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Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of
Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with Africa. Asia covers an ...
, as defined by some academics, UN bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officia ...
, and includes
Anatolia Anatolia, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau, also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. ...
, the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. ...
,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆما ...
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of th ...
, the Armenian Highlands, the
Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, which is in use today in archaeology and other cultural contexts, it is ...
, the island of Cyprus, the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, , cop, Ⲥⲓⲛⲁ), is a peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also ...
, and partly the Caucasus Region (
Transcaucasia The South Caucasus, also known as Transcaucasia or the Transcaucasus, is a geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is a subregion of the European continent. As a largely ambiguous term, it has a wide range of ge ...
). The region is considered to be separated from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of ...
by the Isthmus of Suez in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of Asia via a land bridg ...
, and separated from
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
by the waterways of the Turkish Straits and the watershed of the Greater Caucasus.
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the ...
lies to its northeast, while
South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental l ...
lies to its east. Twelve seas surround the region (clockwise): the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi ( Greek: Αιγαίο Πέλαγος: "Egéo Pélagos", Turkish: "Ege Denizi" or "Adalar Denizi") is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atla ...
, the
Sea of Marmara The Sea of Marmara,; grc, Προποντίς, Προποντίδα, Propontís, Propontída also known as the Marmara Sea, is an inland sea located entirely within the borders of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Repu ...
, the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of Anatolia. It is bounded by Bulgaria, Geor ...
, the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, often described as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. An endorheic basin, it lies between Europe and Asia; east of the Caucasus, west of the broad steppe of Central ...
, the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Se ...
, the Gulf of Oman, the
Arabian Sea The Arabian Sea ( ar, اَلْبَحرْ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Bahr al-ˁArabī) is a region of the northern Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or ~19.8% of the wa ...
, the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒅𐒖𐒐𐒕𐒌 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒗𐒒) is a deepwater gulf of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or ~19.8% ...
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر - بحر القلزم, translit=Modern: al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar, Medieval: Baḥr al-Qulzum; or ; Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϩⲁϩ ''Phiom Enhah'' or ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲁⲣⲓ ''Phiom ǹšari''; ...
, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Gulf of Suez, and the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (; also known as the Mediterranean Region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands ...
. Western Asia covers an area of , with a population of around 313 million. Out of the 20 UN member countries located fully or partly within the region, 13 are a part of the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, اَلْعَالَمُ الْعَرَبِيُّ '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, refers to a vast group of countries, mainly located in Western A ...
. The most populous countries in Western Asia are
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆما ...
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
,
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
and
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast a ...
. In the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions (WGSRPD), Western Asia excludes the Arabian Peninsula.


Definition

The term ''West Asia'' is used pragmatically and has no "correct" or generally agreed-upon definition. Its typical definitions overlap substantially, but not entirely, with definitions of the terms
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officia ...
, Eastern Mediterranean, and
Near East The ''Near East''; he, המזרח הקרוב; arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ; fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik; tr, Yakın Doğu is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region in Western Asia, that was once the hist ...
(which is historically familiar but is widely deprecated today). The ''
National Geographic ''National Geographic'' (formerly the ''National Geographic Magazine'', sometimes branded as NAT GEO) is a popular American monthly magazine published by National Geographic Partners. Known for its photojournalism, it is one of the most wide ...
Style Manual'' as well as Maddison's '' The World Economy: Historical Statistics'' (2003) by the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries ...
(OECD) only includes Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Palestine (called West Bank and Gaza in the latter), Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, UAE, and Yemen as West Asian countries. In contrast to this definition, the
United Nations Industrial Development Organization The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) (French: Organisation des Nations unies pour le développement industriel; French/Spanish acronym: ONUDI) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that assists countries in ...
(UNIDO) in its 2015 yearbook also includes Armenia and Azerbaijan, and excludes Israel (as Other) and Turkey (as Europe). Unlike the UNIDO, the
United Nations Statistics Division The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), formerly the United Nations Statistical Office, serves under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) as the central mechanism within the Secretariat of the United Nations ...
(UNSD) excludes Iran from Western Asia and includes Turkey, Georgia, and Cyprus in the region. In the United Nations geopolitical
Eastern European Group The Group of Eastern European States (EEG) is one of the five United Nations regional groups The United Nations Regional Groups are the geopolitical regional groups of member states of the United Nations. Originally, the UN member states we ...
, Armenia and Georgia are included in Eastern Europe, whereas Cyprus and East Thracian Turkey are in Southern Europe. These three nations are listed in the European category of the
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergove ...
(UNESCO). National members of Western Asian sports governing bodies are limited to Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The Olympic Council of Asia's multi-sport event West Asian Games are contested by athletes representing these thirteen countries. Among the region's sports organisations are the West Asia Basketball Association, West Asian Billiards and Snooker Federation, West Asian Football Federation, and the West Asian Tennis Federation.


History

"Western Asia" was in use as a geographical term in the early 19th century, before "
Near East The ''Near East''; he, המזרח הקרוב; arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ; fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik; tr, Yakın Doğu is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region in Western Asia, that was once the hist ...
" became current as a geopolitical concept. In the context of the history of
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 5th century AD centred on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ...
, "Western Asia" could mean the part of Asia known in classical antiquity, as opposed to the reaches of "interior Asia", i.e.
Scythia Scythia ( Scythian: ; Old Persian: ; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world Ancient history is a time period from the beginning of writing and re ...
, and "Eastern Asia" the easternmost reaches of geographical knowledge in classical authors, i.e. Transoxania and
India India, officially the Republic of India ( Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on th ...
. In the 20th century, "Western Asia" was used to denote a rough geographical era in the fields of
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, architecture, biofact (archaeology), biofacts ...
and
ancient history Ancient history is a time period from the beginning of writing and recorded human history to as far as late antiquity. The span of recorded history Recorded history or written history describes the historical events that have bee ...
, especially as a shorthand for "the Fertile Crescent excluding Ancient Egypt" for the purposes of comparing the early civilizations of Egypt and the former. Use of the term in the context of contemporary geopolitics or
world economy The world economy or global economy is the economy of all humans of the world, referring to the global economic system, which includes all economic activities which are conducted both within and between nation A nation is a community of pe ...
appears to date from at least the mid-1960s.


Geography

The region is surrounded by eight major seas; the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi ( Greek: Αιγαίο Πέλαγος: "Egéo Pélagos", Turkish: "Ege Denizi" or "Adalar Denizi") is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atla ...
, the
Black Sea The Black Sea is a marginal mediterranean sea of the Atlantic Ocean lying between Europe and Asia, east of the Balkans, south of the East European Plain, west of the Caucasus, and north of Anatolia. It is bounded by Bulgaria, Geor ...
, the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, often described as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. An endorheic basin, it lies between Europe and Asia; east of the Caucasus, west of the broad steppe of Central ...
, the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ), sometimes called the ( ar, اَلْخَلِيْجُ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Khalīj al-ˁArabī), is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Se ...
, the
Arabian Sea The Arabian Sea ( ar, اَلْبَحرْ ٱلْعَرَبِيُّ, Al-Bahr al-ˁArabī) is a region of the northern Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or ~19.8% of the wa ...
, the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒅𐒖𐒐𐒕𐒌 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒗𐒒) is a deepwater gulf of the Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or ~19.8% ...
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر - بحر القلزم, translit=Modern: al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar, Medieval: Baḥr al-Qulzum; or ; Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϩⲁϩ ''Phiom Enhah'' or ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲁⲣⲓ ''Phiom ǹšari''; ...
, and the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (; also known as the Mediterranean Region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands ...
. To the northwest and north, the region is delimited from
Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also considered a Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent of Eurasia ...
by the Turkish Straits and drainage divide of the Greater Caucasus, to the southwest, it is delimited from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of ...
by the Isthmus of Suez, while to the northeast and east, the region adjoins
Central Asia Central Asia, also known as Middle Asia, is a region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the ...
and
South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own right or a subcontinent of Eurasia, which shares the continental l ...
. The region is located east of
Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region of Europe Europe is a large peninsula conventionally considered a continent in its own right because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. Europe is also conside ...
and south of
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is a subregion of the European continent. As a largely ambiguous term, it has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic connotations. The vast majority of the region is covered by Russia ...
. The Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut deserts in eastern
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆما ...
naturally delimit the region from
Balochistan Balochistan ( ; bal, بلۏچستان; also romanised as Baluchistan and Baluchestan) is a historical region in Western and South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable g ...
and South Asia.


Geology


Plate tectonics

Three major tectonic plates converge on Western Asia, including the African, Eurasian, and Arabian plates. The boundaries between the tectonic plates make up the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, extending across
North Africa North Africa, or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in ...
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر - بحر القلزم, translit=Modern: al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar, Medieval: Baḥr al-Qulzum; or ; Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϩⲁϩ ''Phiom Enhah'' or ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲁⲣⲓ ''Phiom ǹšari''; ...
, and into Iran.Beaumont (1988), p. 22 The Arabian Plate is moving northward into the Anatolian plate (Turkey) at the East Anatolian Fault, and the boundary between the Aegean and Anatolian plate in eastern
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
is also
seismic Seismology (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world Ancient history is a time period from the beginning of writing and recorded human histor ...
ally active.


Water resources

Several major
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water Water (chemical formula ) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids o ...
s provide
water Water (chemical formula ) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts a ...
to large portions of Western Asia. In Saudi Arabia, two large aquifers of Palaeozoic and
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period The geologic time scale, or geological time scale, (GTS) is a representation of time based on the rock record of Earth. It is a system of chronological dating that uses chronostratigraphy (the proce ...
origins are located beneath the Jabal Tuwayq mountains and areas west to the Red Sea.Beaumont (1988), p. 86
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period that lasted from about 145 to 66 million years ago (Mya). It is the third and final period of the Mesozoic Era, as well as the longest. At around 79 million years, it is the longest geological period o ...
and
Eocene The Eocene ( ) Epoch is a geological epoch that lasted from about 56 to 33.9 million years ago (mya). It is the second epoch of the Paleogene The Paleogene ( ; also spelled Palaeogene or Palæogene; informally Lower Tertiary or Early Tertia ...
-origin aquifers are located beneath large portions of central and eastern Saudi Arabia, including Wasia and Biyadh which contain amounts of both fresh water and saline water. Flood or furrow irrigation, as well as sprinkler methods, are extensively used for
irrigation Irrigation (also referred to as watering) is the practice of applying controlled amounts of water Water (chemical formula ) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main ...
, covering nearly across Western Asia for agriculture. Also, the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry a ...
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia ( ''the land between the rivers'') ...
rivers contribute very well.


Climate

Western Asia is primarily
arid A region is arid when it severely lacks available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development of plant and animal life. Regions with arid climates tend to lack vegetation and are called xeric or desertic. Most ...
and
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is a dry climate sub-type. It is located on regions that receive precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences (which include atmospheric ...
, and can be subject to
drought A drought is defined as drier than normal conditions.Douville, H., K. Raghavan, J. Renwick, R.P. Allan, P.A. Arias, M. Barlow, R. Cerezo-Mota, A. Cherchi, T.Y. Gan, J. Gergis, D.  Jiang, A.  Khan, W.  Pokam Mba, D.  Rosenfeld, J. Tierney, an ...
, but it also contains vast expanses of forest and fertile valleys. The region consists of
grassland A grassland is an area where the vegetation is dominated by grasses ( Poaceae). However, sedge ( Cyperaceae) and rush ( Juncaceae) can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other herbs. Grasslands occur ...
s, rangelands,
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to denudation. About one ...
s, and
mountains A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust Earth's crust is Earth's thin outer shell of rock, referring to less than 1% of Earth's radius and volume. It is the top component of the lithosphere, a division of Earth's layer ...
. Water shortages are a problem in many parts of West Asia, with rapidly growing
population Population typically refers to the number of people in a single area, whether it be a city or town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish b ...
s increasing demands for water, while salinization and
pollution Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or energy (such as radioactivity, heat, sound, or light). Pollutants, th ...
threaten water supplies. Major rivers, including the
Tigris The Tigris () is the easternmost of the two great river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry a ...
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia ( ''the land between the rivers'') ...
, provide sources for
irrigation Irrigation (also referred to as watering) is the practice of applying controlled amounts of water Water (chemical formula ) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main ...
water to support
agriculture Agriculture or farming is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock Livestock are the domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to provide labor and produce diversified products for consumption such as meat, eggs, ...
. There are two wind phenomena in Western Asia: the ''sharqi'' and the '' shamal''. The ''sharqi'' (or ''sharki'') is a
wind Wind is the natural movement of air or other gases relative to a planet's surface. Winds occur on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few ...
that comes from the south and southeast. It is seasonal, lasting from April to early June, and comes again between late September and November. The winds are dry and dusty, with occasional gusts up to 80 kilometres per hour (50 miles per hour) and often kick up violent sand and dust storms that can carry sand a few thousand meters high, and can close down airports for short periods of time. These winds can last for a full day at the beginning and end of the season, and for several days during the middle of the season. The ''shamal'' is a summer northwesterly wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states (including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), often strong during the day, but decreasing at night. This weather effect occurs anywhere from once to several times a year.


Topography

Western Asia contains large areas of mountainous terrain. The Anatolian Plateau is sandwiched between the Pontus Mountains and Taurus Mountains in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
.
Mount Ararat Mount Ararat or , ''Ararat''; or is a snow-capped and dormant compound volcano in the extreme east of Turkey. It consists of two major volcanic cones: Greater Ararat and Little Ararat. Greater Ararat is the highest peak in Turkey and the ...
in Turkey rises to 5,137 meters. The
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( ar, جبال زاغروس, translit=Jibal Zaghrus; fa, کوه‌های زاگرس, Kuh hā-ye Zāgros; ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyakani Zagros; Turkish: ''Zagros Dağları''; Luri: ''Kuh hā-ye Zāgr ...
are located in Iran, in areas along its border with Iraq. The Central Plateau of Iran is divided into two
drainage basin A drainage basin is an area of land where all flowing surface water converges to a single point, such as a river mouth, or flows into another body of water, such as a lake or ocean. A basin is separated from adjacent basins by a perimeter ...
s. The northern basin is Dasht-e Kavir (Great Salt Desert), and Dasht-e-Lut is the southern basin. In
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast a ...
, elevations exceed 3,700 meters in many areas, and
highland Highlands or uplands are areas of high elevation such as a mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust Earth's crust is Earth's thin outer shell of rock, referring to less than 1% of Earth's radius and volume. I ...
areas extend north along the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر - بحر القلزم, translit=Modern: al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar, Medieval: Baḥr al-Qulzum; or ; Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϩⲁϩ ''Phiom Enhah'' or ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲁⲣⲓ ''Phiom ǹšari''; ...
coast and north into
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, tra ...
. A fault-zone also exists along the Red Sea, with continental
rifting In geology Geology () is a branch of natural science concerned with Earth and other astronomical objects, the features or rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Modern geology significantly ov ...
creating trough-like
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area may refer to the land forms and features themselves, or a description or depiction in maps. Topography is a field of geoscience and planetary s ...
with areas located well-below
sea level Mean sea level (MSL, often shortened to sea level) is an average surface level of one or more among Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large volumes of wate ...
. The
Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יַם הַמֶּלַח, ''Yam hamMelaḥ''; ar, اَلْبَحْرُ الْمَيْتُ, ''Āl-Baḥrū l-Maytū''), also known by other names, is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel Israel ...
, located on the border between the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية, translit=aḍ-Ḍiffah al-Ġarbiyyah; he, הגדה המערבית, translit=HaGadah HaMaʽaravit, also referred to by some Israelis as ) is a landlocked territory near the coast of the Medite ...
,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
, and
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ' is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia ...
, is situated at 418 m (1371 ft) below sea level, making it the lowest point on the surface of the
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. While large volumes of water can be found throughout the Solar System, only Earth sustains liquid surface water. About 71% of Earth's sur ...
. Rub' al Khali, one of the world's largest sand deserts, spans the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia, parts of Oman, the
United Arab Emirates The United Arab Emirates (UAE; ar, اَلْإِمَارَات الْعَرَبِيَة الْمُتَحِدَة ), or simply the Emirates ( ar, الِْإمَارَات ), is a country in Western Asia (Middle East, The Middle East). It is ...
and Yemen. Jebel al Akhdar is a small range of mountains located in northeastern Oman, bordering the Gulf of Oman.


Demographics

The population of Western Asia was estimated at 272 million as of 2008, projected to reach 370 million by 2030 by Maddison (2007; the estimate excludes the Caucasus and Cyprus). This corresponds to an annual growth rate of 1.4% (or a
doubling time The doubling time is the time it takes for a population to double in size/value. It is applied to population growth, inflation, resource extraction, consumption of goods, compound interest, the volume of malignant tumours, and many other thing ...
of 50 years), well above the world average of 0.9% (doubling time 75 years). The population of Western Asia is estimated at about 4% of
world population In demographics, the world population is the total number of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species of primate, characterized by bipedalism and exceptional cognitive skills due to a large an ...
, up from about 39 million at the beginning of the 20th century, or about 2% of world population at the time. The most populous countries in the region are
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
and
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆما ...
, each with around 79 million people, followed by
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
and
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
with around 33 million people each, and
Yemen Yemen (; ar, ٱلْيَمَن, al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen,, ) is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast a ...
with around 29 million people. Numerically, Western Asia is predominantly
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia ...
, Persian, Turkish, and the dominating languages are correspondingly
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C. E.Watson; Walte ...
, Persian and Turkish, each with of the order of 70 million speakers, followed by smaller communities of Kurdish, Azerbaijani,
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, the Jews and Samaritans. It was largely preserv ...
, Armenian and Neo-Aramaic. The dominance of Arabic and Turkish is the result of the medieval
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia ...
and Turkic invasions beginning with the Islamic conquests of the 7th century AD, which displaced the formerly dominant
Aramaic The Aramaic languages, short Aramaic ( syc, ܐܪܡܝܐ, Arāmāyā; oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; tmr, אֲרָמִית), are a language family containing many varieties (languages and dialects) that originated i ...
in the region of Syria, and Greek in Anatolia, although
Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-surviving descendants, the Jews and Samaritans. It was largely preserv ...
became the dominant language in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
in the second half of the 20th century, and Neo-Aramaic (spoken by modern
Arameans The Arameans ( oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; syc, ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ, Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic-speaking people in the Near East The ''Near East''; he, המזרח הקרוב; arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ; fa, خاو ...
, Assyrians, and Chaldeans) and Greek both remain present in their respective territories as minority languages. Significant native minorities include, in alphabetical order:
Arameans The Arameans ( oar, 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; arc, 𐡀𐡓𐡌𐡉𐡀; syc, ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ, Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic-speaking people in the Near East The ''Near East''; he, המזרח הקרוב; arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ; fa, خاو ...
, Assyrians, Chaldeans,
Druze The Druze (; ar, دَرْزِيٌّ, ' or ', , ') are an Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in col ...
,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture an ...
,
Lurs Lurs () are an Iranian people living in the mountains of western Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, ع ...
, Mandeans,
Maronites The Maronites ( ar, الموارنة; syr, ܡܖ̈ܘܢܝܐ) are a Christian ethnoreligious group An ethnoreligious group (or an ethno-religious group) is a grouping of people who are unified by a common religious and ethnic background. Furt ...
, Shabaks and Yezidis.


Religion

Four major religious groups (i.e. the two largest religions in the world: Christianity and Islam, plus Judaism and Druze faith) originated in Western Asia.
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God (or '' Allah'') as it was revealed to Muhammad, the ...
is the largest religion in Western Asia, but other faiths that originated there, such as Judaism and
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion Religion is usually defined as a social- cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or o ...
, are also well represented. In
Armenia Armenia (), , group=pron officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region ...
and Georgia,
Eastern Orthodoxy Eastern Orthodoxy, also known as Eastern Orthodox Christianity, is one of the three main branches of Chalcedonian Christianity, alongside Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Chris ...
is the predominant religion, and there are still different ancient communities of Eastern Christians in
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
. There are still large ancient communities of Eastern Christians (such as Assyrians, Middle Eastern Christians and Arab Christians) in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, tra ...
,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...
,
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆما ...
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country lo ...
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ' is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia ...
,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
and Palestine numbering more than 3 million in
West Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion of the larger geographical region of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most notable geographical regions, which is either considered a continent in its own rig ...
. There are also a large populations of expatriate workers which include a sizeable Christian communities live in
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. ...
numbering more than 3 million. Christian communities have played a vital role in Western Asia. Judaism is the predominant religion in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
, and there are small ancient Jewish communities in Western Asia such as in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Türkiye ( tr, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, links=no ), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula ...
(17,400),
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (, ; az, Azərbaycan ), officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, , also sometimes officially called the Azerbaijan Republic is a transcontinental country, transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Wester ...
(9,100), and
Iran Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and also called Persia, is a country located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆما ...
(8,756). The
Druze The Druze (; ar, دَرْزِيٌّ, ' or ', , ') are an Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in col ...
Faith or Druzism originated in Western Asia. It is a monotheistic religion based on the teachings of figures like Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad and Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah and Greek philosophers such as
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the first instit ...
and
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatetic school of ...
. The number of
Druze The Druze (; ar, دَرْزِيٌّ, ' or ', , ') are an Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in col ...
people worldwide is around one million, with about 45% to 50% living in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, translit=Sūriyā), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, الجمهورية العربية السورية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a Western Asian country lo ...
, 35% to 40% living in
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon () or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or سُورِيَة, tra ...
, and less than 10% living in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, ; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, ), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated ...
; recently there has been a growing Druze diaspora. There are also important minority religions like the Baháʼí Faith, Yarsanism, Yazidism,
Zoroastrianism Zoroastrianism is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster. It has a dualistic cosmology Dualism in cosmology or dualistic cosmology is the mora ...
,
Mandaeism Mandaeism ( Classical Mandaic: ࡌࡀࡍࡃࡀࡉࡉࡀ ; Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in co ...
, and Shabakism.
File:Kaaba mirror edit jj.jpg, Pilgrims in the annual
Hajj The Hajj (; ar, حَجّ '; sometimes also spelled Hadj, Hadji or Haj in English) is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carr ...
at the Kaabah in
Mecca Mecca (; officially Makkah al-Mukarramah, commonly shortened to Makkah ()) is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the holiest city in Islam. It is inland from Jeddah on the Red Sea The Red ...
. File:Saint Elijah Maronite Cathedral, Aleppo (4).jpg, Cathedral of Saint Elijah, Aleppo. File:Western Wall, Jerusalem, (16037897867).jpg,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture an ...
Praying at the
Western Wall The Western Wall ( he, הַכּוֹתֶל הַמַּעֲרָבִי, HaKotel HaMa'aravi, the western wall, often shortened to the Kotel or Kosel), known in the Western world, West as the Wailing Wall, and in Islam as the Buraq Wall (Arabic: ...
. Image:Flickr - Government Press Office (GPO) - Nebi Shueib Festival.jpg,
Druze The Druze (; ar, دَرْزِيٌّ, ' or ', , ') are an Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in col ...
dignitaries celebrating the Ziyarat al-Nabi Shu'ayb festival at the tomb of the prophet in Hittin File:Pilgrims and festival at Lalish on the day of the Yezidi New Year in 2017 06 (cropped).jpg,
Yazidi Yazidis or Yezidis (; ku, ئێزیدی, translit=Êzidî) are a Kurmanji-speaking endogamous minority group who are indigenous to Kurdistan, a geographical region in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the west ...
pilgrims celebrating the Yazidi new year festival at the ancient holy temple of Lalish,
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, the Persian Gulf a ...


Economy

The economy of Western Asia is diverse and the region experiences high economic growth. Turkey has the largest economy in the region, followed by
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, officially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is a country in Western Asia. It covers the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and has a land area of about , making it the List of Asian countries by area, fifth-largest country in Asia ...
and Iran.
Petroleum Petroleum, also known as crude oil, or simply oil, is a naturally occurring yellowish-black liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a (nearly) constant volume independent ...
is the major industry in the regional economy, as more than half of the world's oil reserves and around 40 percent of the world's
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas or simply gas) is a naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes. Low levels of trace gases like carbon ...
reserves are located in the region.


Statistical data

Notes: 1 The figures for Turkey includes
East Thrace East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( tr, Doğu Trakya or simply ''Trakya''; el, Ανατολική Θράκη, ''Anatoliki Thraki''; bg, Източна Тракия, ''Iztochna Trakiya''), also known as Turkish Thrace or European Turkey, is the pa ...
, which is not a part of
Anatolia Anatolia, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau, also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. ...
.
2 The area and population figures for Egypt only include the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, , cop, Ⲥⲓⲛⲁ), is a peninsula A peninsula (; ) is a landform that extends from a mainland and is surrounded by water on most, but not all of its borders. A peninsula is also ...
.
3 Ramallah is the actual location of the government, whereas the proclaimed capital of Palestine is
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
, which is disputed.
4
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس ) (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałēm. i ...
is the proclaimed capital of Israel and the actual location of the Knesset, Israeli Supreme Court, etc. Due to its disputed status, most embassies are in Tel Aviv.
5 Unrecognised state
6 UN observer state
7 British Overseas Territory


Sports

*The West Asian Tennis Federation regulates the championships and leagues in the region. *The West Asian Billiards & Snooker Federation regulates the championships related to billiards and snooker, amongst which an annual tournament. *The West Asian Games have been held in 1997, 2002 and 2005. *The West Asian Football Federation was founded in 2001 and is one of the regional federations of the Asian Football Federation. They organize the WAFF Championship. *The West Asia Basketball Association organizes the WABA Championship since 1999.


Map


See also


References


Notes


Citations


Sources

*


Further reading

{{Authority control Regions of Asia