Marad

United Islamic State of Marad

دولة الإمارات الإسلامية الموحدة
Dawlat al-Muttaḥidah al-Islāmīyah al-Mārād
Flag of Marad
Flag
Motto: 
  • لا الغرب أو الشرق - فقط لنا
  • La al-Ghārb al-Sharq - Fāqāt Lana
  • Neither West or East - Only Us
Anthem: 
CapitalJedr
Largest cityBakadah
Official languagesArabic
Religion94.5% Twelver Shia
Demonym(s)Maradian
Maradi
GovernmentUnitary Theocracy
Ibrahim Ali Al-Mihdhar
Hamid Issa al-Jandari
LegislatureGeneral Assembly
Establishment
• Independence from the Hellenic Empire
1823
1824
1851
• Independence from Vannois
1956
1981
2001
• Islamic Constitution
2002
• Water (%)
1.3%
Population
• 2017 estimate
68,554,123
• 2010 census
65,385,787
GDP (PPP)estimate
• Total
$634.26 billion
• Per capita
$9,252
GDP (nominal)estimate
• Total
$534.85 billion
• Per capita
$7,802
Gini29.5
low
HDI (2014)Increase 0.684
medium
CurrencyDinar (MAR)
Date formatdd.mm.yy
Driving sideright
Calling code+404
ISO 3166 codeMAR
Internet TLD.cd

Marad, officially the United Islamic State of Marad (Arabic: دولة الإمارات الإسلامية الموحدة, Dawlat al-Muttaḥidah al-Islāmīyah al-Mārād) is a unitary theocratic state located in northern-central Scipia. It is bordered by the Periclean Sea to the north, Tarsas to the east, X to the south, Talakh and Nahlia to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Jedr. The main ethnic groups are Arabs and Syriacs; others include tbd.... Around 95% of the country's 62 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Judaism, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official language is Arabic.

The region of modern day Marad is considered to be one of the first civilisations to read, write, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Marak, from which "Marad" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 5th millennium BC. Marad was the centre of the Asani, Tabarian, Zanzaran and Barbanian empires. It was also part of the Hellenistic, Punic, Latin, Rafirid, Talarid and Tarsan empires.

Marad took its modern form in wake of the Maradian Uprising against XX, resulting in the Treaty of Jedr in 1936. Following independence, a monarchy was established under the Hassanid dynasty until it was overthrown in a coup by left-wing military officers and workers in 1956, the socialist regime would rule until 1977 when it was overthrown by a nationalist coup, resulting in military rule until 1991, when it in turn was overthrown by a popular revolution. A multi-party secular democracy soon emerged, leading to rapid economic development and improved relations with neighbouring countries and Belisaria, however corruption, weak institutions and cronyism soon led to growing unrest, culminating in the Great Awakening in 2001, when the democratic government was overthrown by the military and Shi'ite clerical establishment, this led to the creation of the current theocratic regime.

Marad is a member of the XX, Association for Islamic Cooperation, Periclean Forum and XX. It is a unitary absolute theocracy, with immense power vested in the Supreme Custodian. The country's official religion is Twelver Shi'ism. Culturally, Marad has a very rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in pre-Islamic times and is known for its poets. Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Islamic world, some of them being world-class.

Etymology

History

Pre-history

Classical

Middle-ages

Kingdom of Marad

Tarsan-Marad

Uprising

Second Kingdom of Marad

Vannoisian domination

Modern

Independence from Vannois

Socialist regime

Republic

Great Awakening

Geography

A mountain of the Al-Hizan.

Marad is 797,216km² (307,806 sq miles), the Xth largest country in Scipia and the Xth largest in the world. It is located in central-northern Scipia, it is bordered by Talakh and Nahalia to the west and Tarsas to the east and the Periclean Sea to the north. The east is an arid plateau irrigated by oases and seasonal water streams, the south is predominantly uninhabited desert and rocky outcrops, its expanse and its dividing nature of the fertile centre and arid to forested south is known as Al-Hizan or The Belt. Below the Al-Hizan is arable land and lush rain-forest as further south lies the equator. This region is known as Al-Janna (the Garden), although sparsely populated, it has seen continued development and growth and is the primary region for the country's Scipio-Maradian minority.

Major cities are overwhelmingly located on the northern coastline, centre, north of the Al-Hizan region and around several regions west on the border with Nahalia, owing its fertile soils and relatively abundant rainfall. Several major towns exist in the east, especially the oasis-cities of Jandar, Tal Afan and Saqariyah.

In the west, a highland area of arable land and Periclean evergreen forestry drops suddenly into the Musada Depression. The depression contains the Sanir River, which forms several smaller tributary rivers that run toward the Periclean, bisecting the fertile central and northern regions. The highest point is Jabal al Shahid, at 1,854 m (6,083 ft) above sea level.

Coastal Marad is relatively lush, enjoying a Periclean climate and sufficient rainfall, which is in stark contrast to Al-Hizan.

Climate

Politics

Marad is a unitary dominant party theocracy with most executive power residing solely in the office of the Supreme Custodian, who is the country's leading political and spiritual leader. It has a unicameral legislature, the General Assembly, with 350 members elected by popular universal suffrage every four years. The Supreme Custodian is aided in governing the country by the Secretary of State, who is appointed by the Supreme Custodian from the largest party in the General Assembly. The Secretary of State is in turn aided by the Council of State, a cabinet of 22 ministers appointed by the Supreme Custodian, though it is the latter that chairs the Council.

Supreme Custodian Ibrahim Ali Al-Mihdhar addressing Awakening Veterans in 2017

The Supreme Custodian is the supreme political authority, possessing veto powers over all legislation, the budget and foreign policy. He is able to produce decrees on any issue, usually in the form of verbal statements, which are interpreted by either the Council of State or the General Assembly and then codified into law. The Supreme Custodian may also bar any candidate from local and national elections, appoint the cabinet, heads of state agencies and the media, heads of the armed forces and law enforcement. The Supreme Custodian is the solely authority that can declare war or peace, sign or veto international agreements and issue pardons.

The Supreme Custodian is a position held for life or until resignation, there is no constitutional process for the removal of a sitting Supreme Custodian. The position is filled through a special convention of the Supreme Council of the Custodianship, a committee of 12 senior Shi'ite clerics drawn from the major seminaries. The SCC also operates some day-to-day political responsibilities, primarily overseeing legislation is in-line with Islamic teaching. The SCC is appointed by the Supreme Custodian, members hold their positions for life, though the Supreme Custodian may remove any member at his pleasure.

Many analysts have described Marad as a dominant party state owing to the overwhelming domination of the Fatah Alliance at the local and national levels. The party was formed several months prior to the Great Awakening and was promptly swept to power in the elections in its immediate aftermath. While other parties exist and compete in elections, they are considered to be beholden to the theocratic regime, being tasked with representing minorities and certain special interest groups, rather than overall alternative to the Fatah Alliance.

The Supreme Custodian appoints the head of the country's judiciary, who in turn appoints the head of the Supreme Court and the chief public prosecutor. There are several types of courts, including public courts that deal with civil and criminal cases, and revolutionary courts which deal with certain categories of offenses, such as crimes against national security. The decisions of the revolutionary courts are final and cannot be appealed, except through personal intervention by the Supreme Custodian. The Special Clerical Court handles crimes allegedly committed by clerics, although it has also taken on cases involving laypeople. The Special Clerical Court functions independently of the regular judicial framework, and is accountable only to the Supreme Custodian. The Court's rulings are final and cannot be appealed.

Administrative divisions

Human rights

Marad since the Great Awakening in 2001 has consistently ranked among the lowest in terms of civil liberties and human rights. It has the highest number of jailed journalists and civil rights activists in Scipia and the second highest number of political prisoners in Scipia after Nahlia.

Restrictions and punishments in Marad which violate international human rights norms include harsh penalties for crimes, punishment of "victimless crimes" such as fornication and homosexuality, execution of offenders under 18 years of age, restrictions on freedom of speech and the press (including the imprisonment of journalists and political cartoonists), and restrictions on freedom of religion and gender equality in Marad's Constitution (especially attacks on members of minority religions). Reported abuses falling outside of the laws of Marad that have been condemned include the widespread use of torture to extract repudiations by prisoners of their cause and comrades on video for propaganda purposes. Also condemned has been firebombings of newspaper offices and attacks on political protesters by "quasi-official organs of repression," particularly "Fedayeen Islam," and the murder of dozens of government opponents in the early 2010s, allegedly by "rogue elements" of the government.

Foreign relations

Military

The armed forces of Marad are collectively and formally known as the Islamic Forces for Liberation and Resistance, it consists of the Islamic Army for Liberation and Resistance, Islamic Navy for Liberation and Resistance, the Islamic Air Force for Liberation and Resistance and the Popular Islamic Revolutionary Protection Force. The IFLR has an estimated strength of 386,000 active personnel and 1.3 million reserve personnel. In 2018, Marad's military spending represented 3.6% of the GDP, at $16.78 billion.

Since the 2001 Revolution, tense relations with the Belisarian Community dramatically hindered the country's continued planned acquisition of modern and advanced equipment, which began under the democratic regime. As a result, the Maradian military has resorted to importing weapons and systems from more friendly states such as Estoni and Rietumimark, while also expanding its own domestic weapons industry. Since 2001, the domestic producers have seen solid growth in output and quality, seeing Marad develop its own weapons, tanks, armoured vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, air defence systems and ballistic missiles.

From 2006 until 2012, the IFLR was confronting several low-level conflicts in the multi-ethnic north-west, known as the Qasabir Emergency. It eventually defeated several failed uprisings using questionable and controversial tactics.

Economy

Demographics

The 2017 estimate of the total Maradian population is 68,554,123. Marad's population was estimated to be 11 million in 1878. Marad has the highest birthrate in the Islamic World and northern Scipia, with 4.12 children born per woman, it is estimated that by 2050 the population will be 110 million. The extreme levels of population growth has been driven primarily by state-led family planning policies and a dramatic crackdown on contraceptives and birth-control measures that were introduced under the democratic government.

Ethnic groups

Arabs form 76%–80% of the population. 15% of Marad's population are Scipio-Arab, Berber and Bedouin. Assyrians and other much smaller minorities, such as Mandeans, Jews, Circassians, Shabakis, Yazidis and Kawliya, make up the remainder 5%–10% of the population.

Like other countries of Scipia, its ethnic groups are geographically localised, with the Berber and Bedouin populations being centered in the south, primarily in the Hizan region. The smaller minorities, including the Assyrians, Mandeans and Jews are located along the coast, though dispersed within the Arab majority. The Yazidis, Kawliya and Afro-Arabs are located in the east and deep-south. Constitutional rights are extended to all ethnic minorities of Marad.

Language

Largest cities


Religion

97.6% of Marad is Muslim (90.06% is Shia, 6.76% Sunni, 3.18% Khawarijite), as such, since 2001, Twelver Shia Islam has been the official state religion, though Muslim minorities do enjoy extensive constitutionally protected rights. The Sunni population former complained of facing discrimination in almost all aspects of life by the government. These claims died down in the aftermath of the Great Awakening, in which their rights were constitutionally enshrined to promote "Marad as a beacon of harmony for all Muslim."

Marad is home to two the holiest sites in Islam and Shi'a Islam; Jedr and Jandar, while the city of Nakeer contains the Tomb of Imam Rashid, one of the holiest sites for Shi'ite Muslims.

Imam Rashid Shrine in Nakeer

Christians have lived in the area for about 2,000 years, and many descend from the pre-Arab ancient Zanzaran-Banbarian. They constituted around 8% of the population in 1946, before falling to 5% in 1987. Today, the Christian population constitutes 2.1% of the population, with 1,439,636 adherents out of a population of 68.5 million in 2017. Virtually all of the country's Christians are neo-Assyrian speaking, of which, 90% are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Sabarat, which is considered to be the second largest Christian Church in Scipia after the Fabrian Catholic Church.

There are also small ethno-religious minority populations of Mandaeans, Shabaks and Yezidis remaining. Prior to 2001 their numbers together may have been 2 million, the majority Yarsan, a non-Islamic religion with roots in pre-Islamic and pre-Christian religion. Marad also hosts a sizeable population of Jews, with an estimated 230,000 as of 2017. They are primarily centred around Sabarat and Rafeen.

Health

Healthcare in Marad is based on three pillars: the public-governmental system, the private sector, and NGOs. The healthcare and medical sector's market value in Marad was almost US $80 billion in 2017 and is forecast to rise to US $96 billion in 2020. With a population of 68 million (2017), Marad is one of the most populous countries in Scipia. The country faces the common problem of other young demographic nations in the Islamic World, which is keeping pace with growth of an already huge demand for various public services. The young population will soon be old enough to start new families, which will boost the population growth rate and subsequently the need for public health infrastructures and services.

Total healthcare spending is expected to rise from $24.3 billion in 2008, to $96 billion by 2018, reflecting the increasing demand on medical services. Total health spending was equivalent to 6% of GDP in Marad in 2017. About 90% of Maradians have some form of health insurance. Marad is also the only country with a legal organ trade. However, the legal character of organ donations is deemed to be a gifting of organs and not their sale and purchase, in 2016 it was revealed that the state seized the organs of criminals put to death under capital punishment, while prisoners also face mandatory blood donations.

Imam Hussein Hopsital in Jedr.

According to the Belisarian Community, as of 2017 Marad ranked 3rd in the most efficient healthcare system behind Yisrael and Tarsas. The report shows life expectancy in Marad is 77.5 years and per capita spending on healthcare is $446. The health status of Maradians has improved over the last two decades. Marad has been able to extend public health preventive services through the establishment of an extensive Primary Health Care Network. As a result, child and maternal mortality rates have fallen significantly, and life expectancy at birth has risen remarkably. Infant (IMR) and under-five (U5MR) mortality have decreased to 28.6 and 35.6 per 1,000 live births respectively in 2005, compared to an IMR of 122 per 1,000 and a U5MR of 191 per 1,000 in 1970. Immunization of children is accessible to most of the urban and rural population, in 2006 this was made mandatory.

Culture

Cuisine

Sport