How many countries are in the Middle East?
The Middle East has many definitions that change over time. Currently, the usage of Middle East refers to 18 countries, which consists of Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. These countries primarily span the regions of Western Asia, North Africa, and more.
Another broader definition of Middle East is the “Greater Middle East” that also include other countries such as Afghanistan, Comoros, Djibouti, Maghreb, Pakistan, Sudan, and Somalia.
Whereas, if North Africa is not included in the Middle East, then the region may also be called MENA, which stands for Middle East and North Africa.
What are the features of the Middle East?
Each country in the Middle East has a diverse range of ethnicities, cultures, languages and religions. On the other hand, they share close geographic locations and long-lasting political history.
- The largest ethnic groups are Arabs followed by Iranian and Turkish.
- Islam is the largest practiced religion across the region. In addition, the Middle East is historically believed to be the origin of the religions of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
- Because Arab countries make up the majority of the Middle East, Arabic is the most widely spoken language. Other common languages in the region include Persian, Hebrew, Kurdish, Greek, and Turkish.
- Overall, the Middle East typically has a hot, dry climate with several countries recording some of the most extreme temperatures in the world.
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