Map of the Near East

The Near East is a geopolitical and cultural term that commonly refers to a region encompassing Western Asia and parts of North Africa. This area is cradled by the birth of ancient civilisations and is often considered the cradle of civilisation, with historical and archeological treasures dating back to the early developments of human society. Countries in the Near East vary depending on different definitions but generally include nations such as Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, and Egypt. Some definitions may also embrace the Arabian Peninsula countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

Free Political Map of the Near East

The region’s history is one of profound significance, with the emergence of the earliest known human writing systems, the invention of the wheel, and the foundation of the major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all hailing from this area. Historically, it has been a nexus of trade routes, including the fabled Silk Road, which facilitated the exchange of goods, culture, and ideas between the East and the West. Over the centuries, the Near East has witnessed the rise and fall of powerful empires, such as the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. In the modern era, the region underwent tumult and transformation due to colonial interests, oil discoveries, and struggles for independence and sovereignty, leading to the current patchwork of nation-states. Clicking on the map opens the respective map  in large format:

Map Near East
Political Map of the Near East

Today, the Near East remains a focus of global interest due to its strategic geopolitical location, economic resources, particularly hydrocarbons, and the enduring cultural and historical legacy that continues to shape global civilisation.

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