Middle East, a term for an indefinite region centered on southwest Asia and extending into North Africa. According to the most widely accepted definition, the region includes Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and all the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. According to other definitions, it includes various adjacent countries. The term originated in the early 20th century and came into popular use during the World War II. The older term Near East, now becoming obsolete, sometimes was also used to include the Balkan countries as well as the lands around the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.
Much of the Middle East is desert or semidesert, and most of the people are clustered in oases or river valleys, where water makes the land productive. It was in these centers that some of the world’s earliest known civilizations flourished. From the Middle East, also, came three major religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Today, the people are predominantly Moslem (Islamic); about half use the Arabic language. The regions principal assets today lie in its rich oil fields, mainly in the Persian Gulf region, which have more than half of the world’s proven reserves.
This wealth has placed new importance on Middle East’s position at the junction of three continents, where it controls vital links in the international transportation system. There has scarcely been any period in the history, however, when significant developments did not center on the Middle East. Middle East is a very rich country basically because of its oil reserves and other resources. But lately it has been a source of chaos and tragedy among the individuals living in it. Other countries are envious of what they have and therefore are doing things that could ruin the reputation and stand of Middle East.
Some citizens also of Middle East, specifically the “armed groups” makes it hard for their own country to be more affluent and be well- developed because peace and order is one of the factors that has to be considered. Hence, the government itself within Middle East should take proper actions for the amelioration of their country and for their people as well. References: 1. “Middle East”. New Standard Encyclopedia. Volume 11. Pages 342-348. 2. Armajani, Yahya, and Thomas Ricks. The Middle East. Prentice Hall, 1986.
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