Middle East

Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.

The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.

Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!

When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.

Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.

Text by Steve Smith.

Stefan Geens
Sana'a: View from a rooftop at sunset
Ramin Dehdashti
Naqshe Rostam
Ramin Dehdashti
The Pole Khajou in the summer of 2009
Stefan Geens
Tin suq, Sana'a, Yemen
Christoph Lueken
Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE
360emirates.com
Dubai - Jumeirah Lake Towers - Almas Tower by 360emirates
ulysses m caronongan-imcs
Ski Dubai Ice Cave with Dragon Ice Carvings
Ramin Dehdashti
Masjed Ali - The Ali Mosque
Ramin Dehdashti
Si-o-seh Pol at night
Ramin Dehdashti
The Azadi Tower at night