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History and Background The Arab world straddles two continents Asia and Africa and its long coastline gives it access to critical waterways The region offers a variety of climatic conditions from dry to seasonal rainfalls in Morocco Tunisia and the mountains of Lebanon Agriculture is a very important activity in the Arab world The most import products are wheat dates rice and olive oil which are main ingredients in the Arab cuisine Although there are differences between the Arab people from Morocco to the Persian Gulf Arab people enjoy a common bond of history culture and tradition It was in the Arab world where people first developed the system of writing scientific advances were also developed Rich cultures like Ancient Egypt Assyria and Babylonia began in this region The Arab culture has had many influences but Islam has shaped the culture like no other The message of Islam appeared for the first time in the Arabian Peninsula in the early seventh century and soon the faith expanded across North Africa the entire Middle East and extended to the borders of China A new and dynamic civilization was founded In fact while most of Europe was in the dark ages the ArabIslamic civilization was at its most glorious moment making significant contributions to science arts and the humanities that are still very alive in the world Today most of the ancient cities such as Marrakech and Baghdad with its great flavors and customs still exist and modern cities have been developed beside them Unfortunately they carry with them the common problem of modernization like overpopulation and pollution The Middle East is an area of international concern for several reasons strategic location oil resources and the recurring political instability It is also the birthplace of three great religions Christianity Judaism and Islam The region is composed of fifteen nations and four major languages Arabic Hebrew Turkish and Farsi It is a
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