geopolitical region encompassing Egypt and most of Western Asia, including Iran
The Middle East is a geographical region that encompasses roughly a majority of Western Asia (excluding the Caucasus) as well as Egypt. The term is used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East. The corresponding adjective is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner. The largest ethnic group in the Middle East are Arabs, with Turks, Turkomans, Persians, Kurds, Azeris, Copts, Jews, Assyrians, Maronites, Circassians, Somalis, Armenians, Druze and numerous additional minor ethnic groups forming other significant populations.
- Let’s turn to a favorite area for the enthusiasts of the culture hypothesis: the Middle East. Middle Eastern countries are primarily Islamic, and the non–oil producers among them are very poor, as we have already noted. Oil producers are richer, but this windfall of wealth has done little to create diversified modern economies in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. Don’t these facts show convincingly that religion matters? Though plausible, this argument is not right, either. Yes, countries such as Syria and Egypt are poor, and their populations are primarily Muslim. But these countries also systemically differ in other ways that are far more important for prosperity. For one, they were all provinces of the Ottoman Empire, which heavily, and adversely, shaped the way they developed. After Ottoman rule collapsed, the Middle East was absorbed into the English and French colonial empires, which, again, stunted their possibilities. After independence, they followed much of the former colonial world by developing hierarchical, authoritarian political regimes with few of the political and economic institutions that, we will argue, are crucial for generating economic success. This development path was forged largely by the history of Ottoman and European rule. The relationship between the Islamic religion and poverty in the Middle East is largely spurious.
- Daron Acemoglu and Jame A. Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Poverty, and Prosperity (2012),
- ... Middle Easterners, those whose their tired souls are only comfortable with extremism, extremism in reaction ... and extremism in revenge. This extremism stems from all the other extremes that govern our lives and envelops our souls with a thick layer of anger, outrage, and emotional violence.
- It's about the whole situation in the world, 'cause you cannot separate the situation in Syria from the situation in the Middle East, when the Middle East is not stable, the world cannot be stable.
- And Israel is not only our ally; it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean… If the people of the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel.
- Hillary Clinton, Hanukkah dinner speech at Yeshiva University (December 2005)
- This country was taken over by a group of people with a 'policy coup'! Wolfowitz and Cheney and Rumsfeld, and...you can name a...dozen other collaborators from 'Project for a New American Century' they wanted us to destabilize the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control. It went back to those comments in 1991, Did they bother to tell you that? Was there a national dialogue on this? Did senators, and congressmen stand up and denounce this plan? Was there a full flag American debate on this? Absolutely not, and there's still isn't [...] Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you're an American you ought to be concern about strategy of the United States in this region, What is our aim? What is our purpose? Why are we there? Why are Americans dying in this region? That is the issue.
- Wesley Clark, Address to Commonwealth Club of California (3 October 2007)
- Things in the Middle East can always be worse than they are. And give it time, and they’ll get there.
- I'm very worried about living conditions faced by Christians who are suffering from conflicts and tensions in many areas of the Middle East. So often Egypt, Iraq and Syria and other areas in the Holy Land ooze tears.
- Pope Francis, as quoted in "Pope asks Middle East governments to protect Christians" (22 November 2013), Ecumenical News
- Foregrounding these historical and global dimensions helps make clear that the enormous scale of the current crisis is not simply a question of viral epidemiology and a lack of biological resistance to a novel pathogen. The ways that most people across Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia will experience the coming pandemic is a direct consequence of a global economy systemically structured around the exploitation of the resources and peoples of the South. In this sense, the pandemic is very much a social and human-made disaster — not simply a calamity arising from natural or biological causes. [...] The Middle East, for example, is the site of the largest forced displacement since the Second World War, with massive numbers of refugees and internally displaced people as a result of the ongoing wars in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq. Most of these people live in refugee camps or overcrowded urban spaces, and often lack the rudimentary rights to health care typically associated with citizenship. The widespread prevalence of malnutrition and other diseases (such as the reappearance of cholera in Yemen) make these displaced communities particularly susceptible to the virus itself. [...] One microcosm of this can be seen in the Gaza Strip, where over 70 percent of the population are refugees living in one of the most densely packed areas in the world. [...] Under blockade and closure for most of the past decade, Gaza has been shut to the world long before the current pandemic. The region could be the proverbial canary in the COVID-19 coalmine — foreshadowing the future path of the infection among refugee communities across the Middle East and elsewhere.
- Adam Hanieh on the COVID-19 pandemic, This is a Global Pandemic – Let’s Treat it as Such, 27 March 2020, Verso Books
- Israel is the Middle East’s only legitimate democracy, surrounded by cadres, warlords and villains that do not respect democracy or human rights. These bellicose nations jealously regard Israel, envying its success, stability, and might. Israel faces an impossible calculus between defending itself and facing angry outcries or risking its own destruction.
- Stephen Harper, as quoted in "We Must Support Democracy in the Middle East" (31 January 2014), The Barrie Examiner.
- When the IFPI released its 2018 Global Music Report in Apr. 2018, one region was completely absent from its pages: the Middle East.
The music industry has historically turned a blind eye on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) because the vast majority of the region's consumers still listen to music for free -- either through legal ad-supported channels, or through physical or onlin piracy. By some reports, piracy still costs the wider MENA entertainment industry $500 million annually.
Yet, 2018 also marked the year major labels and streaming platforms invested more capital into the region than ever before.
- Cherie Hu, ”Why the Music Business Can't Afford to Ignore the Middle East In 2019”, Billboard, (12/19/2018).
- Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East, Israel is what is right about the Middle East... Now the threat to my country cannot be overstated. Those who dismiss it are sticking their heads in the sand.
- Benjamin Netanyahu, address to joint meeting of the U.S. Congress (24 May 2011).
- The invasion of Iraq has resulted in the almost complete annihilation of that country’s Christian community, and the attempt to remove Bashar Assad from power in Syria has seen that country’s Christians mercilessly attacked by the agents of US power, radical Islamists. To be a Christian in the Middle East is to be in constant fear that the USA will set its sights on your country because wherever it arrives, Mujahideen are never that far away.
- Niccolo Soldo, Saturday Commentary and Review #63, Substack, 29 November 2021
- I would rather visit Latin America or the Middle East than Europe. The people – especially Arabs and Kurds – are more pleasant to be around.
- Michael Totten, "51 Facts About Me" (26 June 2006), World Affairs Journal
- [P]olitics in the Middle East isn’t as personal as it often is in the West, in part because Middle Easterners are accustomed to having their politics dictated to them by the powerful. Politicians are usually above accountability and beyond control of the people. They assume that’s how it is in the Western countries as well.
- Michael Totten, "Hanging With Hezbollah" (1 January 2007), World Affairs Journal
- Middle Eastern people and rulers despise each other as much as, and sometimes even more than, they despise Israel. That has been true since the day Israel was born, and it hasn’t stopped being true for even five minutes... [I]f you can’t afford to enrage Arab leaders, you can’t make alliances with anyone in the Middle East, Jewish or Arab.
- Michael Totten, "We Are Still Living With Eisenhower’s Biggest Mistake" (February 2017), The Tower
- That effort led to a war of choice with Iraq — one that resulted in catastrophic losses for the region and the United States-led coalition, and that destabilized the entire Middle East.
- Encyclopedic article on Middle East on Wikipedia
- Media related to Middle East on Wikimedia CommonsTwitter Account
- Middle East travel guide from Wikivoyage
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