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The Middle East is not a continent, but rather a region spanning across south-western Asia, southeastern Europe and north-eastern Africa. This part of the world is often in the news, most notably due to the recent war in Iraq and other civil unrest in countries like Israel, Lebanon and Yemen.
Despite the bad publicity, the Middle East has a lot to offer to travellers – historically and culturally. The Pyramids of Giza, Palmyra in Syria, Petra in Jordan and Persepolis in Iran are reminders of the region's glorious past. The largest sandsea in the world, the Rub' al Khali, literally the Empty Quarter in English, can be found here in the Middle East. In fact, large parts are dry deserts but still many people manage to live here, mainly along major rivers like the Nile and Tigris.
Travelling in this region is pleasantly easy. However, the differences in travelling costs between the cheaper countries like Iran and Syria and the more developed places like Oman and Dubai can be huge. Spend some time in this part of the world and enjoy the sights and experiences it has to offer.
Despite having no consequent borders, there are huge similarities between many of the countries. Like mentioned above, huge parts are arid. But grasslands, fertile river beds and moutainous areas are not absent at all. The southern part of the Arabian Peninsula mainly consists of sandseas and mountains. Especially the southwest of Saudi Arabia and parts of Oman and Yemen have high moutains with possible snowfall in winter. More to the north, the mountains are lower and sand makes places for rocks and gravel and lowlying deserts like the Syrian Desert and Iranian Desert can get extremely hot in summer and cold in winter. High mountains can be found in the west and north of Iran as well, with ski slopes just an hour away from Tehran. Many of the countries are bordered by waters. The Mediterrean Sea in the west, the Black Sea and Caspian Sea to the north and the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to the south all form borders of the Middle East. Rivers like the Euphrates and Tigris form the backbone of Iraq and most people live along these rivers.
|State of Palestine||Jerusalem (disputed)|
|United Arab Emirates||Abu Dhabi|
|Yemen Arab Republic||Sana'a|
See also: Famous Landmarks
The Middle East has good connections by plane from a wide range of countries, including direct flights from many Asian, African and European cities and several direct flights from the USA and Australia as well. Dubai probably is the main hub which has by far the most flights and for the best prices. You can enter the Middle East overland easily from mainland Africa (Egypt), Europe (through Turkey) and Asia (route from India and Pakistan). Ferries connect some countries, mainly across the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
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Ask t_maia a question about Middle East
4 years of learning Arabic (not very successfully I admit), taking Middle Eastern studies at university and 3 months living in Palestine have got to be good for something - I'll try to help you the best I can.
Ask Overlandin a question about Middle East
I spent 5 years as a Overland Tour Leader in the Middle East and Africa running tours anywhere between Istanbul and Cape Town. Plus 2 years working as a Dive master in the Red Sea.
Ask Alina.Cristian a question about Middle East
I was there !
Ask edipo27 a question about Middle East
I can help travelers heading to Palestine, Israel and Jordan.
Ask sico a question about Middle East
ask me anything about jordan israel or egypt
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