The Middle East typically refers to the region stretching from the northern part of eastern Africa all the way to Pakistan. The region is centered around the Arabian peninsula with the Persian Gulf being the critical component of the region.

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Why did Egypt forbid entry of Israeli ships into the Suez canal in 1956?

In 1956, as a response to withdrawal of American aid for the High Aswan dam, Nasser nationalized the Suez canal giving freedom of transit through it to all countries except Israel. Why did they do ...
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A zoo during the rule of Omayyad or Abbasid dynasty?

I recall that when I was in high school that I read a text -which sounds more like a legend- about an Arabic Sultan/Caliph who on a trip trough his empire passed by an injured (wild) animal (don't ...
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324 views

Primary sources from Umayyad times

Background Most narratives about the events during the Umayyad rule come from sources that were compiled during the succeeding Abbasid rule. Since the Abbasids came to power through armed ...
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What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule in Anatolia?

What property relations existed between peasants and those who took from peasants in early Ottoman rule (1300-1450) in Anatolia? How was social surplus extracted from peasants, by who, with what ...
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Asir's role in the Arab Revolt

The Arab Revolt against the Ottomans is portrayed as being primarily a Hejazi phenomenon but I have read (briefly) that Asir, a territory between Hejaz and Yemen revolted first and the Sherif of Mecca ...
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Origin of land-lottery system

A report from 1894 describes the Musha'a land tenure system in the Arab villages of Palestine: the agricultural lands of the village are considered common property, and they are divided each year ...
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633 views

Why has bidet use not spread to the northern countries of Europe? [closed]

As wikipedia states, the bidet is quite common in southern European countries (in Italy for example, it is found in 95% of households), in the Middle East and in East Asia. Conversely, bidets are ...
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344 views

Did Mohammed exist, or was he created as a figurehead afterwards?

I have been listening to a podcast, called "The History of Byzantium" and in one of the episodes there was a discussion about the lack of reference to Mohammad or Qur'an in the century after his death,...
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Baldwin IV, the Leper King

Baldwin IV was crowned King of Jerusalem, from 1174 until his death in 1186 at the ripe old age of 24. As a child, his tutor, William of Tyre, discovered he had leprosy. Understanding that he was the ...
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2k views

Ancient and medieval canteens (water-bottles)

Nowadays, water-bottles, aka canteens, are routinely issued to soldiers who serve in warm climates. Was it the case in ancient times? In the Middle Ages? The case I have in mind is the Battle of ...
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Is there a correlation between modern Middle East uprisings/wars and Ramadan?

One cannot help but notice that the current shelling of Israel by Hamas has started in the month of Ramadan. So did the war of 1973 and a few other troubles. Is this just a coincidence, or is there ...
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Are there any existing foreign language teaching texts from the Ancient Near East?

The various cultures of the Ancient Near East spoke a wide array of languages and we know that there was plenty of communication between cultures. We even have a language like Akkadian that served as ...
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211 views

Who owns the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone after the 1991 Gulf War?

According to Wikipedia, the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone was created in 1922 by the British-controlled Iraq and the Sultanate of Nejd (the predecessor of Saudi Arabia). The same article continues: As ...
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Ancient Israelite contact with Indo-Europeans?

It is well-documented that the ancient Israelite tribes came into contact with Indo-European groups in Canaan such as the Philistines (P'lishtim) (most likely migrants from Crete), and later the ...
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413 views

How did Urdun come to be called Jordan?

In the Middle East, everybody calls this country something more like "Urdun" or "Ordon". How did it come to be called "Jordan" in the West? What is the history of the name of this country?
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How many Jewish refugee have been expelled out of Arab lands and when?

Were the Jews in Arab countries driven out after the Six Days War or in 1948 like some Palestinians in Israel? Did they lose their land? I checked this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_refugees
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Why was Oslo I Accord so harsh or controversial?

The Oslo I Accord was an attempt in 1993 to set up a framework that would lead to the resolution of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It was the first face-to-face agreement between the ...
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Middle east and North africa population during the high middle ages

I am looking for this information everywhere, but I can't seem to find the population of anyone else but the Europeans during the middle ages. We know that the population of the European countries ...
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Are these Houthi Rebels in Yemen the same people who ran the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen?

I saw on the news that the area of Houthi control roughly corresponded to North Yemen, which was a kingdom overthrown with Nasser's help in 1962. Are these Houthis the same sort of people who were the ...
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208 views

Why did Nebuchadnezzar keep King Jeconiah alive?

When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem he appointed Zedekiah as his puppet-king and took King Jeconiah and his sons home with him. For what reasons would the king of a large empire of antiquity, ...
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What were normal bathing habits in Cairo in 1798?

In the old western world we did not bath much after the fall of the Roman Empire. I was wondering if that is the same for the population in Egypt in around 1798. This leads me to 2 questions 1) Did ...
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Were the Hashemite kings of Iraq and Transjordan considered foreign?

The British gave two sons of Sheriff Husein (of Mecca) rule over the new political entities of Transjordan and Iraq after WWI. They were both born in the Hijaz (now in West Saudi Arabia), not the area ...
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Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources first before invading Soviet Union?

Why didn't Hitler invade Middle East for resources instead of Soviet Union? Or at least invade Middle East first to secure the resources needed for sustained military operation? I understand Hitler ...
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Josephus' writings about Kafr Yasif

I was reading the Wikipedia page on Kafr Yasif where it is stated that: Kafr Yasif appears in the writings of the Roman Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. without providing a reference. I googled ...
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History of the Levant and Israel - 2000 BCE to the bronze age collapse - where to find info?

Where can I find information about the period 2000 BCE - 1300 BCE in the Levant with focus on Caanites and (possibly) proto-Hebrews? Period from the very beginning of the tribal organization of what ...
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Which is the Historical Khorasan

The word Khorasan finds mention in many ancient texts pointing to a place in Middle east to Afghanistan . The question is what were the boundaries of the historical Khorasan which parts of the middle ...
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256 views

What historical evidence do we have for the Prophet Muhammed? [closed]

In the Sahih-Bukhari, a generally accepted collection of the times and sayings of the Prophet, there are a number of reports of contacts with other nations & empires; for example: Allah's ...
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Iran: Zoroastrianism and Islam

If Zoroastrianism is so strong in Iran, why was there an Islamic revolution? Why is it proclaimed as the Islamic Republic of Iran?
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342 views

If the Iraq War was because of their oil, has the US achieved their war aims [closed]

Let's assume: The United States of America started the 2003 Iraq war to obtain Iraqi oil. The Iraq war was very costly for the Americans, and a long and unfinished war has always made the ...
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142 views

Historical causes of the civil wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria? [closed]

Based on historic trade and migration routes between the Mediterranean and Persia, India, and China, are the populations in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria more heterogeneous than that of their neighbors? ...
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272 views

Does prohibition of polygamy always correlate well with democracy? [closed]

There are only 2 countries in the Middle East where polygamy is illegal: Israel and Turkey. There are only 2 countries in the Middle East that are true democracies: Israel and Turkey. Lebanon is ...
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Why did the Arab spring and Iranian Green movement failed for the most part, but the European revolution did not? [closed]

Why did the Arab spring back a few years ago failed for the most part, the Iranian green movement didn't get the result it wanted, but the European revolutions (such as the French revolution, ...
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What responsibility did Golda Meir have for the Yom Kippur war?

I read in the book "The Iron Wall" by Avi Shlaim, there was a description of the Yom Kippur war that happened due to Golda Meir's insistence on keeping parts of Sinai and not trading them to Egypt ...
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How many stones high are the pyramids of Giza? [closed]

How many stones high are the pyramids of Giza, on the outside? There are three pyramids, did they have a pre-determined number of stones in height? in that case was it representative of something? ...