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THE BIRTHPLACE OF CIVILIZATION

Due to the harsh climate and fertile soil, early farming practices developed in Mesopotamia and led to the first civilizations: the ancient Sumerians and Assyrians. Over the centuries, this region has been a passage for trade routes between the continents.

Southwest Asia—The Middle East, as its referred to from the western perspective, at Asia’s connection to Africa and Europe—includes the Anatolian Peninsula: Turkey; ancient lands of Persia: Iran; early Mesopotamia (between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers): Iraq and Syria; the Holy Lands: Lebanon, Israel, Jordan; the Arabian Peninsula: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Yemen (and Sinai Peninsula of Egypt).

The Abrahamic monotheistic religions of Judaism, then Christianity, and later Islam, trace their roots to the Holy Lands along the Mediterranean Sea. The spread of Islam is reflective in much of the culture throughout the area: Muslim architecture, calls to prayer heard throughout the day, styles of design and dress, food and spices, and a visible connection to mathematics and nature in design.

Islam is an Arabic word which means “surrender, submission, commitment and peace.”

United Religions Initiative

Countries of Southwest Asia (Middle East)

Anatolian Peninsula:

Turkey

Arabian Peninsula:

Saudi Arabia

Kuwait

Bahrain

Qatar

United Arab Emirates

Oman

Yemen

Persia:

Iran

Persia:

Iraq

Syria

The Holy Lands:

Lebanon

Israel

Palestine

Jordan


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