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List of Countries in the Middle East For Kids

From the earliest civilizations to Biblical times, from the era of the Crusades to the Ottoman Empire and the founding of its modern nations, in times of peace and of conflict, the history of the Middle East is as rich and diverse as any region of the world.

  • The Middle East is a region that roughly encompasses a majority of Western Asia (excluding the Caucasus) and Egypt.
  • 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.
  • The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history, the Middle East has been a major center of world affairs.
  • The Middle East is also the historical origin of major religions including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as the less common Baha’i faith, Mandaeism, Druze faith and others.
  • Many countries located around the Persian Gulf have large quantities of crude oil, which has resulted in much wealth particularly for nations in the Arabian peninsula.
  • During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central Asia, a rivalry which would become known as The Great Game.
  • The first official use of the term “Middle East” by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis.
  • There are terms similar to Near East and Middle East in other European languages, but since it is a relative description, the meanings depend on the country and are different from the English terms generally.
  • Greater Middle East is an additional Eurocentric concept, introduced in the West in the 1990s, and referring to the mostly-Islamic regions of North Africa, Western Asia and Central Asia; the use of “Greater Middle East” however was marginal and it has recently fell into disuse.
  • However, it would be the later Arab Caliphates of the Middle Ages, or Islamic Golden Age which began with the Arab conquest of the region in the 7th century AD, that would first unify the entire Middle East as a distinct region and create the dominant Islamic ethnic identity that largely (but not exclusively) persists today.
  • Mass production of oil began around 1945, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates having large quantities of oil.

List of Middle Eastern Countries

  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Turkey
  • Iraq
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen
  • Syria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Palestine
  • Lebanon
  • Oman
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar
  • Bahrain
  • Cyprus