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World Factbook

If you are interested in detailed information about World Facts, please visit: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

The World Factbook is in the public domain and provides a wealth of information on all the countries around the world. The World Factbook is a one-stop reference site.

View or download the Middle East Map

IRAN: Introduction>Background:
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and Shah Mohammad Reza PAHLAVI was forced into exile.                                                             Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html

IRAQ: Introduction>Background:
Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932.                                                                                             Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/iz.html

ISRAEL: Introduction>Background:
Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides.                                       Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html

JORDAN: Introduction>Background:
Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99).                                                                                        Read more... click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html

EGYPT: Introduction>Background:
The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C., and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/eg.html

GAZA STRIP: Introduction>Background:
The September 1993 Israel-PLO Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements provided for a transitional period of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Under a series of agreements signed between May 1994 and September 1999, Israel transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security and civilian responsibility for Palestinian-populated areas of the West Bank and Gaza.           Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gz.html

LEBANON: Introduction>Background:
Following the capture of Syria from the Ottoman Empire by Anglo-French forces in 1918, France received a mandate over this territory and separated out the region of Lebanon in 1920. France granted this area independence in 1943.                                                                                                                                                   Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/le.html

SYRIA: Introduction>Background:
Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, France administered Syria until its independence in 1946. The country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sy.html

TURKEY: Introduction>Background:
Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms.                   Read more...click: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html