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Naher Osten

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Koordinaten : 29 ° N 41 ° O. / 29°N 41°E / 29; 41

Naher Osten
Middle East
Bereich7.207.575 km 2 (2.782.860 sq mi)
Population371 Millionen (2010) [1]
Länder
UN-Beobachterstaat (1)
  •  Staat Palästina
Umstritten (1)
  •  Nord-Zypern
Abhängigkeiten
Extern (1)
  •  Souveräne Basisgebiete von Akrotiri und Dhekelia
Intern (3)
  •  Gazastreifen
  •  Region Kurdistan
  •  Rojava
Umstritten (2)
  •  Golanhöhen
  •  Westjordanland
UN- Pufferzonen (2)
  • UNBZC
  • UNDOF Zone
Sprachen
60 Sprachen
  • Offizielle Sprachen
  • Arabisch
  • Englisch
  • griechisch
  • hebräisch
  • kurdisch
  • persisch
  • Türkisch
  • Sprachen ohne offiziellen Status (gesprochen von Diaspora oder anderen Minderheiten)
  • albanisch
  • Armenisch
  • Abaza
  • Abchasien
  • Amharisch
  • Aserbaidschanisch
  • Belutschi
  • Bosniak
  • Tschetschenisch
  • Chinesisch
  • Circassian
  • Krimtatar
  • koptisch
  • Domari
  • Französisch
  • Balkan Gagauz Türkisch
  • georgisch
  • Gilaki
  • ungarisch
  • Hindi
  • Italienisch
  • Kasachisch
  • Kumyk
  • Kurbet
  • Kirgisisch
  • Judäo-Spanisch
  • Laz
  • Lurish
  • Marathi
  • Malayalam
  • Mazanderani
  • Neo-Aramäisch
  • Nobiin
  • Qashqai
  • rumänisch
  • Russisch
  • Siwa
  • somali
  • Syrisch
  • Spanisch
  • Punjabi
  • Tagalog
  • Talysh
  • Tatar
  • Thai
  • Turkmenen
  • Turoyo
  • ukrainisch
  • Urdu
  • Uigurisch
  • Jiddisch
  • Zaza
ZeitzonenUTC + 02: 00 , UTC + 03: 00 , UTC + 03: 30 , UTC + 04: 00 , UTC + 04: 30
Größten StädteGrößte Städte :
  • Kairo
  • Teheran
  • Istanbul
  • Bagdad
  • Riad
Karte des Nahen Ostens zwischen Afrika, Europa, Zentralasien und Südasien.
Nahostkarte der Köppen-Klimaklassifikation.

Der Nahe Osten ist eine transkontinentale Region in Afro-Eurasien, die im Allgemeinen Westasien (außer Transkaukasien ), ganz Ägypten (hauptsächlich in Nordafrika ) und die Türkei ( teilweise in Südosteuropa ) umfasst. Der Begriff wurde seit Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts als Ersatz für den Begriff Naher Osten (im Gegensatz zum Fernen Osten ) in größerem Umfang verwendet . Das umfassendere Konzept des " Großen Nahen Ostens " (auch bekannt als Naher Osten und Nordafrika oder MENAP) umfasst auch dasMaghreb , Sudan , Dschibuti , Somalia , die Komoren , Afghanistan , Pakistan und manchmal Transkaukasien und Zentralasien in die Region. Der Begriff "Naher Osten" hat zu Verwirrung bei den sich ändernden Definitionen geführt.

Die meisten Länder des Nahen Ostens (13 von 18) sind Teil der arabischen Welt . Die bevölkerungsreichsten Länder der Region sind Ägypten, der Iran und die Türkei, während Saudi-Arabien flächenmäßig das größte Land im Nahen Osten ist. Die Geschichte des Nahen Ostens reicht bis in die Antike zurück , wobei die geopolitische Bedeutung der Region seit Jahrtausenden anerkannt wird. [2] [3] [4] Mehrere große Religionen haben ihren Ursprung im Nahen Osten, darunter Judentum , Christentum und Islam . Araber bilden die Mehrheit der ethnischen Gruppe in der Region,[5] gefolgt von Türken , Persern , Kurden , Aseris , Kopten , Juden , Assyrern , irakischen Turkmenen und griechischen Zyprioten .

Der Nahe Osten hat im Allgemeinen ein heißes, trockenes Klima mit mehreren großen Flüssen, die die Landwirtschaft in begrenzten Gebieten wie dem Nildelta in Ägypten, den Wassereinzugsgebieten Tigris und Euphrat in Mesopotamien ( Irak , Kuwait und Ostsyrien ) und den meisten bewässern von dem, was als fruchtbarer Halbmond bekannt ist . Die meisten Länder, die an den Persischen Golf grenzen, verfügen über riesige Rohölreserven mit Monarchen der Arabischen Halbinselinsbesondere wirtschaftlich von Erdölexporten profitieren. Aufgrund des trockenen Klimas und der starken Abhängigkeit von der Industrie für fossile Brennstoffe trägt der Nahe Osten sowohl stark zum Klimawandel bei als auch eine Region, von der erwartet wird, dass sie stark davon betroffen ist.

Terminologie

Der Begriff "Naher Osten" stammt möglicherweise aus den 1850er Jahren im British India Office . [6] Bekannter wurde es jedoch, als der amerikanische Marinestratege Alfred Thayer Mahan 1902 den Begriff [7] verwendete, um "das Gebiet zwischen Arabien und Indien zu bezeichnen". [8] [9] Während dieser Zeit wetteiferten das britische und das russische Reich um Einfluss in Zentralasien , eine Rivalität, die als The Great Game bekannt werden sollte . Mahan erkannte nicht nur die strategische Bedeutung der Region, sondern auch ihres Zentrums, des Persischen Golfs . [10] [11]Er bezeichnete das Gebiet um den Persischen Golf als den Nahen Osten und sagte, dass es nach dem ägyptischen Suezkanal die wichtigste Passage für Großbritannien sei, die kontrolliert werden müsse, um die Russen davon abzuhalten, in Richtung Britisch-Indien vorzustoßen . [12] Mahan verwendete den Begriff erstmals in seinem Artikel "Der Persische Golf und die internationalen Beziehungen", der im September 1902 in der britischen Zeitschrift National Review veröffentlicht wurde.

Der Nahe Osten wird eines Tages sowohl sein Malta als auch sein Gibraltar brauchen, wenn ich einen Begriff annehmen darf, den ich nicht gesehen habe . Daraus folgt nicht, dass sich auch beide im Persischen Golf befinden werden. Seestreitkräfte haben die Qualität der Mobilität, die das Privileg vorübergehender Abwesenheiten mit sich bringt; Aber es muss an jedem Einsatzort etablierte Grundlagen für die Überholung, die Versorgung und im Katastrophenfall für die Sicherheit finden. Die britische Marine sollte die Möglichkeit haben, sich bei Bedarf auf Aden , Indien und den Persischen Golf zu konzentrieren. [13]

Mahans Artikel wurde in The Times abgedruckt und im Oktober folgte eine Serie mit 20 Artikeln mit dem Titel "The Middle Eastern Question", geschrieben von Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol . Während dieser Reihe erweiterte Sir Ignatius die Definition des Nahen Ostens um "jene Regionen Asiens, die sich bis an die Grenzen Indiens erstrecken oder die Annäherungen an Indien beherrschen". [14] Nach dem Ende der Serie im Jahr 1903 entfernte The Times Anführungszeichen aus späteren Verwendungen des Begriffs. [fünfzehn]

Bis dem Zweiten Weltkrieg war es üblich , auf Gebiete um zentriert zu beziehen Türkei und dem östlichen Ufer des Mittelmeers als „ Nahen Osten “, während die „ Far East “ zentriert auf China , [16] und dem Nahen Osten dann bedeutete das Gebiet von Mesopotamien nach Burma , nämlich das Gebiet zwischen dem Nahen Osten und dem Fernen Osten. [ Bearbeiten ] In den späten 1930er Jahren stellten die Briten den Mittleren Osten Befehl , der in beruhte Kairofür seine Streitkräfte in der Region. Nach dieser Zeit wurde der Begriff "Naher Osten" in Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten allgemeiner verwendet, unter anderem mit dem 1946 in Washington, DC , gegründeten Middle East Institute . [17]

Das entsprechende Adjektiv ist Middle Eastern und das abgeleitete Substantiv ist Middle Easterner .

Während nicht eurozentrische Begriffe wie "Südwestasien" oder "Swasien" nur sparsam verwendet wurden, stellt die Einbeziehung eines afrikanischen Landes, Ägypten, in die Definition die Nützlichkeit der Verwendung solcher Begriffe in Frage. [18]

Kritik und Verwendung

File:Middle East.ogvMedien abspielen
1957 Amerikanischer Film über den Nahen Osten

Die Beschreibung Mitte hat auch zu Verwirrung bei der Änderung der Definitionen geführt. Vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg bezog sich "Naher Osten" auf Englisch auf den Balkan und das Osmanische Reich , während sich "Naher Osten" auf den Iran , den Kaukasus , Afghanistan , Zentralasien und Turkestan bezog . Im Gegensatz dazu bezog sich "Fernost" auf die Länder Ostasiens (z. B. China , Japan , Korea usw.).

Mit dem Verschwinden des Osmanischen Reiches im Jahr 1918 wurde "Naher Osten" auf Englisch weitgehend nicht mehr allgemein verwendet, während "Naher Osten" auf die aufstrebenden Länder der islamischen Welt angewendet wurde . Die Verwendung "Naher Osten" wurde jedoch von einer Vielzahl von akademischen Disziplinen beibehalten, einschließlich Archäologie und alter Geschichte , wo sie ein Gebiet beschreibt, das mit dem Begriff Naher Osten identisch ist und von diesen Disziplinen nicht verwendet wird (siehe Alter Naher Osten ).

Die erste offizielle Verwendung des Begriffs "Naher Osten" durch die Regierung der Vereinigten Staaten erfolgte in der Eisenhower-Doktrin von 1957 , die sich auf die Suez-Krise bezog . Staatssekretär John Foster Dulles definierte den Nahen Osten als "das Gebiet zwischen und einschließlich Libyen im Westen und Pakistan im Osten, Syrien und Irak im Norden und der arabischen Halbinsel im Süden sowie dem Sudan und Äthiopien ". [16] 1958 wurde das Außenministeriumerklärte, dass die Begriffe "Naher Osten" und "Naher Osten" austauschbar seien, und definierte die Region so, dass sie nur Ägypten , Syrien , Israel , Libanon , Jordanien , Irak , Saudi-Arabien , Kuwait , Bahrain und Katar einschließt . [19]

Das Associated Press Stylebook besagt, dass sich der Nahe Osten früher auf die weiter westlich gelegenen Länder bezog, während sich der Nahe Osten auf die östlichen bezog, aber dass sie jetzt synonym sind. Es weist an:

Verwenden Sie den Nahen Osten, es sei denn, der Nahe Osten wird von einer Quelle in einer Geschichte verwendet. Der Nahe Osten ist ebenfalls akzeptabel, aber der Nahe Osten wird bevorzugt. [20]

Der Begriff Naher Osten wurde von Hanafi (1998) auch als eurozentrisch ("basierend auf einer britischen westlichen Wahrnehmung") kritisiert . [21]

Übersetzungen

Es gibt Begriffe, die dem Nahen Osten und dem Nahen Osten in anderen europäischen Sprachen ähnlich sind , aber da es sich um eine relative Beschreibung handelt, hängen die Bedeutungen vom Land ab und unterscheiden sich von den englischen Begriffen im Allgemeinen. Auf Deutsch wird der Begriff Naher Osten (Naher Osten) immer noch gebräuchlich (heutzutage wird der Begriff Mittlerer Osten in aus englischen Quellen übersetzten Pressetexten immer häufiger verwendet, wenn auch mit einer bestimmten Bedeutung) und auf Russisch Ближний Восток oder Blizhniy Vostok , Bulgarisch Близкия Изток , polnischer Bliski Wschód oder kroatischer Bliski istok(bedeutet Naher Osten in allen vier slawischen Sprachen) bleibt der einzig geeignete Begriff für die Region. Einige Sprachen haben jedoch "Nahost" -Äquivalente, wie das französische Moyen-Orient , das schwedische Mellanöstern , das spanische Oriente Medio oder Medio Oriente und das italienische Medio Oriente . [Anmerkung 1]

Vielleicht aufgrund des Einflusses der westlichen Presse ist das arabische Äquivalent des Nahen Ostens (Arabisch: الشرق الأوسط ash-Sharq al-Awsaṭ ) in der arabischen Mainstream-Presse zum Standard geworden und hat dieselbe Bedeutung wie der Begriff "Naher Osten" in Verwendung in Nordamerika und Westeuropa. Die Bezeichnung Mashriq , ebenfalls von der arabischen Wurzel für Ost , bezeichnet auch eine unterschiedlich definierte Region um die Levante , den östlichen Teil der arabischsprachigen Welt (im Gegensatz zum Maghreb , dem westlichen Teil). [22] Obwohl der Begriff aus dem Westen stammt, verwenden neben Arabisch auch andere Sprachen der Länder des Nahen Ostens eine Übersetzung davon. DasDas persische Äquivalent für den Nahen Osten ist خاورمیانه ( Khāvar-e miyāneh ), das hebräische ist המזרח התיכון ( hamizrach hatikhon ) und das türkische ist Orta Doğu.

Gebiete und Regionen

Gebiete und Regionen, die normalerweise im Nahen Osten betrachtet werden

Zum Nahen Osten gehören traditionell der Iran (Persien), Kleinasien , Mesopotamien , die Levante , die Arabische Halbinsel und Ägypten . In modernen Ländern sind dies:

WaffenFlaggeZustandFläche
(km 2 )
Population
(2012)[needs update]
Density
(per km2)
CapitalNominalGDP, bn (2018)[23]Per capita (2018)[24]CurrencyGovernmentOfficial
languages
Akrotiri and Dhekelia25415,700N/AEpiskopiN/AN/AEuroDe facto stratocratic dependency under a constitutional monarchyEnglish
Bahrain7801,234,5961,582.8Manama$30.355$25,851Bahraini dinarAbsolute monarchyArabic
Cyprus9,2501,088,503117Nicosia$24.492$28,340EuroPresidential republicGreek,
Turkish
Egypt1,010,40782,798,00090Cairo$249.559$2,573Egyptian poundPresidential republicArabic
Iran1,648,19578,868,71145Tehran$452.275$5,491Iranian rialIslamic republicPersian
Iraq438,31733,635,00073.5Baghdad$226.07$5,930Iraqi dinarParliamentary republicArabic,
Kurdish
Israel20,7707,653,600365.3Jerusalema$369.843$41,644Israeli shekelParliamentary republicHebrew
Jordan92,3006,318,67768.4Amman$42.371$4,278Jordanian dinarConstitutional monarchyArabic
Kuwait17,8203,566,437167.5Kuwait City$141.05$30,839Kuwaiti dinarConstitutional monarchyArabic
Lebanon10,4524,228,000404Beirut$56.409$9,257Lebanese poundParliamentary republicArabic
Oman212,4602,694,0949.2Muscat$82.243$19,302Omani rialAbsolute monarchyArabic
Palestine6,2204,260,636667Ramallahan/an/aIsraeli shekel,
Jordanian dinar
Semi-presidential republicArabic
Qatar11,4371,696,563123.2Doha$192.45$70,780Qatari riyalAbsolute monarchyArabic
Saudi Arabia2,149,69027,136,97712Riyadh$782.483$23,566Saudi riyalAbsolute monarchyArabic
Syria185,18023,695,000118.3Damascusn/an/aSyrian poundPresidential republicArabic
Turkey783,56273,722,98894.1Ankara$766.428$9,346Turkish liraPresidential republicTurkish
United Arab Emirates82,8808,264,07097Abu Dhabi$424.635$40,711UAE dirhamFederal Absolute monarchyArabic
Yemen527,97023,580,00044.7Sana'ab
Aden (provisional)
$26.914$872Yemeni rialProvisional presidential republicArabic
a. ^ ^ Jerusalem is the proclaimed capital of Israel, which is disputed and the actual location of the Knesset, Israeli Supreme Court, and other governmental institutions of Israel. Ramallah is the actual location of the government of Palestine, whereas the proclaimed capital of Palestine is East Jerusalem, which is disputed.
b. ^ Controlled by the Houthis due to the ongoing war. Seat of government moved to Aden.

Other definitions of the Middle East

Various concepts are often being paralleled to Middle East, most notably Near East, Fertile Crescent and the Levant. 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. Due to it primarily being Arabic speaking, the Maghreb region of North Africa is sometimes included.

The countries of the South Caucasus—Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia—are occasionally included in definitions of the Middle East.[25]

The Greater Middle East was a political term coined by the second Bush administration in the first decade of the 21st century,[26] to denote various countries, pertaining to the Muslim world, specifically Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.[27] Various Central Asian countries are sometimes also included.[28]

History

Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
The Kaaba, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

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 religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Manichaeism, Yezidi, Druze, Yarsan and Mandeanism, and in Iran, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Manicheanism, and the Baháʼí Faith. Throughout its history the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area. 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.

Prior to the formation of civilizations, advanced cultures formed all over the Middle East during the Stone Age. The search for agricultural lands by agriculturalists, and pastoral lands by herdsmen meant different migrations took place within the region and shaped its ethnic and demographic makeup.

The Middle East is widely and most famously known as the Cradle of civilization. The world's earliest civilizations, Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia), ancient Egypt and Kish in the Levant, all originated in the Fertile Crescent and Nile Valley regions of the ancient Near East. These were followed by the Hittite, Greek, Hurrian and Urartian civilisations of Asia Minor; Elam, Persia and Median civilizations in Iran, as well as the civilizations of the Levant (such as Ebla, Mari, Nagar, Ugarit, Canaan, Aramea, Mitanni, Phoenicia and Israel) and the Arabian Peninsula (Magan, Sheba, Ubar). 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. 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. Thus, the Romans stationed up to five or six of their legions in the region for the sole purpose of defending it from Sassanid and Bedouin raids and invasions.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.[29]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.

The modern Middle East began after World War I, when the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with the Central Powers, was defeated by the British Empire and their allies and partitioned into a number of separate nations, initially under British and French Mandates. 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. They were supplanted in some part by the rising influence of the United States from the 1970s onwards.

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.[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.

During the Cold War, the Middle East was a theater of ideological struggle between the two superpowers and their allies: NATO and the United States on one side, and the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact on the other, as they competed to influence regional allies. Besides the political reasons there was also the "ideological conflict" between the two systems. Moreover, as Louise Fawcett argues, among many important areas of contention, or perhaps more accurately of anxiety, were, first, the desires of the superpowers to gain strategic advantage in the region, second, the fact that the region contained some two-thirds of the world's oil reserves in a context where oil was becoming increasingly vital to the economy of the Western world [...][31] Within this contextual framework, the United States sought to divert the Arab world from Soviet influence. 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.

Demographics

Maunsell's map, a Pre-World War I British Ethnographical Map of the Middle East

Ethnic groups

Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the Middle East, followed by various Iranian peoples and then by Turkic speaking groups (Turkish, Azeris, and Iraqi Turkmen). 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. 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. Among other migrant populations are Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Indonesians, Pakistanis, Pashtuns, Romani, and Afro-Arabs.

Migration

"Migration has always provided an important vent for labor market pressures in the Middle East. For the period between the 1970s and 1990s, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf in particular provided a rich source of employment for workers from Egypt, Yemen and the countries of the Levant, while Europe had attracted young workers from North African countries due both to proximity and the legacy of colonial ties between France and the majority of North African states."[32] According to the International Organization for Migration, there are 13 million first-generation migrants from Arab nations in the world, of which 5.8 reside in other Arab countries. Expatriates from Arab countries contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development. In 2009 Arab countries received a total of US$35.1 billion in remittance in-flows and remittances sent to Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon from other Arab countries are 40 to 190 per cent higher than trade revenues between these and other Arab countries.[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.

Non-Arab Middle Eastern countries such as Turkey, Israel and Iran are also subject to important migration dynamics.

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.[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. In Iran, many religious minorities such as Christians, Baháʼís and Zoroastrians have left since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.[citation needed]

Religions

Islam is the largest religion in the Middle East. Here, Muslim men are prostrating during prayer in a mosque.

The Middle East is very diverse when it comes to religions, many of which originated there. Islam is the largest religion in the Middle East, but other faiths that originated there, such as Judaism and Christianity, are also well represented. 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. There are also important minority religions like the Baháʼí Faith, Yarsanism, Yazidism, Zoroastrianism, Mandaeism, Druze, and Shabakism, and in ancient times the region was home to Mesopotamian religions, Canaanite religions, Manichaeism, Mithraism and various monotheist gnostic sects.

Languages

The five top languages, in terms of numbers of speakers, are Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Hebrew. Arabic and Hebrew represent the Afro-Asiatic language family. Persian and Kurdish belong to the Indo-European language family. Turkish belongs to Turkic language family. About 20 minority languages are also spoken in the Middle East.

Arabic, with all its dialects, is the most widely spoken language in the Middle East, with Literary Arabic being official in all North African and in most West Asian countries. Arabic dialects are also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighbouring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Several Modern South Arabian languages such as Mehri and Soqotri are also spoken Yemen and Oman. Another Semitic language such as Aramaic and its dialects are spoken mainly by Assyrians and Mandaeans. There is also an Oasis Berber-speaking community in Egypt where the language is also known as Siwa. It is a non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic language.

Persian is the second most spoken language. While it is primarily spoken in Iran and some border areas in neighbouring countries, the country is one of the region's largest and most populous. It belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the family of Indo-European languages. Other Western Iranic languages spoken in the region include Achomi, Daylami, Kurdish dialects, Semmani, Lurish, amongst many others.

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. It is a member of the Turkic languages, which have their origins in Central Asia. Another Turkic language, Azerbaijani, is spoken by Azerbaijanis in Iran.

Hebrew is one of the two official languages of Israel, the other being Arabic. Hebrew is spoken and used by over 80% of Israel's population, the other 20% using Arabic.

English is one of the official languages of Akrotiri and Dhekelia.[34][35] It is also commonly taught and used as a second language, especially among the middle and upper classes, in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.[36][37] It is also a main language in some Emirates of the United Arab Emirates.

French is taught and used in many government facilities and media in Lebanon, and is taught in some primary and secondary schools of Egypt and Syria. Maltese, a Semitic language mainly spoken in Europe, is also used by the Franco-Maltese diaspora in Egypt.

Armenian and Greek speakers are also to be found in the region. Georgian is spoken by the Georgian diaspora. Russian is spoken by a large portion of the Israeli population, because of emigration in the late 1990s.[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. Circassian is also spoken by the diaspora in the region and by almost all Circassians in Israel who speak Hebrew and English as well. 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.[note 2][39][40]

Bengali, Hindi and Urdu are widely spoken by migrant communities in many Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia (where 20–25% of the population is South Asian), the United Arab Emirates (where 50–55% of the population is South Asian), and Qatar, which have large numbers of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian immigrants.

Economy

Oil and gas pipelines in the Middle-East

Middle Eastern economies range from being very poor (such as Gaza and Yemen) to extremely wealthy nations (such as Qatar and UAE). 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 World Bank's World Development Indicators database published on July 1, 2009, the three largest Middle Eastern economies in 2008 were Turkey ($794,228), Saudi Arabia ($467,601) and Iran ($385,143) in terms of Nominal GDP.[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).[42] Turkey ($1,028,897), Iran ($839,438) and Saudi Arabia ($589,531) had the largest economies in terms of GDP-PPP.[43] When it comes to per capita (PPP)-based income, the highest-ranking countries are Qatar ($86,008), Kuwait ($39,915), the UAE ($38,894), Bahrain ($34,662) and Cyprus ($29,853). 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 Cyprus, Israel, 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 Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon and Israel, tourism has been a relatively undeveloped area of the economy, in part because of 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 numbers of tourists because of 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 Labour Organization, was 13.2%,[44] and among youth is as high as 25%,[45] up to 37% in Morocco and 73% in Syria.[46]

Climate change

Middle East map of Köppen climate classification
Africa map of Köppen climate classification

Climate change in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) refers to changes in the climate of the MENA region and the subsequent response, adaption and mitigation strategies of countries in the region. 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.[48] These emissions are mostly from the energy sector,[49] an integral component of many Middle Eastern and North African economies due to the extensive oil and natural gas reserves that are found within the region.[50][51]

Recognised by the United Nations, The World Bank and the World Health Organisation as one of the greatest global challenges in the 21st century, climate change is currently having an unprecedented effect upon the Earth's natural systems.[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).[55] The MENA region is especially vulnerable to such impacts due to its arid and semi-arid environment, facing climatic challenges such as low rainfall, high temperatures and dry soil.[55][56] The climatic conditions that foster such challenges for MENA are projected by the IPCC to worsen throughout the 21st century.[55] If greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly reduced, part of the MENA region risks becoming uninhabitable before the year 2100.[57][58][59]

Climate change is expected to put significant strain on already scarce water and agricultural resources within the MENA region, threatening the national security and political stability of all included countries.[60] This has prompted some MENA countries to engage with the issue of climate change on an international level through environmental accords such as the Paris Agreement. Policy is also being established on a national level amongst MENA countries, with a focus on the development of renewable energies.[61]

Gallery

File:Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East.ogvPlay media
This video over Central Africa and the Middle East was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station.
File:Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East.ogvPlay media
This video over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station.
File:Views of the Mideast at Night.ogvPlay media
A pass beginning over Turkmenistan, east of the Caspian Sea to south-eastern China, just north-west of Hong Kong.

See also

  • Etiquette in the Middle East
  • Hilly Flanks
  • Maayan (magazine)
  • MENASA
  • Mental health in the Middle East
  • Middle Eastern cuisine
  • Middle Eastern music
  • Middle East Studies Association of North America
  • Orientalism
  • State feminism § Middle East
  • Timeline of Middle Eastern history

Notes

  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ 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).

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Further reading

  • Adelson, Roger (1995). London and the Invention of the Middle East: Money, Power, and War, 1902–1922. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06094-2.
  • Anderson, R; Seibert, R; Wagner, J. (2006). Politics and Change in the Middle East (8th ed.). Prentice-Hall.
  • Barzilai, Gad; Aharon, Klieman; Gil, Shidlo (1993). The Gulf Crisis and its Global Aftermath. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-08002-6.
  • Barzilai, Gad (1996). Wars, Internal Conflicts and Political Order. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-2943-3.
  • Beaumont, Peter; Blake, Gerald H; Wagstaff, J. Malcolm (1988). The Middle East: A Geographical Study. David Fulton. ISBN 978-0-470-21040-6.
  • Bishku, Michael B. (2015). "Is the South Caucasus Region a Part of the Middle East?". Journal of Third World Studies. 32 (1): 83–102. JSTOR 45178576.
  • Cleveland, William L., and Martin Bunton. A History Of The Modern Middle East (6th ed. 2018 4th ed. online
  • Cressey, George B. (1960). Crossroads: Land and Life in Southwest Asia. Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott Co. xiv, 593 pp. ill. with maps and b&w photos.
  • Fischbach, ed. Michael R. Biographical encyclopedia of the modern Middle East and North Africa (Gale Group, 2008).
  • Freedman, Robert O. (1991). The Middle East from the Iran-Contra Affair to the Intifada, in series, Contemporary Issues in the Middle East. 1st ed. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. x, 441 pp. ISBN 0-8156-2502-2 pbk.
  • Goldschmidt, Arthur Jr (1999). A Concise History of the Middle East. Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-0471-7.
  • Halpern, Manfred. Politics of Social Change: In the Middle East and North Africa (Princeton University Press, 2015).
  • Ismael, Jacqueline S., Tareq Y. Ismael, and Glenn Perry. Government and politics of the contemporary Middle East: Continuity and change (Routledge, 2015).
  • Lynch, Marc, ed. The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East (Columbia University Press, 2014). p. 352.
  • Palmer, Michael A. (1992). Guardians of the Persian Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833–1992. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 978-0-02-923843-1.
  • Reich, Bernard. Political leaders of the contemporary Middle East and North Africa: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1990).

External links

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  • "Middle East – Articles by Region" Archived 2014-02-09 at the Wayback Machine – Council on Foreign Relations: "A Resource for Nonpartisan Research and Analysis"
  • "Middle East – Interactive Crisis Guide" Archived 2009-11-30 at the Wayback Machine – Council on Foreign Relations: "A Resource for Nonpartisan Research and Analysis"
  • Middle East Department University of Chicago Library
  • Middle East Business Intelligence since 1957: "The leading information source on business in the Middle East" – MEED.com
  • Carboun – advocacy for sustainability and environmental conservation in the Middle East
  • Middle East at Curlie
  • Middle East News from Yahoo! News
  • Middle East Business, Financial & Industry News – ArabianBusiness.com