Petroleum being one of the most indispensable resources to man is a commodity that is produced in one of the regions in the world characterized by people who sport long beards, dresses for both men and women and a turban. This region is the Middle East which is responsible for producing most of the world’s supply of oil. Therefore, one must be aware of the history and current status of the Middle East because it produces one of the most important fuels that make our life convenient nowadays. The Middle East is a region that includes southwestern Asia and Egypt.
Formerly known as the Near East, it is the origin of most of the major religions in the world such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. As of 2009, the Middle East has a total population of 202,687,005 comprising around 3% of the total world’s population. Saudi Arabia’s total of 27,019,731 includes 5,360,526 non-nationals and UAE’s total population of 2,602,713 includes 1,576,472 non-nationals making them among those that are highly active in terms of commerce and industry. The population of the Middle East is still expected to grow rapidly because of the young age structure, having one third of it’s entire population under 15.
The fertility of mothers rose from 4. 3 births per woman in 2000 to 7. 2 in 2010. Nearly 60% of the population live in urban areas therefore making the urbanization rate high. Population density varies among countries and Yemen for example has a population density of 34. 2 square meters per person, 10. 2 for Saudi Arabia, and 30. 9 for UAE. Ethnic groups that comprise the Middle East are Persians, Arabs, Turks, Armenians, Jews, and Greeks. Major religion is Islam but other religions are also present such as Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism.
Major language being spoken is Arabic followed by Persian and Turkish. The history of the Middle East dates back to the empires of the Byzantines and the Sassanids. The Arabs who were before at competition with each other were bounded by one religion that is Islam. The Arab Islamic group spread to more countries but was eventually repaced by a Turkish Islamic group known as the Ottomans. The Ottoman empire lasted for decades but reached decline when the Europeans took control because of their interest in Middle East lands.
To save the empire, the Ottomans collaborated with Germany during WWI but due to the loss they sustained, they were eventually a destroyed empire. The Middle East countries were granted freedom since the 1920’s to the 1970’s. Monarchs and dictators emerged and ruled the political system of the region. Internal forces affecting politics are instabilities caused by coups, revolutions and civil wars while the external force that affected the politics in the region is the importance placed on them by other super powers such as the United States and other Europen States.
The main product that fuels the economy of the Middle East is the oil they produce. 1965-1985 was the period considered as the best in the economy of the region. This was due to a dramatic rise in the prices of oil. Due to this, literacy rates rose, job opportunities grew and the oil-producing countries gave constant aids to non-oil producing countries. Among those that experienced wealth are Saudi Arabia and UAE while Yemen stayed to be among the poorest. However, dramatic as the rise, the decline was equally dramatic because of the fluctuation in oil price from 28$ in 1985 to 10$ in 1986.
Currently, the economic future of the Middle East is affected by two forces. Internally, it is the rapid population growth in the region. This will clearly affect the economy because this will cause stresses in resources of the region. Take for example water, since the Middle East is among the water-scarce region in the world. Other aspects to be taken into consideration that will be affected by population growth are food resources, medicine and education. Externally, the factor that would affect the economy of the Middle East is the price of oil in the world market.
If there is a rise, then further economic growth will be attained. But if the direction would be a decrease, then it would not be good news for the region. Therefore, alternative sources of income should be exploited. In conclusion, as long as there is a need to fuel the modern technology that man has created, the Middle East will continue to thrive as a region that is rich in cultural heritage as well as a region that is the best resource for oil. Works Cited Shah, Anup. 29 December 2009. “Middle East”. Global Issues. 5 June 2010 <http://www. globalissues. org/issue/103/middle-east >
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