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The Arabs have been bringing knowledge of the ancient world to Europe since the 8th century. In the fields of medicine, mathematics or philosophy, their scholars were far beyond their time and still affect our world today. For a long time, the Arabs were estranged, not united by one nation or leader. They had little in common beyond a shared language. This didn’t change until Mohammed ended polytheism, founding a new religion and uniting all of the Arabic tribes in their faith in one God: Allah.
Secrets of Arabia Series
Shrouded in mystery, the seven countries of the Arabian Peninsula with their amazing landscapes and ancient kingdoms are facing a rapid change. In fact, the black gold bubbling out of the sand catapulted most of the seven countries into modern times, almost overnight. Yet, preservation efforts and countless folk festivals testify to the great historical and cultural consciousness of the Arabs. A series that explores the exotic peninsula while presenting a fascinating juxtaposition of progress and tradition.
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Middle East Geography
The Middle East is in Southwest Asia. Much of the area is covered by dry, barren desert or rugged mountains. Earlier this century, large deposits of oil were discovered around the Persian Gulf. Today, oil is the main source of income for many Middle Eastern countries. Historically, the Middle East was the site of the world’s first cities and the birthplace of one of the world’s great religions – Islam. The majority of the population today is Muslim and the most widely spoken language is Arabic. In recent years, the region has suffered a series of wars and conflicts between neighbouring countries.
Middle Eastern Studies
In the closing decades of the twentieth century, successive crises and cataclysmic events in the Middle East, though obviously not unique to this region, have been widely publicized by the American mass media. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the subsequent oil crisis, the civil war in Lebanon, the Iranian revolution of 1978–1979 and the ensuing hostage crisis, the Iraq-Iran War of 1980–1988, the Intifadah in the West Bank and Gaza, the Gulf War, the continued bombing of Iraq, the Oslo Agreement between Palestinians and Israelis, and the World Trade Center bombing have increased Americans' awareness of the Middle East but not necessarily their understanding of its culture and society.
Zionism Topic Page
The rise of the Zionist movement in the late 19th cent. was influenced by nationalist currents in Europe, as well as by the secularization of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, which led many assimilated Jewish intellectuals to seek a new basis for a Jewish national life.
Series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims.