Image: iStockphoto/Mike Bentley
About This QuizFor this quiz, we've steered clear of any murky political situations and stayed focused on straight-up geographical facts. So try your luck and test your knowledge of these ancient lands.
United Arab Emirates?
passed a law that requires robot jockeys for camel races instead of humans
Because of widespread problems with underage child labor in camel racing, the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries now prohibit human jockeys.
has the highest per capita income in the Middle East
ruled by a sultan and his cabinet, the "Diwans"
will soon be connected to the country of Qatar by the longest bridge in the world
The Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge should be under construction by the end of 2009. When it's done, it will be the longest bridge in the world -- 25 miles (40 kilometers) long.
the smallest country in the Middle East
started allowing women to vote in 2003
site of the largest massacre in Asian history
hometown of Mir Hussein Moussavi, challenger for the presidency of Iran
The city of Tabriz came into the spotlight as the hometown of Mir Hussein Moussavi. According to the results of the 2009 presidential election, President Ahmedinejad beat Moussavi in Tabriz -- Moussavi's supporters point to this as proof that the election was rigged.
home of the most holy Shiite temple
home of 86 of the world's 100 richest people
home of the world's tallest building
Answers 1 and 3 are probably close, but right now Dubai can lay claim to only answer 2 -- the world's tallest building.
has the highest GDP per capita in the world
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
high mortality rate -- 27 people daily -- because of pollution
known as the financial capital of the Middle East
birthplace of Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden was born in Riyadh in 1957.
the world's largest Arabic-speaking country
has been under "emergency law" since 1962
Syria has been so unstable since it gained independence from the French in 1946 that it has been under "emergency law" for almost 50 years. This means that its citizens don't have full constitutional protection.
exports surgical instruments, a staple of the economy
has a steel-and-concrete border between itself and Egypt
In addition to the steel wall, there are now sensors and underground barriers to prevent tunneling and smuggling between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
the poorest area of the Middle East
has been under near-constant attack for 56 years
a desert in Jordan where the Shroud of Turin was found in 1532
the most expensive restaurant in Abu Dhabi
mountain range on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border that is Osama bin Laden's rumored hideout
The towering Hindu Kush mountains, a subrange of the Himalayas, are thought to be the hiding place of bin Laden.
has been having a border dispute with Bahrain for 400 years
its government is constructing a new capital city in the middle of an uninhabited desert
its shoreline has more than 500 forts, castles and towers
The coastline of Oman, which stretches around the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, has been guarded over the centuries by more than 500 forts and castles.
means "garden" in Arabic
named one of the "top 10 liveliest cities in the world" in 2009 by Lonely Planet
A hoppin' nightlife might not be what immediately comes to mind when you think about Beirut, but Lonely Planet begs to differ. Who knew?
site of the first skyscraper in the Middle East