North Africa/Southwest Asia Essay

North Africa/Southwest Asia Essay

Egypt is often known as the “land of the civilizations” and has more than a 7000 year recorded history of civilization.  The country also has been a pioneer in science, art, architecture and culture.  The region was one of the first to have a unified societal entity.  One of the main geographical jewels of Egypt has been the river Nile, which begin from the Great Lakes in North Africa and empty themselves in the Mediterranean Sea.  The entire country of Egypt is a virtual desert, but it was for the Nile that several civilizations sprung on it bank.  The country is about 3 times the size of the state of New Mexico.  It was in the 7th century that Egypt embraced Islamism and since then, Islam has had a strong influence on the country.  The total area of Egypt is 1, 002, 000 square meters.  It has borders with Palestine, Libya and Sudan.  The country lies 50 feet above sea level and important cities include Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and Suez.  The population of Egypt as per the 2006 census figures has been 76.5 million with a growth rate of about 37 % since 1996.  About 42 % of the population lives in urban area and 58 % in rural areas. About 51 % of the population is male and 49 % female.  The rate of unemployment in the country is about 9.3% (Egypt State Information Service, 2006).

Iran or ‘Persia’ is about 1.6 million square kilometer in size, only slightly bigger than the state of Alaska.  The chief cities in Iran include Tehran, Isfahan, Shizaz, etc.  The country is a huge desert with areas of mountains and semiarid regions.  As the country lies below the Caspian Sea, it has a subtropical climate.  About 10 % of the country has lands which can be cultivated.  The population of Iran is about 70.5 million in 2007, with a growth rate of 1.6 %.  About 98 % of the population is Islamic.  More than 50 % of the population belongs to the Persian group and smaller fractions from the Azeri, Gilaki, Kurd and Arab communities also exist (US State Department, 2009).

These two countries mentioned from the Middle East have contrasting features compared to the United States of America.  Also these three nations are Republics which have the President as the Head.  The country of Iran concentrates on the Islamic code for the government in place.  The US has the 3rd or the 4th largest land area, and has diverse climatic and geographical regions ranging from temperate climate to desert and semiarid conditions.  Compared to the Middle East countries which have populations of Persian, Egyptians and Arabs, the United States has populations of Caucasians, Blacks and Native Americans (Infoplease, 2009).

Works Cited

Egypt State Information Service. “Land & people- Introduction.” 2006, Your Gateway to Egypt, 4 July 2009 http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/Land&people/intro/030100000000000001.htm.

Pearson Education. “United States – Government.” 2009, Infoplease, 4 July 2009

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0108121.html

U.S. Department of state. “Background Note: Iran.” March 2008, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, 4 July 2009 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/5314.htm.

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