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Location of the Middle East

The Middle East is a political and cultural subregion of Eurasia or of Afro-Eurasia. The core of the region comprises the lands between the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, along with the Arabian and Sinai peninsulas. Sometimes, it is used in a broader sense which can include areas stretching from Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east and the Caucasus and/or Central Asia in the north. The media (such as the BBC) and various organisations usually consider the Middle East to be Southwest Asia (including Cyprus) plus all of Egypt and minus the Caucasus.

The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, with the (geopolitical) importance of the region being recognized for millennia.[1][2][3] Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; the Baha'i faith, Mandaeism, Unitarian Druze, and numerous other belief systems were also established within the region.

The Middle East generally has a hot, arid climate, with several major rivers providing irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas such as the Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds of Mesopotamia, and most of what is known as the Fertile Crescent.

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The Greater Middle East is a political term, introduced in the early 2000s, denoting a set of contiguously connected countries stretching from Morocco in the west all the way to Pakistan in the east.[4] Various countries of Central Asia are sometimes also included. According to Andrew Bacevich in his book America's war for the Greater Middle East (2016), the career soldier and Professor Emeritus at Boston University states that this region is the theatre for a series of conflicts dating back to 1980, which heralded the start of the Iran–Iraq War. Since then, the U.S. has been involved in balancing conflicts amongst these culturally interconnected nations in order to further its interests in the region. The Greater Middle East is sometimes referred to as "The New Middle East",[5] or "The Great Middle East Project".[6][7]

This term was more clearly defined to denote a specific region in the U.S. administration's preparatory work for the G8 summit of 2004[8] as part of a proposal for sweeping change in the way the West deals with the Middle East.

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Tugra Mahmuds II.gif
Photo credit:Saperaud
This animation shows an example of Arabic calligraphy. The text translates as "Mahmud Khan son of Abdulhamid is forever victorious" and refers to a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

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Demographics of the Middle East • Economy of the Middle East • Largest metropolitan areas of the Middle East • List of modern conflicts in the Middle East

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Sources

  1. ^ Cairo, Michael F. The Gulf: The Bush Presidencies and the Middle East Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine University Press of Kentucky, 2012 ISBN 978-0-8131-3672-1 p xi.
  2. ^ Government Printing Office. History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense: The formative years, 1947–1950 Archived 2015-12-22 at the Wayback Machine ISBN 978-0-16-087640-0 p 177
  3. ^ Kahana, Ephraim. Suwaed, Muhammad. Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Intelligence Archived 2015-12-23 at the Wayback Machine Scarecrow Press, 13 apr. 2009 ISBN 978-0-8108-6302-6 p. xxxi.
  4. ^ Ottaway, Marina & Carothers, Thomas (2004-03-29), The Greater Middle East Initiative: Off to a False Start, Policy Brief, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 29, Pages 1-7
  5. ^ Nazemroaya, Mahdi Darius (18 November 2006). "Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a "New Middle East"". Global Research. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
  6. ^ “Great Middle East Project” Conference by Prof. Dr. Mahir Kaynak and Ast.Prof. Dr. Emin Gürses in SAU
  7. ^ Turkish Emek Political Parties
  8. ^ Perthes, V., 2004, America's "Greater Middle East" and Europe: Key Issues for Dialogue Archived 15 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Middle East Policy, Volume XI, No.3, Pages 85-97.