In this useful reference to the geography of North Africa and the Middle East, students can find information about the economic, social, and political influences that affect this diverse region. On both a local and global scale, North Africa and the Middle East explores the areas bordering the southern and eastern Mediterranean Sea, from Morocco in the west to Iran in the east. It was in this region where humankind first developed cities along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in present-day Iraq, and where some of the world’s most powerful empires and civilizations rose and fell thousands of years ago. This region is also the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And religion, along with the power struggle over oil, has served to make the area a tinderbox between its more conservative inhabitants and the Western nations that have played a part in the region’s development since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Some of these changes are political, ethnic, religious, and demographic in nature and lend variation to a culture that might otherwise be perceived as homogeneous. In this one-volume reference, students and teachers of geography will come to know North Africa and the Middle East, from the inside out.