Middle East and North Africa Lessons
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 of the area and almost everyone speaks Arabic. Most of the Middle East and North Africa is composed of desert where very little rain falls. There are, however, many exceptions:
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.
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.
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Dowling, Mike. "The Middle East and North Africa" www.mrdowling.com. Updated July 18, 2011 . Web. Date of Access. <http://www.mrdowling.com/607mena.html>