The Middle East and North Africa: Many Things In Common
The Middle East and North Africa are two regions that are often grouped together because they have many things in common. Islam is the dominant religion in the area and almost everyone speaks Arabic. Most of the Middle East and North Africa is composed of desert land where very little rain falls.
speak a Persian language called Farsi. Until 1935, Iran was known as Persia
, a culture that has existed for thousands of years.
Most people in Turkey are Muslims
but speak Turkish rather than Arabic
. The Turks originally came from the land northwest of India.
Lebanon includes a significant Christian
minority. Lebanon once had a Christian majority, but Muslims
now outnumber Christians because Muslims have tended to have more children. Until recently, most Arabs living in the United States have been Lebanese.
Most people in Israel
and practice Judaism
. After World War II ended, the United Nations created Israel as a homeland
About twenty-five million Kurds
live in the mountains between Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The Kurds are Muslims
, but they have the own language and culture. Many Kurds want to keep their traditional lifestyle and resist assimilating into the population of their host nations.
A minority of the people of Morocco and Algeria speak Berber languages. The Berbers are the descendants of the people who lived in North Africa before the Arab invasion. The Berber language and traditions are more common in the isolated places of North Africa such as mountains and deserts. Most Berbers today are Arabic-speaking Muslims.
Many of the nations of the Middle East and North Africa were once controlled by European nations. As a result, English, French and Italian are often spoken in the region.
Middle East and North Africa Resources
Download this lesson as Microsoft Word file or as an Adobe Acrobat file.
Listen as Mr. Dowling reads this lesson.
Mr. Donn has an excellent website that includes a section on the Middle East and North Africa.