There is no set definition for the area known as the Middle East since shifts in global power over the years have affected the topography. Now, however, the region can expansively be said to contain “the area from Libya E to Afghanistan, usually including Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the other countries of the Arabian peninsula” (dictionary.com). This geographical definition can be said to contain both the ‘Near East’, ‘Middle East’, and even farther to the East and into Africa be described as the ‘Greater Middle East’, so the Middle East can only be loosely defined, and it is important to know that these countries are separate and do not truly form one cooperative unit.
It is believed that the area was where human civilization first started with the Sumerians in the Fertile Crescent, or Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, namely modern day Iraq. Ten thousand years have passed since, and the area has seen much conflict, but the many invasions by great civilizations, such as the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires, have made the Middle East into the ethnically, racially, linguistically, culturally, and politically diverse culture that it is today.
The last of these huge empires was the Ottoman, only broken up around 1920, during World War I, which was a critical time in the history of the modern Arab world. This was when Great Britain really started to delve into Arabic affairs, which is actually where the name Middle East comes from; “The term's origins are seeped in controversy for having originally been a European imposition of geographic perspective according to European spheres of influence. East from where? From London. Why ‘Middle’? Because it was half-way between the United Kingdom and India, the Far East” (middleeast.about.com). In November of 1914, the Ottoman Empire neglected their neutrality, as the United States was to do later, and declared a jihad (holy war) against the Triple Entente. This resulted in an attack of the Suez Canal in February of 1915 which ended in failure; however it changed many things that could have happened in the war, such as forcing Britain to change its military stratagems.
From 1915 to 1920, the Ottoman Empire’s war against Great Britain was mainly unsuccessful, resulting in a Triple Entente army conquering the city of Jerusalem on December 11th, 1917 (BBC). Since it was mainly the British army which was fighting in the area, and the other two powers were out of...