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Accurate to ±30%

Reader comment on item: Did the CIA Fiddle With Population Statistics about Iran?
in response to reader comment: The Demographics of Iran by Columbia University's Gulf/2000 Project (G2K)

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jan 18, 2015 at 18:49

Hi, Mohammad

I just read your post, because I was curious about your username. It seems as though the Middle East consists of two peoples: Those named Mohammad Abbas or Mahmud Abbas or something, and those who aren't.

I asked my wife what ethnicity she belonged to, and she replied, "I don't have any". I wonder how the CIA Factbook would deal with her. My daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren have citizenship in three different countries, speak four languages fluently, and don't get me going, trying to describe their religion. I'm glad nobody has tried to pigeonhole us all -- we'd end up in four different countries and not be able to see one another.

You're a Kuwaiti. If you were like the Saudis, you would solve the "ethnicity" puzzle by marrying first- and second cousins, banning or persecuting "alien" religions, and not granting citizenship to anyone who has the wrong pedigree. Daniel's people, the Jews, likewise do their best to ensure that all their grandchildren have Jewish mothers. For most of the rest of us, things aren't that clear-cut.

That "63.3%" figure is probably as accurate as a warped arrow shot by a spastic. I would guess that it's accurate to ±60% -- OK, let's say ±30%; and I may be too generous there.

Submitting....

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