LANGUP project

West Asia

West Asia consists of Turkey, Syria, Georgia, Armenia, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen, The region where Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the 3 Abrahamic faiths originated. has its cultural roots in the civilisations of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia. Other indigenous religions include Zoroastrianism, Yazidism, Alevism, Drze and the Bahá’í Faith.

Today, almost 93% of Western Asia’s inhabitants are Muslims and is characterized by political Islamic, with the exception of Israel, a Jewish dominated state. At its north-western end, Armenia and Georgia have an unmistakable Christian tradition, while Lebanon shares a large Christian and a large Muslim community. Ethnically, the region is dominated by Arab, Persian, Kurdish, Azerbaijani, and Turkish people. Among them smaller indigenous groups are the Jewish, Assyrians, Druze, Samaritans, Yazidis and Mandeans. In great contrast, modern cities like Abu Dhabi, Amman, Riyadh, Tel Aviv, Doha and Muscat have developed on the coastal lands of the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf and at the periphery of the Arabian Desert.

“Western Asia” was in use as a geographical term in the early 19th century. In the context of the history of classical antiquity, “Western Asia” could mean the part of Asia known in classical antiquity, as opposed to the reaches of “interior Asia”, i.e. Scythia, and “Eastern Asia” the easternmost reaches of geographical knowledge in classical authors, i.e. Transoxania and India. In the 20th century, “Western Asia” was used to denote a rough geographical era in the fields of archaeology and ancient history, especially as a shorthand for “the Fertile Crescent excluding Ancient Egypt” for the purposes of comparing the early civilizations of Egypt and the former.