The Mashriq (Arabic: ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is the eastern part of the Arab world, located in Western Asia and eastern North Africa. This includes the Arab states of Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, but excludes the non-Arab states of Somalia, Djibouti and the Comoros, which are also members of the Arab League. Poetically the "Place of Sunrise", the name is derived from the verb sharaqa (Arabic: شرق "to shine, illuminate, radiate" and "to rise"), from sh-r-q root (ش-ر-ق), referring to the east, where the sun rises.
|Countries and territories|
As the word Mashriq refers to countries located between the Mediterranean Sea and Iran, it is the companion term to Maghreb (Arabic: ٱلْمَغْرِب), the western part of North Africa. Libya may be regarded as straddling the two regions, receiving influences from both the Maghreb and the Mashriq, with its eastern part (Cyrenaica) being linked more to Egypt and the Mashriq.
These geographical terms date from the early Islamic expansion. The Mashriq corresponds to the Bilad al-Sham and Mesopotamian regions combined. As of 2014[update], the Mashriq is home to 1.7% of the global population.
All of the countries located in the Arab Mashreq area are members of the Arab League (although Syria's membership is currently suspended), the Greater Arab Free Trade Area, and the United Nations. The region cooperates in several projects including the Arab Mashreq International Road Network and the Arab Mashreq International Railway. Several nations are also members of the GCC and others have tried to achieve political unity in the past, such as the United Arab Republic in the 1960s and 1970s, which originally included both Egypt and Syria.
- Arabia Felix
- Arabian Peninsula
- Cradle of civilization
- Fertile Crescent
- Maghreb, "Place of Sunset", which contrasts with Mashriq, "Place of Sunrise"
- Shaam (Greater Syria)
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