The Middle East
The Middle East is a complicated place. It sits in Western Asia, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The climate is hot and dry. This region is an ancient one, and people have been living here for thousands of years. Many of the world’s religions began here, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
Most of the people in the Middle East are Muslim. Their religion is very important to them and they often have strict rules that may seem different than the rules most people in the United States live by. Remember, though, that for Muslims, the most important part of their faith is to love and serve God. Family is very important and most Muslims want peace. Parents want their children to be healthy and strong. Children want to play and make friends. This part of the world isn’t so different after all.
Fun Facts About the Middle East for Kids
- The Middle East is also called the Near East, especially when talking about history.
- 18 separate countries make up this region: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Northern Cyprus, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
- The most widely spoken languages in the Middle East are Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Berber and Kurdish.
- The largest cities in the Middle East are Cairo, Tehran, Istanbul, Baghdad, Riyadh, Jeddah and Ankara.
- The largest ethnic group in the Middle East are Arabs.
- Many countries in the Middle East are wealthy because they have large quantities of crude oil.
The Middle East Vocabulary
- Complicated: Difficult or convoluted
- Ancient: of great age; very old
- Strict: observing exact rules; severe; rigorous
All About the Middle East Video for Kids
This is the best video we found for kids to learn about the Middle East:
The Middle East Q&A
Question: Why is everything in the Middle East called very old or ancient?
Answer: Everything there is called old or ancient mostly because a lot of it is. From what scientists can tell human civilization began in this area. They even call part of it the cradle of civilization.
Question: People always talk about oil in the Middle East and how important it is. Is that the only place oil comes from?
Answer: 80% of the world’s accessible oil reserves come from Saudi Arabia, but it is not the only place we get oil. Russia and the United States also have oil reserves. The problem is that the available oil is limited at it is a limited resource. This fossil fuel takes millions of years and the right conditions of organic materials, intense heat and intense pressure to develop. Humans are burning oil at a much faster rate than nature can replenish it.
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