The Effects of Geography
on Middle Eastern Culture

Geography affects ways that people live and is an important part of what we know as a culture. The geography of an area affects those who live there by its social, moral, and political influence on the society. Geography encompasses topography, vegetation, and specific features that an area has. The geography of an area helps to pose the following questions: What will we do for jobs?, Where will we live?, and what will we be able to eat? The answers to these questions, and many others, is what separates one culture from the next. Middle East is effected by the deserts, the location, and the rivers that surround it and make it what it is today.
In the Middle East, desert surrounds much of the Arabian Peninsula and parts of Northern Africa. These deserts have a strong impact on culture in the Middle East. Deserts are large, flat areas of sand with few plants and animals. These areas receive minimal amounts of rain each year, and have even gone without rain for up to ten years. A few deserts in the Middle East include the Rub Al Khali , the Sahara, the Namib, and the Kalahari.



These deserts affect culture because the occupations in the desert are very few and many jobs can easily be eliminated if you live in a desert. For instance, agricultural professions can be discounted because of lack of proper resources and environment. Also, many business jobs are thrown out because unless you live to the very edge of a desert, there will probably not be an office building close to you. Also, the concerns of the people are different. We may drink a glass of water and dump the rest out in the sink when those who live in the desert realize the importance of such a resource and would never do such a thing. Another reason why the desert is important is because it acts as a natural boundary and makes an area much harder to attack in war.
Another example of how geography can change a culture is location. The location of an area determines what the temperature will be, what the weather will be like, and the natural resources found in that particular area. For example, as you get closer to the equator, the temperature rises. Since the Middle Eastern areas are just above the equator, the temperatures can get very high. Also, in the Middle East, location plays a part in the large amount of oil they possess. Although there is no proven reason why oil occurs so much naturally there, we must assume that location is important. The Middle East is surrounded by many seas, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. The Arabian Peninsula borders the Indian Ocean. The Arabian Peninsula is also located right in between three separate continents: Asia, Europe and Africa.



Location is a very important part of culture because it affects it in many ways. Many Middle Eastern countries main natural resource is oil. Many people who live in the Middle East probably have jobs in association with the oil business because it is an important part of Middle Eastern life. Also, the weather and the temperature affect the way people eat and dress. In the Middle East when it is hot, it is important to dress appropriately so that you can stay cool. Also, you have to maintain a proper diet and drink a lot of fluids. These basic ideas have probably been incorporated into their culture.
The last thing that affects Middle Eastern culture is rivers. Rivers are not that abundant in the Middle east, but there are some. Probably the most famous of them all is the Nile River, which is the longest river in the world. There are also two other rivers that are important and they are the Tigris and the Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers form an area called the Fertile Crescent. This area has rich soil and is particularly good for planting and agricultural uses. The Nile River also forms a valley in which there is also very fertile soil and good farming areas.
The rivers affected Middle Eastern culture in many ways. Many people took advantage of the good soil and