Middle East Explained - The Religions, Languages, and Ethnic Groups

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Published on Nov 23, 2017
The Middle East is at the center of everything, and is home to many ethnic groups which don't always get along.

The middle east is usually associated with muslims and arabs, but muslim arabs are only a part of the middle east. The middle east is also home to Turks, Persians, Kurds, Jews, Assyrians and many others.

Most of the countries of the middle east are muslim, but Israel is jewish, and Lebanon has a large christian minority. But islam is dividing into two main groups, the sunnis and the shias.

Shia muslims mostly live in Iran, southern Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, and Northern Yemen, while Sunni muslims are the most common muslims worldwide.

Iran and Saudi Arabia take advantage of the sunni-shia devide to claim spheres of influence in the middle east, and many conflicts split down sunni-shias lines, such as the Yemeni Civil War and the Iraqi Civil War and the Syrian Civil War

Not all muslims are arab though. Turkey and Iran are definitely not Arab and speak Turkish and Persian respectively. Most arabic speakers are arab, though many non-arabs who live near arabs speak arabic for convenience such as the Coptic Christians of Egypt and Maronite Christians of Lebanon, and the Alawites of Syria.

The President of Syria is a Shia Alawite even though the majority Syria is Sunni Arab, this contributes to tensions in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.

One sunni group fighting in the Syrian Civil War called Daesh or ISIS or ISIL decided to invade neighbouring Iraq and started the Iraqi Civil War and fought against the Shia Arabs, and the Kurds in iraqi Kurdistan.

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