- Middle East: Topic Page
Indeterminate area now usually taken to include Egypt and the Arab states of the eastern Mediterranean and Arabian Peninsula, sometimes extended to the states of northwest Africa, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan: Topic Page
Officially Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, republic (2005 est. pop. 29,929,000), 249,999 sq mi (647,497 sq km), S central Asia. The capital and largest city is Kabul.
- Arabian Peninsula: Topic Page
The peninsula within which Saudi Arabia (the largest and most populous state), Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait are situated.
- Bahrain: Topic Page
The Kingdom of Bahrain, a former Emirate and now a constitutional hereditary monarchy, is an archipelago consisting of more than 30 islands in the Persian Gulf.
- Iran: Topic Page
The country's name was changed from Persia to Iran in 1935. Iran is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea; on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and on the west by Turkey and Iraq.
- Iraq: Topic Page
Country in southwest Asia, bounded north by Turkey, east by Iran, southeast by the Gulf and Kuwait, south by Saudi Arabia, and west by Jordan and Syria.
- Israel: Topic Page
The State of Israel is a small country in the E Mediterranean. Inland lie the Judaeo-Galilean highlands, from N Israel to the N tip of the Negev Desert in the S. To the E lie part of the Great Rift Valley, River Jordan, Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea.
- Jordan: Topic Page
Country in southwest Asia, bounded north by Syria, northeast by Iraq, east, southeast, and south by Saudi Arabia, south by the Gulf of Aqaba, and west by Israel.
- Kuwait: Topic Page
Country in southwest Asia, bounded north and northwest by Iraq, east by the Gulf, and south and southwest by Saudi Arabia.
- League of Arab States: Topic Page
Arab League, popular name for the League of Arab States, formed in 1945 in an attempt to give political expression to the Arab nations. The original charter members were Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan (now Jordan), Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. A representative of Palestinian Arabs, although he did not sign the charter because he represented no recognized government, was given full status and a vote in the Arab League. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was granted full membership in 1976. Other current members include Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea (pending in 1999), Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Lebanon: Topic Page
The Republic of Lebanon is a country on the E shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Oman: Topic Page
The Sultanate of Oman is the oldest independent nation in the Arab world. It occupies the SE corner of the Arabian peninsula and includes the tip of the Musandam Peninsula which is separated from the rest of Oman by UAE territory. This peninsula overlooks the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
- Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries: Topic Page
A multinational organization (est. 1960) that coordinates petroleum policies and economic aid among oil-producing nations. Members consist of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador (membership suspended 1992-2007), Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. Indonesia was a member but suspended its membership in 2008. Saudi Arabia has traditionally dominated the organization, owing to its enormous oil reserves; the organization's members produce about 40% of the world's crude oil.
- Pakistan: Topic Page
Officially Islamic Republic of Pakistan, republic (2005 est. pop. 162,420,000), 310,403 sq mi (803,944 sq km), S Asia.
- Palestine: Topic Page
Territory in the Middle East, on the E shore of the Mediterranean Sea; considered a Holy Land by Jews, Christians and Muslims.
- Persian Gulf: Topic Page
Arm of the Arabian Sea, 90,000 sq mi (233,100 sq km), between the Arabian peninsula and Iran, extending c.600 mi (970 km) from the Shatt al Arab delta to the Strait of Hormuz, which links it with the Gulf of Oman. It is called the Arabian Gulf in the Arab world.
- Saudi Arabia: Topic Page
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, comprising most of the Arabian peninsula.
- Syria: Topic Page
The Syrian Arab Republic borders on Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea in the west, on Turkey in the northwest and north, on Iraq in the east and south, and on Jordan and Israel in the southwest. Damascus is the country's capital and its largest city.
- United Arab Emirates: Topic Page
A federation of sheikhdoms located in SE Arabia, on the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The federation, commonly known as the UAE, consists of seven sheikhdoms: Abu Dhabi (territorially the largest of the sheikhdoms), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qaiwain. The city of Abu Dhabi (1991 est. pop. 798,000) in Abu Dhabi is the capital.
- Yemen (Republic): Topic Page
The present nation of Yemen was formed in 1990, when the Yemen Arab Republic (the former Yemen or Northern Yemen) and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (the former Southern Yemen) were unified.