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Middle East Cultures and Religions


Explore the vastness and diversity of Middle Eastern culture from its literatures to its arts to languages, media, religion and popular culture from Pakistan to the Maghreb. This page will help you better grasp the differences between Arabs and non-Arabs in the Middle East, between Islam's major and minor sects as well as appreciate the great wealth and variety of cultures in the Middle East.
  1. Religions of the Middle East
  2. Middle East Media
  3. People, Traditions, Customs, Repressions and Legacies
  4. The Middle East in Movies, Literature and the Arts

Religions of the Middle East

The Middle East is the cradle of civilizations. It's also the cradle of the world's three largest religions--Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But religions in the Mideast are by no means limited to the Big Three. The varieties of religious experiences in the region has often been (and continues to be) cause for conflict. But understanding religious identity in the Middle East is almost indispensable to understanding the region as a whole or in its particulars.

Middle East Media

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Newspapers may be dying in the western world and other traditional media are wondering what place they'll have in a media landscape being remade every day by the Internet. Not in the Middle East, where an explosion of media old and new is all of a piece. These are exciting times for Middle East media, granting the world a window on a region slowly but unquestionably redefining itself and its place in the world.

People, Traditions, Customs, Repressions and Legacies

The cultures, histories and traditions separating or defining the lives of the the peoples of the people of the Middle East can be mind-boggling. The Middle East is a continent of cultures, a world of histories, a whirlwind of customs and traditions.

The Middle East in Movies, Literature and the Arts

At various times in history, Baghdad, Cairo and Beirut were world-renown hubs of culture and the arts. That's not as true today, but the Middle East--from Rabat to Tel Aviv to Lahore--is still a vibrant and in many ways re-emerging world of literature and art. Repressive regimes like Syria and Iran have their activist artists and dissidents. Embattled places like the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan have their unique voices of conscience. And everything from popular arts to philosophy finds its place in regions as varied as Jerusalem, Cairo and Casablanca.

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