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The Middle East[note 1] is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey
Turkey
(both Asian and European), and Egypt
Egypt
(which is mostly in 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) beginning in the early 20th century. Arabs, Turks, Persians, Kurds, and Azeris (excluding Azerbaijan) constitute the largest ethnic groups in the region by population.[2] Minorities of the Middle East
Middle East
include Jews, Baloch, Greeks, Assyrians, and other Arameans, Berbers, Circassians
Circassians
(including Kabardians), Copts, Druze, Lurs, Mandaeans, 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, Crimean Tatars, Franco-Levantines, and Italo-Levantines. Among other migrant populations are Bengalis
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.[3][4][5] Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; the Baha'i faith, Mandaeism, Unitarian 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
Nile Delta
in Egypt, the Tigris
Tigris
and Euphrates
Euphrates
watersheds of Mesopotamia, and most of what is known as the 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
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 2.2 Other definitions of the 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 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Terminology The term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India
India
Office.[6] However, it became more widely known when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
used the term in 1902[7] to "designate the area between Arabia and India".[8][9] During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central 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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

Mahan's article was reprinted in The Times
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
Middle East
to include "those regions of Asia
Asia
which extend to the borders of India
India
or command the approaches to India."[14] After the series ended in 1903, The Times
The Times
removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term.[15] Until 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" centered on China,[16] and the Middle East
Middle East
then meant the area from Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
to Burma, namely the area between the Near East
Near East
and the Far East.[citation needed] In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East
Middle East
Command, which was based in 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
Middle East Institute
founded in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
in 1946, among other usage.[17] Criticism and usage

Play media

1957 American film about the 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
Balkans
and the Ottoman Empire, while "Middle East" referred to Iran, the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Turkestan. In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia
Asia
(e.g. China, Japan, 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
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). The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles
defined the 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."[16] In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms "Near East" and "Middle East" were interchangeable, and defined the region as including only Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.[18] The Associated Press
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
Middle East
unless Near East
Near East
is used by a source in a story. Mideast is also acceptable, but Middle East
Middle East
is preferred.[19]

The term Middle East
Middle East
has also been criticised as Eurocentric
Eurocentric
("based on a British Western perception") by Hanafi (1998).[20] Translations There are terms similar to Near East
Near East
and Middle East
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
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.[note 2] Perhaps because of the influence of the Western press, the Arabic equivalent of Middle East
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, 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, the western part).[21] 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 For a more comprehensive list, see List of Middle Eastern countries by population. Territories and regions usually within the Middle East Traditionally included within the Middle East
Middle East
are Iran
Iran
(Persia), Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt. In modern-day-country terms they are these:

Country, with flag Area (km²) Population (2012) Density (per km²) Capital Nominal GDP, bn (2012)[22] Per capita (2012)[23] Currency Government Official languages Coat of arms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Yemen 527,970 23,580,000 44.7 Sana'ab Aden
Aden
(provisional) $35.05 $1,354 Yemeni rial Provisional presidential republic Arabic

a. ^ ^ Jerusalem
Jerusalem
is the proclaimed capital of Israel
Israel
and the actual location of the Knesset, Israeli Supreme Court, and other governmental institutions of Israel. Ramallah
Ramallah
is the actual location of the government of Palestine, whereas the proclaimed capital of Palestine is East Jerusalem, which is disputed. b. ^ Controlled by the Houthis
Houthis
due to the ongoing war. Seat of government moved to Aden.

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—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—are occasionally included in definitions of the Middle East.[24] The Greater Middle East
Greater Middle East
was a political term coined by the second Bush administration in the first decade of the 21st century,[25] to denote various countries, pertaining to the Muslim world, specifically Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Pakistan.[26] Various Central Asian
Central Asian
countries are sometimes also included.[27] History Main article: History of the Middle East See also: List of modern conflicts in the Middle East

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Western Wall
Western Wall
and Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
in Jerusalem

The Kaaba, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The Middle East
Middle East
lies at the juncture of Eurasia
Eurasia
and Africa
Africa
and of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and the Indian Ocean. It is the birthplace and spiritual center of religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Manichaeism, Yezidi, Druze, Yarsan
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, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia) and ancient 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
Urartian
civilisations of Asia
Asia
Minor, Elam in pre-Iranian Persia, as well as the civilizations of the Levant (such as Ebla, Ugarit, Canaan, Aramea, Phoenicia
Phoenicia
and Israel), Persian and Median
Median
civilizations in Iran, North Africa
North Africa
(Carthage/Phoenicia) and the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
(Magan, 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
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
Middle East
as a distinct region and create the dominant Islamic
Islamic
ethnic identity that largely (but not exclusively) persists today. The Mongols, the Kingdom of 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, when the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with the 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
Arab
Emirates having large quantities of oil.[28] 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
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
Warsaw Pact
on the other, as they competed to influence regional allies. Besides the political reasons there was also the "ideological conflict" between the two systems. Moreover, as Louise Fawcett
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 [...][29] Within this contextual framework, the United States
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 Main article: Demographics of the Middle East See also: Largest metropolitan areas of the Middle East Ethnic groups Main article: Ethnic groups in the Middle East 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, Arameans, Assyrians, Baloch, Berbers, Copts, Druze, Kurds, Lurs, Mandaeans, Persians, 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." [30] 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, 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.[31] In Somalia, the Somali Civil War
Somali Civil War
has greatly increased the size of the Somali diaspora, as many of the best educated Somalis left for Europe, North America and other Middle Eastern countries. Non- Arab
Arab
Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey, Israel
Israel
and Iran
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.[citation needed] Large numbers of Kurds, Jews, Assyrians, Greeks
Greeks
and Armenians as well as many Mandeans have left nations such as Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey
Turkey
for these reasons during the last century. In Iran, many religious minorities such as Christians, Baha'is and Zoroastrians
Zoroastrians
have left since the Islamic
Islamic
Revolution of 1979.[citation needed] 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.

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, 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, and Shabakism, and in ancient times the region was home to Mesopotamian religions, Canaanite religions, Manichaeism, Mithraism
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
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
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, 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, Jordan, Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab
Arab
Emirates and Kuwait.[32][33] 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, and is taught in some primary and secondary schools of Egypt and 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; 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
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, where as of 1995[update] Romanian is spoken by 5% of the population.[note 3][34][35] 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
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[update], 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's World Development Indicators database published on July 1, 2009, the three largest Middle Eastern economies in 2008 were Turkey
Turkey
($794,228), Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
($467,601) and Iran ($385,143) in terms of Nominal GDP.[36] Regarding nominal GDP per capita, the highest ranking countries are Qatar
Qatar
($93,204), the UAE ($55,028), Kuwait
Kuwait
($45,920) and Cyprus
Cyprus
($32,745).[37] Turkey ($1,028,897), Iran
Iran
($839,438) and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
($589,531) had the largest economies in terms of GDP-PPP.[38] 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 ($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 ($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%,[39] and among youth is as high as 25%,[40] up to 37% in Morocco
Morocco
and 73% in Syria.[41] Gallery

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
- UAE

Amman
Amman
- Jordan

Ankara
Ankara
- Turkey

Baghdad
Baghdad
- Iraq

Beirut
Beirut
- Lebanon

Cairo
Cairo
- Egypt

Damascus
Damascus
- Syria

Doha
Doha
- Qatar

Dubai
Dubai
- UAE

Istanbul
Istanbul
- Turkey

Jerusalem
Jerusalem
- Israel

Kuwait
Kuwait
City - Kuwait

Manama
Manama
- Bahrain

Mecca
Mecca
- Saudi Arabia

Muscat, Oman

Ramallah
Ramallah
- Palestine

Riyadh
Riyadh
- Saudi Arabia

Sana'a
Sana'a
- Yemen

Tabriz
Tabriz
- Iran

Tehran
Tehran
- Iran

Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
- Israel

Play media

This video over Central Africa
Africa
and the Middle East
Middle East
was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station.

Play media

This video over the Sahara Desert
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
Caspian Sea
to south-eastern China, just north-west of Hong Kong.

See also

Middle East
Middle East
portal Asia
Asia
portal Africa
Africa
portal Geography portal

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

Notes

^ Arabic: الشرق الأوسط‎, translit. Ash-Sharq al-Awsaṭ; Armenian: Միջին Արևելք, translit. Miǰin Arevelk’; Azerbaijani: Orta Şərq; Central Kurdish: ڕۆژھەڵاتی ناوین, Rojhelatî Nawîn; French: Moyen-Orient; Georgian: ახლო აღმოსავლეთი; Greek: Μέση Ανατολή, translit. Mési Anatolí; Hebrew: המזרח התיכון‎, translit. Ha'Mizrah Ha'Tihon; Kurmanji Kurdish: Rojhilata Navîn; Persian: خاورمیانه‎, translit. Xāvar-Miāne; Somali: Bariga Dhexe; Turkish: Orta Doğu; Urdu: مشرق وسطی‎, translit. Maśriq Vosta ^ In Italian, the expression "Vicino Oriente" (Near East) was also widely used to refer to Turkey, and Estremo Oriente ( Far East
Far East
or Extreme East) to refer to all of Asia
Asia
east of Middle East ^ According to the 1993 Statistical Abstract of Israel
Israel
there were 250,000 Romanian speakers in Israel, at a population of 5,548,523 (census 1995).

References

^ Population 1971–2010 (pdf Archived 2012-01-06 at the Wayback Machine. 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. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2014.  ^ Cairo, Michael F. The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine. University Press of Kentucky, 2012 ISBN 978-0813136721 p xi. ^ Government Printing Office. History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense: The formative years, 1947–1950 Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine. ISBN 978-0160876400 p 177 ^ Kahana, Ephraim. Suwaed, Muhammad. Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Intelligence Archived 2015-12-23 at the Wayback Machine. Scarecrow Press, 13 apr. 2009 ISBN 978- 0810863026 p xxxi. ^ Beaumont, Blake & Wagstaff 1988, p. 16. ^ Koppes, CR (1976). "Captain Mahan, General Gordon and the origin of the term "Middle East"". Middle East
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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, archived from the original on December 8, 2007, 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'? Archived 2007-02-20 at the Wayback Machine.", 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
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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
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in globalizing world Oslo, 13–16 August 1998). Archived from the original on 8 October 2006.  ("unedited paper as given at the Oslo conference. An updated and edited version has been published in Utvik and Vikør, The Middle East
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Archived 2016-04-15 at the Wayback Machine. What Is The Middle East
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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
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
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
Middle East
and North Africa
North Africa
(Princeton University Press, 2015). Ismael, Jacqueline S., Tareq Y. Ismael, and Glenn Perry. 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
Middle East
and North Africa: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990).

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v t e

Middle East

Bahrain Cyprus Egypt Iran Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Northern Cyprus Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey United Arab
Arab
Emirates Yemen

Cinema Conflicts Cuisine Dance Demography Etiquette History

timeline

Music Religion

Irreligion

v t e

Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile
Nile
Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile
Nile
Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab
Arab
world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan
Sudan
(region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

v t e

Regions of Asia

Central

Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee

Transoxiana

Turan

Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract

Siachen Glacier

North

Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan
Japan
Arc Sakhalin Island Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China
China
proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China
China
Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China
China
Plain

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau

Tibet

Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan
Jordan
Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti- Lebanon
Lebanon
Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir
Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi
Hindi
Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 316747516 LCCN: sh85090501 BNF: cb11941591f (data)

Coordinates: 29°N 41°E / 29°N

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