Middle Eastern and N. African Geography Quiz
July 30, 2003 5:17 PM   Subscribe

How well do you know your Middle Eastern and North African geography? In my case, the answer would probably be 'decent, but not great'.
posted by GriffX (39 comments total)
I can't place Israel or Afghanistan.../hangs head in shame

Not to mention about 20 others..
posted by Orange Goblin at 5:48 PM on July 30, 2003

[shakes fist at Bahrain].

Took me forever to find that little pesky little sucker.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 5:49 PM on July 30, 2003

Oops. Heh.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 5:49 PM on July 30, 2003

too bad there isn't a rating system. if there were, mine would be "-3: embarrassingly dismal: your lifespan is inconsequential".
posted by poopy at 5:56 PM on July 30, 2003

I was pretty good about naming all the places we've invaded. (Side note: I had always heard it was Mencken, but that the old saw about war being "God's way of teaching Americans geography" seems to be attributed to everyone from George Orwell to Paul Rodriguez. Who actually said it?)
posted by coelecanth at 5:57 PM on July 30, 2003

I kicked major ass in the east and Middle East (even got all the 'stans correct) but as soon as I got to the countries west and southwest of Libya I started to suck swamp water. Overall, I'd give myself a "B", which means gin and tonic tonight!

All right, so it's always gin and tonic night, but who cares?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:59 PM on July 30, 2003

I don't think I can spell, pronounce, or locate most of the former Soviet republics that were on that list.
posted by yarmond at 6:09 PM on July 30, 2003

Same here --- no problems, except with the former Soviet republics (except for Armenia --- a past news story involving Bob Dole and Armenia helped me remember Armenia's location. By knowing Armenia's location, I was able to locate Azerbaijan (not friendly neighbors)).

ok, I am a geography nerd.
posted by quam at 6:17 PM on July 30, 2003

Next up:

Which Middle Eastern Nation Are You?
via Quizilla.
posted by armoured-ant at 6:21 PM on July 30, 2003

I'm pretty sure this is a double post, but I'm too drunk lazy to find the alleged previous post.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:28 PM on July 30, 2003

Armoured-ant: damn you, i kept clicking that quizzila thing before i realized it wasn't a link. yes i'm stupid...

but in better news, i only missed four countries, and they were all -stans...
posted by ruwan at 6:37 PM on July 30, 2003

Anyone else do this more than once? It's very educational. Thanks for the link.
posted by interrobang at 6:38 PM on July 30, 2003

Crap, I had memorized this four months ago... now I can't remember where Algeria is. But I don't think I'll ever forget about Bahrain.
posted by bobo123 at 6:47 PM on July 30, 2003

Amazingly, I lucked into the -stans (helped by specious logic like "Turkmenistan must be the one closest to Turkey" and "Kyrgyzstan sounds like its the farthest away, 'cause it's the weirdest.")

But those devilsh Omarians, Bahrainians, Qatars and United Arab Emiratesers -- they took me to Arabian Geography School. Ouch. Qatar is an island? Who the hell knew?
posted by BT at 6:49 PM on July 30, 2003

DAMN, I'm good! FINALLY all that news-junky-ism and post-9/11 reading has paid off! Woo hoo!
posted by airgirl at 7:13 PM on July 30, 2003

Qutar isn't an island, it's like a little pointy bit of land that suddenly goes north after a long southerly shore. The CIA World Factbook entry on Qutar has a good map.

I've been to their capital, Doha, for a muslim wedding. My parents and I lived in Saudi Arabia for up to 15 years, depending on which member of the family you're referring to; countries in that area weren't a problem. Africa was, for the most part, just a mess of guessing. I'm rather ashamed of that.
posted by lowlife at 7:17 PM on July 30, 2003

and it'd help if I could spell "Qatar" :/
posted by lowlife at 7:21 PM on July 30, 2003

**digs out atlas**

**looks much more closely at screen, curses weak eyesight**

I suppose I should feel better, since I didn't actually think Qatar was an island to begin with. But now I just feel stupider for allowing myself to be convinced that it was.

Stupid internet. I feel much less smart than I did before we had this damn thing.
posted by BT at 7:27 PM on July 30, 2003

Amazingly, I lucked into the -stans (helped by specious logic like "Turkmenistan must be the one closest to Turkey" and "Kyrgyzstan sounds like its the farthest away, 'cause it's the weirdest.")

I tried to do that too, figuring that Turkmenistan must be right next to Turkey, but I picked the wrong little annexation.
posted by interrobang at 7:35 PM on July 30, 2003

I thought it was a double post too, but I think we're thinking of this: same idea, different site.

(Bahrain gave me trouble too, so I saved it for last and got it by default. Tiny little place.)
posted by languagehat at 7:38 PM on July 30, 2003

Trouble with Bahrain was that once you got the neighboring island...you might be saying," Is that littler island...has it....I cannot tell if it is yellow....X....(fade ) damn!

I screwed up on most of the western shore of Africa X X X X X X.

The "stans" I got right...owing to luck and a few specials I watched within the last few months on musicians from the area...such as Uzbekistan.
posted by RubberHen at 8:06 PM on July 30, 2003

Does anybody know of similar things for other parts of the world. Or maybe one for doing the whole world in one game? That would be great.

I used to have one where you had to match European capitals with there countries in a similar way.
posted by obfusciatrist at 8:21 PM on July 30, 2003

Look, speaking as an American...we learn geography by invading countries. Is it my fault most of these suckers haven't pissed us off enough yet?
posted by uosuaq at 8:33 PM on July 30, 2003

I'm still waiting for the UN to honour Ufezistan. Bastards are sitting on their hands with regards to this very important issue.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:37 PM on July 30, 2003

obfusciatrist -- languagehat's link to the related thread above leads one to a much more complete set of world geography quizzes. The interface isn't as nice.

If you think the Middle East is hard, I invite you to get Central Africa right. (And yes, that applies geopolitically as well...)
posted by BT at 8:41 PM on July 30, 2003

man alive, there sure are a bunch -stans up in this bizotch!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:50 PM on July 30, 2003

Hmm. I flipped-flopped Bahrain and Qatar, but beyond that perfect. The formerly-Soviet 'stans were more educated guesses than certainties — but I got them all.

On preview: BT speaks the truth. At least the Mideast countries have distinctive shapes (the coasts helps). I think I could place every African country on a map, but if I saw a Middle Eastern country and an African country, each by itself, I'd have a much harder time on the former.
posted by Utilitaritron at 8:52 PM on July 30, 2003

Quick Tip for the tiny Bahrain problem. With Flash you can usually Right-click and "Zoom In". Then Right-click and "Show All" to return to 100%.
posted by Rattmouth at 9:49 PM on July 30, 2003

Damn -istans. Why couldn't they all just stay part of one big monolith? Always whining about the independence this and sovereignty that, wah wah self-determination, blah blah blah.
posted by Dreama at 10:05 PM on July 30, 2003

I lived a block away from the Kyrgyzstanian embassy for a year and a half and I don't believe I was ever able to pronounce its name during my time there. (But now I can say it -- Kir-gi-stan! Woohoo!)

It's funny how our schools make us learn about the composition of Western Europe and maybe even Eastern Europe, South America too if you're at a good school. But they just barely cover the continent of Africa (no specific countries, just a continent like Antartica) in order to say they're discussed it: "Okay kids, this is Africa. There's a lot of desert there, starving kids, and diamonds. Also, Nelson Mandela. Now on to South America..."
posted by jennak at 1:28 AM on July 31, 2003

When this test was first posted on MeFi a few months ago, I bookmarked it and did it at least once a day until I could get everything right, no matter what order I placed them in. It made me feel happy.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 5:01 AM on July 31, 2003

Mauritania is bigger than I thought.
posted by littlegirlblue at 6:03 AM on July 31, 2003

It should give a score. I had the X come up 7 times.. not too bad, I guess.
Africa and the Middle East were fairly easy (with a few exceptions), we learned those in school here in Austria. The -stans I only got to know thanks to all the news graphics of Afghanistan and its neighbors.
Mauritania was the last I placed, I somehow have no associations whatsoever with that country.
posted by c3o at 6:19 AM on July 31, 2003

I also wished there was a score after finishing, but I'm also kinda glad there wasn't - I know I got more than 7 X's. I'm proud to say that I at least knew which countries were on which continent. But those -stans, man! And yeah, Bahrain...

grrarrgh00, you sure you're not thinking of the one languagehat posted? I remember that one, but not this one.
posted by soyjoy at 7:23 AM on July 31, 2003


Everything else, a-ok.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:23 AM on July 31, 2003

grrarrgh00, you sure you're not thinking of the one languagehat posted? I remember that one, but not this one.

Actually this one was linked to in that older thread, by myself actually.
posted by bobo123 at 12:30 PM on July 31, 2003

Swaped Niger and Chad... and stupid little Bahrain screwed me up too... damn you Bahrain!
posted by davros42 at 3:39 PM on July 31, 2003

anything in africa not touching the mediterranean absolutely killed me, a few errors and a bunch of lucky educated guesses for the rest. not good, but better than i expected.
posted by juv3nal at 5:17 PM on July 31, 2003

This quiz was first posted on MetaFilter last April, in the comments of the thread, by no one in particular. My grumpy thoughts on geography quizzes (self link).
posted by mcwetboy at 5:54 AM on August 1, 2003

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