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The Middle East is a grand, epic, ancient and complicated land. It is a transcontinental region that is centred amongst Asia, Africa and Europe. The Middle East is home to a cradle of cultures spread throughout 18 different cultures, speaking around 60 different languages. The Middle East has a population of around 371 million . The largest country is Saudi Arabia and the smallest is Bahrain.
The Middle East’s history dates back to ancient times . The geographical location of the region has been acknowledged for millennia and many empires have occupied this land. There are several key religions that can trace their origins back to the Middle East, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Mandaeism, Unitarian Druze, the Baha’i faith and numerous others.
The Middle East for the most part has a hot and arid climate, with vast regions of desert. Several rivers flow throughout the region that provide irrigation and support agriculture. The majority of countries that border the Persian Gulf are rich in crude oil which have turned this part of the region into an emerging modern powerhouse.
The Middle East is home to some incredible cities from modern metropolises to some of the oldest and most ancient inhabited places in the world including Istanbul, Dubai, Bahrain, Jerusalem, Cairo, Esfahan and Qatar just to name a few. In the Middle East you can find some of the most incredible and stirring architecture in the world, which distinguishes between the faiths and encapsulates the magic of this land.
Because Carnival is so closely associated with the Catholic Church the Middle East is not the first thing that may come to mind when thinking about Carnival. However there are several carnival celebrations that happen throughout the region. You have Purim in Israel which has been called the Jewish Mardi Gras, in Dubai they celebrate the Happiness Day Carnival and even in Baghdad you have a Peace Carnival