The Middle East: Where only the fearless tread these days.

The Arab Spring has been devastating for tourism throughout most of the Middle East.  

Undergoing monumental social and political upheaval over the course of the last few years, and despite the ongoing uncertainty, many see this is a positive development towards freer societies. Tourism, however, of central historical importance to these economies, has taken a real hit by the violence and political instablity. Peope are afraid of being taken hostage and held for ransom. Most tourists go on vacation elsewhere. 

In countries like Egypt and Syria, whose cities and ruins attracted millions of tourists from all over the world only a few years ago, it’s been especially hard. At war, tourism is down in Syria by nearly 90%.

Tourism is striving in the UAE today, however, and a handful of other places and it is hoped that someday tourism will rebound throughout the region.

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Middle Eastern Cultures and Arab Society


The term "Middle East" is generally recognized today to refer to a region that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Afghanistan in the east, a distance of approximately 5,600 kilometers. It has a total population of around 300 million people and encompasses the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. The African countries of Mauritania and Sudan are also considered to be within the "Middle East." Thus, while Arab peoples dominate throughout most of the region, there is  still enormous diversity in the Middle East, with Arabs living in close proximity with many other peoples, Persians and Israelis to name only a couple of them.

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Faces of the Middle East

Middle East

The Middle East is a region of the world running from Western Asis to Northeast Africa. The term was created by the British. Thus, the "Middle East" is a political as well as geographical term, suggesting that this part of the world serves to seperate Europe ("the West") from the Far East.

Henna Painting Body Art


Henna is temporary body art (staining) based on certain those dyes in use throughout the Middle East. Henna has been used since antiquity to dye skin, hair and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wood, and leather. Many Middle Eastern communities and families sometimes choose to have a henna party about one week before a wedding. The henna party is smaller than the wedding, as only closer friends and family members are invited; the bride and groom wear traditional costumes as do some of the main guests. There is a lot of music and dancing.

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Dancing Cultures of the Middle East

Traditional dances of the Middle East are performed throughout the region, with higly distinct differences between subregions and cultures. The most prominent of these is belly dance, correctly termed raqs sharqi, raqs beledi depending on the style.

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