Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is the Middle East, Anyway?

Here's one view:

Credit: map-zone


And another:

Credit: Bryn Mawr Library

Or this:

Credit: University of Notre Dame

The folks at mideastinfo include 21 countries in the middle east:
  1. Algeria
  2. Bahrain
  3. Egypt
  4. Iran
  5. Iraq
  6. Israel
  7. Jordan
  8. Kuwait
  9. Lebanon
  10. Libya
  11. Morocco
  12. Oman
  13. Palestine
  14. Qatar
  15. Saudi Arabia
  16. Sudan
  17. Syria
  18. Tunisia
  19. Turkey
  20. United Arab Emirates
  21. Yemen
But the so-called "traditional" Middle East differs (excluding northern Africa), as does the "greater" Middle East (which includes Afghanistan, Cyprus, and others), as per wikipedia.

Does one define the so-called "middle east" by:

  • Location on a map? 
  • Predominant religion? 
  • Language?
  • Oil?
  • Political alliances?
  • History?
  • Desert?
  • Populations' phenotype?

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