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Brief History of Maldives:
The Maldives is a country in the Indian Ocean made up of 1,191 islands. The area was first settled by people from southern India. Other peoples arrived over time including the Muslims in the 12th century. Starting in 1153 the country was governed as a independent Islamic sultanate. It remained this way until 1887 when the land was colonized by the British.
In 1965 the Maldives was granted independence from Britain. Initially the country was ran as a sultanate, but in 1968 the sultanate was abolished and the country became a republic with the name Maldives.
The Geography of Maldives
Total Size: 300 square km
Size Comparison: about 1.7 times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 3 15 N, 73 00 E
World Region or Continent: Asia
General Terrain: flat, with white sandy beaches
Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point: unnamed location on Wilingili island in the Addu Atoll 2.4 m
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; dry, northeast monsoon (November to March); rainy, southwest monsoon (June to August)
Major cities: MALE (capital) 120,000 (2009)
The People of Maldives
Type of Government: republic
Languages Spoken: Maldivian Dhivehi (dialect of Sinhala, script derived from Arabic), English spoken by most government officials
Independence: 26 July 1965 (from UK)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 26 July (1965)
Religions: Sunni Muslim
National Symbol: crescent moon
National Anthem or Song: Gaumee Salaam (National Salute)
Economy of Maldives
Major Industries: fish processing, tourism, shipping, boat building, coconut processing, garments, woven mats, rope, handicrafts, coral and sand mining
Agricultural Products: coconuts, corn, sweet potatoes; fish
Natural Resources: fish
Major Exports: fish, clothing
Major Imports: petroleum products, ships, foodstuffs, textiles, clothing, intermediate and capital goods
Currency: rufiyaa (MVR)
National GDP: $2,800,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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