The Mashriq (Arabic: مَـشْـرِق, also Mashreq, Mashrek) is the eastern or, less commonly, north-eastern part of the Arab world. This comprises the modern states of Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. Poetically the "place of sunrise", the name is derived from the verb sharaqa (Arabic: شرق "to shine, illuminate, radiate" and "to rise"), referring to the east, where the sun rises.
|Countries and territories|
As the word Mashriq refers to countries bounded between the Mediterranean Sea and Iran, it is the companion term to Maghreb (Arabic: مَـغْـرِب), the western part of North Africa. Libya may itself be seen as bifurcated between Mashriq and Maghreb influences, with its eastern part (Cyrenaica) seen as linked more to Egypt and the Mashriq.
These geographical terms date from the early Islamic expansion. This region is similar to the Bilad al-Sham and Mesopotamian regions combined. As of 2014[update], the Mashriq is home to 1.7% of the global population.
All of the countries located in the Arab Mashreq area are members of the Arab League (with the suspension of Syria), GAFTA, ICO[disambiguation needed] and the United Nations. The region cooperates in several projects including the Arab Mashreq International Road Network and the Arab Mashreq International Railway. Several nations are also members in the GCC and others have tried unity before, such as United Arab Republic in the 60's and 70's.
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