Experts from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) are closely following developments throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In a series of reports and interviews, they cover a wide range of ...
May 20, 2021 · MENA stands for the Middle East and Northern Africa, referring to the countries between Iran in the East and Tunisia and Morocco in the West.
The Arab World consists of 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
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Mar 27, 2017 · Geographically, the Middle East and North Africa region extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east and from Turkey in north to Yemen in the south. The bulk of the region is situated along five waterways: the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Black Sea, and Caspian Sea.
- What Is The Middle East and What Countries Are Part of It?
- Geography of The Middle East
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The Middle East is a geographical and cultural region located primarily in western Asia, but also in parts of northern Africa and southeastern Europe. The western border of the Middle East is defined by the Mediterranean Sea, where Israel, Lebanon, and Syria rest opposite from Greece and Italy in Europe. Egypt in Africa also borders the Mediterranean and is sometimes considered as part of the Middle East, while Turkey and Cyprus literally connect Europe to Asia and oscillate between being called European and Middle Eastern. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, all located just northeast of Turkey, are at times associated with the Middle East, Europe, Asia, or as their own separate region. South of the Mediterranean Sea, the Red and Arabian Seas surround the southern part of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman border these waters, with Iraq and Jordan connecting them to the western part of the region. At the center of the Middle East rests the Persian Gulf, cutting into the r...
The majority of the Middle East region is characterized by a warm desert climate. Weather in this climate is very high during the summer and can reach dangerous levels, with parts of Iraq and Iran having recorded feel-like temperatures of over 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius). Average temperatures during the summer usually rest at around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), while the winters are somewhat milder. This climate also has very little rainfall, resulting in large desert regions. Areas of the Middle East surrounding the Mediterranean, such as Israel and Lebanon, instead boast a warm Mediterranean climate similar to parts of Greece and Italy, while Turkey’s territory stretches over a variety of arid and continental climate. The northern regions of the Middle East in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia are closer to a steppe climate, with colder winters but still very little precipitation. As a result of its arid climate, the Middle East is home to several...
The Middle East is often referred to as the “Cradle of Civilization,” and a brief look at the region’s history clearly explains why this is true. This part of the world, and particularly the Mesopotamia region around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, is home to many of humanity’s earliest accomplishments. Neolithic humans here made their first transitions from nomadic to agricultural lifestyles by inventing the wheel, basic agriculture, and the beginnings of the written word roughly 12,000 years ago. Ancient Sumer was the first civilization on Earth, and produced the oldest known piece of literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is now over 4000 years old. This region was also home to the ancient Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian empires, while farther West the Middle East region saw the unification and rise of Ancient Egypt. Several Persian empires originating in modern Iran also rose to dominance in the Middle East, while the Romans and their successor state in the East, the Byzan...
Stretching the definition of the Middle East to include its widest borders as per the parameters outlined earlier, the population of the region rests at around 690 million people. The most populous countries in the Middle East include Pakistan (~193 million), Egypt (~90.6 million), Iran (~79 million), and Turkey (~78.7 million), while the least populated countries are Cyprus (~1.1 million), Bahrain (~1.4 million), Qatar (~2.4 million), and Armenia (~3 million). Despite the historical rise and prominence of Islam in the Middle East, the many belief systems which originated in the region allow it to maintain a highly diverse religious makeup today. Indeed, out of the entire global Muslim population only roughly 20% live within the Middle East. This being said, Islam is still dominant and is the official state religion in most countries of the region. Over 90% of people in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbe...
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The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is Africa's largest nation with an area of 919,595 mi2. As of 2016, the population estimate for the country was 40.4 million, making it the 33rd most populous nation in the world. The capital city of Algeria is Algiers. 99% of the country's inhabitants are Arab-Berbers, and the official languages of Algeria are Arabic and Berber. Algeria is an upper-middle income nation, and its economy mostly relies on energy exports.
The Republic of Tunisia is a Northwest African country bordering Libya, Algeria, and the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital city is Tunis, and the official language of Algeria is Arabic. The state covers 63,170 mi2 of area, and as of 2016, its population estimate was 11,304,482. Two sub-ranges of the Atlas Mountains, Tell Atlas range and Aurés Mountains, traverse the western portion of the country.
The State of Libya is Africa's fourth largest nation with a total area of approximately 700,000 mi2. Its administrative capital is Tripoli, and it also doubles as the country's largest city with a population of over 1 million people. The official language of Libya is Arabic while Islam is the state religion. Libya's economy depends primarily on its oil sector, and according to OPEC, the country has the tenth largest measurable oil reserves globally. The Arab Republic of Egypt occupies the Northeast portion of the African Continent and it is only separated from southwest Asia by the Sinai Peninsula. The country has a total area of 390,121 square miles, and its population estimate in 2017 was 97,113,900. Its largest city is its administrative capital, Cairo. The official language of Egypt is Arabic while Egyptian Arabic is its national language. Ancient Egypt is famous for being a cradle for civilization.
North Africa is located on the Continent of Africa, and the Middle East is located on the Continent of Asia. Of course, from cultural, religious and language points of view there are significant similarities between the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East (although this does not relate so much to ethnicity) and so they are united in this way, but they are not parts of the same geographic area.