Southwest Asia
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Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost
subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth an ...
of the larger geographical region of
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the conti ...
, as defined by some academics,
UN
UN
bodies and other institutions. It is almost entirely a part of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Health Organi ...

Middle East
, and includes
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, the
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciati ...
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
, the
Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the G ...

Levant
, the island of Cyprus, the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between As ...

Sinai Peninsula
, and partly the
Caucasus Region The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Grea ...
(
Transcaucasia Transcaucasia, also known as the South Caucasus, is a geographical region on the border of Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise ...
). The region is considered to be separated from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
by the
Isthmus of Suez The Isthmus of Suez is the 75-mile-wide (125-km) strip of land
in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identif ...
, and separated from
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
by the waterways of the
Turkish Straits 300px, View of the Dardanelles, taken from the Landsat 7 satellite in September 2006. The body of water at the upper left is the Aegean Sea, while the one on the upper right is the Sea of Marmara. The long, narrow upper peninsula is Gallipoli ...
and the watershed of the
Greater Caucasus The Greater Caucasus ( az, Böyük Qafqaz, Бөјүк Гафгаз, بيوک قافقاز; ka, დიდი კავკასიონი, ''Didi K’avk’asioni''; russian: Большой Кавказ, ''Bolshoy Kavkaz'', sometimes translate ...
.
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sovi ...

Central Asia
lies to its northeast, while
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lan ...

South Asia
lies to its east. Eight seas surround the region (clockwise): the
Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea ; tr, Ege Denizi is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In t ...
, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
, the
Arabian Sea The Arabian Sea ( ar, بحر العرب ''Bahr al-Arab'') is a region of the northern Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water Water is an Inorganic co ...
, the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒌𐒖𐒋𐒖𐒒𐒏𐒖 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒑𐒜𐒆) also known as the ''Gulf of Berbera'' is a deepwater gulf between Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, Djibouti to the w ...

Gulf of Aden
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر ''Al Baḥr al aḥmar''; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regar ...

Red Sea
, and the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
. Western Asia covers an area of , with a population of around 313 million. Out of the 21 countries located fully or partly within the region, 13 are a part of the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...
. The most populous countries in Western Asia are
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country in ...

Iraq
,
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
and
Yemen ) , image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a (''Houthi takeover in Yemen, De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital Yemeni government, in exile) , coordinates = , capital_exile = ...

Yemen
.


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 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Health Organi ...

Middle East
,
Eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the eastern approximate half, or third, of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely encl ...
, and
Near East The Near East ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental r ...
(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 the long-lived official monthly magazine of the National Geographic Society. It is one of the most widely read magazines of all time. Ove ...
Style Manual'' as well as
MaddisonMaddison is both a surname and a given name. It is a variant spelling of Madison (name), Madison. Notable people with the name include: Surname: * Ada Maddison (1869–1950), British Mathematician * Adela Maddison (1862–1929), British composer * A ...
'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 economic organisation with 37 member c ...

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(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/Spanish acronym: ONUDI) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that assists countries in economic and industrial development. It is headquartered at the United Natio ...
(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 The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) is pa ...
(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 groupsThe United Nations Regional Groups are the geopolitical regional groups of Member states of the United Nations, member states of the United Nations. Origi ...
, 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 (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 The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is a sports governing body, governing body of sports in Asia, currently with 45 member National Olympic Committees. The current president is Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Sheikh Fahad Al-Sabah. The oldest NO ...
's multi-sport event
West Asian Games The West Asian Games (also known as the WAG) was a multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly ...
are contested by athletes representing these thirteen countries. Among the region's sports organisations are the
West Asia Basketball Association The West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) is a subzone of FIBA Asia, consisting of countries from West Asia. The WABA Champions Cup, a professional men's tournament, is a top level club competition run by the WABA. Member nations * * * * ...
, West Asian Billiards and Snooker Federation,
West Asian Football Federation The West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), founded in 2001, is an association of the football Football is a family of team sport A team is a roup (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve th ...
, 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 ( ar, الشرق الأدنى, al-Sharq al-'Adnā, he, המזרח הקרוב, arc, ܕܢܚܐ ܩܪܒ, fa, خاور نزدیک, Xāvar-e nazdik, tr, Yakın Doğu) is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental r ...
" became current as a geopolitical concept. In the context of the history of classical antiquity, "Western Asia" could mean the part of Asia known in classical antiquity, as opposed to the reaches of "interior Asia", i.e. Scythia, and "Eastern Asia" the easternmost reaches of geographical knowledge in classical authors, i.e.
Transoxania 340px, Watershed of the Amu Darya, Oxus River in the 8th century, showing Transoxiana and its principal localities to the northeast. Transoxiana is an ancient name referring to a region and civilization located in lower Central Asia roughly corres ...
and
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
. In the 20th century, "Western Asia" was used to denote a rough geographical era in the fields of
archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologists also draw from biological, geological ...
and
ancient history Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0
"History"
from t ...
, especially as a shorthand for "the excluding
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric ...
" for the purposes of comparing the early civilizations of Egypt and the former. Use of the term in the context of contemporary
geopolitics Geopolitics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mill ...
or
world economy The world economy or the global economy is the economy An economy (from Greek language, Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distributi ...
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 is an elongated Bay, embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between Europe's Geography of Europe, Balkan peninsula and Asia's Anatolia peninsula. The sea has an area of some 215,000 square kilometres. In t ...
, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of Fars, ) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely en ...
, the
Arabian Sea The Arabian Sea ( ar, بحر العرب ''Bahr al-Arab'') is a region of the northern Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water Water is an Inorganic co ...
, the
Gulf of Aden The Gulf of Aden ( ar, خليج عدن, so, Gacanka Cadmeed 𐒌𐒖𐒋𐒖𐒒𐒏𐒖 𐒋𐒖𐒆𐒑𐒜𐒆) also known as the ''Gulf of Berbera'' is a deepwater gulf between Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east, Djibouti to the w ...

Gulf of Aden
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر ''Al Baḥr al aḥmar''; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regar ...

Red Sea
, and the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
. To the northwest and north, the region is delimited from
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...

Europe
by the
Turkish Straits 300px, View of the Dardanelles, taken from the Landsat 7 satellite in September 2006. The body of water at the upper left is the Aegean Sea, while the one on the upper right is the Sea of Marmara. The long, narrow upper peninsula is Gallipoli ...
and drainage divide of the
Greater Caucasus The Greater Caucasus ( az, Böyük Qafqaz, Бөјүк Гафгаз, بيوک قافقاز; ka, დიდი კავკასიონი, ''Didi K’avk’asioni''; russian: Большой Кавказ, ''Bolshoy Kavkaz'', sometimes translate ...
, to the southwest, it is delimited from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...

Africa
by the
Isthmus of Suez The Isthmus of Suez is the 75-mile-wide (125-km) strip of land
, while to the northeast and east, the region adjoins
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sovi ...

Central Asia
and
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lan ...

South Asia
. The region is located east of
Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern Subregion#Europe, region of Europe. Definitions of Southern Europe, also known as Mediterranean Basin, Mediterranean Europe, may include countries and regions such as: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulga ...

Southern Europe
and south of
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations. Russia, loca ...
. The
Dasht-e Kavir Dasht-e Kavir ( fa, دشت كوير, lit=Low Plains in classical Persian, from ''khwar'' (low), and ''dasht'' (plain, flatland), also known as Kavir-e Namak () and the Great Salt Desert, is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian Plate ...
and Dasht-e Lut deserts in eastern
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
naturally delimit the region from
Balochistan Balochistan (; bal, بلوچِستان; also romanised as Baluchistan) is an arid desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand du ...
and South Asia.


Geology


Plate tectonics

Three major
tectonic plates This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volume. It is ...
converge on Western Asia, including the
African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or individuals who trace their ancestry to indigenous inhabitants of Africa *** Ethnic groups ...
,
Eurasian Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it spans from the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Japan ...
, and
Arabian The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciati ...
plates. The boundaries between the tectonic plates make up the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, extending across
North Africa North 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 west, to Egypt's ...

North Africa
, the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر ''Al Baḥr al aḥmar''; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regar ...

Red Sea
, and into Iran.Beaumont (1988), p. 22 The Arabian Plate is moving northward into the
Anatolian plate The Anatolian Plate or the Turkish Plate is a continental tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The ...

Anatolian plate
(Turkey) at the
East Anatolian Fault The East Anatolian Fault ( tr, Doğu Anadolu Fay Hattı) is a major strike-slip fault zone in eastern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It sh ...
, and the boundary between the
Aegean Aegean may refer to: *Aegean Sea *Aegean Islands *Aegean Region (geographical), Turkey *Aegean Region (statistical), Turkey *Aegean civilizations *Aegean languages, a group of ancient languages and proposed language family *Aegean Sea (theme), a n ...
and Anatolian plate in eastern
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
is also
seismic Seismology (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following period ...

seismic
ally active.


Water resources

Several major
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeability (Earth sciences), permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt). Groundwater can be extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aqu ...
s provide
water Water (chemical formula H2O) 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 ...

water
to large portions of Western Asia. In Saudi Arabia, two large aquifers of
Palaeozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era ( ; from the Greek ''palaiós'' (), "old" and ''zōḗ'' (), "life", meaning "ancient life") is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic Eon. It is the longest of the Phanerozoic eras, lasting fr ...
and
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisions int ...

Triassic
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 A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisions ...
and
Eocene The Eocene ( ) Epoch is a geological epoch In chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the modern science of chronology Chronology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the ...
-origin aquifers are located beneath large portions of central and eastern Saudi Arabia, including Wasia and Biyadh which contain amounts of both
fresh water Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occurring water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is ...

fresh water
and
saline water Saline water (more commonly known as salt water) is water that contains a high concentration of solvation, dissolved salts (mainly sodium chloride). The salt concentration is usually expressed in parts per thousand (permille, ‰) or parts per mi ...
. Flood or furrow irrigation, as well as sprinkler methods, are extensively used for
irrigation Irrigation is the artificial process of applying controlled amounts of water to land to assist in production of crops. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during p ...

irrigation
, covering nearly across Western Asia for agriculture. Also, the
Tigris The Tigris, () is the eastern 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 at the end ...

Tigris
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It includes Anatolia, the A ...
rivers contribute very well.


Climate

Western Asia is primarily
arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in de ...
and
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables ove ...
, and can be subject to
drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation), surface water or ground water Groundwater is the water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency a ...

drought
, but it also contains vast expanses of forest and fertile valleys. The region consists of
grassland Grasslands are areas where the vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things t ...

grassland
s,
rangeland File:Salsola tragus monoculture post restoration.JPG, 250px, Weeds are all that remains in Idaho after overgrazing, wildfires, and subsequent invasive species, invasion by introduced species, non-native species. Kali tragus, Russian thistle (''Kal ...
s,
desert upright=1.5, alt=see caption, Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab Emirates">Rub'_al_Khali.html" ;"title="Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali">Sand dunes in the Rub' al Khali ("Empty quarter") in the United Arab ...
s, and
mountains A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust is a thin shell on the outside of Earth, accounting for less than 1% of Earth's volume. It is the top component of the lithosphere, a ...

mountains
. Water shortages are a problem in many parts of West Asia, with rapidly growing
population Population typically refers the number of people in a single area whether it be a city or town, region, country, or the world. Governments typically quantify the size of the resident population within their jurisdiction by a process called a ce ...

population
s increasing demands for water, while and
pollution Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be ...

pollution
threaten water supplies. Major rivers, including the
Tigris The Tigris, () is the eastern 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 at the end ...

Tigris
and
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It includes Anatolia, the A ...

Euphrates
, provide sources for
irrigation Irrigation is the artificial process of applying controlled amounts of water to land to assist in production of crops. Irrigation helps to grow agricultural crops, maintain landscapes, and revegetate disturbed soils in dry areas and during p ...

irrigation
water to support
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated species created food ...
. 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. Wind occurs 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 hours, ...

wind
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 The Anatolian Plateau () is a plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks ...
is sandwiched between the Pontus Mountains and
Taurus Mountains The Taurus Mountains ( Turkish: ''Toros Dağları''), are a mountain complex in southern Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares border ...
in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
.
Mount Ararat Mount Ararat ( ; hy, Մասիս, Masis and ; ku, Çiyayê Agirî; ) is a snow-capped and dormant compound volcano in the extreme east of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling S ...

Mount Ararat
in Turkey rises to 5,137 meters. The
Zagros Mountains The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس; ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyayên Zagros;) are a long mountain range in Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of I ...
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 any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. The drainage basin includes all the surface water from surface runoff, rain runoff, snowme ...

drainage basin
s. The northern basin is
Dasht-e Kavir Dasht-e Kavir ( fa, دشت كوير, lit=Low Plains in classical Persian, from ''khwar'' (low), and ''dasht'' (plain, flatland), also known as Kavir-e Namak () and the Great Salt Desert, is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian Plate ...
(Great Salt Desert), and Dasht-e-Lut is the southern basin. In
Yemen ) , image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a (''Houthi takeover in Yemen, De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital Yemeni government, in exile) , coordinates = , capital_exile = ...

Yemen
, elevations exceed 3,700 meters in many areas, and
highland Highlands or uplands are any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. Generally speaking, upland (or uplands) refers to ranges of hills, typically up to . Highland (or highlands) is usually reserved for ranges of low mountains. Highland ...
areas extend north along the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر ''Al Baḥr al aḥmar''; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regar ...

Red Sea
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 to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...

Lebanon
. A
fault Fault commonly refers to: *Fault (geology), planar rock fractures showing evidence of relative movement *Fault (law), blameworthiness or responsibility Fault(s) may also refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * "Fault", a song by Taproot from ...
-zone also exists along the Red Sea, with continental
rifting File:GulfofSuezRift.png, 200px, Gulf of Suez Rift showing main extensional faults In geology, a rift is a linear zone where the lithosphere is being pulled apart and is an example of extensional tectonics. Typical rift features are a central li ...
creating
trough Trough may refer to: In science * Trough (geology), a long depression less steep than a trench * Trough (meteorology), an elongated region of low atmospheric pressure * Trough (physics), the lowest point on a wave * Trough level (medicine), the lo ...
-like
topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography is a field of geoscience ...
with areas located well-below
sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in the ...

sea level
. The
Dead Sea The Dead Sea ( he, יָם הַמֶּלַח lit. Sea of Salt; ar, البحر الميت , lit. ''the Dead Sea'',The first article ''al-'' is unnecessary and usually not used. or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, ''lit.'' "Lake/Sea of Lot") is a s ...

Dead Sea
, located on the border between the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlock A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...
,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
, and
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
, 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 harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wit ...

Earth
.
Rub' al Khali The Rub' al KhaliOther standardized transliterations include: / . The ' is the assimilated Arabic definite article An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the re ...
, 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, الإمارات العربية المتحدة ) or the Emirates ( ar, الإمارات ), is a country in Western Asia. It is located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and shares borders with Oma ...

United Arab Emirates
and Yemen. Jebel al Akhdar is a small range of mountains located in northeastern Oman, bordering the
Gulf of Oman The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman (Gulf of Makran or Sea of Makran) ( ar, خليج عمان ، خلیج مکران ''khalīj ʿumān , khalīj makrān''; fa, دریای عمان ، دریای مکران ''daryâ-ye omân ,daryâ-ye'' makrān) i ...
.


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 timeThe doubling time is the time it takes for a population to double in size/value. It is applied to population growth Population growth is the increase in the number of people in a population Population typically refers the number of people in a ...
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 Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is oft ...

world population
, up from about 39 million at the beginning of the 20th century, or about 2% of world population at the time.Data for "15 West Asian countries", from Maddison (2003, 2007).Angus Maddison, 2003, ''The World Economy: Historical Statistics'', Vol. 2, OECD, Paris, . ''Statistical Appendix'' (2007, ggdc.net) "The historical data were originally developed in three books: Monitoring the World Economy 1820–1992, OECD, Paris 1995; The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, OECD Development Centre, Paris 2001; The World Economy: Historical Statistics, OECD Development Centre, Paris 2003. All these contain detailed source notes." Estimates for 2008 by country (in millions): Turkey (71.9), Iran (70.2), Iraq (28.2), Saudi Arabia (28.1), Yemen (23.0), Syria (19.7), Israel (6.5), Jordan (6.2), Palestine (4.1), Lebanon (4.0), Oman (3.3), United Arab Emirates (2.7), Kuwait (2.6), Qatar (0.9), Bahrain (0.7). The most populous countries in the region are
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the B ...

Turkey
and
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north ...

Iran
, each with around 79 million people, followed by
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country in ...

Iraq
and
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
with around 33 million people each, and
Yemen ) , image_map = File:Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Sana'a (''Houthi takeover in Yemen, De jure'')Aden (Temporary capital Yemeni government, in exile) , coordinates = , capital_exile = ...

Yemen
with around 29 million people. Numerically, Western Asia is predominantly
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Hea ...

Arab
,
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
,
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...
, and the dominating languages are correspondingly
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
,
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
and
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
, each with of the order of 70 million speakers, followed by smaller communities of ,
Azerbaijani Azerbaijani may refer to: * Something of, or related to Azerbaijan * Azerbaijanis * Azerbaijani language See also

* Azerbaijan (disambiguation) * Azeri (disambiguation) * Azerbaijani cuisine * Culture of Azerbaijan * {{Disambig Language a ...
,
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
,
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
and
Neo-Aramaic The Neo-Aramaic or Modern Aramaic languages are varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebrai ...
. The dominance of Arabic and Turkish is the result of the medieval
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Hea ...
and
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
invasions beginning with the Islamic conquests of the 7th century AD, which displaced the formerly dominant
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramai ...
in the
region of Syria The region of Syria ( ar, ٱلشَّام, '; Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία), known in modern literature as Greater Syria (, '), "Syria-Palestine", or the Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical ...
, and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
in Anatolia, although
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
became the dominant language in
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
in the second half of the 20th century, and
Neo-Aramaic The Neo-Aramaic or Modern Aramaic languages are varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebrai ...
(spoken by modern
Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic language, Old Aramaic: 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; Greek language, Greek: Ἀραμαῖοι; Syriac language, Syriac: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ / Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, fir ...
,
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
, and Chaldeans) and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
both remain present in their respective territories as minority languages. Significant native minorities include, in alphabetical order:
Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic language, Old Aramaic: 𐤀𐤓𐤌𐤉𐤀; Greek language, Greek: Ἀραμαῖοι; Syriac language, Syriac: ܐܪ̈ܡܝܐ / Ārāmāyē) were an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking people in the Near East, fir ...
,
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...
, Chaldeans,
Druze Druze (; ar, درزي ' or ', plural ') are members of an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethnoreligious group originating in Western Asia. They practice Druzism, an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheistic, Syncretic religion, syncretic, and e ...
,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is t ...

Jews
,
Lurs Lurs () are an Iranian people The Iranian peoples or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European languages, Indo-European ethnolinguistic group, ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Iranian languages and other cultural si ...
, Mandeans,
Maronites The Maronites ( ar, الموارنة, syr, ܡܖ̈ܘܢܝܐ) are an ethnoreligious Christian group whose members adhere to the Syriac Maronite Church with the largest population around Mount Lebanon in Lebanon Lebanon (), officially known ...
,
Shabaks Shabaks ( ar, الشبك, ku, شەبەک, translit=Şebek) are a group of ethnic Kurdish people, Kurds who live east of Mosul in Iraq. Their origin is disputed, and they are considered Kurds by some scholars. They speak Shabaki and live in a religi ...
and Yezidis.


Religion


Economy

The
economy An economy (; ) is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and trade, as well as Consumption (economics), consumption of Goods (economics), goods and Service (economics), services by different a ...

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 (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
and Iran.
Petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a #Latent heat of vaporization, naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth, Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. ...

Petroleum
is the major
industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics) In macroeconomics, an industry is a branch of an economy that produces a closely related set of raw materials, goods, or services. For example, one might refer to the wood industry ...
in the regional economy, as more than half of the world's
oil reserves Oil reserves denote the amount of crude oil Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various ty ...

oil reserves
and around 40 percent of the world's
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide ...

natural gas
reserves Reserve or reserves may refer to: Places * Reserve, Kansas, a US city * Reserve, Louisiana, a census-designated place in St. John the Baptist Parish * Reserve, Montana, a census-designated place in Sheridan County * Reserve, New Mexico, a US vil ...
are located in the region.


Statistical data

Notes: 1 The figures for Turkey includes
East Thrace East Thrace landscape in Edirne Province, Turkey East Thrace or Eastern Thrace ( tr, Doğu Trakya or simply ''Trakya''; el, Ανατολική Θράκη, ''Anatoliki Thraki''; bg, Източна Тракия, ''Iztochna Trakiya''), also kn ...
, which is not a part of
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
.
2 The area and population figures for Egypt only include the
Sinai Peninsula The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between As ...

Sinai Peninsula
.
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, Erusałē ...

Jerusalem
, which is
disputed Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view. The word was coined from the Latin ''controversia'', as a composite of ''controversus'' – "turned in an opposite di ...
.
4
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałē ...

Jerusalem
is the proclaimed capital of Israel and the actual location of the
Knesset The Knesset ( he, הַכְּנֶסֶת ; "gathering" or "assembly") is the unicameral In government, unicameralism (Latin , "one" and , "chamber") is the practice of having a single legislative or legislative chamber, parliamentary chamber ...

Knesset
,
Israeli Supreme Court The Supreme Court (, ''Beit HaMishpat HaElyon'') is the highest court in Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is ...
, etc. Due to its
disputed Controversy is a state of prolonged public dispute or debate, usually concerning a matter of conflicting opinion or point of view. The word was coined from the Latin ''controversia'', as a composite of ''controversus'' – "turned in an opposite di ...
status, most embassies are in
Tel Aviv Tel Aviv-Yafo ( he, תֵּל־אָבִיב-יָפוֹ, ''Tel Aviv-Yafo'' ; ar, تَلّ أَبِيب - يَافَا, ''Tall ʾAbīb-Yāfā''), often referred to as just Tel Aviv, is the most populous city in the Gush Dan metropolitan area of I ...

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 The West Asian Games (also known as the WAG) was a multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly ...
have been held in 1997, 2002 and 2005. *The
West Asian Football Federation The West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), founded in 2001, is an association of the football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve th ...
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 The West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) is a subzone of FIBA Asia, consisting of countries from West Asia. The WABA Champions Cup, a professional men's tournament, is a top level club competition run by the WABA. Member nations * * * * ...
organizes the WABA Championship since 1999.


Map of Western Asia


See also

*
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), such as Codex Alimentarius in food, the World Health Organi ...

Middle East
* Cinema of West Asia * List of World Heritage Sites in Western Asia *
West Asian Games The West Asian Games (also known as the WAG) was a multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly ...
* WABA Champions Cup, West Asian Basketball League *
West Asia Basketball Association The West Asia Basketball Association (WABA) is a subzone of FIBA Asia, consisting of countries from West Asia. The WABA Champions Cup, a professional men's tournament, is a top level club competition run by the WABA. Member nations * * * * ...
* West Asian Billiards & Snooker Federation * West Asian Tennis Federation *
West Asian Football Federation The West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), founded in 2001, is an association of the football Football is a family of team sport A team is a [group (disambiguation), group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve th ...


Notes


References

{{Authority control Western Asia, Regions of Asia Geography of Western Asia,