Gibralter

The Rock of Gibraltar has been a British possession since 1713. It’s a small peninsula on the South coast of Spain, and has been a matter of contention between Britain and Spain for three centuries—it still is. Gibraltar is a small area with a small population of 30,000, 99% of whom recently voted in a poll to stay affiliated with Britain. The actual Rock is a sort of mountain, and has been a strong British fortress for centuries. It guards the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, where Africa and Europe are only a few miles apart. Gibraltar has long been of immense significance in naval warfare, particularly in World War Two, as a “choke point” because a huge amount of world trade passes through. The Rock of Gibraltar has been a metaphor for strength and solidity. It got its name from an Arab general, Tariq ibn Zayed, who led the Muslim invasion of Spain in the year 711. It was called Jebal al Tariq, meaning Tariq’s Mountain. Jebal al Tariq became the Spanish Gibraltar. The British fortress is named after a Muslim conqueror.

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