The Comoros, officially known as the Union of the Comoros, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa. Comoros is made of the three islands: Grande Comore (Ngazidja), Mohéli (Mwali), and Anjouan (Ndzuani) and even though it claim sovereignty over the fourth major island Mayotte (Maore), this island is administered by the French government. (1)
The name “Comoros” derives from the Arabic word قمر al-Khamar, meaning “island of small moon.”
The capital and largest city, Moroni, is located on Ngazidja (Grande Comore). The volcanic islands of the Comorian archipelago have been called the “perfumed islands” for their fragrant plant life and are known for their great scenic beauty.
The Comorian archipelago is situated in the Indian Ocean, in the Mozambique Channel, between the African coast (nearest to Mozambique and Tanzania) and Madagascar, with no land borders. At 1,861 km (719 sq mi), it is the fourth smallest country in Africa. The Comoros also has claim to 320 km(120 sq mi) of territorial seas. The interiors of the islands vary from steep mountains to low hills.
Grande Comore is the largest island. It rises near its southern end in an active volcano, called Mount Karthala and it is the country’s highest point at 7,746 feet (2,361 metres). Mount Karthala has erupted more than a dozen times in the past two centuries.
Here is a photo of Mount Karthala:
The capital, Moroni, lies in the shadow of the volcano along the island’s west coast:
The islanders reflect a diversity of origins. Malay immigrants and Arab and Persian traders have mixed with peoples from Madagascar and with various African peoples. Most of the islands’ inhabitants speak island-specific varieties of Comorian (Shikomoro), a Bantu language related to Swahili and written in Arabic script. Comorian, Arabic, and French are the official languages. French is the language of administration. Most Comorians are Sunni Muslims, and Islam is the state religion. (2)
More than two-thirds of the people live in rural areas, and most of the population is centred on the two larger islands; Grande Comore contains about half of the country’s population, Anjouan about two-fifths, and Mohéli less than one-tenth. (2)
This is the flag of Comoros:
The design consists of a white crescent with four white five-pointed stars inside of a green triangle. The flag has four stripes, representing the four islands of the nation: Yellow is for Mohéli, White is for Mayotte (claimed by Comoros but administered by France), Red is for Anjouan, and Blue is for Grande Comore. The four stars on the flag also symbolize the four islands of the Comoros. The star and crescent symbol stands for their main religion, Islam. (1)
This is the National Seal of the Comoros:
The national seal of the Comoros has the crescent found on the national flag in the center; within this crescent are the four stars found on the flag. A sun with rays extended is right above the crescent. Around the focal point, the name of the nation (Union of the Comoros) is written in both French and Arabic. The border is composed of two olive branches, with the national motto at the bottom in French. Its translation is: “Unity, Solidarity, Development.” (1)