|Countries and territories|
The Mashriq (Arabic: مَـشْـرِق, also Mashreq, Mashrek) is the eastern or, less commonly, north-eastern part of the Arab world. This comprises the modern states of Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. Poetically the "place of sunrise", the name is derived from the verb sharaqa (Arabic: شرق "to shine, illuminate, radiate" and "to rise"), referring to the east, where the sun rises.
As the word Mashriq refers to countries bounded between the Mediterranean Sea and Iran, it is the companion term to Maghreb (Arabic: مَـغْـرِب), the western part of North Africa. Egypt occupies an ambiguous position: while it has cultural, ethnic and linguistic ties to both the Mashriq and the Maghreb, it is different from both, and is usually seen as being part of neither; however, when it is grouped with one or the other, it is generally considered as a part of the Mashriq, due to its closer ties to the Levant. Egypt and the Levant were often ruled as a single unit, as under the New Kingdom of Egypt, the Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluk Sultanate, and for a time, under Muhammad Ali of Egypt. Similarly, Libya may itself be seen as bifurcated between Mashriq and Maghreb influences, with its eastern part (Cyrenaica) seen as linked more to Egypt and the Mashriq.
These geographical terms date from the early Islamic expansion. This region is similar 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 (with the suspension of Syria), GAFTA, ICO[disambiguation needed] 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 in the GCC and others have tried unity before, such as United Arab Republic in the 60's and 70's.
- Fertile Crescent
- Arabian Peninsula
- Nile Valley
- Cradle of civilization
- Greater Syria
- Maghreb, "place of sunset", which contrasts Mashriq, "place of sunrise"
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- Official estimate of the Population of Egypt Archived May 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- UN estimate for Lebanon
- Official Jordanian population clock Archived January 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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- UN estimate for Syria
- "Iraq". The World Bank.
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