The Middle East and its intriguing, fascinating multi-faceted history throughout mankind’s trajectory has an appeal that is equally inviting and challenging. From invaders and crusaders to modern day adventure travelers, the Middle East continues to be a magnet that attracts people from all walks of life and from every corner of the world. Religious pilgrims and secular travelers converge to the epicenter of faith and conflict, sharing the sites of the greatest battlegrounds of human civilization.
Much criticism exist about the broader definition of the Middle East terminology definition which includes as many as eighteen countries. With some of those countries in North Africa, Europe and Asia, and in the Arabian Peninsula, my purist definition of Middle East is a lot smaller. Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria are to me the true Middle East, leaving Egypt in North Africa, Turkey in Europe and Asia, Iran in Asia, the Golf Countries as part of the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq in the Mesopotamian civilization, and Yemen in Africa.
Either if five or eighteen countries make the Middle East list according to personal worldviews and geopolitical events, it is undeniable that they comprise the most fascinating world of colors, scents, flavors, and sounds. From its strategic routes linking Europe to Asia and Africa that brought warriors and crusaders to Palestina to modern day tourists and adventure travelers, the Middle East hosts the most diverge group of visitors in the world.
Reflecting the cultural, religious, and social diversity of the Middle East, that is often ignored, religious and seculars alike flock into this relatively small swath of land in the world. The faithful who seek to visit shrines and sacred grounds for the three largest world religions and the secular and liberal adventurers who seek the thrills of the desert and the flavorful cuisine, find countless reasons to enjoy the natural resources and rich history of human civilization throughout the ages.