Activists say private companies are profiting from the incarceration of racially profiled groups in the US and Israel.
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Egypt 27 Sep GMT. Demonstrators take to the streets after Friday prayers as security forces ramp up checks in Cairo. President tells supporters not to worry as security forces ramped up checks and closed off Tahrir Square in Cairo. Authorities step up mass arrests, disrupt access to internet and tighten security amid calls for more rallies on Friday.
The Gulf country aims to boost foreign investment in its tourism sector, part of its drive to reduce oil dependency. Fiancee of murdered journalist says Saudi crown prince's statement on killing 'pure political manoeuvre'. Iran 26 Sep GMT. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Syrian government forces used chlorine during an attack in May this year.
Saudi Arabia has been assuring investors it can quickly restore output after devastating attacks on two oil facilities. Toggle navigation. Nasrallah: 'We are threatening them and we will enter occupied Palestine.
Egypt's security forces move to block anti-Sisi protests
From Haifa to Ramallah — Palestinian women protest patriarchy. Taliban worries loom as Afghanistan prepares to vote for a president. Iranian women's rights activist.
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Senate commemorates 25th anniversary of Argentine Jewish center bombing. Subscribe for our daily newsletter. Most Read. Joint List endorses Gantz without Balad, giving Netanyahu majority. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East as opposed to the Far East beginning in the early 20th century. Arabs , Turks , Persians , Kurds , and Azeris excluding Azerbaijan constitute the largest ethnic groups in the region by population.
Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the region by a clear margin. The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, with the geopolitical importance of the region being recognized for millennia.
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. Most of the countries that border the Persian Gulf have vast reserves of crude oil , with monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula in particular benefiting economically from petroleum exports.
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Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but also of its center, the Persian Gulf. The Middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta , as well as its Gibraltar ; it does not follow that either will be in the Persian Gulf. Naval force has the quality of mobility which carries with it the privilege of temporary absences; but it needs to find on every scene of operation established bases of refit, of supply, and in case of disaster, of security. The British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force if occasion arise, about Aden , India, and the Persian Gulf.
During this series, Sir Ignatius expanded the definition of Middle East to include "those regions of Asia which extend to the borders of India or command the approaches to India. The description Middle has also led to some confusion over changing definitions. In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia e. China , Japan , Korea , etc. With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire in , "Near East" largely fell out of common use in English, while "Middle East" came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Islamic world. However, the usage "Near East" was retained by a variety of academic disciplines, including archaeology and ancient history , where it describes an area identical to the term Middle East , which is not used by these disciplines see Ancient Near East.
The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the Eisenhower Doctrine , which pertained to the Suez Crisis. The Associated Press Stylebook says that Near East formerly referred to the farther west countries while Middle East referred to the eastern ones, but that now they are synonymous. It instructs:. Use Middle East unless Near East is used by a source in a story.
Mideast is also acceptable, but Middle East is preferred. There are terms similar to Near East and Middle East in other European languages, but since it is a relative description, the meanings depend on the country and are different from the English terms generally. The designation, Mashriq , also from the Arabic root for East , also denotes a variously defined region around the Levant , the eastern part of the Arabic-speaking world as opposed to the Maghreb , the western part.
In modern-day-country terms they are these:.
Near East, Levant and Fertile Crescent are geographic concepts, which refer to large sections of the modern defined Middle East, with Near East being the closest to Middle East in its geographic meaning. Due to it primarily being Arabic speaking, the Maghreb region of North Africa is sometimes included. The Greater Middle East was a political term coined by the second Bush administration in the first decade of the 21st century,  to denote various countries, pertaining to the Muslim world , specifically Iran , Turkey , Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Throughout its history the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area. However, it would be the later Arab Caliphates of the Middle Ages , or Islamic Golden Age which began with the Arab conquest of the region in the 7th century AD, that would first unify the entire Middle East as a distinct region and create the dominant Islamic ethnic identity that largely but not exclusively persists today.
The modern Middle East began after World War I , when the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with the Central Powers , was defeated by the British Empire and their allies and partitioned into a number of separate nations, initially under British and French Mandates.
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Other defining events in this transformation included the establishment of Israel in and the eventual departure of European powers, notably Britain and France by the end of the s. They were supplanted in some part by the rising influence of the United States from the s onwards. In the 20th century, the region's significant stocks of crude oil gave it new strategic and economic importance.
During the Cold War, the Middle East was a theater of ideological struggle between the two superpowers and their allies: NATO and the United States on one side, and the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact on the other, as they competed to influence regional allies. Besides the political reasons there was also the "ideological conflict" between the two systems.
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Moreover, as Louise Fawcett argues, among many important areas of contention, or perhaps more accurately of anxiety, were, first, the desires of the superpowers to gain strategic advantage in the region, second, the fact that the region contained some two-thirds of the world's oil reserves in a context where oil was becoming increasingly vital to the economy of the Western world [ Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, the region has experienced both periods of relative peace and tolerance and periods of conflict particularly between Sunnis and Shiites.
Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the Middle East, followed by various Iranian peoples and then by Turkic speaking groups. For the period between the s and s, the Arab states of the PersianGulf in particular provided a rich source of employment for workers from Egypt, Yemen and the countries of the Levant, while Europe had attracted young workers from North African countries due both to proximity and the legacy of colonial ties between France and the majority of North African states.
Expatriates from Arab countries contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development. A fair proportion of those migrating from Arab nations are from ethnic and religious minorities facing racial and or religious persecution and are not necessarily ethnic Arabs, Iranians or Turks.
In Iran, many religious minorities such as Christians , Baha'is and Zoroastrians have left since the Islamic Revolution of The Middle East is very diverse when it comes to religions , many of which originated there. Islam is the largest religion in the Middle East, but other faiths that originated there, such as Judaism and Christianity , are also well represented.
Christians represent The five top languages, in terms of numbers of speakers, are Arabic , Persian , Turkish , Kurdish , and Hebrew. Arabic and Hebrew represent the Afro-Asiatic language family. Persian and Kurdish belong to the Indo-European language family. Turkish belongs to Turkic language family. About 20 minority languages are also spoken in the Middle East.
Arabic, with all its dialects, are the most widely spoken languages in the Middle East, with Literary Arabic being official in all North African and in most West Asian countries. Arabic dialects are also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighbouring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Another Semitic language such as Aramaic and its dialects are spoken mainly by Assyrians and Mandaeans. There is also a Oasis Berber -speaking community in Egypt where the language is also known as Siwa.
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