Middle East & North Africa
Comprising of the western portion of Asia from Iran, through the Arabian peninsula, and across the northern portion of Africa – the Middle East and North Africa is a distinctly exotic land, shrouded with myth, mystery, and the desert.
Much of the region is arid and uninhabitable, yet it remains the birthplace of civilization with Mesopotamia residing in what is now modern day Iraq.
Language & Culture
Early influences arose out of the desert, and the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Phoenicia, Greece, Carthage, and Rome. The region is home to numerous sites of human heritage. But with the birth of Islam, the many tribes and nations came under a single religious banner. Though this did not stop the fighting.
Many languages exist in the region, but you will find Arabic to be the primary language spoken. In Iran, you will hear Persian (Urdu) amongst many other local languages. Every region has a slightly different dialect, and numerous local languages. You will also find French, and occasionally Spanish and English spoken in the region. This is due to colonization, and modern development.
As a whole, the region is conservative, and deeply religious. While Islam rules, Christianity has also played prominent role in the cultural development in the region alongside Judaism, Druze, and Zoroastrianism.
Stability & Development
While a few countries exist in peace and stability such as the Cyprus and the UAE, the region as a whole is a hotbed of turmoil. Violence, extremism, and tribal warfare plague the region and displace millions of people. There are many refugees of displaced peoples from all over. Human rights issues also doge the region.
Despite the turmoil, vast reserves of oil have made the nations in the region quite rich. Extravagance is something easily found in modern and ancient cities alike. In the region of the Middle East and North Africa, be prepared to see gold-festooned Sheiks and princes, and nomads who would not be out of place in the stories of Aladdin.