|This article or section is out of date. A country/countries relevant to this article have been removed from Sahar and have been retconned. Not everything here may still be considered canonical. |
|Grand Realm of Tabiqa
|Recognised regional languages||Dzimraic, Kavahiri, Osuri|
|Ethnic groups||33.1% Adzamasiin
|-||King||Tolyar Okmārūd set Henÿt|
|-||Prime Minister||Keyvat Nahdein 'ad Aċegoon|
776,674 sq mi
|GDP (nominal)||2016 estimate|
|Currency||Tabiqan Mahri, Ekuo (TBM)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||TBQ|
Tabiqa (Adzamasi: [tabɪqa]), officially the Grand Realm of Tabiqa and sometimes (inaccurately) called the Republic of Tabiqa, is a landlocked country located in central north Baredina. A mostly desert nation, its population is concentrated in the cooler and better-irrigated areas around its mountains and rivers, and many of its inhabitants are nomadic. It is bordered by Barradiwa, Ebo Nganagam and ((ex-Algador)) to the north, the Povan Union to the east, ((nothing)) to the south and ((ex-Izovangia)) to the west.
Despite its inhospitable climate and relatively small population, Tabiqa has played a major role in the history of Ekuosia, as the once-seat of the massive Adzamic Empire. Bordering and containing important stretches of the Ekuos river, the main trade route between northwest and eastern Baredina, it remains an economically important nation in the region. Its compulsory military service and strong alliances Barradiwa and the other nations of Lower Ekuosia also allow it to maintain a robust defense force.
Tabiqa takes its name from the Tabiq river that demarcates most of its western border. The name was taken for its perceived neutrality in a country of many different regions and ethnic and cultural groups. The etymology of the river's name is unknown, possibly originating from Kaffic or other pre-Adzamic peoples in the region.
Tabiqa was first inhabited by early hominids at least one million years ago, and by early modern humans shortly after their appearance on Sahar. Many peoples have lived in it under different regimes and empires for millennia. Its location in the Baredina desert alongside some of the only major waterways that cross the expanse has given it great strategic trading power throughout history.
The modern nation is considered the truest successor state of the Adzamic Empire (Tahid Ādzamiyād) and subsequent Holy Adzamic Empire, which collapsed in the 900s due to a mix of factors including rebellions against the new theocracy, overexpansion and military failures, and the rise of the Neviran Empire to the east.
Most of Tabiqa was conquered by the Nevirans. In as independent countries, warred among each other for approximately ?00 years, eventually forming into the three states which were the immediate predecessors of modern Tabiqa: the Kingdom of Mehyaran, the Republic of Kasingadh, and the Kingdom of Osuria. Mehyaran and Kasingadh formed an alliance in the 1?00s and, together, overtook Osuria.
Tabiqa became a democracy after the end of the Great Ekuosian War, but retains a mostly-symbolic monarchy.
Tabiqa is bordered by the Tabiq river in the west, the Anuxaz river to the north, and the Püzimmese mountains in the east. It is a landlocked country, but has access to the Kasingadh lakes in the northwest.
Most of Tabiqa is fairly high above sea level, with a few mountains in the east. The rest of the country is mainly situated on a broad desert marked only by sand dunes, with small valleys cradling the rivers to the north and western borders.
Tabiqa is mainly situated in the Baredina desert and, as such, is a very hot, dry, and arid country. Some parts of the country experience a short wet season, but most of it can go for an entire year without rain. There are fertile river valleys surrounding the major waterways, and some arable land near the lakes in the north-west an the eastern mountains, but most of the country is only fit for habitation by nomadic peoples.
In the northeast there is a fertile tropical savannah climate, which is responsible for most agriculture in Tabiqa. Deforestation to increase space for farmland has lead to desertification, first noticed in the 1920s, and replanting efforts since 1960 have begun to slow this process.
In the far south is a small swathe of tropical monsoon climate.
Government and politics
Tabiqa's head of state is a monarch, who held total power from the country's founding until the end of the Great Ekuosian War. Since then, the monarch has served mostly as a figurehead, although some powers are still vested with the throne. The head of government is a prime minister elected by the populace in national elections that occur every four years.
There is a main parliamentary body, filled with elected representatives, and no senate. There is also an unelected Monarch's council which, like the monarch it serves, is now mostly symbolic in nature.
Tabiqa is divided into eight provinces. The most populace is Mehyarāsa, which contains the country's capital region, located at the confluence of the Tabiq and Ekuos rivers, followed by Osur in the northeast and Kasingadh in the northwest. The largest are norther-central Subruudi and central Deṫaleq, both of which have low populations due to their inhospitable climate, and until recently were legally territories rather than provinces in their own rights. The other three provinces make up the southern third of the country (less Mehyarāsa): Kudzat, Itq̇ar, and Adunjad.
Tabiqa enjoys strong trade relations, diplomatic ties, and a mutual defense agreement with its fellow members of the Ekuosian Union. It has a particularly strong relationship with Barradiwa. Its relations with Xhovian nations to the south have been historically strained.
The government of Tabiqa does not recognize sentient non-human species as people, and such, refuses to officially recognize the legitimacy of several majority-nonhuman nations as sovereign, self-governed nations, including many countries in Boroso, Nagu, and Atsiq.
Tabiqa's military is well-funded conscript army and air force. As it is a landlocked country, Tabiqa has no navy, although it does operate a small number of aquatic vessels along its border rivers. A disproportionate amount of tax dollars go towards the military.
At 20 years of age all Tabiqiri are conscripted to serve a minimum two-to-three-year term (including 2-8 months of training), with exceptions for medical, psychiatric, and some other extenuating circumstances. Those who wish not to serve in active combat for religious, moral, or ideological reasons will be given non-combatant roles. Postsecondary students, including those studying abroad, may delay their service for up to four years or longer, potentially indefinitely, depending on the length and nature of their studies. For all reasons, a mere 17% or roughly 6 million citizens are officially exempted from or delay their military service. The estimated 100-500 thousand Undocumented Tabiqiri are not included in this figure.
Tabiqiri may opt to begin military service as early as 16; 43% of those who serve begin training before they turn 20. Some postsecondary degrees can be obtained concurrently with a four-year or longer term, which also pays students' tuition, room, and board. Approximately 13% of Tabiqiri choose this route, representing about 58% of all citizens who attain tertiary education.
Tabiqiri with a criminal record, or who are incarcerated when they hit the age of conscription, are not automatically exempted from their military service. For short term imprisonment (under 10 years), convicts merely have their service delayed. Some incarcerated persons, depending on their behaviour and psychological profile, may be released on early parole into military service — as part of their mandatory two years, or as additional time. Those with a record of certain violent crimes may not be permitted to serve.
Tabiqan immigrants of all ages are required either to serve, or to make a financial contribution "of equal value" towards the military. Those who are fit for service have a choice; those deemed unfit, or who choose to, either pay a considerable military subsidy tax or may make a lower lump-sum financial contribution towards the military. This is one of the main reasons for Tabiqa's low rate of immigration.
Outside of the military, there are a number of organized militias throughout the country, mostly in rural areas near the southern border.
Human rights abuses are not uncommon in Tabiqa, particularly regarding four groups: some specific ethnic and religious minorities, the working poor, the lower classes generally, and incarcerated persons. There also tends to be a high overlap among these groups, meaning that many disadvantaged people face difficulties in multiple facets of life. (Astalvi, Fals, and Kavrinh, who are not recognized as legal persons in any right, and Dalar and Vodholk, who are recognized only as near-persons, are in danger of facing even worse treatment; however, there are few if any members of these groups present in Tabiqa, making this a largely theoretical issue.)
There have been multiple historical injustices throughout the history of Tabiqa against certain ethnic groups and those who do not follow the state's Temyarq religion. In the modern era, the nation has some laws protecting religious freedom and banning discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds, but they are not far-reaching and not always actively applied. This results in inequality of housing, employment, education, application of law enforcement, and other metrics for certain minority groups, especially the Adati and, historically, the Osuri and other Kõ peoples. Other minority groups, including Iovists, the Kavahiri, and most other Adzamic ethnic groups do not tend to face the same level of discrimination.
Although there are some basic protections for workers' rights in the Tabiqan civil code, they are not extensive and often fail to be upheld, with disadvantaged groups in particular often ending up working in low-wage industries and often in unsafe or extreme conditions. Social mobility does exist within Tabiqa but it is rare and difficult, so intergenerational poverty is common.
Conversely, certain groups who are treated poorly in many other countries may enjoy a better quality of life in Tabiqa. For example, gender and sexual minorities who fit appropriately within the Lower Ekuosian gender system are not considered minorities or in any way unusual, and do not face discrimination; furthermore, gender-based violence is extremely rare, with a high level of equity among the four genders. (People who do not fit well within the popular gender system, however, are often subject to discrimination.)
Although there is significant discrimination in the immigration process itself, those who manage to become lawful Tabiqan citizens are typically welcomed by Tabiqiri. The elderly are generally well-respected and enjoy a high quality of life, and disabled people are often (although not always) well-accommodated and not stigmatized.
However, any members of the above groups who are also members of a marginalized group will, of course, still experience marginalization, which may be compounded with certain other factors to make them much worse-off; for example, as most health care is private, elderly and disabled people who lack wealth or private insurance may fare very poorly.
The Tabiqan penal system has drawn ire from both national and international activists, many of whom have said that the system enables a form of modern slavery.
Incarceration rates in Tabiqa are high, with a disproportionate number of minorities behind bars, and the civil liberties of convicts are curtailed, by law; they lose their right to vote and several legal protections, like those against involuntary servitude or forced labour. Nearly all Tabiqan prisons practice penal labour, forcing inmates to work throughout their detention to, in part or fully, subsidize the cost of their own detainment. Incarcerated workers are also paid, although the wage is extremely low, so convicts rarely have any great degree of savings when they exit the system.
Penal labour is typically full-time and involves menial tasks such as product assembly or resource extraction, which may also be dangerous. As workers' rights are generally underprotected in Tabiqa, this can lead to dire conditions among incarcerated populations, and until the 1980s when some labour reforms were extended to the prison system, convicts faced an alarmingly high death rate.
Tabiqa is a capitalist nation with a robust economy, in which the military and related sectors play a robust role. Manufacturing, especially of designer clothing and other luxury goods, also makes up a key sector of the economy, and represents the country's main exports by GDP value. Mining and oil extraction ((depending on upcoming map changes)) also form a sizeable portion of the economy.
Tabiqa produces most of its own grain and many of its other staple crops, including dates and figs. However, the bulk of its imports are other foodstuffs, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood, and additional grain.
Since 2002 solar power has been the main energy source in Tabiqa, collected by massive solar farms in the desert. Before this the power grid relied extensively on geothermal and fossil fuel, energy sources that still supplement the country.
Most small communities continue to rely on fossil fuels as their primary electricity source, although some make use of solar or wind power.
Nomadic groups tend to rely little on electricity, using fire for cooking, heating water, and lighting. However, many now also use portable gas stoves, battery-powered electronics, and other devices that require more complex energy solutions.
Science and technology
There are more than eighty recognized ethnic groups among the Tabiqan population, at least sixteen of which are considered native to the region. Over half (53%) of the population, or 19.2 million people, is of one of the various Adzo-Neviric ethnic groups, including the Adzamasiin (33.1%) — the single most populous group in the country — the Dzimrani (6.13%), various Povani groups (4.8%) and Nevirans (2.7%), among others (6.27%).
The only other single group of over 1 million people are the Yachak Aani (4.6% or 1.7m).
Minority groups include immigrants, primarily from other Ekuosian countries, and descendants of slaves taken into Tabiqa in the time of the Adzamic Empire.
Tabiqa legally recognizes four different genders, and some parts of the population culturally recognize five or more genders as well.
The at-birth sex ratio is 1:0.98, or slightly more females than males. This is particularly strong in urban areas; in rural areas the ratio is closer to the natural 1:1.
As children age and choose their genders, the gender balance is typically around 42:41:8:9 (seen:ukraan:letheen:benthiin) for native Tabiqiri. Among immigrants, the ratio is rather different, at around 47:48:3:2.
Due to variation in life expectancy, the ratio of people 65-and-older (among the total population) is also somewhat different, at approximately 44:40:8:8.
Polling and historical data indicate that a fifth gender category (quuroshom) would be preferred by between 1-5% of the population, the vast majority of whom (88% according to 2016 polls) are currently registered as letheen or benthiin.
The official language of Tabiqa is Adzamasi. Standard Adzamasi and its related dialects are spoken natively by approximately 38% of the population, and fluently by a further 22%, for a total of 60% fluency in the nation. Most other inhabitants speak one of the two regional languages (Osuri (28%) or Kavahiri (25%)) natively or as a second language. In total, 96% of the country's population has a functional grasp of at least one of these languages, and nearly 85% are fully fluent in one.
There are many other languages native to the region, including other Adzamic languages such as Dzimraic, some other big ones, and Mazjeeri. Neviric languages, closely related to the Adzamic ones, are present along much of the eastern border with Povania. Isolates and something from Ebo Nganagam too also probably.
Immigration laws require that most immigrants have basic literacy in Adzamasi. Exceptions are made for native speakers of Kõ languages immigrating to the province of Osuria.
Primary education (K-8 in most provinces, K-10 in Mehyarāsa and Osuria) is available in public and private form. Public schools are not numerous enough to adequately serve the population, so upwards of 20% of children are given basic education only by their parents or community leaders.
Secondary and tertiary education are exclusively private.
Schools are overwhelmingly religious, teaching faith alongside the regular curriculum.
Most Tabiqan private schools are considered to be of very high quality, and privately-educated Tabiqiri are competitive applicants at international post-secondary institutions.
Tabiqa has a low literacy rate of 87%. The non-literate population is overwhelmingly nomadic or rural and over 40 years of age (96%), with the remaining 4% made up of the urban poor and those with intellectual or learning disabilities. Literacy initiatives put in place in the 70s have increased the rate in the under-40 group, although the nomadic and rural populations continue to lag behind their urban counterpart.
Healthcare is mostly privately-owned in Tabiqa. There are a small number of publicly-covered procedures, mostly in reproductive health and pediatrics, which can be acquired with no fee at most major hospitals in the nation, or can be reimbursed by the government if sufficient proof of the procedure is received.
There are two 'elite' hospitals in the nation which are exclusively private and not required to give free care for any reason. These are NAME and NAME hospitals in Mehyaran and Ziathi. They are renowned as the highest-quality hospitals in the nation, offering all services at a premium.
There is one fully publicly-funded hospitals in the Osuri province, located in Sedhishum'a. The NAME hospital was switched to public funds in 2015 as part of a pilot study by the provincial government with some help from the federal government. Premier Dhahnat Mahweja has unveiled plans to begin the transition of another hospital in 2018.
According to the 2011 census, 77% of the population follow some form of Quurožarq, primarily Temyarq (63%). About 26% of Quuoržiri self-defined as multi-faith. Other religions with significant followers are Iovism (13%), and Tanhunga (6%).
Tabiqa is internationally renowned for its modern architecture in its larger cities such as Mehyaran, Sedhishum'a, Ziathi, and Hadebal. It is also home to several architectural wonders of the ancient world.
Mehyaran is one of the fashion capitals of the world ((or at least it pretends that it is)).
Tabiqan food varies widely across different ecoregions of the country, although some ingredients are widely used throughout.
Important food ingredients found natively (or historically introduced) in the country include dates, millet, [Wikipedia:Bush_tomato|bush tomatoes], leeks, baobab nuts, blue agave, and goat milk and yoghurt.