Crowned Protectorate of Zaclaria
CORONATUS IEUERGIUA ZACLARIUM (Latin)
پادشاهی زکریا (Persian)
|Recognised national languages|
|Religion||de jure: Shazitnâmeh Isma'ilism |
|Demonym(s)||Zaclarian or Zaclaric|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
• Imperator (Monarch)
• Sultana (Head of State)
• Kingdom of Zaclaria
• Conquered by Oduniyyad Caliphate
• Zaclarian Revolution
• Province of Caphiria
• Al-Fassara Dynasty
• Crowned Protectorate
• 2030 census
• Per capita
Zaclaria, officially the Crowned Protectorate of the Sultanate of Zaclaria, is an Islamic country in southwest Audonia. According to the most recent 2035 census, Zaclaria's population is 64 million, making it the 6th-most populous country in Daria, the southeastern island of Audonia.. The capital of Zaclaria is Bayen and its largest city is Arhavza.
While the current state of Zaclaria has only existed for about two centuries, its history stretches back over two millennia. The region of the Mahabis Governorate is the site of the ancient Diwaisa civilization, famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world. As a whole, the area of Zaclaria has been home to successive civilizations since the 3rd millennium BC. Zaclaria was founded in 247 BC as a city-state and the Sultanate of Zaclaria was created in the 6th century. The Sultanate was conquered by Oduniyyad Caliphate in the 9th century until the Zaclarian Revolution in the 11th century, leading to the creation of the Emirate state which ruled for approximately 7 centuries and two dynasties. The Emirate collapsed in the late 18th century during the violent Ümmidre Revolution. In the early 19th century, Zaclaria was conquered and made into a province by the Imperium of Caphiria. This period lasted over a century until 1943 when the Al-Fassara Dynasty led a successful revolution for its independence and became a Crowned Protectorate of Caphiria.
Zaclaria is an Islamic parliamentary monarchy consisting of 15 Governorates led by the Sultan, the constitutional and hereditary monarch and head of state. The Sultan also holds the position of Imam and serves as the spiritual leader of Islam in Zaclaria, which practices a version of Nizari Isma'ilism called Shazitnâmeh. Since 2017, Arabella IX has been Sultana of Zaclaria, and has been married to the Imperator of Caphiria, Constantinus I since 2022.
Zaclaria is a highly developed country with heavy investment in the banking and tourism sectors; it has a powerful military backed by Caphiria, is a member of The Anosphere and the League of Nations, and has the second-largest economy in Audonia behind Pukhtunkhwa.
Zaclaria has a rich and extensive history, dating back from well before the innovation of the written record. The earliest attested archaeological artifacts in Zaclaria, like those excavated at Heydişehir and Aksarı in northern Zaclaria, confirm a human presence in Zaclaria since the Lower Paleolithic.
From the 10th to the seventh millennium BC, early agricultural communities began to flourish in and around the northern region of Zaclaria. The emergence of the ancient city Ankaraklar, as determined by radiocarbon dating, dates back to early 4,395 BC. There are dozens of prehistoric sites across the Zaclarian plateau, pointing to the existence of ancient cultures and urban settlements in the fourth millennium BC. During the Bronze Age, the territory of present-day Zaclaria was home to several civilizations, including Diwaisa, Çyr, and Akçaabad. Diwaisa, the most prominent of these civilizations, developed in the southeast alongside those near Koushahr Bay, and continued its existence until the emergence of the Sultanates. By the second millennium BC, the ancient Zaclarian people arrived in what is now Zaclaria from the Central Audonian Steppe, rivaling the native settlers of the region. The sharing of early Audonian cuneiform in the 13th century BC advanced contact among civilizations as formal states emerged. Four major city-states rose to prominence towards the end of the second millennium BC; Diwaisa and Yahli in the south, Çyr in the west, and Gökçarreh to the east.
Into the start of the first millennium BC, a period of rapid and intense cultural development punctuated by sporadic warfare between the city-states and other Audonian civilizations began. This period also saw the first limited interaction with Istroyan civilization from the far west, beginning towards the 15th century BC. As the Istroyans began to establish permanent settlements along the Audonian coast, they introduced advanced metallurgy, sailing techniques, and new crops and animals to the continent. Many Audonian city-states and civilizations, including Diwaisa were either assimilated or conquered under the Istroyans between the 11th and 7th century BC, a period known as the Istroyan Golden Age.
As the Istroyan civilization began to slip into decline in the 6th century BC and retreat back to the eastern coast of Sarpedon, various Audonian city-states and empires emerged. In the first half the century, under Édoğukanton, king of Sainhahr, the city-states of Diwaisa, Çyr, and Ghah entered into an alliance with each other in order to stabilize the region. This alliance lasted approximately seven decades before Edoğukanton III ended the alliance, conquering them under the Sainhahrid Empire. Sainhahrid rule saw unprecedented economic and population growth throughout Sainhahr and a renaissance of culture and artwork, with the Sainhahrid kings conducting massive building projects, especially in the capital of the empire, Our-Orra itself, and bringing back many elements from the previous two thousand or so years of Diwaisan culture. The Sainhahr Empire would be short-lived, being conquered after less than a century by the Farsiwan Empire.
The Farsiwan Empire was an ancient Audonian empire that would control most of Audonia and even parts of Punth for several hundred centuries. The empire, which incorporated various peoples of different origins and faiths, saw immense cultural development and is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration (through satraps under the King of Kings), for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The Farsiwan Empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far as Daxia. Under Farsiwan rule, the satrapy of Diwaisa was strategically important as it served as both a barrier between the Occident world as its western border and as a sort of liaison as the south was prone to revolts. The Kings of the Farsiwan Empire became reliant on Diwaisa to keep the peace and as a result, the satrapy of Diwaisa became one of the wealthiest and influential satrapies. The capital of Diwaisa, Zaishiyara, would become one of the four capital cities.
In early 4th century BC, the Farsiwan Empire began to decline and become unstable, with large portions of the empire governed by jealous and unreliable satraps and inhabited by disaffected and rebellious subjects. Iskander, King of the Istroyan Empire, invaded and conquered the remainder of the Farsiwan Empire in the 330s BC. During this era, the region of Diwaisa was renamed to its capital Zaishiyara by the ancient Istroyans, who referred to it by its latinized Zaklosia, the center of pearl trading. Iskander had planned to settle Istroyans colonists in Zaklosia, and although it is not clear that this happened on the scale he envisaged, Zaklosia became very much part of the Occidental world: the language of the upper classes was Istroyan (although Classical Audonian was in everyday use), while Zeus was worshipped in the form of the Audonian sun-god Shams. Zaklosia even became the site of Istroyan athletic contests.
Zaklosia played a role in the commercial activity of the Istroyans, contributing at least two commodities: precious pearls and purple dye. Over centuries tribes from the east and north settled in Zaklosia , making a living by fishing, farming, herding or stock breeding, and many present day Zaclarian families trace their ancestral roots to other parts of Audonia. Zaklosia's pre-Islamic population consisted of Christian Audonians (mostly Abd al-Qays), Audonians (Zoroastrians), Jews, and Audonian-speaking agriculturalists. In the 1st century BC, the Istroyan Empire was subsequently divided into a number of small kingdoms and from the 1st century BC up to the 3rd century CE, large parts of modern-day Zaclaria were contested between the Istroyan Empire and Audonian kingdoms. An Audonian warlord named Safiq Al-Mutayed rose to power through an unprecedented military campaign through southeastern Audonia. Many campaigns were quick piratical raids, but others were large-scale attacks in which many Audonians were slaughtered and great wealth carried off or destroyed. In 267 AD, Al-Mutayed founded the Kingdom of Zaclaria, which dominated and controlled the region around Koushahr Bay. The formation of the Kingdom is considered to be the start of the ancient Zaclarian civilization associated history.
In the late 6th century AD, Islam began to spread throughout Audonia and by the start of the 7th century, it had expanded across the entire continent. The Kingdom of Zaclaria came into contact with early Islam in 611, where secret and infrequent meetings began led by Mu'taz el-Tamer, who was given important roles in the nascent Muslim community by the Prophet Muhammad. After several months of meeting in secret, el-Tamer was granted an audience with Ali Reza Qasemi, the crown prince of Zaclaria. Qasemi appeared to have readily embraced Islam and converted in 613 making him the first Zaclarian Muslim. By 622, Zaclaria had fully converted to Islam. Under Muhammad, the Oduniyyad Caliphate was established as the world's first Islamic empire after winning two decisive battles that saw Muhammad's armies being outnumbered four-to-one; this made many cities and settlements across Audonia pledged allegiance to Muhammad and converted voluntarily to the Islamic faith.
Muhammad died in 632, which launched a series of conflicts between Muhammad's successor Abu Bakr and rebel Audonian caliphates who were led by a number of people who claimed prophethood. These conflicts were called the Ridda wars and lasted approximately a decade. One of the Muslim apostates, Musaylimah, established a caliphate in Zaclaria in 633.
As Caliph of Zaclaria, Musaylimah's religious reformations were particularly unique as he was heavily influenced by mainstream Christianity, of which his tribesmen were followers; he was also influenced by Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism - he prohibited the consumption of pigs and wine, taught three daily prayers to the Allah, facing no particular side. He criticized Muslims for selecting Kabaah or earlier Jerusalem as the direction of prayers, saying that God is not limited to any direction and that Muhammad never wanted to make it compulsory to face the Kabaah. He also asked for night fasting instead of Ramadan fasting during day, and didn't require circumcision. He considered men and women equal and allowed free marriages without the need of bridal money. He further declared polygamy as sinful. He also believed in transmigration of souls and reincarnation but finally all the souls would be judged by God on the Day of Judgement. He was also against including his or any Prophet's name in chantings to God, saying that mixing veneration to God with veneration to human beings is unfair and ungodly.
During the Ridda wars, Soraya Al-Fassara ibn Hedayati declared that she was a prophetess after learning that Musaylimah and others had declared prophethood; 8,500 people gathered around her to march on Medina. However, her planned attack on Medina was called off after she learned that the army of another self-proclaimed prophet had been decidedly defeated by the ever-growing Oduniyyad Caliphate. Thereafter, she sought cooperation with Musaylimah to oppose the threat of Oduniyyad Caliphate and a mutual understanding was initially reached with Musaylimah. Later, the two married and she accepted his self-declared prophethood. Musaylimah fought and was killed in the Battle of Yamama by Wahshi ibn Harb, the same man who had killed Muhammad's uncle, Hamza, in the battle of Uhud before his conversion to Islam. Upon hearing this, Hedayati disappeared in the Esmorieh Mountains for two years. Interestingly due to unknown circumstances, the Oduniyyad Caliphate seemed to have forgotten about the Caliphate of Zaclaria; the two most popular reasons are that the Oduniyyad Caliphate was too concerned with its western expansion across the Istroyan Sea into Istroya and its eastern conquests into Punth, and that the Zaclarian Caliphate had already been effectively ended with the death of Musaylimah.
In 636, Soraya Al-Fassara ibn Hedayati emerged from the Esmorieh Mountains and reclaimed her status as a prophetess, sharing verses and purporting them to have been revelations from Allah and telling crowds that Muhammad had shared power with her. After several months of increasingly popular support, she declared herself Caliph of Zaclaria but this was met with swift rejection as the theological opinion of the time was that a woman may hold a secular office of authority but not the spiritual office of caliph. The Oduniyyad Caliphate eventually picked up on what was going on and sent a local general-governor, Umar al-Ben, to formally end the revolt. Umar al-Ben was a staunch Islamic fundamentalist and wanted to make an example out of a female Muslim apostate; he arrived in Zaclaria with a reported army size of 42,295 against Hedayati's army of around 10,212. The Battle of Apostate Zaclaria was fought in the third week of December. On the orders of Umar, the Oduniyyad Muslims advanced. They launched a series of attacks along Hedayati's entire front. The most dreadful carnage took place in a gulley in which human blood ran in a rivulet down to the wadi. As a result, this gulley became known as the Gulley of Blood-Shueib-ud-Dam, and it is still known by that name. Only about a quarter of Hedayati's army remained in fighting shape, and this part hastened to the walled garden while Muhakim (commander of the right wing) covered its retreat with a small rear-guard. Soon the Oduniyyad Muslims arrived at the walled garden, where a little over 2,200 rebels, Hedayati among them, had taken shelter. The rebels had closed the gate and the Oduniyyad Muslims were anxious to get into the garden and finish the job. The rebels stepped back as the Oduniyyad Muslims poured into the garden; the fighting became more vicious and Hedayati was still fighting with no intention of giving up. The Oduniyyad Muslim army pressed the rebels everywhere. Hedayati became the target of Umar al-Ben, who threw a javelin which struck Hedayati in the stomach; as Hedayati tried to crawl away, she was cornered by several soldiers. Umar then cut off Hedayati's head. The news of the death of Hedayati brought about the rout of his forces. The garden where this last phase of the battle took place became known as the "Garden of Death", as the approximately 10,000 rebels within it were slaughtered. This formally ended the Ridda wars and was the final blow to the Caliphate of Zaclaria, which was conquered by the Oduniyyad Caliphate in 637.
Oduniyyad Caliphate (637-1089)
After the conclusion of the Battle of Apostate Zaclaria, a general named Amir ibn Saydani was installed as provincial governor for Zaclaria, known as al-Kurush, within the Oduniyyad Caliphate. The new government led by Saydani ended martial law while also bringing the Caliphate's laws into effect despite major peasant and craftsmen revolts in 635 and 642 against the suppression of traditional laws. The first two decades of Oduniyyad rule in al-Kurush were recorded by contemporary historian Umar Assam as featuring rapid assimilation and reconstruction. By the middle of the 7th century, the region had returned to stability, symbolized by the groundbreaking of Al-Isra palace-temple complex. By the mid-8th century, al-Kurush came to be considered one of the heartland provinces of the expanding Caliphate.
The Oduniyyad Caliphate flourished in the Middle Ages and al-Kurush likewise benefited from economic and scientific developments; the first hospital on the region was created in the early ninth century and the first university, the School of al-Melit, was chartered in the late 10th century. The region of al-Kurush became one of the many intellectual centers in Audonia and was at the forefront of the Islamic Golden Age; an observatory in al-Alay observed several planetary transits in 1032, ginger and sassafras were commonly cultivated plants used frequently as remedies for medieval ailments, tea was also introduced from Punth during the Oduniyyad era, sometime during the 10th century. The cultivation of tea became a major economic activity and production swelled to meet the demands both of Audonia, especially after the schism of the two caliphates, as well as western markets in Levantia and Sarpedon, eventually reaching as far as Crona.
The start of the 11th century saw the Oduniyyad Caliphate begin to decline as it dealt with several incidents: the rise of Shia Islam forced the Caliphate to deal with several campaigns and conflicts, the First Crusades were launched by the Catholic Church, and colonialism, sectarianism and infighting contributed to open rebellion which in turn dismantled the Caliphate and ultimately fractured it into separate, smaller states. The region of al-Kurush was able to take advantage of the disorganization at the start, waging its war for independence in 1085. After a relatively short conflict, the Caliphate seceded and al-Kurush was given its independence in 1089, primarily so that the Caliphate could focus its attention on more significant matters.
Emirate of Zaclaria (1095-1804)
Caphirian period (1804-1943)
Modern period (1943-Present)
Zaclaria is situated west of Koushahr Bay in the southeast region of Audonia. It's bordered by the Republic of Umardwal in the north, the Emirate of Battganuur to the east, and Yanuban to the south.
A vast gravel desert plain covers most of central Zaclaria, with mountain ranges along the north (Kacevaz Mountains) and southwest coast (Esmorieh Mountains), where the country's main cities are also located: the capital city Bayen, Verci, and Sur-Sec in the south, and Kozlucak in the north. Zaclaria's climate is hot and dry in the interior and humid along the coast. During past epochs, Zaclaria was covered by ocean, witnessed by the large numbers of fossilized shells existing in areas of the desert away from the modern coastline. Most of the coastal area is hilly, sometimes even mountainous, and there are many natural harbours.
The Zaclarian landscape consists generally of four geographical areas: the central plateau known as the Najar, the coastal desert known as the Osmaior, the Burhaniyah desert which covers most of Zaclaria, and a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion known as the Duradiyah.
The Najar plateau runs from north to south, bordered by the Sevre-Les coast in the northwest and the Tanavi coast in the southwest. The Najar itself can be segmented into the highlands (Najareali) and lowlands (Najarchini). Within the wide, flat Najar Plateau is the majority of Zaclaria's population and economic activity, as well as most of the arable land. The altitude ranges between 1,000 m (3,300 ft) and 2,100 m (6,900 ft), highest in the north where the Kacevaz Mountains are and sloping gently downwards towards the west and south to meet the Esmorieh Mountains.
The Osmaior desert, while popularly known as a desert, has a variety of localised environments, including some verdant and technically non-desert areas. The Osmaior stretches across most of the coastal interior and bleeds to the coastline. A semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains, the Osmaior actually supports more animals and plants than a true desert, such as the Burhaniyah to its east. Due to its low aridity, the Osmaior supports a variety of flora. The native flora includes acacia trees and many other herbs and grasses. A number of unusual species of plants and animals are found in this desert, many of which are endemic and highly adapted to the specific climate of the area.
The Burhaniyah is a broad expanse of hyper-arid gravel, gravel with no moisture, plains and dunes that stretches throughout the interior of Zaclaria, which varies in width between 100 and many hundreds of kilometres. Areas within the Burhaniyah include the Sevre-Les, Tanavi, and Siveira. Several rivers and streams run through the Burhaniyah, although all of the rivers south of the Vandra River and north of the Malkot River are ephemeral and rarely or never reach the ocean The Burhaniyah is one of the most mineral-rich regions of the world, serving as an important location of minerals such as andalusite, chromium, fluorspar, platinum and vanadium. It also contains a large portion of the world's reserves of mining of tungsten, salt and diamonds.
The Duradiyah is one of Zaclaria's most well-known geographical features. It is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion, with elevation varying from 750 to 1,400 m and the annual rainfall from 350 mm to 600 mm. The Duradiyah is mainly well-grassed plains are dotted by dense clusters of trees and tall shrubs. The grasses found here are generally tall and turn brown or pale in winter, which is the dry season throughout most of Zaclaria. This region is home to many large mammal species including white rhino, black rhino, giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, impala and a variety of species and other game.There are three significant mountain ranges in this region, the Kacevaz Mountains to the north, the Esmorieh Mountains in the south, and the Qazairabad escarpment in the east. As most of the region tends to be dry, the Duradiyah is mostly beef cattle and game farming country, with only a few drought-resistant crops such as sorghum and millet being farmed, usually under irrigation.
Zaclaria has a wide range of biodiversity. Its location lends itself with exceptional concentrations of endemic species undergoing rapid rates of habitat loss, and is therefore considered to be a hotspot for conservation priority. Avifauna are notably variant. The avifauna of Zaclaria includes a total of 454 species, five of which have been introduced by humans, and 156 are rarely or accidentally seen.
Wildlife includes the Audonian leopard, wolf, striped hyena, mongoose, baboon, hare, sand cat, and jerboa. Animals such as gazelles, oryx, leopards and cheetahs were relatively numerous until the 19th century, when extensive hunting reduced these animals almost to extinction. Birds include falcons (which are caught and trained for hunting), eagles, hawks, vultures, sandgrouse, and bulbuls. There are several species of snakes, many of which are venomous. Domesticated animals include the legendary Audonian horse, Arabian camel, sheep, goats, cows, donkeys, chickens etc. Reflecting the country's dominant desert conditions, Zaclaria's plant life mostly consists of herbs, plants and shrubs that require little water. The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is widespread.
Zaclaria is home to a rich marine life. The Bahari Sea in particular is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1200 species of fish have been recorded in the Bahari Sea, and around 10 percent of these are found nowhere else. This also includes 42 species of deepwater fish. The rich diversity is in part due to the 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of coral reef extending along its coastline; these fringing reefs are 5000–7000 years old and are largely formed of stony acropora and porites corals. The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders. These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of Bahari Sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark. The Bahari Sea also contains many offshore reefs including several true atolls. Many of the unusual offshore reef formations defy classic (i.e., Darwinian) coral reef classification schemes, and are generally attributed to the high levels of tectonic activity that characterize the area.
The Derit lion, hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspecies native to Zaclaria and is a national emblem. The last Derit lion in the wild was shot in the Kacevaz Mountains in 1922. The other two primary predators of northern Africa, the Khasse bear and Derit leopard, are now extinct and critically endangered, respectively. Relict populations of the South Audonian crocodile persisted in the Yeşille river until the 20th century. The Derit macaque, a primate endemic to Zaclaria and south Audonia, is also facing extinction due to offtake for trade human interruption, urbanisation, wood and real estate expansion that diminish forested area – the macaque's habitat.
Trade of animals and plants for food, pets, medicinal purposes, souvenirs and photo props is common across Zaclaria, despite laws making much of it illegal. This trade is unregulated and causing unknown reductions of wild populations of native Zaclarian wildlife. Because of the proximity to Punth, species such as cacti, tortoises, mammal skins, and high-value birds (falcons and bustards) are harvested in various parts of the country and exported in appreciable quantities, with especially large volumes of eel harvested – 60 tons exported to the Far East in the last decade.
Government and politics
Zaclaria calls its form of government an Islamic crowned republic - a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Zaclaria has a parliamentary system within the context of a constitutional monarchy—the monarchy of Zaclaria being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The state officially practices a sub-branch of Shia Islam called Shazitnâmeh Isma'ilism. The Shazitnâmeh is a set of Islamic laws and principles that form the legal and moral framework of the government of Zaclaria. The Sultan is considered the highest authority in interpreting and enforcing these laws, as they are both the secular political leader and the religious leader - "Commander of the Faithful" or Imam.The government of Zaclaria has been called a hybrid regime by political journalists. Whether the sovereign state should be regarded as a constitutional monarchy or an absolute monarchy is disputed.
The Constitution of Zaclaria provides for an Islamic monarchy with a Parliament and an independent judiciary. As a Crowned Protectorate, the reigning monarch is Constantinus I (despite Caphirian cultural norms that dislike using titles such as king or monarch) who has the formal title of "Imperator of the Crowned Protectorate of Zaclaria". However, the direct participation of the Imperator in areas of governance is limited; the head of state, the Sultan of Zaclaria (or the female equivalent Sultana) appoints a Prime Minister who serves as the head of government.
The constitution grants the Sultan extensive powers; they are both the secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. They preside over the Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister following legislative elections, and on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the government. While the constitution theoretically allows the Sultan to terminate the tenure of any minister, and after consultation with the head of the National Council, to dissolve the Parliament, suspend the constitution, call for new elections, or rule by decree, this has rarely occurred throughout modern history. The Prime Minister is elected for five-year terms. After the election, the Sultan nominates the candidate of the party which gained the most votes to form a government within a month. The nominee must submit its program to the National Council and get the trust of the majority of its members before being formally appointed the Head of Government by the Sultan. Regional governors and local administrators also are appointed by the central government. Mayors and municipal councils are elected.
The National Council is Zaclaria's legislative branch of government. It is unicameral and consists of 211 members elected for a five-year term. Zaclarian electoral law requires "vertical gender parity", i.e. male and female candidates must alternate within each party's regional list of candidates. Consequently, as of 2035, 38 of the chamber's members are women, which is one of the highest proportions of female legislative representatives in the Islamic world. The National Council's responsibilities include budgetary matters, approving bills, questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of inquiry to investigate the government's actions.
The High Royal Court is the supreme court within the Judiciary of Zaclaria. It has ultimate and extensive appellate, original, and advisory jurisdictions on all courts (including the high courts, district, special, and Sharia court), involving issues of laws and may act on the verdicts rendered on the cases in the context in which it enjoys jurisdiction. In the court system of Zaclaria, the High Royal Court is the final arbiter of legal and constitutional disputes as well as the final interpreter of constitutional law, and the highest court of appeal in Zaclaria. In its modern composition, the High Royal Court is composed of the Royal Chief Justice of Zaclaria, fifteen justices, and two ad-hoc who are confirmed to their appointment by the Sultan upon their nominations from the Prime Minister's selection based on their merited qualifications. Justices are appointed for five lustra, or five five-year terms.
Zaclaria is divided into 15 Governorates (ostān), each governed by an appointed governor (ostāndār). Governors are appointed by the Ministry of State and govern from a local center, usually the largest local city, which is the capital (Markaz). Governorates are further divided into regions (šahrestān) and subdivided into districts (baxš) and sub-districts (dehestān). Cities are headed by mayors (amin).
While not constituent units of the country, the government has grouped Governorates together into five administrative regions (manâteq), the purpose of which was the creation of synergy, transfer of experience, information exchange, and regional development. Also, it now provides an intermediate level where Governorates can discuss their problems among themselves, instead of going immediately to the Oshnaverci Palace.
|Hampiègne||Arhavza||Cadem Mahioğlu||16,717,212||North Region|
|Dorazjan||Traphaël||Islan Aykutairi||7,732,413||West Region|
|Mont-Mala||Sartachi||Irahmi Shaatchi||6,491,306||Central Region|
|Suşehir||Najar||Tahmad Nazarafaral||630,000||South Region|
|Aksarceli||Évres||Salal El-Barat||2,809,777||East Region|
The Royal Defense Forces of Zaclaria (RDF) consist of five branches:
- Royal Ground Defense Forces (RGDF)
- Royal Naval Defense Forces (RNDF)
- Royal Air Defense Forces (RADF)
- Royal Guard Defense Forces (RGDF)
- Royal Strategic Defense Forces (RSDF)
With a budget of $24 billion, military expenditure consumes approximately 1.615% of Zaclaria's GDP which is among the smallest in the world. That being said, it represents 6% of government spending which puts it among the top 15 highest. This is a result of Zaclaria relying on the Imperial Armed Forces of Caphiria as its primary military force, with Zaclaria's own military primarily serving in a domestic capacity. The RDF has 427,190 active-duty personnel and 2,944,000 in its reserves, for a total strength of 3,371,190.
Although initially small in number, the RDF have grown significantly over the years and are presently equipped with some of the most modern weapon systems, purchased from a variety of military advanced countries, mainly Caphiria and its partners. Starting in 2032, Zaclaria has begun to produce a greater amount of military equipment in a bid to reduce foreign dependence and help with national industrialisation.
Conscription exists in Zaclaria and is mandatory for all Zaclarian citizens over the age of 17; the normal length of compulsory service is currently two years and six months for men (with some roles requiring an additional six months of service), and two years for women (with some roles that requiring an additional eight months of service). After conscripts finish their military service, they are automatically placed on the reserve roster. As a result of its conscription program, Zaclaria has one of the world's highest percentage of citizens with military training. An alternative for those who receive exemptions on various grounds is Kābāžor, or national service, which involves a program of service in hospitals, schools and other social welfare frameworks. Inappropriate situation of Zaclarian soldiers has caused violent incidents in recent years. Most of Zaclarian soldiers suffer from depression. In addition, some researchers have reported high rate of suicide among Zaclarian conscripts.
The Royal Ground Defense Forces are responsible for land and ground based operations. The RGDF has 122,715 active soldiers and includes five ground-warfare corps of specific military functions. The Royal Naval Defense Forces are the naval warfare service arm of Zaclaria. The RNDF operates in the Farus Sea and has 104,112 active personnel. The RNDF is believed to be responsible for maintaining part of Caphiria's offshore nuclear second strike capability. The Royal Air Defense Forces developed from a largely defensive military force into one with an advanced offensive capability and has undergone a continual reorganisation and expansion in terms of both capability and numbers of aircraft. The RADF has around 98,430 personnel and 550 aircraft.
The Royal Guard Defenses are the principal law enforcement agency and domestic security service branch, consisting of the Royal Guard - who report directly to the Sultan and for security reasons maintain a separate communications network, the National Guard - which serves both as defence force against external threats and as a security force against internal threats , and Border Guard - responsible for guarding land and sea borders. The RGDF has around 75,755 personnel.
The Royal Strategic Defense Forces is the strategic and tactical missile forces of Zaclaria. The RSDF is divided in three forces: Offensive Force, Defensive Force, and Tactical Force. The RSDF controls the nation's arsenal of land-based ballistic missiles—both (thermo)nuclear and conventional. The RSDF has an estimated 26,178 personnel.
Zaclaria is an export-oriented country in the process of liberalizing and privatizing an economy that, while averaging 5% GDP growth since the early 1970s, has suffered from corruption benefiting politically connected elites. Zaclaria's Penal Code criminalises several forms of corruption, including active and passive bribery, abuse of office, extortion and conflicts of interest, but the anti-corruption framework is not effectively enforced. The Zaclarian economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed by the law of supply and demand. Since 1993, the country has followed a policy of privatisation of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government. Zaclaria has a diverse economy, ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and petroleum products, to tourism. In 2035, the GDP of Zaclaria was $1.5 trillion.
The agricultural sector accounts for 11.6% of the GDP, industry 25.7%, and services 62.8%. The industrial sector is mainly made up of clothing and footwear manufacturing, production of car parts, and electric machinery. Other key sectors of the Zaclarian economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, and machine industry. Tourism accounted for 7% of GDP and 370,000 jobs.
Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Zaclaria largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Imports to Zaclaria, totaling $66.76 billion in 2027, include raw materials, military equipment, investment goods, rough diamonds, fuels, grain, and consumer goods. Leading exports include machinery and equipment, software, cut diamonds, agricultural products, chemicals, and textiles and apparel.
Citrus fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, olive oil, and wine—traditional agricultural products—continued to be important in the 1980s. In 1983 they represented 12%, 12%, 8%, 6%, and 4%, respectively, of the country's agricultural production. Because of the changed diet of an increasingly affluent population, there was a notable increase in the consumption of livestock, poultry, and dairy products. Meat production for domestic consumption became the single most important agricultural activity, accounting for 30% of all farm-related production in 1983. Increased attention to livestock was the reason that Zaclaria became a net importer of grains. Fresh vegetables and fruits produced through intensive irrigation farming also became important export commodities, as did sunflower seed oil.
Zaclaria offers businesses a strong enabling environment: stable political and macroeconomic conditions, a future-oriented government, good general infrastructure and ICT infrastructure. Zaclaria is also in the top ranks of several global indices, such as the Doing Business, the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), the World Happiness Report (WHR) and the Global Innovation Index (GII). Zaclaria emerges as top Islamic country in areas such as living, safety and security, economic opportunities, and starting a business, and as an example for other Islamic States to emulate. However, weaker points remain the level of education across the UAE population, limitations in the financial and labour markets, barriers to trade and some regulations that hinder business dynamism. The major challenge for the country, though, remains translating investments and strong enabling conditions into knowledge, innovation and creative outputs. Zaclarian law does not allow trade unions to exist, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are not recognised, and the Ministry of Labor has the power to force workers to go back to work. Migrant workers who participate in a strike can have their work permits cancelled and be deported.
Tourism in Zaclaria has increased almost every year in the 21st century and is an important part of the economy, with the country's temperate climate, beaches, archaeological, other historical and biblical sites, and unique geography also drawing tourists. Zaclaria has also become a popular destination for culture, spa, and health care. Large government sponsored marketing campaigns to attract tourists advertised Zaclaria as a cheap and exotic, yet safe, place for tourists. Most of the visitors to Zaclaria continue to be Occidental, who tend visit in April and the autumn. Since air services between Zaclaria and Chaukhira have been established, many Burgundian nationals have gone to Zaclaria to shop and visit family and friends. Zaclaria is relatively inexpensive because of its usage of the Aureus. Zaclaria has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities and tourist destinations with ports and cities with international airports. Low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to the country.
Modern infrastructure development, such as ports, airports, and rail links, is a top government priority. To meet the growing domestic demand, the Zaclarian government invested more than $25 billion from 2010 to 2015 in upgrading its basic infrastructure. Zaclaria also benefits from the rapid infrastructural development of Caphiria, which it models its own from. Over the past 20 years, the government has built approximately 2510 kilometers of modern roads, connecting most major cities via toll expressways. The Zaclarian Ministry of Infrastructure aims to build an additional 3380 kilometers of expressway and 2100 kilometers of highway by 2040, at an expected cost of $10 billion.
Responsibility of the management of power in Zaclaria is handled by the Ministry of Energy, who is responsible for developing and implementing policies concerning petroleum and related products, as well as the industry and mineral resources operations and renewable energy efforts.
The majority of the electricity used in Zaclaria is produced locally, by the state-owned company Crown Electricity. Crown Electricity produces 15,210 GWh annually. Oil production in Zaclaria is handled by the 22 oil fields across the country, producing 107,600 barrels per day. Zaclaria has three nuclear power plants operational and plans to have two more by 2045 and considering other options to diversify its energy mix, such as renewable energies, coal, shale gas, liquified natural gas and constructing a submarine power interconnection to Pukhtunkhwa.
Zaclaria began producing natural gas from its own offshore gas fields in 1997 and produces 8 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year. Zaclaria had 244 billion cubic meters (bcm) of proven reserves of natural gas as of the start of 2038.
In 2022, Crown Electricity entered the solar power industry with Crown Solar and began to build four commercial solar fields; each field is twenty acres and is expected to produce green energy amounting to 4.95 megawatts (MW). Each field consists of 18,500 photovoltaic panels which will produce about 9 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year.
Non-renewable energy sources used in Zaclaria are nuclear (3 operative reactors), gas, coal, and oil. Fossil fuels together generated 58% of Zaclaria's electricity in 2035, just below the OECD mean of 61%. Nuclear power generated another 19%, and wind and hydro about 12% each. Other renewable energies used in Zaclaria are hydroelectric, biomass and marine (2 power plants under construction)
Water supply and sanitation in Zaclaria is characterised by achievements and challenges. Over the past decades access to drinking water has become almost universal and access to adequate sanitation has also increased substantially. Autonomous utilities have been created in the 15 Governorates of Zaclaria and cost recovery has been increased, thus providing the basis for the sustainability of service provision. Intermittent supply, which was common in many cities, has become less frequent. In 2035, 61% of the wastewater collected through sewers was being treated. Remaining challenges include the need to further increase wastewater treatment, to reduce the high level of non-revenue water hovering around 50% and to expand access to adequate sanitation in rural areas.
Water supply and sanitation in Zaclaria is provided by a wide array of utilities. They range from private companies in the largest city, Arhavza, the capital, Bayen, and eight other cities, to public municipal utilities in 13 other cities, as well as a national electricity and water company. The latter is in charge of bulk water supply to the aforementioned utilities, water distribution in about 500 small towns, as well as sewerage and wastewater treatment in 60 of these towns.
There have been substantial improvements in access to water supply, and to a lesser extent to sanitation, over the past fifteen years. Remaining challenges include a low level of wastewater treatment (only 13% of collected wastewater is being treated), lack of house connections in the poorest urban neighbourhoods, and limited sustainability of rural systems (20 percent of rural systems are estimated not to function). In 2005 a National Sanitation Program was approved that aims at treating 60% of collected wastewater and connecting 80% of urban households to sewers by 2020. The issue of lack of water connections for some of the urban poor is being addressed as part of the National Human Development Initiative, under which residents of informal settlements have received land titles and have fees waived that are normally paid to utilities in order to connect to the water and sewer network.
Zaclaria has an extensive and well-developed road network. Many of these roads have been improved to become multi-lane dual-carriageway motorways, coping with the high demand for road transportation. Speed limits are 160 km/h (99 mph) on freeways, 100 km/h (62 mph) on rural roads, and 60 or 80 km/h (37 or 50 mph) on urban dual-carriageways. Heavy trucks and buses are installed with speed limiters to prevent overspeeding. The Zaclarian road system is mainly centralised, with eight major highways connecting the Governorates. Zaclaria aims to put one million electric cars on the road by 2024 as part of the government's plan to save energy and boost energy efficiency. The Ministry of Transportation is responsible for all aspects of transport, including roads, railways, and ports.
Public transport systems in Zaclaria include the public buses, taxis, ferries, and hydroplanes. There are also public buses serving the airport. In an attempt to entice people to use the bus system. There are also public buses serving the airport. In an attempt to entice people to use the bus system, all routes are zero-fare until the end of 2040. The routes, which operate between 6 am and midnight every day, run at a frequency of 10 to 20 minutes. The bus system services 11,540 routes and transported over 29 million people in 2030. By the end of 2040, there will be 22,100 buses in service across the country. In 2035, the Transport authority announced the construction of 5,000 air-conditioned (A/C ) Passenger Bus Shelters, and planned for 1,000 more across Zaclaria in a move to encourage the use of public buses.
All taxi services are licensed by the Ministry of Transportation. Zaclaria licensed taxis are easily identifiable by their cream bodywork colour and varied roof colours identifying the operator. Zaclaria Taxi Corporation, a division of the Ministry, is the largest operator and has taxis with red roofs. There are five private operators: Metro Taxis (orange roofs); Network Taxis (yellow roofs); Cars Taxis (blue roofs); Audonia Taxis (green roofs); and City Taxis (purple roof). In addition, there is a Ladies and Families taxi service (pink roofs) with female drivers, which caters exclusively for women and children.
There are 27 public airports in Zaclaria, 5 of which are international. Al-Fassara International Airport is the busiest in Zaclaria and among the busiest airports in the world, serving 31,833,324 passengers in 2035. In addition to being an important passenger traffic hub, the airport is the sixth-busiest cargo airport in world, handling 2.37 million tons of cargo. Domestic air transport is in fierce competition with high speed rail. Zaclaria's national railway company, Saintois, operates a high-speed rail system BANDI which can achieve speeds of up to 310 km/h (193 mph). The BANDI system is the longest HSR network in Audonia with 2,665 km (1,656 mi) and the second in the world, after Caphiria. BANDI trains run on a network of dedicated high-speed rail track owned and managed by Saintois. The BANDI service guarantees arrival within five minutes of the advertised time, and offers a full refund if the train is delayed further, although only 0.16% of trains have been so. In this regard, the punctuality of BANDI is exceptional compared to other non-long-distance Saintois services.
There are four major commercial ports in Zaclaria, Port Bayen in Bayen, Port Kangou in Kozlucak, Port Maint-Anne in Arhavza, and Port Esfarah in Ashtia. There are dozens of smaller ports across the coast.
Prior to the start of the telecommunications liberalisation process in the 1990s, Zaclaria was served by a duopoly of two telecommunications operators: Parelo Communications and Santin. Today, private sector companies operate in mobile telephony, long distance telephony and Internet access. There were 16.5 million fixed phone lines, 32.8 million mobile phone subscribers, and 26.2 million broadband subscribers. The regulator, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, a subset of the Ministry of Technology, mandates filtering websites for religious, political and sexual content. 5G wireless services were installed nationwide in late 2023.
Science and technology
The Zaclarian government has been implementing reforms to improve the quality of education and make research more responsive to socio-economic needs. In May 2019, the government announced greater support for science during a meeting at the National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research. The aim was to give universities greater financial autonomy from the government to make them more responsive to research needs and better able to forge links with the private sector, in the hope that this would nurture a culture of entrepreneurship in academia. They announced that investment in science and technology would rise from $620,000 in 2008 to $18.5 million in 2009, in order to finance the refurbishment and construction of laboratories, training courses for researchers in financial management, a scholarship programme for postgraduate research and incentive measures for companies prepared to finance research, such as giving them access to scientific results that they could then use to develop new products.
The Zaclarian Innovation Strategy was launched at the country's first National Innovation Summit in June 2009 by the Ministry of Commerce. The Zaclarian Innovation Strategy fixed the target of producing 1,000 Zaclarian patents and creating 200 innovative start-ups by 2014. In 2012, Zaclarian inventors applied for 197 patents, up from 152 two years earlier. In 2011, the Ministry of Commerce created a Zaclarian Club of Innovation, in partnership with the Office of Industrial and Commercial Property. The idea is to create a network of players in innovation, including researchers, entrepreneurs, students and academics, to help them develop innovative projects.
As of 2037, Zaclaria had thirteen technoparks. Since the first technopark was established in Bayen in 2005, a second has been set up in Arhavza, followed, in 2015, by a third in Traphaël. The technoparks host start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises specializing in information and communication technologies (ICTs), 'green' technologies (namely, environmentally friendly technologies) and cultural industries.
Today, Zaclaria's development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and life sciences have made it a major player in the high-tech industry and has one of the world's most technologically literate populations. Zaclaria's high technology industry has benefited from both the country's highly educated and technologically skilled workforce coupled with the strong presence of foreign high-tech firms and sophisticated research centres. Zaclaria boasts 140 scientists, technicians, and engineers per 10,000 employees, the highest number in the world. Zaclaria has also led the world in stem-cell research papers per capita. Although Zaclaria does not have an ‘umbrella type’ policy for science, technology and innovation optimizing priorities and allocating resources, it does implement, de facto, an undeclared set of best practices combining bottom-up and top-down processes via government offices, such as those of the Chief Scientist or the Minister of Science and Space and Technology.
As of 2038, the total population of Zaclaria is around 64,820,821, including 2.2 million non-nationalized immigrants. Zaclaria's population has grown rapidly since the 1960s and for many years had one of the highest birthrates in the world at around 3 percent a year.
The ethnic composition of Zaclaria is 90% Zaclarian, 5% Caphiric, 3% Audonian, 1% Arabo-Persian and 1% other. Most of the population is concentrated along the western coast. As late as 1965, most Zaclarians lived a subsistence life in the rural provinces, but in the last half of the 20th century Zaclaria has urbanized rapidly. As of 2035 about half of Zaclarians live in urban metropolitan areas—specifically in the Hampiègne and Mahabis Governorates.
Zaclaria's slave population was estimated at 458,000.
The official languages of Zaclaria are: Zaclarian, Caphiric Latin, and Persian. While not official, both Arabic and English are widely spoken and are considered national languages of Zaclaria. The Zaclarian language was originally a dialect of Persian, but due to Caphiria bringing Latin and other Occidental influences into the land, the language evolved with phonological, lexical, and morphological differences to Persian. Today, there are no significant differences in the written forms, other than regional idiomatic phrases.
Virtually all Zaclarian citizens are Muslim (officially, all are), and almost all Zaclarian residents are Muslim. The official state religion is Shazitnâmeh Isma'ilism, a distinct and progressive version of Nizari Isma'ili that places a strong emphasis on gender equality and community service. Its deviation from traditional Islamic succession and laws has made it a unique and influential religious doctrine in the country of Zaclaria.
Catholicism makes up the second-largest religion in Zaclaria and per the protectorate relationship with Caphiria, Zaclaria allows Christians to practice their faith openly. There are approximately 390,000 Catholic Zaclarian citizens.There is a single cathedral within each Governorate. While apostasy is illegal in Zaclaria, it stopped being punishable by death in 1978.
Atheists and agnostics make up 0.04% of the population, around 25,000 citizens.
Education in Zaclaria is free at all levels, with the Ministry of Education setting overall educational standards. The medium of instruction in the public school is Zaclarian with emphasis on English and Caphiric Latin as a second language. There are also many private schools which are internationally accredited. The higher education system is monitored by the Authority of Higher Education, which also is responsible for admitting students to its undergraduate institutions. Zaclaria has shown a strong interest in improving education and research, increasing government spending in education year-over-year since 2018. It has continued to progress with efforts of ensuring high literacy rates, modern programs and women’s share in education. It's currently working on improving its youths education.
The adult literacy rate in 2030 was 99.2%
Healthcare in Zaclaria is delivered through its universal healthcare system, called OtoumCare, which provides healthcare services, including screening examinations, prenatal care and infectious disease control, with the patient accepting responsibility for 25% of these costs while the government pays the remaining 75%. Payment for personal medical services is offered through OtoumCare, which provides relative equality of access, with fees set by a government committee. All residents of Zaclaria are required by the law to have health insurance coverage. People without insurance from employers can participate in a national health insurance programme, administered by local governments. Patients are free to select physicians or facilities of their choice and cannot be denied coverage. Hospitals, by law, must be run as non-profit and be managed by physicians. For-profit corporations are not allowed to own or operate hospitals. Clinics must be owned and operated by physicians.
Medical fees are strictly regulated by the government to keep them affordable. Depending on the family’ income and the age of the insured, patients are responsible for paying 10%, 20%, or 30% of medical fees, with the government paying the remaining fee. Also, monthly thresholds are set for each household, again depending on income and age, and medical fees exceeding the threshold are waived or reimbursed by the government. Uninsured patients are responsible for paying 100% of their medical fees, but fees are waived for low-income households receiving a government subsidy.
OtoumCare is free for people affected by chronic diseases such as cancer, AIDS or cystic fibrosis. Roughly 15% of healthcare is paid for through the private sector. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies.
The Ministry of Health is the lead government agency responsible for the management, planning, financing and regulating of the health care sector. It also undertakes the overall supervision and follow-up of health care related activities carried out by the private sector. The Ministry also provides primary health care services through a network of healthcare centers (comprising 1,925 centers).
The life expectancy at birth in Zaclaria is at 76.9 years. Cardiovascular disease is the principal cause of death, constituting 22% of total deaths; other major causes are accidents and injuries, malignancies, and congenital anomalies. Infant mortality in 2030 was 6 per 1,000. In 2030, 49.7% of the adult population was overweight and 15.5% was obese. Zaclaria's current health strategy focuses on unifying healthcare policy and improving access to healthcare services at reasonable cost, at the same time reducing dependence on overseas treatment. The Ministry of Health plans to add three hundred hospitals to the current 407, and 290 primary healthcare centres to the current 486.
The culture of Zaclaria is a fusion of centuries-old attitudes and traditions rooted in Islamic heritage and Oduni and Diwai traditions as well as its historical role as an ancient trade center combined with the Occidental influences that Caphiria infused into it. Oduni influence on Zaclarian culture is noticeably visible in traditional Zaclarian architecture and folk arts. This blend of eastern and western cultures has given Zaclaria a diverse and unique society compared to other countries on Audonia. Major holidays in the Zaclaria include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and Independence Day (22 November), which marks when Zaclaria was given its independence from Caphiria in 1943. Another example is the distinctive wind tower which tops traditional Zaclarian buildings, the barjeel has become an identifying mark of Zaclarian architecture and is attributed to Oduni influence.
The most popular spectator sports in Zaclaria are association football and basketball. The Zaclarian national football team is considered as one of Audonia's most successful national teams, having reached a joint record 6 AFC Audonia Cup finals, winning three of those finals (1994, 1998, and 2005) and having qualified for the World Cup four consecutive times ever since debuting at the 1994 tournament. The Zaclarian Premier League is the country's premier football league, and the Zaclarian Basketball Premier League is the premier basketball league. Both of which are part of the Audonian Continental League, respectively. The Zaclarian Football Association was established in 1983 and since then has dedicated its time and effort to promoting the game, organising youth programmes and improving the abilities of not only its players, but also the officials and coaches involved with its regional teams.
Chess is another leading sport in Zaclaria and is enjoyed by people of all ages. There are many Zaclarian grandmasters and Zaclarian chess players have won a number of youth world championships. Zaclaria stages an annual international championship and hosted the Global Chess Team Championship in 2022. The Ministry of Education and the World Chess Federation agreed upon a project of teaching chess within Zaclarian schools, and it has been introduced into the curriculum of some schools
Grand Prix Racing is particularly popular in Zaclaria, with the International Racing Federation holding an annual Grand Prix Racing Series in Bayen. The race takes place in the evening, and was the first ever Grand Prix to start in night and finish at daylight. Other popular sports include camel racing, falconry, endurance riding, and tennis.
The traditional food of Zaclaria has always been rice, fish and meat. Islamic dietary laws used to be strictly enforced up until 1993 where the government relaxed its stance and established a "non Islamic dietary warning" or a "Haram Food Label" to be placed on all forbidden food.
Animals are slaughtered in accordance with halal. Kebabs and falafel are popular, as is shāwarmā (shawarma), a marinated grilled meat dish of lamb, mutton, or chicken. As in other Audonian countries, machbūs (kabsa), a rice dish with lamb, chicken, fish or shrimp, is among the national dishes as well as the dish mandi. Flat, unleavened taboon bread is a staple of virtually every meal, as are dates, fresh fruit, yoghurt and hummus.
Traditional dishes include threed, machboos, khubisa, khameer and chabab bread among others while Lugaimat is a famous Zaclarian dessert. Seafood has been the mainstay of the Zaclarian diet for centuries. Meat and rice are other staple foods, with lamb and mutton preferred to goat and beef. Popular beverages are coffee and tea, which can be complemented with cardamom, saffron, or mint to give them a distinctive flavour. Coffee, served in the Audonian style, is the traditional beverage but tea and various fruit juices are popular as well.
Since the establishment of the state in 1943, and particularly since the late 1970s, a Zaclarian fusion cuisine has developed as it became introduced to Occidental Cuisine. This fusion incorporates many foods such as falafel, hummus, shakshouka, couscous, and za'atar. Schnitzel, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, rice and salad. With the influence of Occidental culture, fast food has become very popular among young people, to the extent that campaigns have been held to highlight the dangers of fast food excesses.
Alcohol is allowed to be served only in hotel restaurants and bars. All nightclubs are permitted to sell alcohol. Specific supermarkets may sell alcohol, but these products are sold in separate sections. Likewise, pork, which is haram, is sold in separate sections in all major supermarkets.
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Music and dance have always been part of Zaclarian life. Traditional music is generally associated with poetry and is sung collectively. Instruments include the rabābah, an instrument not unlike a three-string fiddle, and various types of percussion instruments, such as the ṭabl (drum) and the ṭār (tambourine).
Zaclarian music is of Audonian, Āftābl and Panibathin origins. Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread, as is trance music with historical origins in Islamic music. Aita is an Audonian musical style sung in the countryside. Chaabi ("popular") is a music consisting of numerous varieties which are descended from the multifarious forms of Zaclarian folk music. Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any celebration or meeting.
Folk music styles include Audonian music, characterized by the poetic songs based on long kacida (poems); Kabyle music, based on a rich repertoire that is poetry and old tales passed through generations. Rahaba music style is unique to the Esmorieh mountains. Popular Occidental forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in Zaclaria, such as fusion, rock, country, metal and, in particular, hip hop. Zaclaria has an active music scene, with many Occidental international touring musicians performing throughout the year.
Zaclaria is a part of the Audonian khaleeji tradition. Traditional celebrations involve singing and dancing and many of the songs and dances, handed down from generation to generation, have survived to the present time. Young girls would dance by swinging their long hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men would reenact battles fought or successful hunting expeditions, often symbolically using sticks, swords, or rifles.
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Visual arts tend to be dominated by geometric, floral, and abstract designs and by calligraphy. Sunni Islam traditionally prohibits creating representations of people. With the advent of oil wealth in the 20th century came exposure to outside influences, such as Occidental housing styles, furnishings, and clothes. Calligraphy is the art of forming arranging beautiful letters and symbols, and it is among the dominant art forms in Zaclaria. This art has been emerging in different themes such as metalwork, ceramics, glass textiles, painting, and sculpture. Apart from the dominant art forms, there were some portrait paintings and sculptures produced by some artists in the 19th and 20th centuries that are extremely rare and coveted by collectors.
As Zaclaria entered the 21st century, visual arts started to shift in a more creative orientation, influenced both by the West and East, as well as by the land itself, its development, the character of the cities, and stylistic trends emanating from art centers abroad. In painting, sculpture, photography, and other art forms, the country's varied landscape is the protagonist: the hill terraces and ridges produce special dynamics of line and shape; the foothills of the Osmaior, the prevailing grayish-green vegetation, and the clear luminous light result in distinctive color effects; and the sea and sand affect surfaces. On the whole, local landscapes, concerns, and politics lie at the center of Zaclarian art, and ensure its uniqueness.
Literature and poetry
Poetry in Zaclaria is a cultural tradition and is uniquely tied to Audonian civilization. The role that formal poetry, prose, and oratory play in Zaclarian culture is foreign to Occidental culture, being strongly attached to the concept of language.The style and form of ancient poetry in the Zaclaria was strongly influenced by the 8th-century Audonian scholar, Al Khalil bin Ahmed. This form underwent slight modification (Al Muwashahat) during the period of Islamic civilization, where "the line or bait adhered to the two hemistitches form, each with an equal number of feet, all the second hemistitches ending in the same rhyming letter and sound throughout the poem". The indigenous Audonian poetry form, however, was not spared from western influence; sometime in the 20th century, prose poetry started to make their way into the local literary scene. Audonian poetry, known as nabaṭī, is still very popular. The main themes in Zaclarian poetry range from satire, chivalry, self-praise, patriotism, religion, family, and love, could range from descriptive to narrative.
Zaclaria's architecture is inspired by Islamic architecture, Audonian architecture and Awrandeshi architecture. Audonian and Awrandeshi inspired architecture is part of the expression of the local Zaclarian identity. For example, the "barjeel" has become an identifying mark of traditional Zaclarian architecture and is attributed to Audonian influence. Zaclarian architecture reflects the traditional lifestyles and customs of the people. Building materials are simple, but well-adapted to local living and climatic circumstances. Portable tents traditionally provided shelter during tribal wanderings in the winter season. Inland more permanent houses were built of stone guss and were roofed with palm trees leaves. Fossilized coral, cut in blocks, bonded with sarooj, or a lime mixture derived from seashells, and plastered with chalk and water paste, was used extensively in coastal regions. Privacy and ventilation are important influences in the Zaclaria.
Parie gardens, inherited from Setori refugees who settled in Zaclaria, are a prominent feature of Zaclarian architecture. These have been used in building palaces such as the Suladarian Palace in the Mahabis Governorate. The Parie garden, which usually features a burbling fountain, has an important role in cooling riads: the evaporation of water is an endothermic chemical reaction, which absorbs heat from the area garden and surrounding rooms.
Gazir, the name given to one of the most common types of domestic structures in Zaclaria, is a home found in a medina, or walled urban area of a city. Most Zaclarian homes traditionally adhere to the Gazir al-Islam, a series of tenets on Islamic domestic life. Gazir exteriors are typically devoid of ornamentation and windows, except occasional small openings in secondary quarters, such as stairways and service areas. These piercings provide light and ventilation. Gazir are typically composed of thick, high walls that protect inhabitants from thievery, animals, and other such hazards; however, they have a much more symbolic value from an Audonian perspective; the exterior represents a place of work, while the interior represents a place of refuge. Thus, Zaclarian interiors are often very lavish in decoration and craft. Consistent with most Islamic architecture, Gazir are based around small open-air patios, surrounded by very tall thick walls, to block direct light and minimize heat. Intermediary triple-arched porticos lead to usually two to four symmetrically located rooms. These rooms have to be long and narrow, creating very vertical spaces, because the regional resources and construction technology typically only allow for joists that are usually less than thirteen feet.
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