A. Discuss the questions in pairs.

1. Have you ever visited any island or seen any island on TV?
2. Have you ever heard of a coral island? Is there any coral island in Bangladesh?
3. What do you know about the Maldives?

B. Now read the text below and answer the questions that follow.

The Republic of Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It
has 1199 islands that are clustered into 26 major atolls. An atoll is a
ring-shaped coral reef or a string of closely spaced coral islands. The natural
coral reefs of the Maldives are surrounded by the sea all around and stand out
as a pearl in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is the eighth smallest country in
the world with an area of only 300 square kilometers . It is the smallest Asian
country in terms of population and size.

People have been living on the islands of the Maldives for nearly 3000
years. They set sail from different parts of the world – Asia, Arabia, Europe
and America —to come to these islands. The earliest settlers of the Maldives
were probably from southern India and Sri Lanka who came to these islands in
the fourth and fifth centuries BC. In the 12th century AD, sailors from East
Africa and Arab countries came to the Maldives. As a result, the Maldivians who
were originally Buddhists were converted to Sunni Islam in the mid-12th
century. In 1344 Ibn Batuta, a famous Arab historian and scholar travelled
around the Maldives.

In the 16th century, the Portuguese conquered the Maldives and ruled
the country for 15 years. Although governed as an independent Islamic sultanate
for most of its history from 1153 to 1968, the Maldives was a British colony
from 1887 to 1965. Following independence from Britain in 1965, the sultanate
continued to operate for another 3 years. On November 11, 1968, the sultanate
was abolished and replaced by a republic and the country assumed its present

The Maldives is famous as a tourist destination because of its
pleasant weather, heavenly beaches and lagoons, luxurious holiday resorts and
the peace-loving people. The Maldives was ranked as the best country for
beautiful beaches and facilities for recreation in 2008.

SSC English First Paper | Unit Six | Lesson: 03 | Our Neighbours | The Maldives

The Maldives is well known for being the lowest country in the world.
Unfortunately, this small country with idyllic natural beauty is under threat
from rising sea levels due to global warming. Most of the country is just 1.5
meters above sea level with the highest point of 2.3 meters! Many predictions
have been made with respect to Maldives being swept away by the rising water
level in the Indian Ocean, when the power tsunami of2004 hit the island nation,
many of the island’s dry parts were flooded by the sea water. The government of
the Maldives has begun to purchase land from nearby countries for resettling
its people in case the islands go under water! In order to highlight the
threats of global warming to its low lying islands, the government of Maldives
held a cabinet meeting underwater in 2009.

That was the first ever underwater cabinet meeting in the world. The
meeting took place about 5 meter underwater, in a blue-grccn lagoon on a small
island. While underwater, the cabinet signed a document calling on all nations
to cut their carbon emissions.

C. Ask and answer the questions.

1. What is an atoll?

2. How many countries in the world are smaller than the Maldives in

3. When was Islam introduced in the Maldives?

4. What makes the Maldives an ideal place for the tourists?

5. What dangers of climate change might affect the Maldives?

6. Do you support the idea of having a cabinet meeting underwater?
What could be the reason for holding such a strange meeting?

D.  Complete the table with no
more than two words and/or numbers.



early inhabitants of the Maldives arrived and settled from Southern India and
Sri Lanka.

The sailors from African and Arab countries started
to settle in the islands. Buddhism was ……… by Islam.

A famous scholar and
historian named Ibn Batuta visited the islands of the Maldives.

the Portuguese occupied the Maldives and became
the…………………… of
the country for 15 years

Beginning of the British………………………………… era.

Maldives became independent
from the British rule.

of Islamic sultanate and

of the Republic of Maldives.

E. Say if the statements are true or false. Give the correct
information in case of a false statement.

1. Only seven countries in the world are smaller in size than the

2. No other South Asian century has a population smaller than the

3. The islands of the Maldives were inhabited in the 12th century.

4. The Maldives was an independent Islamic sultanate from 1153 to

5. The Maldives was ranked as the second best country for natural
beauty in 2008.

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