7 Maps That Explain the Middle East

Most investors know what an emerging market is. Some might even be able to offer a pretty good definition of what puts the “emerge” into emerging markets. But ask about the Middle East, and no one really knows what it is.

Geographically, it’s the region that stretches from the eastern Mediterranean and southern Turkey to the Iran-Afghan border.

The region, however, is far more complex than lines on a map. It can also be defined based on ethnic and religious bloodlines.

In the modern Middle East, the Arab world stretches from Morocco to Iraq and excludes non-Arab Muslim countries like Turkey and Iran.

If we think in terms of the Muslim world, this Middle East might stretch from Morocco to Afghanistan, south into Africa, and north into Central Asia and southeastern Europe.

The Middle East is the Arab core of the Muslim world. But thinking about the Middle East as exclusively Arab doesn’t work. Doing so excludes Turkey, Iran, and a very large Kurdish population spread across Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria.

Viewing it as exclusively Muslim is also deeply flawed. It would mean focusing on just a small part of the Muslim world. It also overlooks the Jews, Christians, Druze, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Bahai, and other religious groups in the region.

The idea of the Middle East has become quite vague. To me, it’s where perhaps the world’s most complex war is raging.

Middle Eastern countries are those that are involved in this war, one way or another. The war may metastasize into neighboring regions, but this is its heart.

As we already defined the Middle East, let’s dig deeper into its demographics and history to understand the complexity of this region.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>