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The MIDDLE EAST is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia
Asia
and Egypt
Egypt
in North Africa
North Africa
. The corresponding adjective is _Middle-Eastern_ and the derived noun is _Middle-Easterner_. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East
Near East
(as opposed to the Far East
Far East
) beginning in the early 20th century.

Arabs
Arabs
, Turks , Persians , Kurds , and Azeris (excluding Republic
Republic
of Azerbaijan) constitute the largest ethnic groups in the region by population. Minorities of the Middle East
Middle East
include Jews
Jews
, Assyrians and other Arameans , Baloch , Berbers , Coptic Christians
Christians
, Druze
Druze
, Lurs , Mandaeans , Samaritans
Samaritans
, Shabaks , Tats , and Zazas . In the Middle East, there is also a Romani community. European ethnic groups that form a diaspora in the region include Albanians , Bosniaks , Circassians , Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
, Franco-Levantines , and Italo-Levantines . Among other migrant populations are Bengalis as well as other Indians , Chinese , Filipinos , Indonesians , Pakistanis , and Sub-Saharan Africans .

The history of the Middle East
Middle East
dates back to ancient times, with the (geopolitical) importance of the region being recognized for millennia. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism
Judaism
, Christianity
Christianity
, and Islam
Islam
; the Baha\'i faith , Mandaeism , Unitarian Druze
Druze
, and numerous other belief systems were also established within the region.

The Middle East
Middle East
generally has a hot, arid climate, with several major rivers providing irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas such as the Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris
Tigris
and Euphrates
Euphrates
watersheds of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
, and most of what is known as the Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
.

Most of the countries that border the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
have vast reserves of crude oil , with monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula in particular benefiting economically from petroleum exports.

CONTENTS

* 1 Terminology

* 1.1 Criticism and usage * 1.2 Translations

* 2 Territories and regions

* 2.1 Territories and regions usually within the Middle East
Middle East
* 2.2 Other definitions of the Middle East
Middle East

* 3 History

* 4 Demographics

* 4.1 Ethnic groups * 4.2 Migration * 4.3 Religions * 4.4 Languages

* 5 Economy * 6 Gallery * 7 See also

* 8 Notes

* 8.1 Citations

* 9 Further reading * 10 External links

TERMINOLOGY

The term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India Office . However, it became more widely known when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan used the term in 1902 to "designate the area between Arabia and India". During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central Asia
Asia
, a rivalry which would become known as The Great Game . Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but also of its center, the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
. He labeled the area surrounding the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
as the Middle East, and said that after Egypt's Suez Canal , it was the most important passage for Britain to control in order to keep the Russians from advancing towards British India
India
. Mahan first used the term in his article "The Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
and International Relations", published in September 1902 in the _National Review _, a British journal.

The Middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta , as well as its Gibraltar ; it does not follow that either will be in the Persian Gulf. Naval force has the quality of mobility which carries with it the privilege of temporary absences; but it needs to find on every scene of operation established bases of refit, of supply, and in case of disaster, of security. The British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force if occasion arise, about Aden , India, and the Persian Gulf.

Mahan's article was reprinted in _ The Times _ and followed in October by a 20-article series entitled "The Middle Eastern Question," written by Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol . During this series, Sir Ignatius expanded the definition of _Middle East_ to include "those regions of Asia
Asia
which extend to the borders of India
India
or command the approaches to India." After the series ended in 1903, _The Times_ removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term.

Until World War II
World War II
, it was customary to refer to areas centered around Turkey
Turkey
and the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the "Near East ", while the " Far East
Far East
" centered on China
China
, and the Middle East then meant the area from Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
to Burma
Burma
, namely the area between the Near East
Near East
and the Far East. In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East Command , which was based in Cairo
Cairo
, for its military forces in the region. After that time, the term "Middle East" gained broader usage in Europe
Europe
and the United States, with the Middle East Institute founded in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
in 1946, among other usage.

CRITICISM AND USAGE

Play media 1957 American film about the Middle East
Middle East

The description _Middle_ has also led to some confusion over changing definitions. Before the First World War , "Near East" was used in English to refer to the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
, while "Middle East" referred to Iran
Iran
, the Caucasus
Caucasus
, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
, Central Asia, and Turkestan . In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia
East Asia
(e.g. China
China
, Japan
Japan
, Korea
Korea
, etc.)

With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1918, "Near East" largely fell out of common use in English, while "Middle East" came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Islamic world . However, the usage "Near East" was retained by a variety of academic disciplines, including archaeology and ancient history , where it describes an area identical to the term _Middle East_, which is not used by these disciplines (see Ancient Near East
Near East
).

The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine
Eisenhower Doctrine
, which pertained to the Suez Crisis . Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
defined the Middle East
Middle East
as "the area lying between and including Libya
Libya
on the west and Pakistan
Pakistan
on the east, Syria
Syria
and Iraq
Iraq
on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan
Sudan
and Ethiopia
Ethiopia
." In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms "Near East" and "Middle East" were interchangeable, and defined the region as including only Egypt
Egypt
, Syria
Syria
, Israel
Israel
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, Jordan
Jordan
, Iraq
Iraq
, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
, Kuwait
Kuwait
, Bahrain
Bahrain
, and Qatar
Qatar
.

The Associated Press Stylebook says that Near East
Near East
formerly referred to the farther west countries while Middle East
Middle East
referred to the eastern ones, but that now they are synonymous. It instructs:

Use _Middle East_ unless _Near East_ is used by a source in a story. _Mideast_ is also acceptable, but _Middle East_ is preferred.

The term _Middle East_ has also been criticised as Eurocentric ("based on a British Western perception") by Hanafi (1998).

TRANSLATIONS

There are terms similar to _Near East_ and _Middle East_ in other European languages, but since it is a relative description, the meanings depend on the country and are different from the English terms generally. In German the term _Naher Osten_ (Near East) is still in common use (nowadays the term _Mittlerer Osten_ is more and more common in press texts translated from English sources, albeit having a distinct meaning) and in Russian Ближний Восток or _Blizhniy Vostok_, Bulgarian Близкия Изток, Polish _Bliski Wschód_ or Croatian _Bliski istok_ (meaning _Near East_ in all the four Slavic languages) remains as the only appropriate term for the region. However, some languages do have "Middle East" equivalents, such as the French Moyen-Orient, Swedish Mellanöstern, Spanish Oriente Medio or Medio Oriente, and the Italian Medio Oriente.

Perhaps because of the influence of the Western press, the Arabic equivalent of _Middle East_ (Arabic: الشرق الأوسط _ash-Sharq al-Awsaṭ_), has become standard usage in the mainstream Arabic press, comprehending the same meaning as the term "Middle East" in North American and Western European usage. The designation, _ Mashriq
Mashriq
_, also from the Arabic root for _East_, also denotes a variously defined region around the Levant, the eastern part of the Arabic-speaking world (as opposed to the _ Maghreb
Maghreb
_, the western part). Even though the term originated in the West, apart from Arabic, other languages of countries of the Middle East
Middle East
also use a translation of it. The Persian equivalent for Middle East
Middle East
is خاورمیانه (_Khāvar-e miyāneh_), the Hebrew is המזרח התיכון (_hamizrach hatikhon_) and the Turkish is Orta Doğu.

TERRITORIES AND REGIONS

TERRITORIES AND REGIONS USUALLY WITHIN THE MIDDLE EAST

Traditionally included within the Middle East
Middle East
are Iran
Iran
(Persia), Asia Minor , Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
, the Levant
Levant
, the Arabian Peninsula , and Egypt
Egypt
. In modern-day-country terms they are these:

COUNTRY , WITH FLAG Area (km²) Population (2012) Density (per km²) CAPITAL Nominal GDP (2012) Per capita (2012) CURRENCY GOVERNMENT Official languages COAT OF ARMS

Bahrain
Bahrain
665 1,234,596 1,646.1 Manama $30.355 billion $26,368 Bahraini dinar
Bahraini dinar
Absolute monarchy Arabic

Cyprus
Cyprus
9,250 1,088,503 117 Nicosia
Nicosia
$22.995 billion $26,377 Euro
Euro
Presidential republic Greek , Turkish

Egypt
Egypt
1,010,407 72,798,000 90 Cairo
Cairo
$262.26 billion $3,179 Egyptian pound Presidential republic Egyptian Arabic

Iran
Iran
1,648,195 78,868,711 45 Tehran
Tehran
$548.59 billion $7,207 Iranian rial Islamic republic
Islamic republic
Persian

Iraq
Iraq
438,317 33,635,000 73.5 Baghdad
Baghdad
$216.04 billion $6,410 Iraqi dinar Parliamentary republic Arabic , Kurdish

Israel
Israel
20,770 7,653,600 365.3 Jerusalem
Jerusalem
1 $257.62 billion $33,451 Israeli shekel Parliamentary republic Hebrew , Arabic

Jordan
Jordan
92,300 6,318,677 68.4 Amman
Amman
$30.98 billion $4,843 Jordanian dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic

Kuwait
Kuwait
17,820 3,566,437 167.5 Kuwait
Kuwait
City $184.54 billion $48,761 Kuwaiti dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic

Lebanon
Lebanon
10,452 4,228,000 404 Beirut
Beirut
$42.519 billion $10,425 Lebanese pound Parliamentary republic Arabic

Oman
Oman
212,460 2,694,094 9.2 Muscat $78.290 billion $25,356 Omani rial
Omani rial
Absolute monarchy Arabic

Palestine 6,220 4,260,636 667 Ramallah 1 $6.6 billion $1,600 Israeli shekel , Jordanian dinar Semi-presidential republic Arabic

Qatar
Qatar
11,437 1,696,563 123.2 Doha
Doha
$192.40 billion $104,756 Qatari riyal Absolute monarchy Arabic

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
2,149,690 27,136,977 12 Riyadh
Riyadh
$733.95 billion $25,139 Saudi riyal Absolute monarchy Arabic

Syria
Syria
185,180 23,695,000 118.3 Damascus
Damascus
n/a n/a Syrian pound Presidential republic Arabic

Turkey
Turkey
783,562 73,722,988 94.1 Ankara
Ankara
$788.04 billion $10,523 Turkish lira Parliamentary republic Turkish

United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
82,880 8,264,070 97 Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
$383.79 billion $43,774 UAE dirham Federal Absolute monarchy Arabic

Yemen
Yemen
527,970 23,580,000 44.7 Sana\'a $35.05 billion $1,354 Yemeni rial Presidential republic Arabic

NOTES: 1 Jerusalem
Jerusalem
is the proclaimed capital of Israel
Israel
and the actual location of the Knesset
Knesset
, Israeli Supreme Court , and other governmental institutions of Israel. Ramallah is the actual location of the government of Palestine, whereas the proclaimed capital of Palestine is East Jerusalem
Jerusalem
, which is disputed .

OTHER DEFINITIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST

Main articles: Near East
Near East
and Greater Middle East

Various concepts are often being paralleled to Middle East, most notably Near East, Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
and the Levant. Near East, Levant and Fertile Crescent
Fertile Crescent
are geographic concepts, which refer to large sections of the modern defined Middle East, with Near East
Near East
being the closest to Middle East
Middle East
in its geographic meaning.

The countries of the South Caucasus
Caucasus
Armenia
Armenia
, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
, and Georgia —are occasionally included in definitions of the Middle East.

The Greater Middle East was a political term coined by the second Bush administration in the first decade of the 21st century, to denote various countries, pertaining to the Muslim world , specifically Iran
Iran
, Turkey
Turkey
, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan
Pakistan
. Various Central Asian countries are sometimes also included.

HISTORY

Main article: History of the Middle East See also: List of modern conflicts in the Middle East
Middle East

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Western Wall
Western Wall
and Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
The Kaaba , located in Mecca
Mecca
, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

The Middle East
Middle East
lies at the juncture of Eurasia
Eurasia
and Africa
Africa
and of the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
. It is the birthplace and spiritual center of religions such as Christianity
Christianity
, Islam
Islam
, Judaism
Judaism
, Manichaeism , Yezidi
Yezidi
, Druze
Druze
, Yarsan and Mandeanism , and in Iran, Mithraism , Zoroastrianism , Manicheanism , and the Bahá\'í Faith . Throughout its history the Middle East
Middle East
has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.

The world's earliest civilizations, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
( Sumer
Sumer
, Akkad , Assyria
Assyria
and Babylonia
Babylonia
) and ancient Egypt
Egypt
, originated in the Fertile Crescent and Nile
Nile
Valley regions of the ancient Near East. These were followed by the Hittite , Greek and Urartian civilisations of Asia Minor , Elam in pre-Iranian Persia, as well as the civilizations of the Levant
Levant
(such as Ebla , Ugarit , Canaan
Canaan
, Aramea , Phoenicia and Israel), Persian and Median
Median
civilizations in Iran, North Africa ( Carthage
Carthage
/Phoenicia) and the Arabian Peninsula (Magan , Sheba
Sheba
, Ubar ). The Near East
Near East
was first largely unified under the Neo Assyrian Empire , then the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
followed later by the Macedonian Empire and after this to some degree by the Iranian empires (namely the Parthian and Sassanid Empires ), the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and Byzantine Empire . However, it would be the later Arab
Arab
Caliphates of the Middle Ages , or Islamic Golden Age which began with the Arab
Arab
conquest of the region in the 7th century AD, that would first unify the entire Middle East as a distinct region and create the dominant Islamic
Islamic
ethnic identity that largely (but not exclusively) persists today. The Mongols
Mongols
, the Kingdom of Armenia
Armenia
, the Seljuks , the Safavids , the Ottoman Empire, and the British Empire
British Empire
also dominated the region.

The modern Middle East
Middle East
began after World War I
World War I
, when the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with the Central Powers
Central Powers
, was defeated by the British Empire
British Empire
and their allies and partitioned into a number of separate nations, initially under British and French Mandates. Other defining events in this transformation included the establishment of Israel
Israel
in 1948 and the eventual departure of European powers, notably Britain and France
France
by the end of the 1960s. They were supplanted in some part by the rising influence of the United States
United States
from the 1970s onwards.

In the 20th century, the region's significant stocks of crude oil gave it new strategic and economic importance. Mass production of oil began around 1945, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
having large quantities of oil. Estimated oil reserves , especially in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Iran, are some of the highest in the world, and the international oil cartel OPEC is dominated by Middle Eastern countries.

During the Cold War, the Middle East
Middle East
was a theater of ideological struggle between the two superpowers and their allies: NATO
NATO
and the United States
United States
on one side, and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Warsaw Pact on the other, as they competed to influence regional allies. Of course, besides the political reasons there was also the "ideological conflict" between the two systems. Moreover, as Louise Fawcett argues, among many important areas of contention, or perhaps more accurately of anxiety, were, first, the desires of the superpowers to gain strategic advantage in the region, second, the fact that the region contained some two thirds of the world's oil reserves in a context where oil was becoming increasingly vital to the economy of the Western world Within this contextual framework, the United States sought to divert the Arab
Arab
world from Soviet influence. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the region has experienced both periods of relative peace and tolerance and periods of conflict particularly between Sunnis and Shiites .

DEMOGRAPHICS

See also: Demographics of the Middle East and Largest metropolitan areas of the Middle East
Middle East

ETHNIC GROUPS

Main article: Ethnic groups in West Asia

Arabs
Arabs
constitute the largest ethnic group in the Middle East, followed by Turkic people . Native ethnic groups of the region include, in addition to Arabs, Jews
Jews
, Arameans , Assyrians , Baloch , Berbers , Copts , Druze
Druze
, Kurds , Lurs , Mandaeans , Persians , Samaritans
Samaritans
, Shabaks , Tats , and Zazas .

MIGRATION

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"Migration has always provided an important vent for labor market pressures in the Middle East. For the period between the 1970s and 1990s, the Arab
Arab
states of the PersianGulf in particular provided a rich source of employment for workers from Egypt, Yemen
Yemen
and the countries of the Levant, while Europe
Europe
had attracted young workers from North African countries due both to proximity and the legacy of colonial ties between Franceand the majority of North African states." According to the International Organization for Migration , there are 13 million first-generation migrants from Arab
Arab
nations in the world, of which 5.8 reside in other Arab
Arab
countries. Expatriates from Arab
Arab
countries contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development. In 2009 Arab
Arab
countries received a total of 35.1 billion USD in remittance in-flows and remittances sent to Jordan
Jordan
, Egypt
Egypt
and Lebanon
Lebanon
from other Arab
Arab
countries are 40 to 190 per cent higher than trade revenues between these and other Arab
Arab
countries. In Somalia
Somalia
, the Somali Civil War has greatly increased the size of the Somali diaspora , as many of the best educated Somalis left for Europe
Europe
, North America
North America
and other Middle Eastern countries.

Non- Arab
Arab
Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey
Turkey
, Israel
Israel
and Iran are also subject to important migration dynamics.

A fair proportion of those migrating from Arab
Arab
nations are from ethnic and religious minorities facing racial and or religious persecution and are not necessarily ethnic Arabs, Iranians or Turks. Large numbers of Kurds , Jews
Jews
, Assyrians , Greeks
Greeks
and Armenians as well as many Mandeans have left nations such as Iraq, Iran, Syria
Syria
and Turkey
Turkey
for these reasons during the last century. In Iran, many religious minorities such as Christians
Christians
, Baha\'is and Zoroastrians have left since the Islamic
Islamic
Revolution of 1979.

RELIGIONS

Main article: Religion in the Middle East Islam
Islam
is the largest religion in the Middle East. Here, Muslim men are prostrating during prayer in a mosque. Lebanese Christians
Christians
account for roughly 40.5% of the population in Lebanon
Lebanon
, and have made significant contributions to various different sectors of society.

The Middle East
Middle East
is very diverse when it comes to religions , many of which originated there. Islam
Islam
is the largest religion in the Middle East, but other faiths that originated there, such as Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity
Christianity
, are also well represented. Christians
Christians
represent 40.5% of Lebanon, where the Lebanese president , half of the cabinet, and half of the parliament follow one of the various Lebanese Christian rites. There are also important minority religions like the Bahá\'í Faith , Yarsanism , Yazidism , Zoroastrianism , Mandaeism , Druze
Druze
, and Shabakism , and in ancient times the region was home to Mesopotamian religions , Canaanite religions , Manichaeism , Mithraism and various monotheist gnostic sects.

LANGUAGES

The five top languages, in terms of numbers of speakers, are Arabic , Persian , Turkish , Kurdish , and Hebrew . Arabic and Hebrew represent the Afro-Asiatic language family . Persian and Kurdish belong to the Indo-European language family. Turkish belongs to Turkic language family. About 20 minority languages are also spoken in the Middle East.

Arabic, with all its dialects, are the most widely spoken languages in the Middle East, with Literary Arabic being official in all North African and in most West Asian countries. Arabic dialects
Arabic dialects
are also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighbouring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Several Modern South Arabian languages such as Mehri and Soqotri are also spoken Yemen
Yemen
and Oman. Another Semitic language such as Aramaic and its dialects are spoken mainly by Assyrians and Mandaeans . There is also a Oasis Berber -speaking community in Egypt where the language is also known as Siwa . It is a non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic language.

Persian is the second most spoken language. While it is primarily spoken in Iran
Iran
and some border areas in neighbouring countries, the country is one of the region's largest and most populous. It belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the family of Indo-European languages . Other Western Iranic languages spoken in the region include Achomi , Daylami , Kurdish dialects, Semmani , Lurish , amongst many others.

The third-most widely spoken language, Turkish , is largely confined to Turkey, which is also one of the region's largest and most populous countries, but it is present in areas in neighboring countries. It is a member of the Turkic languages , which have their origins in Central Asia. Another Turkic language, Azerbaijani , is spoken by Azerbaijanis in Iran.

Hebrew is one of the two official languages of Israel
Israel
, the other being Arabic. Hebrew is spoken and used by over 80% of Israel's population, the other 20% using Arabic.

English is commonly taught and used as a second language, especially among the middle and upper classes , in countries such as Egypt
Egypt
, Jordan
Jordan
, Iran
Iran
, Kurdistan
Kurdistan
, Iraq
Iraq
, Qatar
Qatar
, Bahrain
Bahrain
, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait
Kuwait
. It is also a main language in some Emirates of the United Arab
Arab
Emirates.

French is taught and used in many government facilities and media in Lebanon
Lebanon
, and is taught in some primary and secondary schools of Egypt and Syria
Syria
. Maltese , a Semitic language mainly spoken in Europe, is also used by the Franco-Maltese diaspora in Egypt.

Armenian and Greek speakers are also to be found in the region. Georgian is spoken by the Georgian diaspora. Russian is spoken by a large portion of the Israeli population, because of emigration in the late 1990s . Russian today is a popular unofficial language in use in Israel
Israel
; news, radio and sign boards can be found in Russian around the country after Hebrew and Arabic. Circassian is also spoken by the diaspora in the region and by almost all Circassians in Israel
Israel
who speak Hebrew and English as well. The largest Romanian -speaking community in the Middle East
Middle East
is found in Israel
Israel
, where as of 1995 Romanian is spoken by 5% of the population.

Bengali , Hindi
Hindi
and Urdu
Urdu
is widely spoken by migrant communities in many Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
(where 20–25% of the population is South Asian), the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
(where 50–55% of the population is South Asian), and Qatar, which have large numbers of Pakistani , Bangladeshi and Indian immigrants.

ECONOMY

_ This section needs to be UPDATED. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (December 2016)_

Main articles: Economy of the Middle East and Middle East
Middle East
economic integration Oil and gas pipelines in the Middle-East

Middle Eastern economies range from being very poor (such as Gaza and Yemen) to extremely wealthy nations (such as Qatar
Qatar
and UAE). Overall, as of 2007 , according to the CIA World Factbook, all nations in the Middle East
Middle East
are maintaining a positive rate of growth.

According to the World Bank
World Bank
's _World Development Indicators_ database published on July 1, 2009, the three largest Middle Eastern economies in 2008 were Turkey
Turkey
($794,228,000,000), Saudi Arabia ($467,601,000,000) and Iran
Iran
($385,143,000,000) in terms of Nominal GDP . Regarding nominal GDP per capita, the highest ranking countries are Qatar
Qatar
($93,204), the UAE ($55,028), Kuwait
Kuwait
($45,920) and Cyprus ($32,745). Turkey
Turkey
($1,028,897,000,000), Iran
Iran
($839,438,000,000) and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
($589,531,000,000) had the largest economies in terms of GDP-PPP . When it comes to per capita (PPP)-based income, the highest-ranking countries are Qatar
Qatar
($86,008), Kuwait
Kuwait
($39,915), the UAE ($38,894), Bahrain
Bahrain
($34,662) and Cyprus
Cyprus
($29,853). The lowest-ranking country in the Middle East, in terms of per capita income (PPP), is the autonomous Palestinian Authority of Gaza and the West Bank
West Bank
($1,100).

The economic structure of Middle Eastern nations are different in the sense that while some nations are heavily dependent on export of only oil and oil-related products (such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait), others have a highly diverse economic base (such as Cyprus, Israel, Turkey
Turkey
and Egypt). Industries of the Middle Eastern region include oil and oil-related products, agriculture, cotton, cattle, dairy, textiles, leather products, surgical instruments, defence equipment (guns, ammunition, tanks, submarines, fighter jets, UAVs, and missiles). Banking is also an important sector of the economies, especially in the case of UAE and Bahrain.

With the exception of Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon
Lebanon
and Israel, tourism has been a relatively undeveloped area of the economy, in part because of the socially conservative nature of the region as well as political turmoil in certain regions of the Middle East. In recent years, however, countries such as the UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan
Jordan
have begun attracting greater number of tourists because of improving tourist facilities and the relaxing of tourism-related restrictive policies.

Unemployment is notably high in the Middle East
Middle East
and North Africa region, particularly among young people aged 15–29, a demographic representing 30% of the region's total population. The total regional unemployment rate in 2005, according to the International Labour Organization , was 13.2%, and among youth is as high as 25%, up to 37% in Morocco
Morocco
and 73% in Syria
Syria
.

GALLERY

*

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
- UAE *

Amman
Amman
- Jordan
Jordan
*

Ankara
Ankara
- Turkey
Turkey
*

Baghdad
Baghdad
- Iraq
Iraq
*

Beirut
Beirut
- Lebanon
Lebanon
*

Cairo
Cairo
- Egypt
Egypt
*

Damascus
Damascus
- Syria
Syria
*

Doha
Doha
- Qatar
Qatar
*

Dubai
Dubai
- UAE *

Istanbul
Istanbul
- Turkey
Turkey
*

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
- Israel
Israel
*

Kuwait
Kuwait
City - Kuwait
Kuwait
*

Manama - Bahrain
Bahrain
*

Mecca
Mecca
- Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
*

Muscat , Oman
Oman
*

Ramallah - Palestine *

Riyadh
Riyadh
- Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
*

Sana\'a - Yemen
Yemen
*

Tabriz
Tabriz
- Iran
Iran
*

Tehran
Tehran
- Iran
Iran
*

Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
- Israel
Israel

Play media This video over Central Africa
Africa
and the Middle East was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station . Play media This video over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
Middle East
was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station. Play media A pass beginning over Turkmenistan , east of the Caspian Sea to south-eastern China
China
, just north-west of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
.

SEE ALSO

* _ Middle East
Middle East
portal * Asia
Asia
portal * Africa
Africa
portal * Geography portal

* Hilly Flanks * Maayan_ (magazine) * MENA * Mental health in the Middle East * Middle East
Middle East
Studies Association of North America
North America
* Middle East Youth Initiative * Middle Eastern cuisine * Middle Eastern music * Orientalism * State feminism § Middle East
Middle East
* Timeline of Middle Eastern history

NOTES

* ^ Arabic : الشرق الأوسط‎‎, _Ash-Sharq al-Awsaṭ_; Armenian : Միջին Արևելք, _Miǰin Arevelk’_; Azerbaijani : _Orta Şərq_; Central Kurdish : ڕۆژھەڵاتی ناوین, _Rojhelatî Nawîn_; French : _Moyen-Orient_; Georgian : ახლო აღმოსავლეთი, _Axlo Aɣmosavleti_; Greek : Μέση Ανατολή, _Mési Anatolí_; Hebrew : המזרח התיכון‎‎, _Ha'Mizrah Ha'Tihon_; Northern Kurdish : 'ROJHILATA NAVîN\'; Persian : خاورمیانه‎‎, _Xāvar-Miāne_; Somali : _Bariga Dhexe_; Turkish : _Orta Doğu_; Urdu : مشرق وسطی‎, _Maśriq Vosta_ * ^ In Italian, the expression "Vicino Oriente" (Near East) was also widely used to refer to Turkey, and _Estremo Oriente_ (Far East or Extreme East) to refer to all of Asia
Asia
east of Middle East * ^ According to the 1993 _Statistical Abstract of Israel_ there were 250,000 Romanian speakers in Israel, at a population of 5,548,523 (census 1995).

CITATIONS

* ^ Population 1971–2010 (pdf pages 89) IEA (OECD/ World Bank) (original population ref OECD/ World Bank
World Bank
e.g. in IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2010 page 57) * ^ _Ethnic Groups of Africa
Africa
and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia_. Retrieved 26 May 2014. * ^ Cairo, Michael F. _The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East_ University Press of Kentucky, 2012 ISBN 978-0813136721 p xi. * ^ Government
Government
Printing Office. _History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense: The formative years, 1947–1950_ ISBN 978-0160876400 p 177 * ^ Kahana, Ephraim. Suwaed, Muhammad. _Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Intelligence_ Scarecrow Press, 13 apr. 2009 ISBN 978- 0810863026 p xxxi. * ^ Beaumont, Blake ">"". _ Middle East
Middle East
Studies_. 12: 95–98. doi :10.1080/00263207608700307 . * ^ Lewis, Bernard (1965). _The Middle East
Middle East
and the West_. p. 9. * ^ Fromkin, David (1989). _A Peace to end all Peace_. p. 224. ISBN 0-8050-0857-8 . * ^ Melman, Billie, _Companion to Travel Writing_, Collections Online, 6 The Middle East/Arabia, Cambridge, retrieved January 8, 2006 . * ^ Palmer, Michael A. _Guardians of the Persian Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833–1992._ New York: The Free Press, 1992. ISBN 0-02-923843-9 pp. 12–13. * ^ Laciner, Dr. Sedat. "Is There a Place Called \'the Middle East\'?", _The Journal of Turkish Weekly_, June 2, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2007. * ^ Adelson 1995 , pp. 22–23. * ^ Adelson 1995 , p. 24. * ^ Adelson 1995 , p. 26. * ^ _A_ _B_ Davison, Roderic H. (1960). "Where is the Middle East?". _Foreign Affairs_. 38 (4): 665–75. doi :10.2307/20029452 . * ^ Held, Colbert C. (2000). _ Middle East
Middle East
Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics_. Westview Press. p. 7. ISBN 0-8133-8221-1 . * ^ "\'Near East\' is Mideast, Washington Explains". _The New York Times_. August 14, 1958. Retrieved 2009-01-25. (subscription required) * ^ Goldstein, Norm. _The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law_. New York: Basic Books, 2004. ISBN 0-465-00488-1 p. 156 * ^ Hanafi, Hassan. "The Middle East, in whose world? (Primary Reflections)". Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies (The fourth Nordic conference on Middle Eastern Studies: The Middle East
Middle East
in globalizing world Oslo, 13–16 August 1998). ("unedited paper as given at the Oslo conference. An updated and edited version has been published in Utvik and Vikør, The Middle East
Middle East
in a Globalized World, Bergen/London 2000, 1-9. Please quote or refer only to the published article") "The expression Middle East
Middle East
is an old British label based on a British Western perception of the East divided into middle or near and far". see also Shohat, Ella. "Redrawing American Cartographies of Asia". City University of New York. Archived from the original on 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2007-01-12. * ^ Anderson, Ewan W., William Bayne Fisher (2000). _The Middle East: Geography and Geopolitics_. Routledge. pp. 12–13. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link ) * ^ "GDP". IMF . Retrieved 2014-04-16. * ^ "GDP per capita". IMF . Retrieved 2014-04-16. * ^ Novikova, Gayane (December 2000). " Armenia
Armenia
and the Middle East" (PDF). Middle East
Middle East
Review of International Affairs. Retrieved 14 August 2014. * ^ Haeri, Safa (2004-03-03). "Concocting a \'Greater Middle East\' brew". _ Asia Times _. Retrieved 2008-08-21. * ^ Ottaway, Marina Dyer, Paul (2017). "The State of Middle Eastern Youth.". _The Muslim World_. 107 (1): 3–12. * ^ "IOM Intra regional labour mobility in Arab
Arab
region Facts and Figures (English)" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-10-31. * ^ "World Factbook – Jordan". * ^ "World Factbook – Kuwait". * ^ "Reports of about 300,000 Jews
Jews
that left the country after WW2". Eurojewcong.org. Retrieved 2010-07-07. * ^ "Evenimentul Zilei". Evz.ro. Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. Retrieved 2010-07-07. * ^ The World Bank: World Economic Indicators Database. _GDP (Nominal) 2008._ Data for 2008. Last revised on July 1, 2009. * ^ Data refer to 2008. World Economic Outlook Database-October 2009, International Monetary Fund . Retrieved October 1, 2009. * ^ The World Bank: World Economic Indicators Database. _GDP (PPP) 2008._ Data for 2008. Last revised on July 1, 2009. * ^ "Unemployment Rates Are Highest in the Middle East". Progressive Policy Institute. August 30, 2006. * ^ Navtej Dhillon; Tarek Yousef (2007). "Inclusion: Meeting the 100 Million Youth Challenge". Shabab Inclusion. * ^ Hilary Silver (December 12, 2007). "Social Exclusion: Comparative Analysis of Europe
Europe
and Middle East
Middle East
Youth". _Middle East Youth Initiative Working Paper_. Shabab Inclusion.

FURTHER READING

* Adelson, Roger (1995). _London and the Invention of the Middle East: Money, Power, and War, 1902–1922_. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-06094-7 . * Anderson, R; Seibert, R; Wagner, J. (2006). _Politics and Change in the Middle East_ (8th ed.). Prentice-Hall. * Barzilai, Gad; Aharon, Klieman; Gil, Shidlo (1993). _The Gulf Crisis and its Global Aftermath_. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-080029 . * Barzilai, Gad (1996). _Wars, Internal Conflicts and Political Order_. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-2943-1 . * Beaumont, Peter; Blake, Gerald H; Wagstaff, J. Malcolm (1988). _The Middle East: A Geographical Study_. David Fulton. ISBN 0-470-21040-0 . * Cleveland, William L., and Martin Bunton. _A history of the modern Middle East_ (Westview Press, 2016). * Cressey, George B. (1960). _Crossroads: Land and Life in Southwest Asia_. Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott Co. xiv, 593 p., ill. with maps and b&w photos. * Freedman, Robert O. (1991). _The Middle East
Middle East
from the Iran-Contra Affair to the Intifada_, in series, _Contemporary Issues in the Middle East_. 1st ed. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. x, 441 p. ISBN 0-8156-2502-2 pbk. * Goldschmidt, Arthur Jr (1999). _A Concise History of the Middle East_. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-0471-7 . * Halpern, Manfred. _Politics of Social Change: In the Middle East and North Africa_ (Princeton University Press, 2015). * Ismael, Jacqueline S., Tareq Y. Ismael, and Glenn Perry. _ Government
Government
and politics of the contemporary Middle East: Continuity and change_ (Routledge, 2015). * Lynch, Marc, ed. _The Arab
Arab
Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East
Middle East
(Columbia University Press, 2014). p. 352._ * Palmer, Michael A. (1992). _Guardians of the Persian Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833–1992_. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 0-02-923843-9 . * Reich, Bernard. _Political leaders of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa: a biographical dictionary_ (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990).

EXTERNAL LINKS

Find more aboutMIDDLE EASTat's sister projects

* Definitions from Wiktionary * Media from Commons * News from Wikinews * Quotations from Wikiquote * Texts from Wikisource * Textbooks from Wikibooks *

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