Middle East

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Political & transportation map of the Middle East today

The Middle East (or, formerly more common, the Near East[1]) is a region that spans southwestern Asia, western Asia, and northeastern Africa. It has no clear boundaries, often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The term "Middle East" was popularized around 1900 in the United Kingdom[2]. The corresponding adjective to Middle East is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner.

The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history the Middle East has been a major centre of world affairs. The Middle East is also the historical origin of three of the world’s major monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Some scholars romantically link monotheism with the open and spare desert landscape. The Middle East generally has an arid and hot climate, with several major rivers providing for irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas. Many countries located around the Persian Gulf have large quantities of crude oil.



The Middle East and Greater Middle East can have varying definitions and boundaries.

The term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India Office.[3] It became more widely known and used after American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan popularized the term.[4] During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central Asia, a rivalry which would become known as "The Great Game". Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but also of its center, the Persian Gulf.[5][6] He labeled the area surrounding the Persian Gulf as the Middle East, and said that after the Suez Canal, it was the most important passage for Britain to control in order to keep the Russians from advancing towards India.[7] 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 Middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta, as well as its Gibraltar; it does not follow that either will be in the Persian Gulf. Naval force has the quality of mobility which carries with it the privilege of temporary absences; but it needs to find on every scene of operation established bases of refit, of supply, and in case of disaster, of security. The British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force if occasion arise, about Aden, India, and the Persian Gulf.[8]

Mahan's article was reprinted in The Times and followed in October by a 20-article series entitled "The Middle Eastern Question", written by Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol. In this series, Sir Ignatius expanded the definition of the "Middle East" to include "those regions of Asia which extend to the borders of India or command the approaches to India."[9] With the series end in 1903, The Times removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term, marking its acceptance into general usage.[10]

Until World War II, many people continued 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.[11] The Middle East then meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East.[citation needed] In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East Command in Cairo for its military forces in the region. After that time, the term "Middle East" gained broader usage in Europe and the United States. For example, in 1946 American scholars founded the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.[12]

Criticism and usage

Many have criticized the term Middle East for what they see as Eurocentrism, because it was originally used by Europeans (although Mahan was American) and reflects the geographical position of the region from a European perspective (although Europeans consider themselves to be in "The West").[13][14] Today, the term is used by Europeans and non-Europeans alike, unlike the similar term Mashreq, used exclusively in Arabic-language contexts.[15]

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 Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Turkestan, and the Caucasus. In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, etc. Some critics advise using an alternative, geographically descriptive term, such as "Western Asia." The official United Nations designation of the area is "Western Asia".[16]

With the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, the use of "Near East" declined in English. "Middle East" came to be applied to the re-emerging nations of the Islamic world. A variety of academic disciplines, including archaeology and ancient history, retained the term "Near East". It is used to describe an area coterminous with the contemporary term Middle East. (See Ancient Near East).

The United States government first officially used "Middle East" in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as "the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east, Syria and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia."[11] In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms "Near East" and "Middle East" were interchangeable. It then defined the region as including only Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.[17]

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

Use Middle East unless Near East is used by a source in a story. Mideast is also acceptable, but Middle East is preferred.[18]

At the United Nations, the numerous documents and resolutions about the Middle East are specifically concerned with the Arab-Israeli conflict, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and, therefore, with the four states of the Levant. Analysts at the UN occasionally use the term Near East when referring to this region.


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 generally different from usage in English. 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). Other examples are:

Perhaps due to the influence of the Western press, the Arabic equivalent of “Middle East,” “‫الشرق الأوسط‬” (“ash-sharq-l-awsat”), has become standard usage in the mainstream Arabic press, with the same geographic definition as the term “Middle East” in North American and Western European usage. The Persian equivalent for Middle East is خاورمیانه (Khāvarmiyāneh).

Territories and regions

Country, with flag Area
Population Density
(per km²)
Capital GDP (Total) Per capita Currency Government Official languages
Iranian Plateau:
 Iran 1,648,195 71,208,000 42 Tehran $872 billion (2009) $11,763 (2009) Iranian rial Islamic Republic Persian
 Iraq 437,072 24,001,816 55 Baghdad $102.3 billion (2007) $3,600 (2007) Iraqi dinar Parliamentary Democracy (Developing) Arabic, Kurdish
Arabian Peninsula:
 Kuwait 17,820 3,100,000 119 Kuwait City $151.5 billion (2007) $42,506 (2009) Kuwaiti dinar Constitutional Hereditary Arabic
 Bahrain 665 656,397 987 Manama $28.5 billion (2009) $35,895 (2009) Bahraini Dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic
 Oman 212,460 3,200,000 13 Muscat $73 billion (2007) $27,852 (2007) Omani Rial Absolute monarchy Arabic
 Qatar 11,437 793,341 69 Doha $117.3 billion (2009) $96,275 (2009) Qatari Riyal Monarchy Arabic
 Saudi Arabia 1,960,582 23,513,330 12 Riyadh $636.3 billion (2009) $24,936 (2009) Riyal Absolute monarchy Arabic
 United Arab Emirates 82,880 5,432,746 30 Abu Dhabi $200.5 billion (2009) $40,039 (2009) UAE dirham Federal Constitutional Monarchy Arabic, English
 Yemen 527,970 18,701,257 35 Sanaá $60.7 (2007) $2,562 (2007) Yemeni rial Republic Arabic
The Levant:
 Israel 20,770 7,029,529 290 Jerusalem3 $200.9 billion (2008) $28,245 (2008) Israeli new sheqel Parliamentary democracy Hebrew, Arabic, English
 Jordan 92,300 5,307,470 58 Amman $32.4 billion (2009) $5,406 (2009) Jordanian dinar Constitutional monarchy Arabic, English, French
 Lebanon 10,452 3,677,780 354 Beirut $48.9 billion (2009) $12,704 (2009) Lebanese pound Republic Arabic, French, English, Armenian
 Syria 185,180 17,155,814 93 Damascus $99.2 billion (2009) $4,871 (2009) Syrian pound Presidential republic Arabic
Flag of Turkey Turkey1 783,562 72,334,256 91 Ankara $937.1 billion (2008) $13,447 (2008) Turkish lira Parliamentary Democracy Turkish
North Africa:
 Egypt 1,001,449 77,498,000 74 Cairo $477.2 billion (2009) $6,234 (2009) Egyptian pound Semi-presidential republic (democracy) Arabic
Autonomous region: Palestine:
Palestinian flag Gaza Strip 360 1,376,289 3,823 Gaza $5 billion (includes West Bank) (2006) $1,100 (includes West Bank) (2006) Israeli new sheqel Palestinian National Authority Hamas Arabic
Palestinian flag West Bank 5,8603 2,500,0005 4323,4 Ramallah Israeli new sheqel Palestinian National Authority Fatah Arabic



1 The figures for Turkey includes Eastern Thrace, which is not a part of Anatolia.

2 Under Israeli law. The UN doesn't recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

3 Includes the whole of the West Bank, according to the pre-1967 boundaries.

4 In addition, there are around 400,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, of which half are in East-Jerusalem.

Greater Middle East

Country, with flag Area
Population Density
(per km²)
Capital GDP (Total) Per capita Currency Government Official languages
Flag of Armenia Armenia 29,800 2,968,586 111.7 Yerevan $19.298 billion (2008) $5,437 (2008) Armenian dram Presidential republic Armenian
Flag of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 86,600 8,621,000 97 Baku $65.523 billion (2007) $7,618 (2007) Azerbaijani manat Presidential republic Azerbaijani
Flag of Georgia (country) Georgia 20,460 4,630,841 99.3 Tbilisi $20.516 billion (2007) $4,694 (2007) Georgian lari Presidential democratic republic Georgian
Iranian Plateau:
 Afghanistan 647,500 31,889,923 46 Kabul $35 billion (2007) $1,000 (2007) Afghani Islamic Republic Persian, Pashto
 Pakistan 880,940 169,300,000 206 Islamabad $505 billion (2007) $3,320 (2007) Pakistani Rupee Islamic Republic Urdu, Pashto
North Asia:
 Kazakhstan 2,724,900 15,217,711 5.4 Astana $168 billion (2007) $10,837 (2007) Kazakhstani tenge Presidential republic Kazakh, Russian
 Uzbekistan 447,400 27,372,000 59 Tashkent $64 billion (2007) $2,389 (2007) Uzbekistani som Presidential republic Uzbek
 Turkmenistan 488,100 5,110,023 9.9 Ashgabat $27 billion (2007) $5,171 (2007) Turkmenistani manat Presidential republic Turkmen
 Tajikistan 143,100 7,215,700 45 Dushanbe $12 billion (2007) $1,842 (2007) Somoni Unitary presidential republic Tajik
 Kyrgyzstan 199,900 5,356,869 26 Bishkek $11 billion (2007) $2,000 (2007) Kyrgyzstani som Unitary presidential republic Kyrgyz, Russian
Mediterranean Sea:
 Cyprus2 9,250 792,604 90 Nicosia $21.4 billion (2007) $27,100 (2007) Euro Republic Greek, Turkish
North Africa:
 Algeria 2,381,740 33,333,216 14 Algiers $224.7 billion (2007) $6,500 (2007) Algerian dinar Presidential republic Arabic
 Mauritania 446,550 33,757,175 70 Nouakchott $6 billion (2007) $2,011 (2007) Ouguiya Military junta Arabic
 Western Sahara 163,610 10,102,000 62 El Aaiun Moroccan dirham Arabic
 Libya 1,759,540 6,036,914 3 Tripoli $74.8 billion (2007) $12,300 (2007) Libyan dinar Jamahiriya Arabic
 Morocco 446,550 33,757,175 70 Rabat $125.3 billion (2007) $4,100 (2007) Moroccan dirham Constitutional monarchy Arabic
 Tunisia 163,610 10,102,000 62 Tunis $77 billion (2007) $7,500 (2007) Tunisian dinar Republic Arabic
Northeast Africa:
 Djibouti 23,200 496,374 34 Djibouti $1.641 billion $2,070 Djiboutian franc Parliamentary republic Arabic, French, Somali, Afar
 Eritrea 117,600 4,401,009 37 Asmara $3.622 billion $746 Nakfa Transitional Government Tigrinya, Arabic
 Somalia 637,661 9,588,666 13 Mogadishu $5.26 billion $600 Somali shilling Semi-presidential republic Somali, Arabic
 Sudan 2,505,813 39,379,358 14 Khartoum $107.8 billion (2007) $2,552 (2007) Sudanese pound Dictatorship (democracy) Arabic



The Temple Mount in Jerusalem
The Imam Ali Mosque, an important shrine in Najaf

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

The earliest civilizations, Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, originated in the Fertile Crescent and Nile Valley regions of the ancient Near East, as well as the civilizations of the Levant, Iran (called Persia by western nations), and Arabian Peninsula. The Near East was first unified under the Achaemenid Empire; followed by the Macedonian Empire; and Iranian empires, namely the Parthian and Sassanid Empires. The Arab Caliphates of the Middle Ages, or Islamic Golden Age, first unified the entire Middle East as a distinct region and created the dominant ethnic identity and language that persists today. The Turkic Seljuk, Ottoman and Safavid empires later successively dominated the region.

The modern Middle East began after World War I, when the Ottoman Empire, allied with the defeated Central Powers, was partitioned into separate nations. Other defining events in this transformation included the establishment of Israel in 1948, and the departure of European powers, notably Britain and France, that had had political influence in the region. They were supplanted in some part by the rising influence of the United States.

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

During the Cold War, the Middle East was a theater of ideological and political struggle between the two superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union, as they competed to influence regional allies. Beside political issues of territory and strategic relations, there was "ideological conflict" between the two systems. Among many important areas of contention, or perhaps more accurately, of anxiety, Louise Fawcett identified first, the desires of the superpowers to gain strategic advantage in the region; and second, the region's possession of two thirds of the world's oil reserves, in a context where oil was becoming increasingly vital to the economy of the Western world [...][21] Within this framework, the United States sought to divert the Arab world from Soviet influence. Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, the region has experienced both periods of relative peace and tolerance and periods of conflict and war. Current issues include the Iraq War, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Iranian nuclear program.


The Middle East defines a geographical area, but does not have precisely defined borders.

City January
Amman 4°C 12°C 18°C 32°C
Baghdad 0°C 16°C 24°C 43°C
Cairo 8°C 18°C 21°C 36°C
Damascus 0°C 12°C 16°C 36°C
Dubai 15°C 23°C 30°C 39°C
Jerusalem 5°C 13°C 17°C 31°C
Riyadh 8°C 21°C 26°C 42°C
Tehran -3°C 7°C 22°C 37°C
Sources: BBC Weather and Weather.com


The Middle East is primarily arid and semi-arid, and can be subject to drought; nonetheless, there exist vast expanses of forests and fertile valleys. The region consists of grasslands, rangelands, deserts, and mountains. Water shortages are a problem in many parts of the Middle East, with rapidly growing populations increasing demands for water, while salinization and pollution threaten water supplies.[22] Major rivers, including the Nile and the Euphrates, provide sources for irrigation water to support agriculture.

Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, is located in a mountainous region

There are two wind phenomenons in the Middle East: the sharqi and the shamal. The sharqi (or sharki) is a 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 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour). They often kick up violent sand and dust storms, which 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.[23]


While Middle East mainly contains areas with low relief, Turkey, Iran, and Yemen include mountainous terrain. The Anatolian Plateau is sandwiched between the Pontus Mountains and Taurus Mountains in Turkey. Mount Ararat in Turkey rises to 5,165 meters. The Zagros Mountains are located in Iran, in areas along its border with Iraq. The Central Plateau of Iran is divided into two drainage basins. The northern basin is Dasht-e Kavir (Great Salt Desert), and Dasht-e-Lut is the southern basin.

In Yemen, elevations exceed 3,700 meters in many areas, and highland areas extend north along the Red Sea coast and north into Lebanon. A fault-zone also exists along the Red Sea, with continental rifting creating trough-like topography with areas located well below sea level.[24] The Dead Sea, located on the border between the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan, is situated at 418 m (1371 ft) below sea level, making it the lowest point on the surface of the Earth.[25]

Desert in Qatar

A large lowland belt is located on the Arabian Peninsula, from central Iraq, through Saudi Arabia, and to Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Euphrates and Tigris rivers cut through the lowland belt in Iraq and flow into the Persian Gulf. Rub'al KhāLī, 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 and Yemen. Jebel al Akhdar is a small range of mountains located in northeastern Oman, bordering the Gulf of Oman.


Three major tectonic plates converge on the Middle East, including the African, Eurasian, and Arabian plates. The boundaries between the tectonic plates make up the Azores-Gibraltar Ridge, extending across North Africa, the Red Sea, and into Iran.[26] The Arabian Plate is moving northward into the Anatolian plate (Turkey) at the East Anatolian Fault,[27] and the boundary between the Aegean and Anatolian plate in eastern Turkey is also seismically active.[26]

Cedar forest in winter, located in Lebanon

Water resources

Several major aquifers provide water to large portions of the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, two large aquifers of Palaeozoic and Triassic origins are located beneath the Jabal Tuwayq mountains and areas west to the Red Sea.[28] Cretaceous and Eocene-origin aquifers are located beneath large portions of central and eastern Saudi Arabia, including Wasia and Biyadh which contain amounts of both fresh water and saline water.[28] The Nubian aquifer system underlies large areas of North Africa.[28] The Great Manmade River project in Libya utilizes an extensive network of pipelines to transport water from the Nubian aquifer to its population centers. Groundwater recharge for these deep rock aquifers is on the order of thousands of years, thus the aquifers are essentially non-renewable resources.[29] Flood or furrow irrigation, as well as sprinkler methods, are extensively used for irrigation, covering nearly 90,000 km² across the Middle East for agriculture.[30]


Ethnic groups

Various ethnic and religious types in the Middle East, 19th century

The Middle East is home to numerous ethnic groups, including Arabs, Turks, Persians, Jews, Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians, Azeris, Circassians, Berbers, Somalis, Greeks, Samaritans, Turkmens, Pashtuns, Baluch, Habesha (mainly Eritrean habesha), and Nubians.


The Middle East is diverse with a multiplicity of religions, most of which originated there. Islam in its many forms has by far the most adherents in the Middle East. Other faiths, such as Judaism and Christianity, are also important, not only for people of that faith in the area, but because the faiths were carried widely through the centuries to people in other nations, who believe they have a stake in the historic territory of the faiths. There are also important minority religions, such as Bahá'í, Yazdanism, Zoroastrianism.


Languages of the Middle East span many different families, including Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, and Altaic.

Arabic in its numerous varieties and Persian are most widely spoken in the region, with Arabic being the most widely spoken language in the Arab countries. Other native languages spoken in the region include Syriac (a form of Aramaic); Azeri, Berber languages, Circassian, Persian, Gilaki language and Mazandarani languages, Hebrew in its numerous varieties, Kurdish, Luri, Turkish and other Turkic languages, Somali and Greek. In Turkey, Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian, and Gagauz languages are spoken, in addition to the Turkish language. Several modern South Arabian languages are also spoken.

English is also spoken, especially among the middle and upper class, in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, and Kuwait.[31][32] French is spoken in Algeria, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, and Egypt. Urdu is spoken in many Middle Eastern countries, such as Arab states the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Qatar, which have large numbers of Pakistani immigrants. The largest Romanian-speaking community in the Middle East is found in Israel, where as of 1995 Romanian is spoken by 5% of the population.[33][34] Otherwise, Romanian is spoken mostly as a secondary language by people from Arab-speaking countries who studied in Romania. It is estimated that almost half a million Middle Eastern Arabs studied in Romania during the 1980s.[35] Russian language is also spoken by a significant portion of the Israeli population, due to emigration in the late 1990s. Arabic and central Asian countries also have Russian speakers, from the influence of the Soviet Union after WWII and proximity to present-day Russia.


Burj Al Arab, the world's tallest hotel, located in Dubai.

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

According to the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Database of April 2008, the three largest Middle Eastern economies in 2007 were Turkey ($ 663,419,000,000), Saudi Arabia ($ 376,029,000,000) and Iran ($ 294,089,000,000), in terms of Nominal GDP.[36] Turkey ($ 887,964,000,000), Iran ($ 752,967,000,000) and Saudi Arabia ($ 564,561,000,000) had the largest economies in terms of GDP-PPP.[37] When it comes to per capita (PPP)-based income, the three highest-ranking countries are Qatar ($80,900), Kuwait ($39,300) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ($37,300). The lowest-ranking country in the Middle East in terms of per capita income (PPP) is the autonomous Palestinian Authority of Gaza and the West Bank ($1,100).

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

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

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 total regional unemployment rate in 2005, according to the International Labor Organization, was 13.2%,[38] and among youth is as high as 25%,[39] up to 37% in Morocco and 73% in Syria.[40]

See also


  1. ^ "8 : Names and Terms: Chapter Contents»Names of Places»Parts of the World". The Chicago Manual of Style. 2009. http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/ch08/ch08_sec050.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-20. 
  2. ^ see Etymology section
  3. ^ Beaumont (1988), p. 16
  4. ^ Koppes, C.R. (1976). "Captain Mahan, General Gordon and the origin of the term "Middle East"". Middle East Studies 12: 95–98. doi:10.1080/00263207608700307. 
  5. ^ Melman, Billie. The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing: 6 The Middle East / Arabia, Cambridge Collections Online. Retrieved January 8, 2006.
  6. ^ Palmer, Michael A. Guardians of the Persian Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833-1992. New York: The Free Press, 1992. ISBN 0-02-923843-9 p. 12-13.
  7. ^ Laciner, Dr. Sedat. "Is There a Place Called ‘the Middle East’?", The Journal of Turkish Weekly]", June 2, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2007.
  8. ^ Adelson (1995), p. 22-23
  9. ^ Adelson (1995), p. 24
  10. ^ Adelson (1995), p. 26
  11. ^ a b Davison, Roderic H. (1960). "Where is the Middle East?". Foreign Affairs 38: 665–675. 
  12. ^ Held, Colbert C. (2000). Middle East Patterns: Places, Peoples, and Politics. Westview Press. pp. 7. 
  13. ^ Shohat, Ella. "Redrawing American Cartographies of Asia". City University of New York. http://commposite.uqam.ca/videaz/docs/elshen.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-12. 
  14. ^ Hanafi, Hassan. "The Middle East, in whose world?". Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies. http://www.smi.uib.no/pao/hanafi.html. Retrieved on 2007-01-12. 
  15. ^ Anderson, Ewan W., William Bayne Fisher (2000). The Middle East: Geography and Geopolitics. Routledge. pp. 12–13. 
  16. ^ United Nations Statistical office "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings" Accessed March 30, 2009
  17. ^ "'Near East' is Mideast, Washington Explains". The New York Times. 1958-08-14. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70E10FC3D59127A93C6A81783D85F4C8585F9&scp=1&sq='Near%20East'%20is%20Mideast,%20Washington%20Explains&st=cse. Retrieved on 2009-01-25. 
  18. ^ Goldstein, Norm. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law. New York: Basic Books, 2004. ISBN 0465004881 p. 156
  19. ^ In Italian, the expression "Vicino Oriente" (Near East) was also widely used to refer to Turkey, and "Estremo Oriente" (Far East or Extreme East) to refer to all of Asia east of Middle East
  20. ^ Goldschmidt (1999), p. 8
  21. ^ Louise, Fawcett. International Relations of the Middle East. (Oxford University Press, New York, 2005)
  22. ^ "Chapter 7: Middle East and Arid Asia". IPCC Special Report on The Regional Impacts of Climate Change: An Assessment of Vulnerability. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 1997. http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc/regional/index.htm. 
  23. ^ Taru Bahl, M H Syed, ed (2003). Encyclopaedia of the Muslim World. New Delhi: Anmol Publications. pp. 20. ISBN 9788126114191. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2x4jq4bXrq0C&pg=PA20&dq=%22Sharqi%22+wind&as_brr=3. Retrieved on 1 February 2009. 
  24. ^ Sweeney, Jerry J., William R. Walter. "Preliminary Definition of Geophysical Regions for the Middle East and North Africa" (PDF). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. http://www.llnl.gov/tid/lof/documents/pdf/235042.pdf. 
  25. ^ "ASTER Image Gallery: The Dead Sea". NASA. http://asterweb.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery-detail.asp?name=deadsea. 
  26. ^ a b Beaumont (1988), p. 22
  27. ^ Muehlberger, Bill. "The Arabian Plate". NASA, Johnson Space Center. http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/handbooks/arabianpages/mainframe.htm. 
  28. ^ a b c Beaumont (1988), p. 86
  29. ^ Beaumont (1988), p. 85
  30. ^ "Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)". http://www.fao.org/AG/agl/AGLW/aquastat/regions/neast/index6.stm. 
  31. ^ "World Factbook - Jordan". https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html#People. 
  32. ^ "World Factbook - Kuwait". https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ku.html. 
  33. ^ According to the 1993 Statistical Abstract of Israel there were 250,000 Romanian speakers in Israel, at a population of 5,548,523 (census 1995).
  34. ^ Reports of about 300,000 Jews that left the country after WW2
  35. ^ Evenimentul Zilei
  36. ^ IMF, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2008: Nominal GDP list of countries in 2007: [1]
  37. ^ IMF, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2008: GDP-PPP list of countries in 2007: [2]
  38. ^ "Unemployment Rates Are Highest in the Middle East". Progressive Policy Institute. August 30, 2006. http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ci.cfm?knlgAreaID=108&subsecID=900003&contentID=254026. 
  39. ^ Navtej Dhillon, Tarek Yousef (2007). "Inclusion: Meeting the 100 Million Youth Challenge". Shabab Inclusion. http://shababinclusion.org/content/document/detail/623/1. 
  40. ^ Hilary Silver (September 200). "Social Exclusion: Comparative Analysis of Europe and Middle East Youth". Middle East Youth Initiative Working Paper. Shabab Inclusion. http://www.shababinclusion.org/content/document/detail/558/1. 


  • Adelson, Roger (1995). London and the Invention of the Middle East: Money, Power, and War, 1902-1922.. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300060947. 
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