Background of the Middle East

Background of the Middle East

Background of the Middle East

Background of the Middle East


THE Middle East is that region situated mainly in southwest Asia and northern Africa, predominately Moslem in religion, which may be broadly described as forming the bridge between the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. For the purposes of this book, the term "Middle East" includes the following political units:

1. In Europe: Greece (with Crete) and Turkey in Europe.

2. In southwest Asia (bordered by the Soviet Union, China at Kashmir, and India): Turkey in Asia; the Mediterranean island of Cyprus; Syria; Lebanon; Israel; Jordan (comprising former Transjordan and non-Israeli Palestine); the countries of the Arabian Peninsula--namely Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Aden and Aden Protectorate, Masqat (Muscat) and Oman, Trucial Oman, Qatar (Katar), Kuwait, and the adjacent Bahrain Islands; Iraq; Iran (Persia); Afghanistan; and western Pakistan.

3. In Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and the Sudan.

From a strategic point of view, the Ethiopian Plateau and the lands generally east of it to the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean--namely Ethiopia, Eritrea, British and French Somaliland, and Somaliland (former Italian Somaliland)--could be included in the Middle East, but are here excluded because of their many divergencies from the rest of the region.

From a religious point of view, the Middle East thus com- . . .

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