It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Near East, Levant and Fertile Crescent are geographic concepts, which refer to large sections of the modern defined Middle East, with Near East being the closest to Middle East in its geographic meaning. Another Semitic language such as Aramaic and its dialects are spoken mainly by Assyrians and Mandaeans. It's not a precise geographical area like Europe or Africa. The Middle East is widely and most famously known as the Cradle of civilization. It is divided into three main geographical regions; th… The total estimated population of the EMEA region is between 2.1 and 2.2 billion people occupying the land from the most northern parts of Europe all the way to the southern tip of Africa. [52][53][54] Sharp global temperature and sea level changes, shifting precipitation patterns and increased frequency of extreme weather events are some of the main impacts of climate change as identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East (as opposed to the Far East) beginning in the early 20th century. [41] Regarding nominal GDP per capita, the highest ranking countries are Qatar ($93,204), the UAE ($55,028), Kuwait ($45,920) and Cyprus ($32,745). What is the Difference Between the Vatican City and the Holy See. The Middle East has seventeen nations, and it occupies an area of about 2,782,869 sq miles. Christians represent 40.5% of Lebanon, where the Lebanese president, half of the cabinet, and half of the parliament follow one of the various Lebanese Christian rites. While non-Eurocentric terms such "Soutweast Asia" or "Swasia" has been sparsedly used, the inclusion of an African country, Egypt, in the definition questions the usefulness of using such terms. Persian is the second most spoken language. From the 4th century CE onwards, the Middle East became the center of the two main powers at the time, the Byzantine empire and the Sassanid Empire. Throughout its history the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area. [note 1]. Unemployment is notably high in the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly among young people aged 15–29, a demographic representing 30% of the region's total population. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The earliest civilizations like Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia originated from the Nile Valley and the Fertile Crescent regions. In Italian, the expression "Vicino Oriente" (Near East) was also widely used to refer to Turkey, and, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (. Gain the trust of nations in the Middle East. It is on three continents with Asia being the primary. Due to it primarily being Arabic speaking, the Maghreb region of North Africa is sometimes included. The estimated oil reserves in Saudi Arabia and Iran is the highest on earth. World Economic Outlook Database-October 2009, "Unemployment Rates Are Highest in the Middle East", "Inclusion: Meeting the 100 Million Youth Challenge", "Social Exclusion: Comparative Analysis of Europe and Middle East Youth", "Population, total - Middle East & North Africa, World | Data", "An overview of monitoring and reduction strategies for health and climate change related emissions in the Middle East and North Africa region", "Oil consumption, CO2 emission and economic growth in MENA countries", "The impact of the global energy transition on MENA oil and gas producers", "Ten health issues WHO will tackle this year", "The Greatest Threat To Global Security: Climate Change Is Not Merely An Environmental Problem", "How the Middle East is suffering on the front lines of climate change", "With climate change, life in the Gulf could become impossible", Middle East Business Intelligence since 1957, Middle East Business, Financial & Industry News, List of countries where Arabic is an official language, Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests, Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Middle_East&oldid=1002534005, Pages containing links to subscription-only content, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Wikipedia extended-confirmed-protected pages, Articles needing additional references from April 2019, All articles needing additional references, Pages using collapsible list with both background and text-align in titlestyle, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2008, Articles needing additional references from December 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2012, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 1995, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from December 2016, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2007, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It occupies about 900,000 sq miles of the Arabian Peninsula encompasses parts of Oman, Iraq, Jordan, and Yemen. Around one third of Africa is located in the Southern Hemisphere. In German the term Naher Osten (Near East) is still in common use (nowadays the term Mittlerer Osten is more and more common in press texts translated from English sources, albeit having a distinct meaning) and in Russian Ближний Восток or Blizhniy Vostok, Bulgarian Близкия Изток, Polish Bliski Wschód or Croatian Bliski istok (meaning Near East in all the four Slavic languages) remains as the only appropriate term for the region. A fair proportion of those migrating from Arab nations are from ethnic and religious minorities facing racial and or religious persecution and are not necessarily ethnic Arabs, Iranians or Turks. [38] Russian today is a popular unofficial language in use in Israel; news, radio and sign boards can be found in Russian around the country after Hebrew and Arabic. The Middle East has seen its fair share of wars especially the Cold War when all the superpowers wanted to control this area due to its vast oil reservoirs. It is a member of the Turkic languages, which have their origins in Central Asia. The 4 caliphates that dominated the Middle East for more than 600 years were the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyad caliphate, the Abbasid caliphate and the Fatimid caliphate. Traditionally included within the Middle East are Iran (Persia), Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. Let’s go through the story of continents and how countries are divided along geographical and political borders. a region expected to be severely negatively impacted by it. [55] If greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly reduced, part of the MENA region risks becoming uninhabitable before the year 2100. Pakistan is bordered by several Asian countries including Afghanistan, China, Iran, and Oman, and is narrowly separated from Tajikistan by the Wakhan Corridor. It's not a political or economic alliance like the European Union. Banking is also an important sector of the economies, especially in the case of UAE and Bahrain. What Is The Difference Between Near East and Middle East? Parts of Africa (primarily Egypt and Sudan) are sometimes considered part of the Middle East as well. Arabic, with all its dialects, are the most widely spoken languages in the Middle East, with Literary Arabic being official in all North African and in most West Asian countries. Circassian is also spoken by the diaspora in the region and by almost all Circassians in Israel who speak Hebrew and English as well. Cleveland, William L., and Martin Bunton. The region served as the intellectual and economic center of the Roman Empire and played an exceptionally important role due to its periphery on the Sassanid Empire. About 20 minority languages are also spoken in the Middle East. However, it would be the later Islamic Caliphates of the Middle Ages, or Islamic Golden Age which began with the Islamic conquest of the region in the 7th century AD, that would first unify the entire Middle East as a distinct region and create the dominant Islamic Arab ethnic identity that largely (but not exclusively) persists today. Expatriates from Arab countries contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development. [citation needed] Large numbers of Kurds, Jews, Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians as well as many Mandeans have left nations such as Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey for these reasons during the last century. The region is one of the regions were agriculture was independently discovered, and from the Middle East it was spread, during the Neolithic, to different regions of the world such as Europe, the Indus Valley and Eastern Africa. Another Turkic language, Azerbaijani, is spoken by Azerbaijanis in Iran. In Iran, many religious minorities such as Christians, Baháʼís and Zoroastrians have left since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. The Arabian Desert is one of the most inhospitable areas in the world. With the end of the Cold War the United States lost a sound understanding of the strategic geography of the Middle East. [12] Mahan first used the term in his article "The Persian Gulf and International Relations", published in September 1902 in the National Review, a British journal. The equator runs through Africa in the middle of the continent. The third-most widely spoken language, Turkish, is largely confined to Turkey, which is also one of the region's largest and most populous countries, but it is present in areas in neighboring countries. Mass production of oil began around 1945, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates having large quantities of oil. After that time, the term "Middle East" gained broader usage in Europe and the United States, with the Middle East Institute founded in Washington, D.C. in 1946, among other usage.[17]. Ismael, Jacqueline S., Tareq Y. Ismael, and Glenn Perry. 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. The Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea all surround Africa, to … It extends for about 1,000 miles from the Iran Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea and 2,000 miles from the Arabian Sea to the Black Sea. Today, the region of the Near East is imprecise and overlaps with the Middle East. [42] Turkey ($1,028,897), Iran ($839,438) and Saudi Arabia ($589,531) had the largest economies in terms of GDP-PPP. Mideast is also acceptable, but Middle East is preferred. [27] Various Central Asian countries are sometimes also included.[28]. "[14] After the series ended in 1903, The Times removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term. The MENA region is in the middle of a digital transformation, which 2020 and COVID-19 has only accelerated. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 worldatlas.com. Maltese, a Semitic language mainly spoken in Europe, is also used by the Franco-Maltese diaspora in Egypt. Trump has used his relationship with Middle Eastern dictators to secure the release of some Americans abroad who had languished in the region’s … The "Middle East" as a term can be as contentious as the region it identifies. European ethnic groups that form a diaspora in the region include Albanians, Bosniaks, Circassians (including Kabardians), Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Franco-Levantines, Italo-Levantines, and Iraqi Turkmens. Other mountain ranges found on the border between Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea includes the Hejaz and Asir mountains. It instructs: Use Middle East unless Near East is used by a source in a story. Learn more about the history of the classification of the region in this article. The region is best known for oil production and export, which significantly impacts the entire region through the wealth it generates and through labor utilization. Other defining events in this transformation included the establishment of Israel in 1948 and the eventual departure of European powers, notably Britain and France by the end of the 1960s. In 2018, the MENA region emitted 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and produced 8.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)[47] despite making up only 6% of the global population. Josiah Russell estimates the population of what he calls "Islamic territory" as roughly 12.5 million in 1000 – Anatolia 8 million, Syria 2 million, and Egypt 1.5 million. Declaring the Middle East to "continent" status would neither help or hurt international relationships or internal relations. [21], 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. [30] Estimated oil reserves, especially in Saudi Arabia and Iran, are some of the highest in the world, and the international oil cartel OPEC is dominated by Middle Eastern countries. This is clearly changing: in North Africa and the Middle East, for us we see a rapidly growing market for still water in PET bottles. The term was created by British military strategists in the 19th century, and definitions of the Middle East vary; it is not simply a geographical term, but also a political one, connoting that it separates Europe ("the West") from the Far East. [citation needed] In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East Command, which was based in Cairo, for its military forces in the region. [15], Until World War II, it was customary to refer to areas centered around Turkey and the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the "Near East", while the "Far East" centered on China,[16] and the Middle East then meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East. Majority of the nations bordering the Persian Gulf have vast crude oil reserves. The countries of the South Caucasus—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—are occasionally included in definitions of the Middle East. Native ethnic groups of the region include, in addition to Arabs, Arameans, Assyrians, Baloch, Berbers, Copts, Druze, Greek Cypriots, Jews, Kurds, Lurs, Mandaeans, Persians, Samaritans, Shabaks, Tats, and Zazas. Additionally, the Mongols would come to dominate the region, the Kingdom of Armenia would incorporate parts of the region to their domain, the Seljuks would rule the region and spread Turko-Persian culture, and the Franks would found the Crusader states that would stand for roughly two centuries. In the 20th century, the region's significant stocks of crude oil gave it new strategic and economic importance. [33] In Somalia, the Somali Civil War has greatly increased the size of the Somali diaspora, as many of the best educated Somalis left for Middle Eastern countries as well as Europe and North America. From the 16th century onward, the Middle East came to be dominated, once again, by two main powers: the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid dynasty. Among other migrant populations are Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Pakistanis, Pashtuns, Romani, and Afro-Arabs. Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but also of its center, the Persian Gulf. Millions of people throughout the Middle East and North Africa are united in their demand for change. Perhaps because of the influence of the Western press, the Arabic equivalent of Middle East (Arabic: الشرق الأوسط ash-Sharq al-Awsaṭ) has become standard usage in the mainstream Arabic press, comprising the same meaning as the term "Middle East" in North American and Western European usage. How does Carter plan to promote his goals for the Middle East? The broader concept of the "Greater Middle East" (aka the Middle East and North Africa or the MENAP) also includes the Maghreb, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, the Comoros, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and sometimes Transcaucasia and Central Asia into the region. It is the birthplace and spiritual center of religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Manichaeism, Yezidi, Druze, Yarsan and Mandeanism, and in Iran, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Manicheanism, and the Baháʼí Faith. It has a 650 miles coastline along the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Besides the political reasons there was also the "ideological conflict" between the two systems. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp. The biggest Middle Eastern state by land area in Saudi Arabia (830,000 sq miles) followed by Iran (636,372 sq miles) and then Egypt (390,120 sq miles). The Middle East has numerous mountain ranges with some of the tallest peaks being over 18,000 ft above sea level. GRAPHIC: Asia’s crude oil imports from the Middle East vs the. Industries of the Middle Eastern region include oil and oil-related products, agriculture, cotton, cattle, dairy, textiles, leather products, surgical instruments, defence equipment (guns, ammunition, tanks, submarines, fighter jets, UAVs, and missiles). Arabic dialects are also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighbouring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. The countries that are believed to be part of the Middle East on most maps are Yemen, Bahrain, the United Arab … One of the deserts in the Middle East is the An Nafud Desert in Saudi Arabia which is known for its gigantic dunes. Armenian and Greek speakers are also to be found in the region. Naval force has the quality of mobility which carries with it the privilege of temporary absences; but it needs to find on every scene of operation established bases of refit, of supply, and in case of disaster, of security. The Near East was first largely unified under the Neo Assyrian Empire, then the Achaemenid Empire followed later by the Macedonian Empire and after this to some degree by the Iranian empires (namely the Parthian and Sassanid Empires), the Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire. Hebrew is one of the two official languages of Israel, the other being Arabic. English is one of the official languages of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India Office. The Persian equivalent for Middle East is خاورمیانه (Khāvar-e miyāneh), the Hebrew is המזרח התיכון (hamizrach hatikhon) and the Turkish is Orta Doğu. Middle East Continent Briefs: The Middle East includes the states of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel although its geographical definition is not really well defined. Overall, as of 2007[update], according to the CIA World Factbook, all nations in the Middle East are maintaining a positive rate of growth. China, Japan, Korea, etc.). Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the region has experienced both periods of relative peace and tolerance and periods of conflict particularly between Sunnis and Shiites. The prospect of the Middle East region finally realizing appropriate levels of economic growth, global leadership in all areas, and a balanced contribution to the global economy is exhilarating. "Migration has always provided an important vent for labor market pressures in the Middle East. The government of any particular country, no matter what "continent" they live on determines the quality of life for the people. Islam is the largest religion in the Middle East, but other faiths that originated there, such as Judaism and Christianity, are also well represented. [22] Even though the term originated in the West, apart from Arabic, other languages of countries of the Middle East also use a translation of it. [18], The description Middle has also led to some confusion over changing definitions. [10][11] He labeled the area surrounding the Persian Gulf as the Middle East, and said that after Egypt's Suez Canal, it was the most important passage for Britain to control in order to keep the Russians from advancing towards British India. The current Middle East started after the Second World War when the British defeated the Ottoman Empire. The Middle East is a transcontinental region in Afro-Eurasia which generally includes Western Asia (except for Transcaucasia), all of Egypt (mostly in North Africa), and Turkey (partly in Southeast Europe). The smallest nation in the Middle East is Bahrain which occupies an area of about 257 sq miles. The lowest-ranking country in the Middle East, in terms of per capita income (PPP), is the autonomous Palestinian Authority of Gaza and the West Bank ($1,100). However, some languages do have "Middle East" equivalents, such as the French Moyen-Orient, Swedish Mellanöstern, Spanish Oriente Medio or Medio Oriente, and the Italian Medio Oriente. It belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the family of Indo-European languages. The Middle East lies at the juncture of Eurasia and Africa and of the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. The five top languages, in terms of numbers of speakers, are Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Hebrew. It extends for about 1,000 miles from the Iran Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea and 2,000 miles from the Arabian Sea to the Black Sea. It covers an area of approximately 340,509 square miles, almost the combined size of the UK and France. Best Places to Live in Middle East. It typically refers to southwest Asia, particularly Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, … Throughout history, this region has been a critical center of global affairs, and this includes religiously, politically, economically, and culturally. 20Th century, the region of North Africa is sometimes included. [ 28 ] a! 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