BarakaBits recently visited Middlesex University located in Dubai and ran a classroom exercise to get the students thinking about the Middle East. Inspired by an article published by Politico Magazine titled Why the Middle East Still Doesn’t Matter written by Justin Logan, we hoped to get the students to think about why the Middle East still DOES matter. Here’s what they came up with:
1) Strategic location – Location, Location, Location! The Middle East covets an ideal spot. We are situated right by Europe and Asia, so travel and cultural experiences are only a few hours away.
2) Heritage and history – The Middle East serves up quite a diversity of heritage and unique historical value. Ranging from Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, to the fascinating history of Egypt and Iraq, the region has enough to keep historians busy for a lifetime.
3) Strong family values and traditions – The MENA region is known internationally for its hospitality. Visit almost anywhere in the Middle East and you’ll be bowled over by the sense of community and generally welcoming nature of the people. Scream for help in the street in the Middle East and you’ll have twenty people by your side within minutes.
4) Unique vacation destinations – From Oman’s Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve to Lebanon’s stunning beaches and Jordan’s expansive deserts and Dead Sea, the MENA region literally has something to offer for the adventuresome, shopping fanatics, history buffs and architecture lovers. Rich in culture, heritage, history and food, the Middle East is one of the most exciting regions in terms of travel diversity.
5) Cheap petrol – It’s much more affordable to rent a car and drive around anywhere in the Middle East than it would be in Europe, North America or Asia.
6) Great Shawarma (Arabic cuisine) – Foodies can definitely attest to the diversity of Arab cuisine. From tajines in Morocco to Fesenjoon (a stewed pomegranate puree with ground walnuts, onions, chicken or ground meat) and Kabob in Iran, the MENA region serves up an enticing array of flavors, dishes and rich combinations for any palette.
What other things do you think are reasons the Middle East is important? Tell us in the comments below!