Southwestern Asia

The Middle East

There are 15 countries in southwest Asia. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, State of Palestine, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Physical Features


Southwest Asia has active plate tectonics, desert climates, and various water ways!

Physical Geography

Tectonic plates in southwest Asia have caused earthquakes and collisions between the plates form mountains and plateaus which make up the bulk of the region.

ex. the Antollian Peninsula (spreads across central and western Turkey)

ex. Hindu Kush range goes through Afghanistan and some of Pakistan

The Arabian Peninsula

The countries in the Arabian Peninsula include Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and several other countries,it is a single vast plateau that slopes gently.

Wadis and Oasises

In Southwestern Asia many Wadis and Oasises are located throughout the desert region. An oasis is a small area in the desert which has a water source that that is permanent and allows more plants to grow. A wadi is the same as a gully or wash, it's a dry water course that only has water flowing after a significant rainfall. Which happens very rarely throughout the year but rainfall does happen many Wadis appear.

Bodies of Water

The country has large coastlines also surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Red Sea. Due to the Suez Canal, the Red Sea has been the busiest waterway since 1969. The Suez Canal is located in Egypt and connects the Mediterranean Sea to a northern part of the Red Sea, the Suez Gulf. Southeast of the Arabian Peninsula has part of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Peninsula. The Strait of Hermoz connects the Persian Gulf. It is a strait connecting the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf. Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran all border the Persian Gulf. The Dead Sea is located between Israel and Jordan, the sea is landlocked. The sea is also the lowest sea in the world having a height of 1,200 feet below sea level. The two most important rivers of the region are the Tigris river and the Euphrates, they flow parallel to each other over an alluvial plain which is a large flat land form created by the flow of sediment over time by multiple rivers, for example the Euphrates and Tigris river.

Persian Gulf Space View

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  • The Arabian desert covers most of the Arabian Peninsula. In the Arabian Desert, the world's largest land sea is located in the southern tip of the peninsula known as Rab'al Khah.

  • On the coast of Southwest Asia, climate is Mediterranean and quite moist due to being by the moisture of the water. Much of Western Turkey also has a Mediterranean climate.

  • Water is very scarce and minimal due to the climate being quite arid, although when it rains throughout the desert water rushes throughout the desert quickly, and desert plants turn lush and green.\

  • Due to limited supply to water, settlement patterns and human history have shaped the region quite heavily.

Natural Resources

  • Oil and Natural gas/ Petroleum are very important to the region providing many jobs and businesses due to them.

  • Southwest Asia has many large large coal deposits located throughout most of the region.

  • Iron, copper, gold, cobalt, lithium, and other natural resources are used into the creation and making of electronic devices in Southwestern Asia.


Arab-Israeli Conflict

During the Holocaust many Jews fled Europe seeking asylum in Southwest Asia. As the population increased, so did the tension. Jewish nationalists wanted the reestablishment of their homeland in Palestine. In 1947 to help ease the problem the United Nations voted to divide the territory into two states, one Arab one Jewish. The arabs rejected the proposal. When Israel became a country, Arab countries invaded. Since then numerous wars have been fought between the Arabs and the Jews.

Civil Wars, Conflict and Terrorism

  • Oil being such a valuable commodity has caused and contributed to various conflicts.
  • Civil wars have changed governments(Iran 1970s), weakened states(Lebanon/Afghanistan), and annexed countries(Kuwait).
  • After the events of 9/11 the United States took out the Taliban and sparked the Persian Gulf War two years later.
  • The US and the UK invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein

Life and Culture