The Middle East has incredible diversity, rich history, and fascinating cultures. From the sparkling waters of the Persian Gulf to the towering peaks of the Zagros Mountains, this part of the world is home to many different peoples, languages, and traditions. If you want to expand your knowledge of this incredible region, get ready to be amazed by these 18 fun and exciting facts about Middle Eastern countries. The Middle East is full of surprises and wonders that captivate your imagination. So, buckle up and get ready for a journey of discovery in alphabetical order!
Interesting Facts About Middle East Countries
The world’s first and oldest oil paintings are said to be found in Bamyan, central Afghanistan. Dating back nearly 14 centuries (650 AD), it was discovered by scientists who were trying to restore damaged murals found within caves in the Bamiyan Valley. The Bamiyan Valley was famed for having two of the world’s largest representations of the Buddha, which were destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban who deemed the statues as Islamic idolatry.
Did you know Bahrain is famous for its Tree of Life, a 400-year-old Prosopis cineraria tree that stands alone in the middle of the desert? Despite being surrounded by barren land with no visible water source, the Tree continues to survive and thrive. It’s considered a natural wonder and attracts many visitors each year. The Tree of Life in Bahrain has defied the harsh desert environment and survived for centuries, so whenever you think something is impossible, remember this incredible fact!
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Did you know Cyprus is the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite? According to Greek mythology, Aphrodite was born from the sea foam near the coast of Cyprus. Today, visitors can visit where she was said to have emerged from the sea, now known as “Aphrodite’s Rock”. It’s a popular tourist destination and is believed to bring good luck in love to those who swim around it.
Did you know that the Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, measuring 230 meters long and 147 meters tall? It was built in the early 26th century BC, and took 27 years to complete. The Great Sphinx, another wonder of Egypt, measures 20 meters tall and 73 meters long. Speculated to have been built in 2500 BC, both features are fascinating ancient monuments that have stood the test of time!
Did you know that Iran is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world – the Persian Empire? The Persian Empire was one of the most powerful empires in history, lasting over 200 years! The Persians were known for their rich culture, art, and architecture, and they also invented many things we still use today, such as the windmill and the qanat, an underground irrigation system.
Iraq is home to the second largest city in Arab after Cairo, Baghdad. Baghdad was founded in 762 CE and was once one of the world’s wealthiest and most important cities. It was a center for learning, culture, and trade, known for its beautiful architecture and gardens.
Israel is home to the world’s lowest place on dry land, called the Dead Sea. The salt content of the Dead Sea is also much higher than that of regular seawater. The high salt content also makes the water very buoyant, making it easy to float in it!
Did you know that Jordan is home to the ancient city of Petra, one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites? Petra was carved out of pink sandstone rock, more than 2,000 years ago and was once a bustling city that was an important center for trade and commerce.
You might know this, but Kuwait is home to one of the tallest towers in the world, called the Kuwait Towers. The Kuwait Towers are three towers that rise to 187 meters high and are shaped like giant water droplets. The towers are not only a popular tourist attraction but also serve as water storage tanks that hold over 4 million gallons of water!
Lebanon is home to the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, called Byblos. Did you know that Byblos was founded over 7,000 years ago and has been continuously inhabited ever since? The city is also home to one of the world’s oldest and most famous libraries, which contains thousands of books and manuscripts from different periods of history.
Did you know that Oman is home to one of the world’s largest deserts, the Empty Quarter? It covers an area of about 650,000 square kilometers. The desert is so vast and barren that it’s largely unexplored. The Empty Quarter is also home to various plant and animal life, including the Arabian Oryx, a type of antelope native to the region.
Palestine is the home of the Church of the Nativity, one of the world’s most significant religious sites, and it’s located in the city of Bethlehem, which is in Palestine. The church is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ and is considered one of the holiest places for Christians worldwide. The site has a long and rich history of over 1,500 years.
Qatar is the wealthiest country in Arab, with a GDP per capita of over USD 60,000! This means that, on average, each person in Qatar earns over USD 60,000 per year, more than any other country worldwide. Qatar’s wealth is primarily due to its vast oil and gas reserves.
14. Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is home to the largest desert in the world, the Rub’ al Khali, also known as the “Empty Quarter.” This massive desert covers over 650,000 square miles and stretches across four countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. The desert is home to various unique plant and animal species, including the Arabian camel and the desert hyacinth.
Syria is home to one of the world’s oldest capital, Damascus, which is believed to have been continuously inhabited for over 11,000 years! Damascus is a city rich in history and culture, with many ancient landmarks and attractions. The city is known for its traditional markets, souks, where visitors can buy spices, textiles, and handicrafts.
Did you know that Turkey is the only country in the world on two continents? Europe and Asia! The part of Turkey in Europe is called Thrace, while the part in Asia is called Anatolia. This unique location has made Turkey a hub for trade and transportation for thousands of years.
17. United Arab Emirates
The UAE is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which stands a whopping 829 meters (2,722 feet) tall! Located in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa took six years to build, which was completed in 2010. It has 163 floors. The Burj Khalifa is an impressive feat of engineering and a symbol of the UAE’s rapid development and progress.
Yemen is known for producing some of the best coffee in the world! The country has a long history of coffee cultivation, and its coffee beans are highly prized for their unique flavor and aroma. Yemeni coffee is grown on steep mountain slopes, and the beans are typically hand-picked and sun-dried, which gives them their distinctive flavor. Yemeni coffee is often described as having a rich, full-bodied taste with hints of fruit and spice. Whenever you sip your sweet coffee, remember Yemen produces the best coffee in the world!
Learn Interesting Facts About 18 Middle East Countries
From the tallest building in the world in the UAE to the ancient city of Damascus in Syria, the Middle East is full of fascinating and unique countries with rich cultures, traditions, and histories. Whether it’s the delicious food in Lebanon, the incredible architecture in Iran, or the beautiful beaches of Oman, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in the Middle East. So, next time you want to learn about a new part of the world, remember to explore the fascinating countries of the Middle East!