The Mashriq (Arabic: ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is a term used by Arabs to refer to the eastern part of the Arab world, located in Western Asia and eastern North Africa.[7] Poetically the "Place of Sunrise", the name is derived from the verb sharaqa (Arabic: شرق "to shine, illuminate, radiate" and "to rise"), from sh-r-q root (ش-ر-ق), referring to the east, where the sun rises.[8][9]

Countries and territories
Map depicting the area most conservatively known as the Mashriq[3][4][5][6]

The region includes the Arab states of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen,[1][10][11][12] but excludes the non-Arab states of Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoros, which are also members of the Arab League. Israel is also included in the Mashriq by some sources, such as the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Oxford's Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names,[13][14] but it is neither an Arab state nor part of the Arab League, and as such its inclusion is controversial.[15]


As the word Mashriq refers to Arab countries located between the Mediterranean Sea and Iran, it is the companion term to Maghreb (Arabic: ٱلْمَغْرِب), the western part of North Africa. Libya may be regarded as straddling the two regions, receiving influences from both the Maghreb and the Mashriq, with its eastern part (Cyrenaica) being linked more to Egypt and the Mashriq, while western parts (Fezzan and Tripolitania) are tied to the Maghreb.[16]

These geographical terms date from the early Islamic expansion. The Mashriq corresponds to the Bilad al-Sham and Mesopotamian regions combined.[17] As of 2014, the Mashriq is home to 1.7% of the global population.[18][19][20][21][22][23]


Map of the Arab Mashreq International Road Network

All of the countries located in the Arab Mashreq area are members of the Arab League (although Syria's membership is currently suspended), the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, 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 of the GCC and others have tried to achieve political unity in the past, such as the United Arab Republic in the 1960s and 1970s, which originally included both Egypt and Syria.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Mashriq GEOGRAPHICAL REGION, MIDDLE EAST". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  2. ^ Everett-Heath, John (2018). The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-186632-6. OCLC 1053905476.
  3. ^ "About ANPGR". Arab Network of Plant Genetic Resources.
  4. ^ "Mashreq". Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East & North Africa. Archived from the original on 2017-02-24. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "لماذا يستثنى الأردن من التقسيم؟ الوضع الداخلي هو العنصر الحاسم*فهد الخيطان" [Why is Jordan exempted from the division? The internal situation is a critical component * Fahd strings]. (in Arabic). Rasseen. 2014-07-13.
  7. ^ bank, world. "Economic interrogation in the mashriq" (PDF). siteresources.
  8. ^ Alvarez, Lourdes María (2009). Abu Al-Ḥasan Al-Shushtarī. Paulist Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-8091-0582-3.
  9. ^ Peek, Philip M.; Yankah, Kwesi (2003-12-12). African Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 442. ISBN 978-1-135-94873-3.
  10. ^ "European Neighbourhood Policy in the Mashreq Countries: Enhancing Prospects for Reform". Centre for European Policy Studies. 2005-09-01. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  11. ^ Introduction to Migration and the Mashreq Archived February 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Migrants from the Maghreb and Mashreq Countries" (PDF). IOM International Organization for Migration. July 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  13. ^ Everett-Heath, John (2018-09-20), "Mashriq", The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acref/9780191866326.001.0001, ISBN 978-0-19-186632-6, retrieved 2021-08-16
  14. ^ "Mashriq | geographical region, Middle East". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  15. ^ "Arab League | History, Purpose, Members, & Achievements". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  16. ^ Gall, Michel Le; Perkins, Kenneth (2010). The Maghrib in Question: Essays in History and Historiography. University of Texas Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-292-78838-1.
  17. ^ Clancy-Smith, Julia (2013-11-05). North Africa, Islam and the Mediterranean World. Routledge. p. 98. ISBN 978-1-135-31213-8.
  18. ^ Official estimate of the Population of Egypt Archived May 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ UN estimate for Lebanon
  20. ^ Official Jordanian population clock Archived January 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "National Main Statistical Indicators". State of Palestine – Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
  22. ^ UN estimate for Syria
  23. ^ "Iraq". The World Bank.