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Encyclopedia > Middle eastern
The traditional Middle East and the G8's Greater Middle East.
The traditional Middle East and the G8's Greater Middle East.
Political & transportation map of the Middle East.
Political & transportation map of the Middle East.

The Middle East is a historical and cultural subregion of Africa-Eurasia traditionally held to be countries or regions in Southwest Asia together with Egypt. In other contexts, the region can include other parts of North Africa and/or Central Asia. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1357x628, 40 KB) Summary Traditional and G8 greater middle east. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1357x628, 40 KB) Summary Traditional and G8 greater middle east. ... The traditional Middle East and the G8s Greater Middle East. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2973x2685, 1013 KB) Summary Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin http://www. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2973x2685, 1013 KB) Summary Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin http://www. ... Historical Geography is the study of the: Human Physical Fictional Theoretical and Real geographies of the past. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Africa-Eurasia The supercontinent of Africa-Eurasia, or Afro-Eurasia, is the worlds largest land mass and contains around 85% of the human population. ... The definition of cultural-geographical regions in use by the United Nations. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent. ... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia (Russian: Средняя Азия/Srednyaya Azia for Middle Asia or Центральная Азия/Tsentralnaya Azia for Central Asia; in Turkic languages Orta Asya; in Persian آسياى مرکزی; (Urdu: وسطى ايشيا)Wasti Asia; Standard Mandarin Chinese...

Contents


Characteristics

In the Western world, the Middle East is generally thought of as a predominantly Islamic Arabic community defined by frequent war. However the area encompasses many distinct cultural and ethnic groups, including the Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians, Azeris, Berbers, Chaldeans, Druze, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, Maronites, Persians and Turks. The main language groups include: Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian (also known as Aramaic and Syriac), Hebrew, Persian, Kurdish and Turkish. The corresponding adjective is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner. The term Western world or the West can have multiple meanings depending on its context. ... Islam (Arabic: ; ( â–¶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... The United States detonated an atomic bomb over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... The Arabs (Arabic: عرب ) are an ethnic group found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ... See also: Aramaic history and Syriac Christianity. ... Azerbaijanis or Azerbaijani Turks, are a Muslim people who number more than 25 million worldwide. ... The Berbers (also called Imazighen, free men, singular Amazigh) are a predominantly Muslim ethnic group indigenous to the Maghreb, speaking the Berber languages of the Afroasiatic family. ... Chaldean can refer to an ancient people of lower Mesopotamia and their culture, or a contemporary Christian people living mostly in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Iran, as well as a relativley widespread diaspora concentrated in the western world. ... Druze Star // Location The Druze reside primarily in Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Jordan. ... The Kurds are a people indigenous to the contiguous geocultural region which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey that is often referred to as Kurdistan. ... Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܶܐ in Syriac, Mawarinah in Arabic) are members of one of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic church. ... The Persians of Iran (officially named Persia by West until 1935 while still referred to as Persia by some) are an Iranian people who speak Persian (locally named Fârsi by native speakers) and often refer to themselves as ethnic Iranians as well. ... The Arabic language (Arabic: ‎ transliterated: ), or simply Arabic (Arabic: ‎ transliterated: ), is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Assyrian Neo-Aramaic is a modern Eastern Aramaic or Syriac language. ... Aramaic is a Semitic language with a 3,000-year history. ... Syriac ( Suryāyā) is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... Hebrew (עִבְרִית, ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. ... Persian is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Southern Russia, neighboring countries, and elsewhere. ... Kurdish (Kurdî) is an Indo-Iranian language spoken in the region loosely called Kurdistan, including Kurdish populations in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...


Most Western definitions of the "Middle East" — in both established reference books and common usage — define the region as 'nations in Southwest Asia, from Iran (Persia) to Egypt'. Egypt, with its Sinai Peninsula in Asia, is often considered part of the 'Middle East', although most of the country lies geographically in North Africa. North African nations without Asian links, such as Libya, Tunisia and Morocco, are increasingly being called North African — as opposed to Middle Eastern (Iran (Persia) to Egypt-Asia) — by international media outlets. A definition delimits or describes the meaning of a concept or term by stating the essential properties of the entities or objects denoted by that concept or term. ... A reference work is a compendium of information, usually of a specific type, compiled in a book for ease of reference. ... The definition of cultural-geographical regions in use by the United Nations. ... Sinai Peninsula, Gulf of Suez (west), Gulf of Aqaba (east) from Space Shuttle STS-40 For other uses of the word Sinai, please see: Sinai (disambiguation). ... World map showing the location of Asia. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent. ...


One widely used definition of "Middle East" is that of the airline industry, maintained by the IATA standards organization. This definition — as of early 2006 — includes Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (Persia), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestinian Territory, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. [1] This definition is used in world-wide airfare and tax calculations for passengers and cargo. IATA logo The International Air Transport Association is an international trade organization of airlines headquarted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The West Bank map The Gaza Strip map Palestinian territories is one of a number of terms used to describe, from Arab point of view, areas captured by Israel in the Six-day War of 1967, whose political status has been the subject of negotiations between Israel and the Palestine... A fare is the fee paid by a traveller allowing him or her to make use of a public transport system: rail, bus, taxi, etc. ... A tax (also known as a duty) is a financial charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... A calculation is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results. ... A passenger is a person using but not operating an airplane, train, bus or other mode of transport. ... Cargo is a term used to denote goods or produce being transported generally for commercial gain, usually on a ship, plane, train or truck. ...


History

A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East
A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East
Main article: History of the Middle East

The Middle East is the birthplace and spiritual centre of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The region has experienced both periods of relative tolerance and violence. In the 20th century, it has been at what could be considered the centre of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area. It possesses significant stocks of crude oil. See also List of conflicts in the Middle East. Download high resolution version (503x613, 112 KB)from CIAs world factbook This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (503x613, 112 KB)from CIAs world factbook This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article is a general overview of the history of the Middle East. ... Look up spiritual in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article describes the Jewish religion; for a consideration of ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity refer to the article Jew. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ... For other uses, including people named Islam, see Islam (disambiguation). ... The cross of the war memorial and a menorah for Hanukkah coexist in Oxford. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Sarnia, Ontario Petroleum (from Greek petra – rock and elaion – oil or Latin oleum – oil ) or crude oil is a thick, dark brown or greenish liquid. ... In the last 60 years, there have been a number of conflicts in the Middle East. ...


Borders

Middle East defines a cultural area, so it does not have precise borders. The most common and highly arbitrary definition includes: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran (Persia), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.


Iran (Persia) is often the eastern border, but Afghanistan and Pakistan are occasionally included due to their close relationship (ethnically and religiously) to the larger group of Iranian peoples as well as historical connections to the Middle East including being part of the various empires that have spanned the region such as those of the Persians and Arabs among others. Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and western Pakistan (Balochistan and North West Frontier Province) share close cultural, linguistic, and historical ties with Iran and are also part of the Iranian plateau, whereas Iran's relationship with Arab states is based more upon religion and geographic proximity. Also the Kurds, another group of Iranic linguistic extraction, are the largest ethnic group in the Middle East without their own state. Iranian peoples are peoples who speak an Iranian language and/or belong to the Iranian stock. ... The Persians of Iran (officially named Persia by West until 1935 while still referred to as Persia by some) are an Iranian people who speak Persian (locally named Fârsi by native speakers) and often refer to themselves as ethnic Iranians as well. ... The Arabs (Arabic: عرب ) are an ethnic group found throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ... The province of Balochistan (or Baluchistan) in Pakistan contains most of historical Balochistan and is named after the Baloch. ... North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) is geographically the smallest of the four provinces of Pakistan. ... The Iranian plateau is major geologic formation in the Middle East and the southern Eurasian Plate. ... Kurds are one of the Iranian peoples and speak Kurdish, a north-Western Iranian language related to Persian. ... Iranian peoples are peoples who speak an Iranian language and/or belong to the Iranian stock. ...


North Africa or the Maghreb, although often placed outside the Middle East proper, does have strong cultural and linguistic links to the region, and historically has shared many of the events that have shaped the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions including those prompted by Phoenician-colonized Carthage and Greco-Roman civilization as well as Muslim Arab-Berber and Ottoman empires. The Maghreb is sometimes included, sometimes excluded from the Middle East by the media and in informal usage, while most academics continue to identify North Africa as geographically a part of Africa, but being closely related to southwestern Asia in terms of politics, culture, religion, language, history, and genetics. This can be compared with other similar instances in which, for example, Tasmania and Newfoundland, geographically non-European, share many such traits with northwestern western Europe while Madagascar is in some of these respects more like southeast Asia than southeast Africa.  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent. ... Marrakesh, Morocco, in front of Atlas Mountains in Maghreb The Maghreb (المغرب العربي ; also rendered Maghrib (or rarely Moghreb), meaning western in Arabic, is the region of Africa north of the Sahara Desert and west of the Nile — specifically, coinciding with the Atlas Mountains. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... The definition of continental subregions in use by the United Nations. ... Phoenician can mean: The Phoenician ancient civilization The Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician languages This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Ruins of Carthage Carthaginian settlements in the western Mediterranean in the early 3rd century BC. The term Carthage refers both to an ancient city in North Africa — located on the eastern side of Lake Tunis across from the center of modern Tunis in Tunisia — and to the civilization which developed... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Classical antiquity. ... A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم, Turkish: Müslüman, Persian and Urdu: مسلمان) is an adherent of Islam. ... The Berbers (also called Imazighen, free men, singular Amazigh) are an ethnic group indigenous to Northwest Africa, speaking the Berber languages of the Afroasiatic family. ... Imperial motto (Ottoman Turkish) دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power (1683) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital Söğüt (1299-1326), Bursa (1326-1365), Edirne (1365-1453), Ä°stanbul (1453-1922) Imperial anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Sovereigns Padishah of the Osmanl... Physical geography or physiogeography is a subfield of geography that focuses on the systematic study of patterns and processes within the hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere. ... A map showing Southwest Asia - The term Middle East is more often used to refer to both Southwest Asia and some North African countries Southwest Asia, or West Asia, is the southwestern part of Asia. ... Political geography is a field of human geography that is concerned with politics. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Emblems: Flora - Tasmanian Blue Gum; Fauna - none Motto: Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Slogan or Nickname: The Apple Isle Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Const. ... Newfoundland (French: Terre-Neuve; Irish: Talamh an Éisc; Latin: Terra Nova) is a large island off the northeast coast of North America, and the most populous part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. ... A common understanding of Western Europe in modern times. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...  Eastern Africa (UN subregion)  East African Community  Central African Federation (defunct)  geographic, including above East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easternmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. ...


The Caucasus region, Cyprus, and Turkey, although often grouped into Southwest Asia based upon geographic proximity and continuity, are generally considered culturally and politically European due to their various historic and recent political ties to that region. For example, Armenia and Cyprus, although both exist in close geographic proximity to the Middle East, possess two important criteria that links them more to Europe than to the Middle East: their national identity that combines an Indo-European linguistic background and majority populations that adhere to Christianity, which are both factors that do not correspond with most typically Middle Eastern countries some of whom possess one trait (Indo-European languages dominate Iran for example) or the other (Lebanon is the only country that may have a Christian majority but this remains speculative as well). Turkey possesses neither of these European traits, but has deep historic connections with Europe since it was the site of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire that overlapped into Europe. As a prospective candidate of the European Union and a long-time member of NATO, Turkey has adopted the secular traits that dominate Europe and has severed many of its ties to the Middle East with the notable exception of the religion of Islam. Throughout her history, Georgia has been resolutely distancing herself from surrounding islamism (and associated lifestyle), thus adhering to what was perceived as "Christendom" and - broadly - the tradition of europeanism as part of the national identity. Since the beginning of 19th century, all three South Caucasian states (incl. Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) were also strongly influenced by the dominion of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Currently they are viewed more as 'European' than Middle Eastern and generally viewed as a regional bloc in the Caucasus region. The Entholinguistic patchwork of the modern Caucasus - CIA map The Caucasus, a region bordering Asia Minor, is located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands. ... The definition of cultural-geographical regions in use by the United Nations. ... This article is about the continent. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and South Asia. ... Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, and on his life and teachings as presented in the New Testament. ... Byzantine Empire (Greek: Βυζαντινή Αυτοκρατορία) is the term conventionally used since the 19th century to describe the Greek-speaking Roman Empire during the Middle Ages, centered at its capital in Constantinople. ... Imperial motto (Ottoman Turkish) دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power (1683) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital Söğüt (1299-1326), Bursa (1326-1365), Edirne (1365-1453), İstanbul (1453-1922) Imperial anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Sovereigns Padishah of the Osmanl... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance or the Western Alliance, is an international organisation for collective security established in 1949, in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, DC, on 4 April 1949. ... Official language Russian Official Religion Russian Orthodox Christianity Capital Saint Petersburg (Petrograd 1914-1925) Area Approx. ...


Central Asian countries from the former Soviet Bloc also show varying degrees of affinity and historical ties to the Middle East, but not in any uniform fashion. While the southern states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan display many cultural, historical, and socio-political similarities to the Middle East, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are examples of more remote and mixed cultures. As a result, these states are often viewed as Eurasian (in ways similar to the Caucasus) and their Russian/Soviet past has set them apart in various ways from the Middle East, while there has been a movement to re-establish ties to the region in Tajikistan, for example, based upon their ethno-linguistic affinities with Iran and Afghanistan. Like the Caucasus and Turkey, Central Asia has strong secular and 'western' affinities that are both Soviet legacies, although this may change with some recent shifts towards a historical-cultural renaissance and resurgence of Islamic identity that were suppressed for decades by Soviet authorities. Central Asia is a region of Asia. ... During the Cold War, the Eastern Bloc (or Soviet Bloc) comprised the following Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Albania (until the early 1960s, see below), the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia. ... The Eurasian Avars were a nomadic people of Eurasia, supposedly of proto-Mongolian Turkic stock, who migrated from eastern Asia into central and eastern Europe in the 6th century. ...


The State of Israel also represents a unique fusion of European and Middle Eastern traits, but due to geographic continuity with the Levant and a majority population that is predominantly Middle Eastern (including Sephardic Jews, Sabras, Israeli Arabs, etc.), it perhaps shares more similarities with its neighbors than is readily apparent from media coverage. This article is about the continent. ... The Levant Levant is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern Arabian Desert and Upper Mesopotamia to the east. ... In the strictest sense, a Sephardi (ספרדי, Standard Hebrew Səfardi, Tiberian Hebrew Səp̄ardî; plural Sephardim: ספרדים, Standard Hebrew Səfardim, Tiberian Hebrew Səp̄ardîm) is a Jew original to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal: ספרד, Standard Hebrew Səfárad, Tiberian Hebrew Səp̄áraḏ / Səp̄āraḏ), or whose ancestors were among the Jews expelled from... Autocars Co. ... The Israeli Arabs, or 1948 Palestinians, are those Arabs who remained inside the borders of what would become Israel after 1948, when most Arabs fled the country in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War (see also Nakba). They make up roughly 20% of Israels population. ...


Changes in meaning over time

Until World War II, it was customary to refer to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the Near East. The Middle East then meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East. The sense described in this article evolved during the war, perhaps influenced by the ancient idea of the Mediterranean as the "sea in the middle". Combatants Allies: Soviet Union United States United Kingdom France and others Axis Powers: Germany Japan Italy and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II, also known as the... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing the Levant (modern Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Mesopotamia (Iraq and eastern Syria), and the Iranian Plateau (Iran, Afghanistan and western... It has been suggested that History of Ancient Mesopotamia be merged into this article or section. ...


Eurocentrism

Some have criticized the term Middle East for its perceived Eurocentrism[2], because it was originally coined by Europeans and reflects the geographical position of the region from a European perspective. Today the term is used by Europeans and non-Europeans alike, unlike the similar term Mashreq, used exclusively in Arabic-language contexts. The region is only east from the perspective of Europe. To an Indian, it lies to the west; to a Russian, it lies to the south. The description Middle has also led to some confusion over changing definitions. Before the First World War, Near East was used in English to refer to the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire, while Middle East referred to Persia, Afghanistan and Central Asia, Turkistan and the Caucasus. In contrast, Far East refers to the countries of East Asia e.g. China, Japan, Koreas, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc. Such critics usually advise using an alternative term, such as "West Asia". Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. ... The Mashriq or Mashreq (Arabic: مشرق) is the region of Arabic-speaking countries to the east of Egypt. ... Combatants Allied Powers: British Empire France Italy Russia United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary Bulgaria Germany Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Military dead: 4 million The First World War, also known as The Great War, The War to End All Wars, and World War I (abbreviated WWI) was... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Imperial motto (Ottoman Turkish) دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power (1683) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital Söğüt (1299-1326), Bursa (1326-1365), Edirne (1365-1453), Ä°stanbul (1453-1922) Imperial anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Sovereigns Padishah of the Osmanl... Motto: Persian: Esteqlāl, āzādÄ«, jomhÅ«rÄ«-ye eslāmÄ« (English: Independence, freedom, (the) Islamic Republic) Anthem: SorÅ«d-e MellÄ«-e Īrān Capital Tehran Largest city Tehran Official language(s) Persian (Farsi) Government Islamic Republic  - Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei  - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Revolution Overthrew Monarchy   - Declared February... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia (Russian: Средняя Азия/Srednyaya Azia for Middle Asia or Центральная Азия/Tsentralnaya Azia for Central Asia; in Turkic languages Orta Asya; in Persian آسياى مرکزی; (Urdu: وسطى ايشيا)Wasti Asia; Standard Mandarin Chinese... Türkistan (also spelled Turkistan or Turkestan) is a region in Central Asia, largely inhabited by Turkic people. ... The Entholinguistic patchwork of the modern Caucasus - CIA map The Caucasus, a region bordering Asia Minor, is located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands. ... Far East is an inexact term often used for East Asia and Southeast Asia combined, sometimes including also the easternmost territories of Russia, i. ...


With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, Near East largely fell out of common use in English, while Middle East came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Islamic world. However, the usage of 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). So in shorter words, the term Middle East came about when the UK/French part of the world used the term. In German the Term Naher Osten (Near East) is still in common use and in Russian Ближний Восток (Near East) remains as the only appropriate term for the region. The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing the Levant (modern Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Mesopotamia (Iraq and eastern Syria), and the Iranian Plateau (Iran, Afghanistan and western... The Islamic world is the world-wide community of those who identify with Islam, known as Muslims, and who number approximately one-and-a-half billion people. ... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing the Levant (modern Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Mesopotamia (Iraq and eastern Syria), and the Iranian Plateau (Iran, Afghanistan and western... Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech/discourse) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data, including architecture, artifacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... Ancient history is the study of significant cultural and political events from the beginning of human history until the Early Middle Ages. ... Overview map of the Ancient Near East The term Ancient Near East or Ancient Orient encompasses the early civilizations predating Classical Antiquity in the region roughly corresponding to that described by the modern term Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Turkey), during the time roughly spanning the Bronze Age from the rise...


Indirect translations

A map showing middle eastern countries in their native scripts
A map showing middle eastern countries in their native scripts

There are terms similar to Near East and Middle East in other European languages, but, since it is a relative description, the meanings depend on the country and are different from the English terms generally. See fr:Proche-Orient, fr:Moyen-Orient, de:Naher Osten, and 'Blizhniy Vostok' ru:Ближний Восток for examples. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (876x707, 126 KB) Summary Author: Werner Fröhlich Source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (876x707, 126 KB) Summary Author: Werner Fröhlich Source: http://www. ...


Similar terms

In some ways the lack of precise borders of the Middle East is an advantage, since it can be used to describe various cultural and political criteria. This vagueness in definition has led to the emergence of alternative neutral terms used by international organizations and movements, namely Southwest Asia and West Asia, which has become the preferred term of use in India, both by the government and by the media. Arab world is not a synonymous term for the Middle East, although it covers most of the same area. The Asian part of the Arab world (including Arabia proper) is called the Mashreq. "Middle East-North Africa" (MENA), which is sometimes used to encompass the zone from Morocco to Iran, also occasionally called the Greater Middle East; sometimes this term is used to mean the entire area of Africa from the Sahara to the Mediterranean and Asia west of China and India and south of Russia. It is used by some historians who deal with various empires and civilizations (including that of the Mediterranean Greco-Romans and Persians as well as the vast Arab Caliphates and the regions where early Muslim Turks established their rule). It can encompass North Africa and Turkey in the west to Pakistan and Afghanistan in the east. The term 'Greater Middle East' remains in use by the G8, the US State Department[3], and various academic institutions such as the Middle East Institute.[4] Border stone at Passo San Giacomo between Val Formazza in Italy and Val Bedretto in Switzerland Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, states or subnational administrative divisions. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Political geography is a field of human geography that is concerned with politics. ... For the political science journal, see: International Organization An international organization (also called intergovernmental organization) is an organization of international scope or character. ... The definition of cultural-geographical regions in use by the United Nations. ... A map showing Southwest Asia - The term Middle East is more often used to refer to both Southwest Asia and some North African countries Southwest Asia, or West Asia, is the southwestern part of Asia. ... The Arab world The Arab world ( العالم العربي Al-Alam Al-Arabi) consists of twenty-two countries stretching from Mauritania in the west to Oman in the east. ... World map showing the location of Asia. ... The Arab world The Arab world ( العالم العربي Al-Alam Al-Arabi) consists of twenty-two countries stretching from Mauritania in the west to Oman in the east. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is a mainly desert peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia and an important part of the greater Middle East. ... The Mashriq or Mashreq (Arabic: مشرق) is the region of Arabic-speaking countries to the east of Egypt. ... The traditional Middle East and the G8s Greater Middle East. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ...


Hebrew uses the equivalents of Middle East and Near East synonymously, to denote the English term Middle East in its current usage.


Conflicts

Today the Middle East is characterized by strong internal political tensions like the issue of Kurdistan, the Israeli-Arab conflict, the issue of rights to water resources, as well as a number of smaller yet important issues, like Syrian presence in Lebanon, border disagreements between Syria and Turkey over the Hatay Province, between Egypt and Sudan over the Hala'ib Triangle, between Saudi Arabia and Yemen over the geography of Saudi Arabia, the civil rights of religious minorities in Iraq and Bahrain and the security of Christians in Egypt. Kurdistan (literally meaning the land of Kurds)[1] (old: Koordistan, Curdistan, Kurdia, also in Kurdish: Kurdewarî) is the name of a geographic and cultural region in the Middle East, inhabited traditionally predominantly by the Kurds. ... Israel and the Arab League states The Arab-Israeli conflict is a long-running conflict in the Middle East regarding the existence of the state of Israel and its relations with non-Jews, most of whom are Arabs, of which a small minority are inhabitants of Israel, the rest living... Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful to humans. ... The Syrian presence in Lebanon, also known as the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, began in 1976 as a result of a Lebanese government invitation during Lebanons civil war, and ended in April 2005 in response to domestic and international pressure after the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik... shows the Location of the Province Hatay Flag of the Republic of Hatay (1938-1939) Hatay is a province of southern Turkey, situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the west and Syria to the south and east. ... The Halaib Triangle is an area of land measuring 20,580 km&sup2 located on the Red Seas African coast, between the borders of Egypt and Sudan. ... Location: Southwest Asia, largest country of Arabia, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen. ... The Egyptian people have a deep sense of piety and are devout followers of their professed religions. ...


There are also substantial tensions between the Middle East and external regions, especially with the West. These include the issues arising from the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, the nuclear program of Iran, US involvement in the Somalian civil war, and the allegations of state-sponsored terrorism on the part of several Middle Eastern nations. The term Western world or the West can have multiple meanings depending on its context. ... For other uses of the term, see Iraq war (disambiguation) The 2003 invasion of Iraq (also called the 2nd or 3rd Persian Gulf War) began on March 20, 2003, when forces belonging primarily to the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq without the explicit backing of the United... This article is about Irans nuclear power program. ... Somalia or Somolia (Somali: Soomaaliya; Arabic: الصومال, As-Sumal), formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic, is a coastal nation in East Africa. ... State-sponsored terrorism (SST) is a political term used to refer to finance and bounties given across international boundaries to terrorist organizations and the families of deceased militants for the purpose of conducting or rewarding attacks on civilians. ...


Geography

Main article: Geography of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of Eurasia, comprising approximately fifty countries. ...


Regions of the Middle East

Main article: Middle Eastern Regions There are many interpretations of the term the Middle East. ...

Asia Minor lies east of the Bosporus, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. ... The Iranian plateau is major geologic formation in the Middle East and the southern Eurasian Plate. ... Satellite image The Mediterranean Sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean almost completely enclosed by land, on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia. ... The Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula is a mainly desert peninsula in Southwest Asia at the junction of Africa and Asia and an important part of the greater Middle East. ... The Arabian Gulf States, also called the Gulf States (which may cause a confusion with the Gulf States of the United States, which are those along the Gulf of Mexico), are the countries in Southwest Asia or the Middle East which border the Arabian Gulf. ... Motto: None Anthem: Ishy Bilady Capital Abu Dhabi Largest city Dubai Official language(s) Arabic Government Absolute monarchy  - President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan  - Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Establishment December 2, 1971  Area    - Total 83,600 km² (116th)   32,278 sq mi   - Water (%) negligible Population    - 2005 est. ... The Levant Levant is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the northern Arabian Desert and Upper Mesopotamia to the east. ... Sinai Peninsula, Gulf of Suez (west), Gulf of Aqaba (east) from Space Shuttle STS-40 For other uses of the word Sinai, please see: Sinai (disambiguation). ...

See also

The definition of cultural-geographical regions in use by the United Nations. ... The Near East is a term commonly used by archaeologists and historians, less commonly by journalists and commentators, to refer to the region encompassing the Levant (modern Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon), Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Mesopotamia (Iraq and eastern Syria), and the Iranian Plateau (Iran, Afghanistan and western... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The traditional Middle East and the G8s Greater Middle East. ... Middle East Studies Association of North America (often referred to as MESA) is, according to its website, a non-political association that fosters the study of the Middle East, promotes high standards of scholarship and teaching, and encourages public understanding of the region and its peoples through programs, publications and... Orientalism is the study of Near and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages and peoples by Western scholars. ... Center for Middle East and Africa Studies (CMEAS - ODAM). ... Yedioth Ahronoth (Hebrew: ידיעות אחרונות, meaning latest news) is a major Hebrew newspaper published in Israel. ...

External links

Look up Middle East in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikinews has news related to:
  • syria-job.net - Job offers in the Middle East

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary is a Wikimedia Foundation project intended to be a free wiki dictionary (hence: Wiktionary) (including thesaurus and lexicon) in every language. ... Image File history File links Wikinews-logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ...

NGOs working in region

  • Ansar Burney Trust - NGO working on human rights and human trafficking issues in the Middle East
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Near Eastern archaeology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (962 words)
Near Eastern Archaeology (sometimes known as Middle Eastern archaeology) is a regional branch of the wider, global discipline of Archaeology.
The description "Near Eastern" for this branch of archaeology is, of course, highly Eurocentric and Americocentric, reflecting the origins and growth of the field in Western academic traditions.
Near Eastern Archaeology is a term with a wide, often generalised application, and is frequently divided into further regional sub-branches, the archaeology of modern states in the region or along broad thematic lines.
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