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The Middle East as Seen Through Foreign Eyes

Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

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Map of the Contemporary Middle East

Map of the Contemporary Middle East

A map of the Middle East created by the CIA for its online World Factbook resource: capital cities are designated with a star, nation-state borders are outlined in yellow, and some physical features have been added to show the Middle East’s varied topography. It is interesting to note that the distance from Iran’s eastern border with Pakistan to Egypt’s western border with Libya is roughly the same as the distance from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, CA. The distance from Istanbul in the north to the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula is greater than the distance from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canada border. The Middle East is home to a complex assortment of ethnicities and races. Within this diverse cultural milieu, dozens of languages are spoken, and people come from many different religious backgrounds, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and the Baha’i faith.

Next Button Off Gustave Dore’s Engraving of Canto XXVIII (Lines 30 and 31 of Inferno, the First Part of Dante Alighieri’s Epic Poem, the Divine Comedy)

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