People have farmed in the Middle East longer than anywhere else in the world.
The Middle East was the site of the first cities and ancient civilizations such as those of Sumer and Babylon.
Most people in the Middle East are Arabs.
Arabic is spoken in all Middle East countries except for Iran where Farsi (Persian) is spoken, Turkey where most speak Turkish and Israel where most speak Hebrew.
Most people in the Middle East are Muslims, but Lebanon has many Christians and Israel is mostly Jewish.
Many of the Arab countries of the Middle East — except Israel — are dominated by Islamic traditions.
Islamic countries of the Middle East are often ruled by kings and emirs, sultans and sheikhs who have absolute power. Yemen, Turkey and Israel are all republics. 452 FASCINATING FACT Agriculture was developed in the Middle East around 10,000 years ago.
The Jews of Israel are locked in a conflict with the Arab people the roots of which date back to the 1920s.
The people of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the richest in the world, with a yearly income of over $25,000 each.
The people of Yemen are among the poorest in the world, with a yearly income of just $325 each.