The Middle East is a dense fabric of people, cultures and countries. It's also a place of which many Americans are ignorant.
It's so hard when all the countries sound alike - Iran, Iraq, Israel. How do you keep them separate in your head?
So here's what we'll do for today's GeoQuiz: We'll give you the answers.
Is there a catch? Should there be a catch? Of course there's a catch.
We just won't tell you what questions go with what answers. That's what, in the schools these days, they're calling a "matching" test.
If you want to ignore the questions - listed below as "clues" - you could do that. You could just look at the accompanying map and go for it, matching the numbers with the answers. But the clues may help.
Have fun. Have at it.
(Answers on Page 11C.)
1. Go west on this body of water and you'll hit the Atlantic Ocean.
2. This sea is bordered on the west by countries 2a and 2b.
3. Its capital is Damascus.
4. It straddles two continents.
5. Russia and Romania are among the countries bordering this sea.
6. Russian and Kazakhstan are among the countries bordering this sea.
7. It's one of the "stan"s.
8. Much of this landlocked country is over 4,000 feet elevation.
9. This country borders India and includes some of the Himalayas.
10. If you are a Shiite, you are in the majority here.
11. Its cities include Mosul, Karbala and Najaf.
12. The Dead Sea separates this country from No. 13.
13. The Dead Sea separates this country from No. 12. (Was that helpful, or what?)
14. The home of Mecca.
15. Its capital, Muscat, includes nearly 600,000 people.
16. The destroyer U.S.S. Cole was bombed in this country's port.
17. One of the world's most strategic bodies of water.