Onza

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The United Democratic Emirates of Onza
الإمارات المتحدة الديمقراطية أونزاویة
Flag
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: السعادة هي الغرض
"Happiness is purpose"
A political map of Onza.
A map of Arabekh created by cartographers in Midrasia shows Onza on the continent.
CapitalKunta
Largest city Akhmis
Official languages Onzaian
Newreyan
Ethnic groups 86.4% Onzaian
13.6% Other
Demonym Onzaian
Government Representative Democracy
Semi-Emiratic Republic
 -  President Mustapha Ihejirika
 -  Vice President Rahim Pretorius
Legislature Congress
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house National Assembly
Establishment
 -  Khufu I's Code of Law 14 BCE 
 -  Absolvitor of Kemenari Rule 256 CE 
 -  Kalahari Proclamation 540 CE 
 -  People's Compact of Onza 1860 CE 
 -  Constitution of Onza 1940 CE 
Population
 -  2015 census 46,117,256
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
 -  Total $1.387 trillion (11)
 -  Per capita $30,075.51
Gini (2015)positive decrease 35.4
medium
HDI (2015)Increase 0.831
very high
Currency Kniwni (KN)
Date format dd ˘ mm ˘ yyyy
Drives on the right
Calling code +17
Internet TLD .oz

The United Democratic Emirates of Onza (Onzaian: الإمارات المتحدة الديمقراطية الأونزاویة al-imārāt al-muttaḥidah ad-dīmuqrāṭiyyah al-awnzāwiyyah, standard pronunciation /ʔalʔimaːˈɾaːt ʔalmutˈtaħidat ʔaddiːmuqɾaːˈtˤijjat ʔalʔoːnzaːˈwijja/), commonly referred to as Onza or the UDE, is a sovereign nation located on the northwest coast of the continent Arabekh. Its eastern border with Saraibia is marked by the vast Kalahari Desert while its northernmost border extends just slightly beyond its coast with the North Opal Ocean and Green Sea to include Al-Khatin Island - the location of the Executive Administrative District and the Ivory Tower, the presidential office and residence. Its easternmost border is shared with Hipasia. On the UDE's northernmost tip is the port city of Akhmis -- one of the nation's most important cities economically, socially, and culturally -- while the capital city of Kunta -- which is home to the legislative and judicial branches of the government -- is located further south down the Kalakoro River near the center of the nation.

Modern Onzaian culture traces its roots back to the early origins of mankind, when early, nomadic humans from the Kalakoro River Valley moved up and down the river and spread out across the continent. Near the start of the common era, however, groups of these nomads began to settle the fertile lands around the Kalakoro River and began leading live based on agriculture rather than nomadism. The earliest and most prominent of these tribes, the Kalahari Tribe, is considered the earliest formal precursor to contemporary Onzaian culture and the modern Onzaian people. The nation underwent changes in government and central location until it became its own independent kingdom around 200 CE. The Kingdom was conquered by the Irsadic Caliphate in 501 CE, but became independent in 1005 after the Caliphate's decentralization. The Kingdom became the Kalahari Empire in 1427 and grew to conquer much of Arabekh before slowly being reduced back to its original size due to administrative instability and regional conflicts. The most current version of the Onzaian nation, the UDE, was founded in 1940 and has since grown into a developed, liberal democracy.

The UDE is a constitutional, democratic republic. The nation is divided into five emirates which serve merely as municipal districts with little self-determination. The nation's federal government is divided into three major branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislative branch consists of the Congress, which is made up of the National Assembly and the Senate. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court as well as several lower circuit courts. The executive branch consists of the president and vice president as well as their cabinet and their respective offices. Each of these branches have specific powers granted to them by the Constitution of Onza, and a series of checks and balances exists to prevent one branch from becoming more powerful than another.

The 2015 Census put the UDE's population at 46,117,256 with 86.4% of citizens being Onzaian while 13.6% identify with another ethnic group or nationality. Persons born in the UDE are automatically registered as citizens. Only in recent times has immigration policy been relaxed to allow a greater number of foreign-born individuals to become citizens of the Emirates, though multinational families have been common as a result of Onza's close ties to some of its neighbors as well as some Asuran nations. The vast majority of the population lives in urban centers around the country, which lends itself to a fairly high population density. Although rural life is sustainable in certain circumstances, it is relatively uncommon, comparatively speaking. Nevertheless, rural communities do exist and have only recently began being recognized and included by the federal government. A few suburban neighborhoods are also built around and just outside of major cities, though many of these have been purchased by cities hoping to expand their developments.

The UDE is highly developed and fairly advanced, with a 0.831 on the Human Development Index and an overall GDP of $1.387 trillion. The government invests heavily in education, healthcare, infrastructure, public transport, and welfare, while spending much less on industry, defense, and administration. The government has adhered to the principles of Social Democracy since 1940, as it maintains a market economy that is moderately regulated and has very few state-owned industries. A notable portion of the nation's wealth comes from its vast amounts of oil, though tourism, durable manufacturing, and retail trade together comprise the largest portion of the nation's economy. Income is reasonably distributed, with a healthy middle class, though a wealthy upper class controls a moderate share of the nation's wealth, and a small portion of citizens in Onza earn less than the nation's poverty line. Social mobility is considered high in most regions of the country, though this assessment has changed considerably in recent times.

Naming and Etymology

The name Onza is translated from the Onzaian word أونزا (Newreyan spelling: 'uwnza), which bears no modern meaning in the language. However, the term was used in the ancient UDE to mean "life," or more literally, "the way things are." Historians use the term "Onzaians" to refer to the indigenous peoples of the Kalakoro River, although the term was often used throughout the nation's history to denote a citizen regardless of nationality. The official demonym for citizens of Onza is Onzaians, although Onzans is also accepted internationally.

Historians have simplified both, the understanding of the nation's naming and the nation's history by breaking it down into nine distinct periods where representation via name, symbolism, and/or geographic distribution changed:

  • 1400 BCE - 14 BCE: The Kalahari Tribe
  • 14 BCE - 150 CE: The Greater Onzaian Tribe
  • 150 CE - 256 CE: Kemenari Onza
  • 200 CE - 501 CE: The First Kingdom of Onza
  • 501 CE - 1005 CE: The First Kingdom of Onza under the Irsadic Caliphate
  • 1005 CE - 1427 CE: The Second Kingdom of Onza
  • 1427 CE - 1860 CE: The Kalahari Empire
  • 1860 CE - 1940 CE: The Democratic People's Republic of Onza
  • 1940 CE - Present: The United Democratic Emirates of Onza

Modern common names include the UDE, the Emirates, and simply Onza.

The UDE also recognizes translations of its name by other nations into their respective languages.

History

Main article: History of Onza

Antiquity and Prehistory

Archaeological evidence suggests that the natives of the Kalakoro River Valley were among the earliest humans to exist. These initial populations, however, were migratory in nature and thus the first significant agriculture-based civilization to rise in the region was the Kalahari Tribe. The Kalahari Tribe formed sometime around 1400 BCE and is considered the most ancient precursor to modern Onza known to historians. Among the noteworthy characteristics of the Tribe, they constructed the Ancient Pyramids found in the northernmost deserts of Onza on the western side of the Kalakoro. The Tribe also established
Golden eagles in the continent had religious significant early on, and this symbol was often used by the 1st Kingdom as its seal.
small cities in this area with early forms of architecture and agriculture beginning to replace nomadism as a way of life. The Tribe emphasized zeal as a desirable characteristic, and oftentimes the most adept at combat were the most authoritative in the cities, although evidence exists of a few notable matriarchal societies under the Tribe as well. The Tribe was scattered and sprawled across the lands of modern-day Onza, though regular connections were formed between the pockets of civilization, and the varying pockets of population answered consistently to the central location of the Tribe in the city of Kalahar.
Early tribal leaders were embalmed and stored in tombs such as this one.
The Tribe mostly interacted with other groups of desert nomads and newly-settled desert city dwellers. This changed, however, as the powerful Troparcan Empire grew large enough to border the Tribe, separated only by the Moçâmedes Canyon Pass. While initially indifferent, both civilizations grew increasingly hostile towards one another due to religious and cultural aversion. Due to the imbalance of power, the Tribe conceded to most of the demands of the Troparcans and rarely attempted to resist power grabs. The Tribe did, however, actively support the Fiorentine Empire as it began to conquer Troparcan lands, which laid the foundation for later cooperation between the two civilizations in the brief period where they held Hipasia.

The Tribe originally was governed by a group of strong men making decisions from Kalahar, although edicts were generally rare and consisted primarily of ordaining the construction of religious sites relevant to Onzaian Pantheism at the time. The first record of written laws governing the Tribe came from Khufu I -- the first known recognized Pharaoh (monarch) of the Onzaian people. Khufu's Code of Law, as it is known to historians, had its inception in 14 BCE, which coincided with Khufu's successful conquest of a number of neighboring tribes further into the Kalahari Desert to the west. The shift in government, as well as the growth in border size marks when most historians begin referring to the Onzaian people as the Greater Onzaian Tribe, though some prefer to label this as the inception of the First Kingdom of Onza.

The Greater Onzaian Tribe enjoyed only limited success for roughly a century. Many of the tribes conquered and absorbed in 14 BCE were simply too far from Kalahar to be reasonably governed, as travel across the tumultuous Kalahari Desert proved an unconquerable task for many. As a result, many broke away over the course of several years, eventually reducing the size of the Tribe back to where it began.

Around 150 CE, the Greater Onzaian Tribe was swiftly invaded and subjugated by the Kemenari Tribe -- a tribe that also originated from the Kalakoro River Valley, but lived mostly along the coast. This marked a milestone in the sophistication and advancement of diplomacy as the Onzaian Pharaoh at the time, Hor-Aha, negotiated terms with the Kemenari for Onza to become a client state rather than be forcibly assimilated as the Onzaians had done to their conquered peoples. This period of subjugation is referred to by historians as Kemenari Onza, as in spite of the nation remaining somewhat independent, Kemenari influence changed some customs and altered the direction of geographical expansion. Furthermore, the role of the Pharaoh in Onzaian society was greatly diminished, and became a position of religious authority more than anything.

In 256, the Absolvitor of Kemenari Rule was created, effectively declaring that the nation would cease in its client payments to the Kemenari leadership and that it was fully independent again. The Absolvitor also, notably, emphasized the authority of the so-called "true" king of Onza -- Pharaoh Neferkasokar -- and is thus viewed by many historians as the founding document of the First Kingdom of Onza. Upon foundation, the Kingdom saw great advancements in formal language, science, medicine, philosophy, and political management, thanks in large part to a relationship of trade enjoyed with the Fiorentine Empire to the east. The border town between the two Kingdoms, Agathusa, was an especially important hub in these developments for both civilizations. Thus, the period is accordingly referred to as the Onzaian Renaissance. This period came to an end in 480 -- the year the last settlement to be annexed by the Kingdom was fully incorporated. By this point, the Kingdom had grown to stretch from the Kalahari Desert to the westernmost border of modern-day Agathusa and the Moçâmedes Canyon Pass.

Middle Ages

In 501, however, the newly-formed Irsadic Caliphate invaded the Kingdom from the south and rapidly conquered its territories. Even though the Kingdom had advanced considerably during the Onzaian Renaissance, the Caliphate had become a bastion for trade and learning, and was thus considerably more advanced. By 621, the Kingdom's most extreme settlements were annexed outright by the Caliphate, while the more centralized settlements were again subjugated.

The Caliphate initially tolerated Onzaian Pantheism, insisting that non-Arak's could not truly convert to Irsad. Instead, followers of the Onzaian Pantheon were subjected to increased taxes and more rarely were victims of discrimination. In 676, however, the Yaqub Dynasty began, and incentivized conversion, which led to Irsad becoming the majority religion in Onza at the time. Onza also shared in the considerable advancements in technology, science, and philosophy that were made under the Caliphate, even more so than what was seen in the Onzaian Renaissance in many cases. The spread of deadly plagues and other factors contributed greatly to the Caliphate's growing problems with management. Onza was not spared from these problems -- many died as a result of plague and starvation during this time period.

Image of the Ancient Pyramids believed to have been built by the early ancestors of the Greater Onzaian Tribe. Circa 1974 CE.
The Caliphate controlled Onza until 1005, a point by which it had already decentralized considerably. This was the final year that Onza paid its regular tribute to the Caliphate, and in response named a new Pharaoh to rule the nation again. Thus this is the point seen as the birth of the Second Kingdom of Onza.

Several major events happened during the Second Kingdom's reign, with Onza again becoming a contending force in Arabekh. The difficulty of crossing the Moçâmedes Canyon Pass effectively shielded the nation from the impacts of the Asuran Crusades that occurred to the east on the remnant nations of the Caliphate and the smaller, independent Caliphates that formed in the absence of the Irsadic one. Being unburdened with conflict and recognizing the position this put the rest of the continent in, the nation expanded west of the Kalakoro and warred with some of the nations there, ultimately doubling itself in size as it reached to the edge of the Kalahari Desert to the east. The Second Kingdom became the Kalahari Empire in 1427 when Pharaoh Senedj dissolved the majlis almalik -- the body of advisers to the Pharaoh that held considerable power up until this point. In its place, the Council of Governors was created, and the Pharaoh, although still powerful, lost a considerable amount of authority, which was granted to these oligarchs on the Council instead. The Kalahari Empire became a major power in the region and expanded far across Arabekh. It never successfully conquered the territories west of the Kalahari Desert, however.

The Kalahari Empire became very wealthy thanks to the discovery of large gold deposits across Arabekh, though this wealth proved somewhat fleeting as it was spent by leaders and oligarchs on extravagance. It controlled a vast amount of Arabekh, but several enclaves of other nations remained independent -- many enjoyed positive interactions with the Empire, which had also become a trading hub thanks to the variety of goods and resources under its possession at the time. Several technologies were also discovered under the Empire, and many valuable historical accounts survive from this time period as many travelers ventured around the continent and into Asura, writing detailed accounts of their journeys and what they saw. This coincided with the start of the Age of Exploration, when the first foreign expedition was approved in 1201. The majority of ships were dispatched with the intent to establish trade with other nations -- many of which were successful -- though others were sent to explore lands considered foreign to the Onzaian people. Ambitious explorers also sought investments to finance their attempts to sail and find faster routes to complete major trade routes. The Kalahari Empire also warred with the Al-Khatin Empire along the northern coast of Arabekh. Many within the Empire viewed the move poorly, and hundreds of men refused to report for service when summoned.

Early Modern Period

The Manzil Almalik Hotel symbolizes the luxury tourist attractions Onza became known for.
The Empire underwent industrialization beginning in the late 1700s. This greatly boosted the Empire's economic output, and led to it again becoming one of the wealthiest nations in Arabekh. A series of legislation aimed at persecuting followers of Irsad came about during this time period, which stamped out a large portion of the nation's Irsadic population, leading the majority of the population to return to the paganism that was prominent prior to the Irsadic Caliphate. Some still maintained spiritual-style beliefs based roughly on the early forms of Onzaian Pantheism. The Empire began losing territories to uprisings and foreign conquerors, however, between 1846 and 1860, with many of the lost territories being important hubs of industrialization. These 14 years saw the total collapse of the Empire's satellite governments, and eventually the Council of Governors lost their ability to efficiently manage such a vast empire. Local powers took advantage of the vacuum and many of the territories belonging to the Kalahari became independent instead.

In 1860, Pharaoh Kames enacted an ambitious series of reforms in the territories that remained and instituted the first semi-democratic government in the nation's history (even though universal suffrage was not necessarily guaranteed by this point). The following years were marked by political turmoil and general instability, as numerous protests and riots occurred to call for an end to the Onzaian monarchy, which still retained the authority to undo an act of the democratic government, and the establishment of a new republic. In spite of this, the economy recuperated and operated like normal for a few decades. In 1922, however, Pharaoh Faraj El-Ghazzawy was usurped by a group of soldiers led by Adewale Mudima, a member of the National Assembly. He declared himself President of Onza while promising to adhere to restrictions of power. However, in 1932, a civil war erupted as a result of disagreements on the legitimacy of Mudima's government. The bloody war left the nation relatively stunted up until its end in 1940, when a new constitution was drafted and the nation became fully democratic with comprehensive protection of human rights. The nation was the first social democracy in the region.

Contemporary Period

A period of reconstruction -- politically, socially, and infrastructurally -- ensued, with the majority of the damage being successfully cleaned up within a decade. Some isolated communities remained fractured as a result of the conflict, however. While independent during the war, the western half of the nation depended on the production of opioids to stay afloat, which left many citizens in the region still with an addiction beyond the end of the war. The newly-minted government passed a number of reforms over the decades aimed at addressing these problems, and succeeded for the most part. The nation witnessed a mass boom in its tourism industry from the mid-60s to the early 80s, which enabled the nation to invest heavily into social programs and development. The extraction and exportation of oil also proved an unprecedented source of wealth for the nation, and continues to play a role in the nation's GDP today. The UDE began encountering issues with terrorism from neighboring nation Saraibia in the 80s -- an issue which continues to present problems today.

Between the onset of oil exportation and the rush of tourists to the nation's many tourist traps, wealth became polarized, with the wealthiest in the nation owning a major portion of the country's wealth. This led to a number of riots, dubbed the Radical Left Riots, between 1982 and 1983. In response, tax rates were greatly increased on the nation's highest earners as well as corporations. Laws were also put in to place to penalize corporations attempting to move their production to other countries, although due to the nation's relative isolationism at the time, very few attempted to do this. The government invested in indirect redistribution programs such as welfare and healthcare that helped the middle class recover from the imbalance.

In 2017, the Mudima Doctrine of isolationism was ended and the Kojo Doctrine began. For the first time, as a result, the nation began seeking international relations with other democratic nations around the world.[1] This led to the UDE joining the Drago Entente (later, the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations),[2] for which it hosted a summit,[3] an establishment of warm relations with a number of like-minded liberal democracies,[4][5] an international condemnation of Saraibia,[6] and a rebuke of Veleaz for violence against refugees.[7] As the nation continues to grow, it is becoming a more and more significant player in Arabekhi-Asuran affairs.

Geography

Overview

The vast majority of land in Onza is covered by rolling deserts.
Sunrise at a savanna not far from Kunta.
Onza's geography consists almost entirely of desert. As a result, early settlements experienced low agriculture yields, and in spite of agricultural advances, the nation continues to import lots of agriculture today. These deserts are occasionally interrupted by massive, sprawling urban centers. There are also smaller cities that have grown along the nation's renowned highway system. In rarer cases - particularly closer to the nation's border - there are small villages, some of which do not have basic necessities such as running water. The remainder of these deserts are entirely unoccupied, save for a few, large solar plants and the occasional oil field.

Although only a handful exist, the few savannas in Onza are major pockets of savanna wildlife and are often the location of international studies and research in zoology. Many prominent documentaries have also been produced based on the wildlife of these biomes, and many have parks on them such as Covenant National Park in the Covenant Savanna west of Molikoro, which is one of the most popular national parks in the region.

The general desert that permeates central Onza all around the Kalakoro river is referred to as the Onzaian Desert and is the largest desert in the nation. This desert consists of several oases that break up the monotony of the rolling sands. Compared to the other deserts in the nation, this is the calmest one, with the least extreme temperatures and the least amount of sandstorms. To the northwest along the border with Saraibia is the Kalahari Desert - a demilitarized zone and a restricted area to Onzaian civilians. Geographically, this desert consists mostly of rolling hills, though several prominent conspiracy theories suggest that a vast amount of uranium lies unused there. It is also the most extreme desert in Arabekh with near-constant sandstorms and extreme temperatures. To the southeast is the Moçâmedes Desert, which is notable for its tall dunes and increased vegetation over the other two deserts. Large rock formations exist just along the southeastern Onzaian border that, save for a few canyons, make entry through this route by foot virtually impossible.Down the center of Onza is the Kalakoro River, which was the subject of worship by ancient Onzaians and is considered by historians to be the river that birthed Onzaian civilization. Salinity in this river varies based on proximity to the North Opal Sea, but it supplies Onza with the majority of its freshwater and is one of the largest rivers in the world. Although historically the river was a major obstacle separating east and west Onza, several bridges now exist that go over the river. One major island exists within Onza's maritime border - Al-Khatin Island. Although the entirety of the island is urban development, it was a large oasis at one point and its freshwater basins have been preserved.

Within cities, plant life is abundant and is oftentimes incorporated into architecture. Several lakes also exist throughout the country and serve as sources of freshwater and hydroelectricity in some cases.

Natural Resources

A square of uranium ore.
The Moçâmedes Oasis is the largest oasis in Onza.
Key resources found in Onza include oil both on land and off the coast, iron, copper, salts, gold, and more rarely, uranium. Trees in the savannas and oases are sometimes sought after for the acacia wood they provide. Freshwater is supplied in major amounts by the Kalakoro River, and the Tariro Dam provides a vast amount of electricity to the cities. Extensive extraction and harvesting efforts take advantage of all of these resources, although the intense conditions of the desert have complicated many productions and led to lower production yields overall when compared to other nations with less severe atmospheres.

International demand has allowed Onza to export its oil around the world at reasonable costs and has helped galvanize economic growth since technologies were invented that allowed the harvesting of large quantities of oil.

Of particular controversy domestically is the Onzaian mining of various uranium pockets around the nation in spite of nuclear non-proliferation agreements. While the mining doesn't directly violate the agreement, some have said that uranium enrichment should be banned altogether. Presently, the UDE maintains that it uses uranium solely for the purpose of research into nuclear fission and fusion as well as powering a few nuclear plants.

Climate

Precipitation is rare, but the nation has experienced fair amounts of snowfall a few winters. As a result, droughts are common and expected. Earthquakes have occurred due to the presence of a fault line along the eastern border. Although generally harmless, dust devils are particularly commonplace in the Kalahari Desert, though they have been reported in all three deserts.

Extreme temperatures have caused cities to take costly measures to maintain climate control in cities. Although Onzaians have become resistant to the extremities, heat strokes still remain common, particularly in smaller settlements that have not invested in advanced climate control. Daytime temperatures during the summer average around 94 °F, although heat indexes have been known to climb beyond 120 °F. By night, temperatures drop rather drastically, with winter nights averaging at 12 °F.

Wildlife

The Onza is a cryptid that allegedly is a massive cougar that roams the deserts and howls at night to intimidate its prey.
A large group of zebras gathers in the Onzaian Desert.

In spite of the barren conditions, the deserts of Onza are filled with a variety of wildlife. Plant life is generally limited to desert grasses and bushes - some of which are fruit bearing - as well as cacti. The oases and savannas are much more botanically diverse as they include large acacia and palm trees as well as fruit-bearing plants. Animal life is extraordinarily variable, with many animals being unique solely to Arabekh and its deserts.

Mammals in the desert include camels, bobcats, porcupines, armadillos, coyotes, foxes, deer, rabbits, and sheep, as well as many others. The savannas are even more diverse and include giraffes, gazelles, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, mongooses, and even emus. A vast amount of species of reptiles also inhabit the nation. The diamondback rattlesnake and Onzaian cobra are among the most prolific of these reptiles. These are considered public health hazards for their aggression and the potency of their venom, and are considered one of the leading causes of death in the desert among Onzaians. Several species of salamanders, lizards, geckos, and tortoises also inhabit the deserts as well as the savannas and oases.

Although ants account for the vast majority of species of insects that exist in the UDE, several other types of insects also enjoy high populations. Large beetles of a wide variety are commonplace and are oftentimes poisonous. In spite of this, multiple individuals lost in the desert have died from attempting to survive off of these, particularly due to popular misconceptions about the edibility of these. Tarantula hawks - a species of spider wasps - are highly prominent near the Kalahari Desert. Their sting is considered among the most painful in the world.

Numerous different species of birds live in the desert, though they generally stay close to cities where they hunt smaller mammals that find their way into the outskirts of town. They generally compete with other scavengers such as hyenas to eat carrion.

The Onzaian Cryptozoological Society is one of the most prolific bastions of cryptozoology in the world. Experts agree that this is primarily due to the appropriateness of the desert backdrop for cryptids. The most widely-recognized in Onza and around the world is the Onza - a massive cougar that is said to inhabit the desert and howl prior to attacking its prey. Although no substantiated evidence has proven the existence of this cryptid, it has become a cultural staple and is oftentimes used in advertising by various companies to promote their products. Several high schools also use the cryptid as their school mascot.

The golden eagle is the national animal of Onza. It appears on the flag, the coat of arms, and is featured in several of the major political parties' logos.

Cities

The skyline of Akhmis by day.
The skyline of Kunta -- the heart of Onza and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Arabekh.
The UDE boasts a number of large cities that are highly developed and advanced, primarily thanks to revenue from the tourism industry. The capital city is Kunta, which is among the largest of the cities in the country. Kunta is home to the judicial and legislative branches of government. Meanwhile, the executive is based in the Ivory Tower on Al-Khatin Island. The largest city in Onza by population is Akhmis. Other, smaller cities are Kheset, Kilajil, Molikoro, Khoba, Al Kuveh, Khabal, Abu Kajar, Khasekhemre, Oshaxas, Khadaria, Karasxas, and Al-Khatin Island. Each of the major cities that are plotted on the map are connected by a well-maintained highway system. Turnpikes that charge hefty tolls, however, are used to keep these roads maintained, and maintenance operations are generally slow due to environmental factors. In some cases, some of the cities are accessible by ferrying up and down the Kalakoro river, such as from Kunta to Khasekhemre. A railroad system also allows trains to carry passengers and freight all around the country, although a few cities are fairly isolated from this network and depend on the highway connection.

Each major city also has at least one airport, with Akhmis having an airport devoted solely to tourist arrivals. Port cities such as Oshaxas and Karasxas regularly receive incoming ships carrying freight cargo. Oshaxas is also home to the largest naval base in the UDE and the headquarters of the Arabekhi Anti-Piracy Task Force.

Al Kuveh and Kilajil are unique in that they exist in the middle of the desert near no major bodies of water. These cities rely heavily on imports of water from other cities. Their economies are sustained by their positioning as stops along some of the nation's busiest highways.

Transit around most cities is done by public transit systems, including metros, buses, high-speed rails, street cars, and even ferry in some instances. There is a sizable amount of the population that walks, however, and some communities within cities are built specifically to allow universal transit by walking or biking. Private vehicles are becoming increasingly rare due to developments with self-driving cars and the increasing popularity of ride hailing services.

Outside of cities and smaller settlements, the vast majority of the deserts do not have paved roads other than major highways. Travel between cities is therefore restricted to highway driving, trains, or air travel in some instances. Some rural roads exist that are maintained by the government, but in general, these are rarely traveled. Tourists are also advised against traveling the latter, as some of the roads stretch for miles without a single degree of civilization along them.

Some smaller settlements exist between these cities and are generally sufficiently developed and self-sustaining. A few smaller villages, however, live in grossly impoverished conditions, and have been the subject of international human rights inquiries in the past since being exposed by a number of documentaries. Some patches of the desert are also declared as unsafe areas due to the presence of uncontacted peoples, some of which have committed acts of violence against unsuspecting adventurers in the past. How to handle these populations remains a matter of national controversy.

Politics

Government

The political make-up of the Senate as of 2018.
  Dem Socs: 48 seats
  Liberals: 52 seats
The political makeup of the National Assembly as of 2018.
  Dem Socs: 164 seats
  Liberals: 136 seats

The UDE is an emiratic, constitutional, federal republic that is based on republicanism and social democracy. President Mustapha Ihejirika is the national leader and the head of the executive branch of government. He is aided in this capacity by Vice President Rahim Pretorius. Both are of the Democratic Socialism Party. Law in the nation is based on precedent from various court rulings as well as the Constitution of Onza. Several passed pieces of legislation also establish laws in the nation as well.

The UDE consists of a bicameral legislation, with the National Assembly being the lower house and the Senate being the upper house.

The Ivory Tower on Al-Khatin Island is the residence and office of the President of the United Democratic Emirates.
The logo of the Liberal Party of Onza.

The country is divided into five emirates geographically. Each emirate has a number of National Assemblymen and Senators assigned based on population. These emirates also have very small local governments which serve primarily to oversee the day-to-day administration of local resources and emergency services.

Several provisions are built into the Constitution to protect elections and ensure that they are private and free of tampering and influence.

Onza's democracy is built on the ideologies of Social Democracy. Thus, the private sector is fairly regulated, though not crippingly so. The government owns a small amount of industry, though both parties have sought to sell these industries back to the private sector. The government invests heavily into the public sector. Taxes are proportionally levied and are considerably higher for wealthy individuals when compared to middle-class taxes.

Officeholders in Onza are subject to a large number of ethics laws that aim to protect the governmental traditions of Onza while also ensuring that no elected official is using their office to give themselves an unfair advantage. As a result, government oversight is highly valued, and thus several agencies exist that frequently audit government decision-making to ensure that all parties complied with established ethics laws. The government is also expected to work with the media to ensure sufficient transparency.

Law and Order

Although each local emirate has the ability to establish small policies that do not contradict federal ones and maintain local emergency services, the Onzaian Civilian Police Department (OCPD) is the national law enforcement agency that oversees all local police departments. OCPD hires officers directly out of the police academy and spends one year conducting live-action training scenarios, sometimes making use of emerging VR technology to enhance the learning process.

Several divisions exist within the OCPD, which ultimately falls under the Ministry of Justice. Special departments include SWAT forces, counter-terrorism units, special victims units, major case squads, riot response teams, and bomb defusal squads. A highway patrol division also exists. More recently, a special gendarmerie group, the Special Operations Task Force 121 (SOTF-121), was established in response to the increased threat of terrorism in the region.[8] The UDE also partners with Carcossica's MCCI -- the Multinational Center for Criminal Investigations -- for crimes that transcend multiple borders or involve individuals of particular importance. For cases that stretch beyond emiratic borders, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) takes responsibility for the case and proceeds accordingly. Crimes committed within the military are handled by Military Police and a system of military courts.

Law is handled by a system of courts that are a part of a hierarchy all the way to the Supreme Court of Onza, which handles cases of constitutional significance. The Constitution guarantees the accused the right to a fair and public trial, the right to an attorney, and the right to life even when convicted. Trials are also regularly reviewed, and individuals can appeal their verdict. Several provisions are also built into the Constitution that govern the obtainment of evidence and its respective admissibility into court. Judicial independence is also highly valued, and public officials are forbidden from entering major court cases in an effort to influence a case's outcome.

Onzaian Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents prepare to conduct a raid.

The UDE by default extradites individuals convicted of crimes in other nations to their home nations when said home nation is not on the UDE's list of potential violators of human rights. In instances where there is doubt to the fair conviction of a fugitive, the UDE may choose to harbor the accused in a secure holding facility until a satisfactory decision is reached, though this has not occured in the nation's history.

While the UDE welcomes more tourists per year than almost any other nation in the world, many Onzaians resent tourists and the impact they have on city living. The Liberal Party in particular is a major supporter of tourism reform. As a part of a compromise in 2007, Congress passed a bill establishing the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This police force seeks to prevent tourists from unlawfully attempting to remain in the country beyond their approved time as well as handles crimes committed by tourists during their time in the country.

In addition, as laws have changed concerning illicit drug use, law enforcement divisions that were at one time devoted to drugs and narcotics related investigations now focus on the smuggling of prohibited items into the country by tourists, particularly those bringing in controlled substances and chemicals.

Terrorism

Terrorism is one of the centermost issues that the UDE has modified its system of law and order to address. Since the 1985 failed attack on the Ivory Tower by radical terrorists, terrorism has become increasingly widespread throughout the nation, with many pockets of radical cells living in the barren areas of the deserts surrounding Onza, frequently migrating to avoid detection.

Within the cities, the OCPD investigates and responds to reports of terrorism. Elsewhere in the nation, the Army (EGDF) responds, particularly its counter-terrorism division which was founded after the 1985 attacks.

Some controversial bills have been proposed to curtail the radicalization of Onzaian citizens. One such example is the Internet Anti-Terrorism Act or IATA which received nationwide protests. Many prominent websites, including the prominent search engine Oonzle, blacked out their web pages to protest the bill, which would have given police agencies the authority to blacklist websites believed to be hosting material that could radicalize citizens. The Liberal Party led the crusade against the bill, while some Dem Soc defectors also voted against it.

StepTerrorism.oz.gov was created in 2010 to provide free information to the public that deliberately counters or debunks common points used by recruiters for terrorist cells. Proponents say that the website is a non-intrusive way to counter radical talking points and rumors, although critics argue that the many potential radicals would reject any information provided by the website.

Since the rise of terrorism, the government has invested heavily in developing databases and networks of knowledge about known terrorists. Counterterrorism experts are increasingly coveted by the government, and many educational programs exist that are designed to train government officials and others in responding to terrorism. Onza also frequently lends its counterterrorism resources to other countries who have been victims of terrorism. Since joining the Jisthaheva Treaty Organization, it has partnered with Carcossica to further stamp out the threat of terrorism around the world.

Political Parties

Political parties play a major role in contemporary Onzaian politics. Although four major parties exist, only two have had seats in Congress since 1968 - the Liberal Party and the Democratic Socialist Party. Both parties have generally alternated in successfully electing presidents, although this hasn't always been the case. National Assembly and Senate control has varied from election to election, although for the past decade the Liberals have fared better in the Senate while the Dem Socs have done better in the National Assembly.

The Liberal Party advocates for the government to reduce the size of its public sector and allow more free market. The Dem Socs generally advocate for the status quo in terms of the split between the public and private sector. Some Dem Socs support the expansion of the public sector to include areas such as vehicle manufacturing, although this hasn't gained much traction, even within the party.

The growing tourism industry is also an issue of debate. The Liberals want more control over the flow of tourists into the nation while the Dem Socs see the industry as a promising source of income for the nation - one that has allowed it to invest heavily into its infrastructure and public services in the past two decades.

For social issues, the Liberals have proposed reintroducing prohibitions on certain illicit drugs. Generally, the Dem Socs are opposed due to the costliness of enforcement. However, illicit drug use has been demonstrably rising since the removal of these prohibitions.

On foreign affairs, the positions are not bound to parties. Some Congresspeople feel that the Kojo Doctrine will ultimately be harmful to the nation while others support the measure. Since Mustapha Ihejirika assumed office, however, support for the Kojo Doctrine has grown among all parties and the public in general. Researchers have posited several reasons why, the prevailing theory being the growth in Onza's economy since the dismantling of the Mudima Doctrine.

The Liberals advocate for a reduction in spending across the board. Although both parties concede that debt accumulation is currently at normal levels, the Liberals maintain that the level needs to be lower. One particular area the Liberals have discussed slashing is the amount of money spent on environmental protections and the potential inhibitory effect that emission taxes and penalties have on the growth of various industries in the nation.

Overall, both parties are considered on the left side of the political spectrum. Both support the principles of social democracy that are found in the Constitution.

Other political parties include the Libertarian Party, which advocates for a sharp reduction in the public sector and incentives to help the private sector grow, and the Traditionalist Party - a now mostly-defunct party that focuses primarily on issues pertaining to Onzaians and their heritage and is staunchly anti-tourism.

International Relations

Due to Onza's status up until 2017 as a diplomatically isolationist nation, relations with other nations beyond trade has been limited. Although Onza has taken care to be warm when approaching dignitaries, very few formal treaties or pacts were established since 1940 when the Constitution was drafted. In 2017, President Xolani Kojo instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek amicable relationships with all developed nations that recognize and protect human rights. Since, the nation has joined the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations as well as the Jisthaheva Treaty Organization and has formed warm relations with a number of liberal democracies around the world.

Country Status Current state of relations Mutual Embassies Visa Requirement Foreign Ambassador Onzaian Ambassador
 Agathusa Good Cultural affinity. Historically amicable relationships. Agathusa was once a territory of the Kalahari Empire. Yes No Abramio Scacco Jamil Al-Amir
 Aquidneck Good Cultural affinity from Aquidish regional influence throughout history. Aquidneck transferred several decommissioned ships from its navy to Onza in 2017, heavily boosting relations. Both are CDN members. Yes No TBD Barak Masamba
 Ajerrin Good Onza has recognized the government of Ajerrin and views it as a respectable, democratic nation. Yes No TBD Mubin Saqqaf
 The Babaran Isles Good In addition to forming the Jisthaheva Treaty Organization, the two nations have had cultural affinity, trade routes, and embassy exchanges. Yes No TBD Yahya Hasib
 Chalcia Good Both are members of the CDN. Yes No TBD Anwer Dejen
 Cheonsam Warm Onza has recognized Cheonsam as a legitimate government. Yes No TBD Mihammad Ejiroghene
 Crylante Warm Crylante is an observer state in the CDN. Both states have left-leaning governments. Yes No TBD Ruh Junayd Ali
 Delfina Good Both are members of the CDN. Yes No TBD Imamu Bamidele
 Dreyvisevich Neutral While Onza recognizes the government of Dreyvisevich, the two nations have not interacted beyond this. Yes Yes TBD Ghayth Kgosi
 Glanodel Good Both are members of the CDN. Yes No Helen Daugaard Ala al-Din Hafeez Najm
 Hipasia Warm Onza views Hipasia as one of the only other stable nations in Arabekh. Thus, relations between them are considered warm. Yes No Ishmael Yaar Zayd Ayomide
 Indragiri Neutral Onza has yet to engage Indragiri in diplomacy beyond recognizing their legitimacy. No Yes TBD İslam I'timad
 Karjarma Neutral Onza has not engaged in any diplomacy with Karjarma. No Yes None None
 Kavo Neutral Onza has not engaged in any diplomacy with Kavo. No Yes None None
 Ovandera Neutral Onza has not engaged in any diplomacy with Ovandera. No Yes None None
 Midrasia Good With both nations sharing ties through the CDN as well as key trading, defensive and educational initiatives, Midrasia and Onza hold amicable relations. Midrasia's rapid reassurances to the Onzaian state following the assassination of President-elect Akbar Saab has done much to improve ties between the two nations in recent times. Yes No Philippe Jocques Lerato Mirembe
 Navack Good Both nations are CDN members. Yes No TBD Berhane Asif
 Newrey Good Newrey and Onza enjoyed a technological exchange in the 16th century. Newreyan forces aided the DPRO in the Onzaian Civil War. Newrey dispatched units to train Onzaian naval forces in 2017. Both are members of the CDN. Yes No TBD Ime Jabr
 Rohst Neutral Rohst's involvement with the CSS has reversed the progression of relations between these two nations, but nonetheless they maintain embassies and amicable communications. Yes Yes TBD Abd Allah
 Sacemes Poor Sacemes' sponsoring of the Nation of Irsad has severely strained relationships between the nations. No Yes None None
 Sagalash Warm Onza views Sagalash positively due to their position as an ally to Onza's allies. Yes Yes TBD Kumbukani Amir
 Saraibia Hostile The Emirates maintains a demilitarized zone on the border of the Kalahari Desert with this nation. Saraibian terrorism has prompted the Emirates to formally denounce the nation and withdraw recognition of its governmental legitimacy. No Yes None None
 Tarasanovia Neutral The two nations maintain no significant diplomatic relationships, although Onza recognizes Tarasanovia. No Yes None None
 Ternca Neutral Onza recognizes Ternca and its legitimacy, but the two have done little beyond this. Yes Yes TBD Tinashe Husni
 tir Lhaeraidd Good In addition to regular trade, both nations conduct joint military exercises. Yes No Eamon Kilmarney Kamal Bousaid
 Torroso Poor Torroso's affinity for Volgaria, as well as their involvement with the CSS, has led to a deterioration in relations between the nations. No Yes None None
 Vilemyr Good Vilemyr and Onza are both members of the CDN. Yes No TBD Yohannes Okafor
 Volgaria Poor Volgaria's support of the Muscat regime in Aramas has led to strained ties between the nations. No Yes None None
 Vrnallia Good Both are members of the CDN. Yes No Adli Lapie Khalil Wafula
 Vvarden Good Onza and Vvarden maintain formalized relations. Yes No TBD Tjaart Chinwendu
 Wallais Poor In addition to being an ally to many of Wallais' enemies, Onzaian leadership condemned Wallais after news broke that a Wallaisian official paid a contract killer to eliminate three Onzaian citizens in an effort to cover up a prostitution fling.[9][10] No Yes None None

Since the inception of the Kojo Doctrine, the nation also hasn't been shy to criticize perceived abuses of human rights around the world. Thus, it sent a letter to all major world leaders in late 2017 condemning Saraibia, and President Mustapha Ihejirika personally condemned Veleaz following the news that Veleazan forces shot and killed refugees attempting to flee into Midrasia.

Onza's media personalities have also begun writing more and more opinion pieces relating to world affairs, with prominent pieces ranging from one speculating on the future of Torroso following the death of its Consul to one criticizing the CSS and its member states. Onza's popular satire publication, The Fruit Snack, also frequently pokes fun at other nations around the world.

Military

Main article: United Democratic Emirates Armed Forces

The Onzaian military, officially known as the United Democratic Emirates Armed Forces, consists of the Onzaian Army (Emirates Ground Defense Force), the Onzaian Navy (Emirates Naval Defense Force), the Onzaian Air Force (Emirates Airborne Defense Force), and the Onzaian National Guard (Emirates Domestic Defense Force). The Ministry of Defense underneath the President is in charge of the military and its operations.

DPRO soldiers march in Khoba in 1936.
EDF units cross a tributary as part of a training exercise in 1969.

Military service in Onza is on a volunteer basis and consists of roughly 250,000 personnel. No military draft is established, although the Constitution does mandate participation of able males in local militias in the case of invasion. Enlistees must be between the ages of 17 and 40. Women have been allowed in the military since 1940.

The EDF abides by a strict set of rules of engagement, particularly when responding to domestic threats. These rules were created in 1940 in response to the brutality witnessed during the Onzaian Civil War by both sides. Enhanced interrogation techniques, for example, were outlawed, and a very strict set of protocol pertaining to the treatment of prisoners of war also was adopted.

Active operations include the deployment of both the National Guard (EDDF) and the Army (EGDF) along the edge of the Kalahari Desert to maintain the Onzaian-Saraibian Demilitarized Zone, regular patrols by the Navy (ENDF) around Al-Khatin Island and areas near the Strait of Torroso, regular air sweeps over the DMZ and Al-Khatin Island by the Air Force (EADF), and training OCPD forces on how to respond to terrorism.

The EGDF regularly attempts to dismantle terrorist cells based in the desert - many of whom are radicalized by Saraibian influences - while simultaneously respecting uncontacted peoples and their respective cultures. This has led to debates in recent times over the efficacy of these anti-terrorism operations.

The EADF maintains a small amount of fighter jets, cargo jets, bombers, unmanned aerial vehicles, and helicopters that are reserved for domestic use and rare interventions in humanitarian crises. The ENDF has a small fleet of battleships, destroyers, and missile cruisers. The EGDF and EDDF both draw from a pool of modern armor, unmanned ground vehicles, APCs, and off-road vehicles. Many of the models employed are decommissioned units from other nations, particularly due to Onza's lack of funding for military technology research.

International Crises

The UDE's Constitution has built in provisions that encourage the government to contribute units, equipment, and supplies to coalition efforts to address gross abuses. The Liberal Party has tried unsuccessfully on a few occasions to have these clauses and provisions removed, in spite of protest from the Dem Socs.

In order to intervene in another nation's conflict, a congressional commission must be established and must independently review the circumstances of a conflict and determine if the scope of the human rights violations are grand enough to justify militarized intervention.

The Dem Socs have proposed war with Saraibia in the past, sometimes on the basis of addressing the nation's social instability, but have never been granted a declaration of war from the President, even those who were Dem Socs themselves.

Continued terrorist attacks from Saraibia have renewed tensions and leave the question of how the Emirates will respond uncertain.

In November 2017, the Emirates dispatched a portion of the Arabkehi Anti-Piracy Task Force to Aramas to provide additional facilities for Aquidish citizens and refugees fleeing the nation.

Intelligence Gathering

A major component of the Onzaian military is the Office of Valuable Intelligence (OVI). The OVI traces its roots the the Onzaian policy of observing foreign nations during the Age of Exploration without intervention. In some cases, agents infiltrated foreign societies and collected intelligence on local happenings and domestic politics. In 1914, the OVI was established. The agency has remained impartial to party politics and has been known to collect intelligence on domestic political figures without their knowledge, which has been the source of controversy on multiple occasions. The OVI continues to operate today, even in nations where relations are considered warm, and collects intelligence.

In some cases, the means that agents of the OVI have obtained information would be considered illegal by the nation being spied on. Agents are oftentimes trained in deception, disguise, infiltration, and combat. This has sometimes led to imprisonment or death of these agents in foreign lands, particularly in 1998 when an OVI agent was sentenced to death in Saraibia after being caught collecting DNA samples from a major tribal lord. Inversely, some deaths internationally have been the source of scrutiny and have led to accusations that the OVI was responsible for said death. In spite of this, none of these cases have been proven, and the UDE has denied involvement in every major incident.

Diplomatically, the UDE maintains that it does not share gathered intelligence, nor does it disseminate that information to other parts of the military. Nonetheless, congressmen from both major parties have tried unsuccessfully for years to disestablish the OVI.

When a rogue OVI agent conspired with Saraibian terrorists to conduct the 19 August 2017 attacks,[11] a congressional committee was formed to review the OVI and determine its future.[12] A series of reforms handing oversight to Congress rather than the Ivory Tower were announced in February 2018 in response, though the OVI was ultimately spared from dismantlement.[13]

Economy

The economy of Onza is based on the philosophy of social democracy - a regulated, somewhat-coordinated market economy that exists within a capitalist framework. Several government sectors such as healthcare, law and order, education, welfare, public transport, and social policy make up roughly a quarter of the economy, while another quarter comes from state-owned industry in areas such as certain natural resource extractions, construction, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals. The remaining half of the economy derives from the private sector, which is dominated by tourism, retail, manufacturing, service, food, and information technology.

The extent of regulation varies based on the industry. Most regulations in the private sector cover consumer protection - a philosophy popularized by the Dem Socs in the 1960s that has since become universally-supported policy. Others include environmental regulations such as carbon taxes aimed at reducing emissions and comfort regulations that are aimed at reducing the impact some industries - particularly tourism - have on Onzaian quality of life. Regulations also exist that affect companies' abilities to globalize and expand to oversea operations.

The currency of Onza is the Kniwni, or KK. It is a form of fiat currency, and replaced gold and silver coins officially in 1636.

Energy

A major solar plant in Onza represents where the majority of the nation's power comes from.
A picture of a street in Kunta during peak traffic.

One of the largest solar plants in the world, the Moçâmedes Solar Array, exists in Onza. The array generates nearly 850 MW of power for the nation. Renewable energy has been vastly preferred to traditional fossil fuel energy since the 1950s, and as a result, the UDE has one of the highest rates of use of renewable energy in the world. The nation also draws power from nuclear power plants, vast wind farms, geothermal energy plants, and a few hydroelectric dams. In very few cases, oil or coal power plants generate energy, although these are being phased out.

Periods of daylight deficiency have caused issues in the past due to the nation's dependence on solar power. The government has also spent a tremendous amount of money charging battery banks to keep power sustained at adequate levels throughout the night. In periods where this lack of electrical production has become extreme, the government has instituted emergency energy conservation measures. While controversial, this has only occurred twice in the nation's history. In an effort to remedy the problem, several large wind farms have been built to provide supplemental power to areas that used to depend solely on solar plants for their energy. During times of peak production and efficiency, the excess energy is routed to other areas or used to charge battery banks. Since 2000, construction of major structures in cities has included solar arrays built into the architecture in an effort to make some buildings self-sustaining, although the results of this effort have been fairly mixed. The Ivory Tower is one example of success, however. Since the addition of solar arrays to its base construction in 2004, the building has produced enough electricity to power itself completely at maximum consumption, and battery banks allow the building to operate at 85% consumption at night. Research efforts have also been made to advance solar panels that can continue to collect sunlight even at nighttime.

Many private homes that exist in the suburbs outside of cities have opted to have solar shingles installed - an emerging technology that builds solar cells directly into roofing in order to power homes. Developments by international companies in recent times have allowed this technology to become more affordable and more accessible to citizens.

Although electricity is considered omnipresent within the nation by the government, a few smaller villages that exist outside of the cities are totally without power, and have been for decades.[14] This issue has been the subject of extreme scrutiny internationally given that the nation prides itself on being a beacon to human rights. The government's response, in particular, has been the source of criticism, with President Shakil Hussain saying in 2006 that those living in said impoverished conditions should "simply move to the city."

Some landfills near the Kalahari Desert have begun incinerating trash to generate nominal amounts of power for nearby cities. This has been the subject of national scrutiny, however, and the Dem Socs adopted a plan to add these emissions to the list of banned emissions in the next few years.

Transportation

Private car ownership remains the most common form of travel, due primarily to commuters who travel the highways between cities, and drivers in the less congested areas of major cities. Smaller cities are sufficiently large for their density to make driving a private vehicle feasible. Public transportation has been greatly expanded in the past three decades, with city management teams making efforts to stamp out the need for private vehicles in cities altogether. This particular occurs with city buses and underground metros, though in a few specific cases, this includes ferries and trains.

Connecting a few of the centermost, largest cities in Onza is a high-speed rail system, which was constructed in 2012. The rail carries passengers between the major cities rapidly and inexpensively. Air travel is generally reserved for trips out of the country, though some domestic flights are popular. Fly Emirates is Onza's largest airline company, and is especially popular for tourists flying into Onza from other countries.

The majority of the nation's airports are publicly owned, although the majority of the airline companies are privatized (albeit well-regulated).

Water and Sanitation

Like energy, access to clean water and ample sanitation facilities is considered universal by the government. In spite of this, some small villages in the desert have no access to clean water whatsoever or are dependent on wells. Most of the nation's freshwater supply comes from the massive Kalakoro River and its tributaries. Water is usually purified through reverse osmosis or distillation.

Demographics

Since 1915, a decennial census records the overall population and its ethnic breakdown. The census was originally mailed to participants and participants were allowed a six-month period to respond. Since 2015, however, citizens have the option of completing the census online or via the form's mobile app, available on various popular mobile operating systems. The 2015 population of the UDE was 46,117,256. Population growth has been widely stunted over the course of the nation's history due to its isolationist tendencies. One of the stated aims of President Xolani Kojo's directive to end Onzaian isolationism was to increase the population growth rate by allowing more immigrants into the country every year.

A rare image of a group of aboriginal Onzaians in 1933. These tribes have not assimilated into Onzaian society.

Population density is particularly unusual in the UDE. As vast stretches of desert are entirely uninhabited, the population density is low overall, but moderate in the major cities. This has, historically, given Onza an upper hand in defensive conflicts, and is believed to have turned many potential invaders away, though modern warfare defeats this defensive benefit. It is estimated that just under 3,000 people live outside of the cities in villages in the nation's three deserts -- a number that has shrunk considerably over the past three decades.

Language

The officially recognized languages in Onza are Onzaian and Newreyan. Onzaian is virtually identical to Saraibian, but was renamed in official documents beginning in the 1970s due to increased hostilities and strained relations. Newreyan was officially adopted in the 1700s in response to the growing population in the Newreyan-controlled city of Oshaxas. Since then, the language has been used fairly consistently and by sizable populations. Most public education programs in the nation teach Newreyan in addition to Onzaian.

Smaller portions of the population are fluent in languages other than these two, with the next largest population of speakers going to Aquidish, followed by Midrasian and Carcosse. These languages are recognized by the government, and thus most official documents are translated into them. However, since they're not official languages, publicly funded buildings and signs rarely feature translations into them.

Religion

A large portion of the Onzaian population is pagan thanks to the Age of Rationalism and Pharaoh Amal Nazar Alfarsi's irreverence towards religion at the turning of national ideology. Several policies were created that aimed to persecute followers of Irsad, and paganism was incentivized under his reign. This was to much controversy initially, but small uprisings were put down quickly by Alfarsi's military forces, and over the years, people abandoned Irsad in mass amounts. In addition, isolationism is thought to have prevented religion from spreading, as missionaries were generally expelled from communities all throughout Onzaian history. In the 2015 census, 44.5% of the population described themselves as "atheist," or "pagan," while 29.3% identified as followers of Irsad. Meanwhile, 23.6% of the population practice Mazdayasna - derived from the Çinaki tribes in the northwestern part of Saraibia and the Çinaki populations in Onza. 2.6% answered "other" or "prefer not to answer."

In government, no religion is officially recognized, and the Constitution calls for a separation of church and state "in an effort to protect citizens of all faiths and non-faiths." Although some Liberal congressmen have proposed tax relief laws in the past that would include a tax exemption for churches, these have not passed, and churches continue to pay regular tax rates.

Icons of ancient Onzaian Pantheism continue to make appearances in popular culture and are still a part of some government insignia.

Ethnicity

Although Onzaians of all ancient backgrounds (Kemenari, Onzaian, Çinaki, Kalahari, or Onibasi) are referred to as Onzaians and claim Onzaian as their ethnicity, the population of Onza is reported for international purposes as 98.4% nonwhite. The remaining 2.6% are either white or another ethnicity. The Çinaki are considered distinct, however, due to the history behind their assimilation into Onza. A negligible number of Saraibian refugees also live within the nation.

In popular culture, ethnicity bears little significance to the people of Onza. Institutions of racialized slavery never existed in Onza, and thus races is generally not recorded in most population breakdowns.

Many groups of uncontacted peoples that live in the desert are excluded from data on ethnicity out of respect for their aboriginal status. Policies towards these sometimes-hostile groups have varied under different presidents.

Family structure

The age of adulthood in the Emirates is 17. This is also the legal age of consent to marriage. Some 54% of Onzaians over 17 are married, with 1% widowed and 6% divorced. Historically, women have focused on maintaining the home, or working from home, but since 1921, this trend has changed. Increasingly, both parents in the home work jobs, and the gender makeup of stay-at-home parents has diversified to include more men. It's common for children in Onza to live with their parents into early adulthood, sometimes until college completion. The age of emancipation is 17.

Teenage pregnancy is somewhat rare, due in part to a wide availability of contraceptives in public schools. Nevertheless, teen pregnancies still occur, with the highest rates taking place in the rural areas outside of urban centers. Abortion has been legal in the nation since 1965 during the first and second trimesters. Adoption is legal, though administrative hurdles exist for adopting children from foreign countries. Adoption from within Onza is markedly simple, however. Same-sex marriage has been legal since the Constitution's inception, and same-sex couples are also allowed to adopt. Polygamy has been a matter of controversy within the nation, and although polygamous marriages are not recognized, polygamous partnerships are known to occur.

Culture

The culture of Onza is generally distinct in the sense that low immigration throughout Onzaian history has brought little foreign influences in. Nonetheless, the culture has been shaped by surrounding nations, particularly Saraibia and the influence that Aquidneck had there while it held Saraibia as a colony. In addition, Newreyan influences grew prominent during the 17th century along the northern coast thanks to their sovereignty over the city of Oshaxas at the time.

Onzaian social expectations are built on a system of virtues that citizens are expected to embody when in public. Among the most important of these are compassion and kindness. Onzaians are generally reserved people in public, often shunning loud acts or needlessly public disruptions. Exceptions exist, however, such as during public festivals and holidays.

Family plays a big role in Onzaian culture, with children often remaining close to their parents even beyond coming of age. As a result, living space is important to Onzaians, thus the development of suburbs for families to live in. Religion, even amongst followers of Irsad, generally takes a backseat in Onzaian life, with few mosques existing beyond major population centers. Onzaians place a high value on social engagements, and thus gatherings of friends and family are popular and conducive to the food and entertainment industries.

Food

Kabsa is a popular dish with roots in Saraibia.

Onzaian food is generally a mix of dishes from the surrounding regions. Dishes most commonly incorporate some form of fried rice and meat. Many of these, such as kabsa, also tend to feature beans, nuts, and even full cuts of meat. Eating is often viewed as a social event, and thus restaurants that open in Onza's cities tend to flourish so long as they are fairly unique. Still, the majority of Onzaians cook and eat in their own homes, although the restaurant industry has seen a rise in prominence in recent decades - particularly fast food. Government regulations require prominently displayed nutrition facts as well as government designated warnings. For example, if an order of fast food french fries is high in sodium, "Consuming an excess of this product may cause high sodium related diseases and health issues" would be displayed near the food item and in some cases, its respective advertisements. This has curtailed some of fast food's rise, albeit at the price of curtailed economic growth within the industry.

In spite of the relatively barren conditions of the desert, the nation relies heavily on agriculture and produces a large amount of food for its population when compared to other nations. Fruits that grow naturally in Onza include walnuts, limes, pomegranates, apples, apricots, grapes, and oranges. Thanks to greenhouse technology and other advances in hydroponics, the nation also enjoys a fair yield of kiwifruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, and pineapples, though these are consequently more expensive to consumers. Fruits appear in a wide variety of national dishes, but are also consumed raw by citizens and are often available in waiting rooms of varying offices around the country.

Other crops in the region include wheat, barley, beans, rye, peas, and oats. These crops are grown predominantly in the fertile lands around the Kalakoro River, though some are yielded exclusively from hydroponics and greenhouse production. Onza produces little fertilizer, and thus relies on other nations to import it in order to sustain its agricultural industry.

Onzaians generally obtain their ingredients from grocery stores that purchase from government suppliers or directly from farmers. Isolated populations outside of the cities still grow their own food. Nonetheless, obesity is not considered a nationwide issue, and the population is overall fairly healthy. In recent years, online retailers have attempted to begin enabling consumers to order groceries online and have them delivered directly to their home.

Several restaurants have opened that are themed around nations all around Aeia, especially in recent years given the broadening of international interactions. These have proven to be very popular among consumers, with some of the most successful restaurant chains in the nation now being internationally owned or primarily serving a cuisine found in another nation. Aquidish and Carcossian dishes are particularly popular among restaurant goers.

The act of cooking has also become a cultural staple, with many TV channels devoted specifically to cooking shows gaining prominence in recent years.

Music

Ismail Husayn Abdulrashid, Onzaian realistic fiction author.
The cello, although not native to Onza, is an instrument of national pride, and featured in many traditional Onzaian songs.

Traditional music in Onza - which continues to influence popular contemporary artists - generally incorporates a large amount of drums and places an emphasis on harmony. The national anthem of Onza, النشيد الوطني, is an example of this sort of music. Artists in pop, hip-hop, R&B, and rap have become increasingly prominent in the past three decades. Rock music, including alternative rock, grunge rock, and other forms, has seen a decline overall in popularity but still maintains a loyal listening base, and artists in this field still put out new music to a fair amount of success.

In addition, music from other countries has taken hold in Onza, as many are fascinated by the unique sounds of bands and music groups from all across the world. Onza's participation in Aeiavision 2 was very prominent in exposing Onzaians to foreign music, as foreign songs began to trend on social media platforms as a result of the competition.

Onzaian classical music has included composers talented in arranging for the cello and piano, as well as some other instruments. The cello is recognized by the government as a cultural icon and is protected. The piano is also acknowledged as such, although to a lesser extent. These instruments are available commercially to Onzaians at rates that are lower than nearby countries, thanks solely to the national significance placed on the instruments. Famous classical composers from Asura have gained even more prominence than most among Onzaian citizens, and Onzaian chamber choirs, opera singers, and performers have performed their own renditions of the music. These shows have been performed to sold-out audiences in cabarets, opera halls, theaters, and art centers around the nation.

Literature, philosophy, and the arts

Onzaian authors have been recognized internationally for their contributions to the world of literature. Authors such as Ismail Husayn Abdulrashid and Ayyub El-Amin are renowned internationally for their works of realistic fiction, while several other authors have tackled complex social issues in their plots, such as the works of Bakr Boulos. Onzaian journalists have also won several international awards for breaking stories of global significance and calling attention to issues within the UDE.

Onzaian philosophers are generally not considered of international significance as most of them restricted their ideas to Onzaian politics and government. As a result, the nation derives much of its mainstream philosophy from other philosophers around the world of international significance, especially Asuran philosophers. Nevertheless, some domestically produced ones, such as Omran Tural, composed prominent works early on relating to the concepts of social democracy, and are still consulted today.

Art in the UDE is protected, recognized, and supported by the government. Artists such as Malak Mohammed enjoyed much success at the time when their paintings and works of art were published. Other artists, however, such as Tahmid Nagi and Nadir Ajam, did not have their works popularized until after their deaths. Nonetheless, several museums exist around the nation that actively purchase works of art from upcoming artists, even as the world moves increasingly towards digital artwork and graphic design. The ultramodern movement has also taken hold, with artwork placing emphasis on being minimalist and simple at a glance.

Cinema

Since 1929, attending showings of movies and films in various cinemas and movie theaters has been a favorite pastime of Onzaian citizens. The drive-in theaters that dominated the industry at the time have become extinct except in cases of novelty businesses. Cinemas still enjoy success, even as streaming services bring Onzaians access to thousands of popular films in their homes.

Onzaian blockbusters occasionally receive international attention, such as Invicta and The Dunes of War. In spite of its isolationism throughout its history, many cinemas purchased foreign films to show to Onzaians. Classics in Onzaian cinema are frequently brought back by theaters in an attempt to counteract declining moviegoer attendance, to mixed success.

Popular streaming services on the internet have threatened the status of movie theaters, though the latter maintains a niche market among particular viewers. Streaming services have gotten large enough to begin sponsoring production of movies of their own, oftentimes to critical acclaim. Onza also has a noted guild of movie critics who screen a variety of international films and publish their opinions for the world to read.

Sports

The most popular sport in Onza is tennis, followed by basketball, and golf. These sports all have national professional leagues and generate vast amounts of profit each year. These sporting events are generally popular among tourists. Men and women both have their own independent leagues in all three of these sports.

In recent decades, football has become increasingly popular in the nation, with the Emirates hosting the 2006 Copa d'Aeia in Kunta. Notably, Onza's team performed abysmally in the 2017 Copa, which has stunted national interest in the sport.

Mixed martial arts, boxing, and kickboxing are also popular in the nation, particularly among younger demographics. Several fighters trained in Onza have gone on to win international recognition and established fandoms around the world. Gambling, although somewhat illegal in the nation, is oftentimes broadcast as a sport, particularly poker.

Many athletes have trained to be successful in track and field as well, although this has only recently gained prominence in the nation. Swimming has been a favorite of colleges, but in general has struggled to attract major interest from the Onzaian public. Hockey has had a similar fate, with an attempt to draw attention to it being made in 2001 by the Onzaian Hockey League, only for it to shut down due to bankruptcy a year later.

References

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