taj Mahal (Hindi: , from Persian/Urdu: "crown of palaces") is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

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