What is the most acceptable place to live in the middle east?

Posted by: Greematthew

72 Total Votes

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates or the UAE, is an Arab country in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing sea borders wit... h Qatar and Iran.The UAE is a federation of seven emirates. Each emirate is governed by a hereditary emir, and chooses one of its members to be the president of the federation of seven emirates. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is also the state's center of commercial and cultural activities. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.Since 1962, when Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil, the country's society and economy have been transformed. The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the UAE at its inception, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and national infrastructure   more
31 votes


Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a parliamentary democracy in the Middle East, on the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and th... e Gaza Strip on the southwest, and the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the south, and it contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. In its Basic Laws Israel defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic State; it is the world's only Jewish-majority state.On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the partition plan of Mandatory Palestine. On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel," a state independent upon the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, 15 May 1948. Neighboring Arab armies invaded Palestine on the next day and fought the Israeli forces. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states, in the course of which it has occupied the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, part of South Lebanon, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. It annexed portions of these territories, including East Jerusalem, but the border with the West Bank is disputed. Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have so far not resulted in peace   more
28 votes
1 comment


Jordan, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is an Arab kingdom in the Middle East, on the East Bank of the River Jordan, and extending into the historic region of Palestine. Jordan borders Saudi Arabia to the south and east, Iraq to the nort... h-east, Syria to the north and Israel to the west, sharing control of the Dead Sea with the latter.The desert kingdom emerged out of the post-World War I division of the West Asia by Britain and France. In 1946, Jordan became an independent sovereign state officially known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan. After capturing the West Bank area of Cisjordan during the 1948–49 war with Israel, Abdullah I took the title King of Jordan and Palestine, and he officially changed the country's name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1949.Modern Jordan is classified as a country of "medium human development" by the 2011 Human Development Report, and an emerging market with the third freest economy in West Asia and North Africa. Jordan has an "upper middle income" economy. Jordan has enjoyed "advanced status" with the European Union since December 2010, and it is also a member of the Euro-Mediterranean free trade area. Jordan is a founding member of the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation   more
3 votes
1 comment


Qatar, officially the State of Qatar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, wi... th the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf. A strait in the Persian Gulf separates Qatar from the nearby island state of Bahrain.Qatar has been ruled as an absolute and hereditary emirate by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Before the discovery of oil, Qatar was noted mainly for pearl hunting and sea trade. It was a British protectorate until it gained independence in 1971. Since then, it has become one of the region's wealthiest states due to its oil and natural gas revenues. In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir when he deposed his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, in a peaceful coup d'état. The most important positions in Qatar are held by the members of the Al Thani family, or close confidants of the al-Thani family. Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center   more
3 votes


Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Most of its territory of 1,010,000 square kilometers li... es within North Africa and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East, and the 15th most populated in the world. The great majority of its over 84 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometers, where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara Desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern state, having been continuously inhabited since the 10th millennium BC. Its monuments, such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx, were constructed by its ancient civilization, which was one of the most advanced of its time. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study and popular interest. Egypt's rich cultural legacy, as well as the attraction of its Red Sea Riviera, have made tourism a vital part of the economy, employing about 12% of the country's workforce   more
2 votes

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the largest Arab state in Western Asia by land area and the second-largest in the Arab world. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain a... nd the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, Yemen in the south, the Red Sea to the west and Persian Gulf to the east. Its population is estimated to consist of 16 million citizens and an additional 9 million registered foreign expatriates and 2 million illegal immigrants.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded by Abdul-Aziz bin Saud in 1932, although the conquests which eventually led to the creation of the Kingdom began in 1902 when he captured Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud, referred to in Arabic as Al Saud. The Saudi Arabian government has been an absolute monarchy since its inception. It describes itself as being Islamic and is highly influenced by Wahhabism. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the kingdom is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Haram, and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the two holiest places in Islam   more
2 votes
1 comment


Oman, officially called the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It has a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates...  to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest and also shares a marine border with Iran. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.From the 17th century, Oman had its own empire, and vied with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to Iran, and modern day Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar. As its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under heavy influence from the United Kingdom, though Oman was never formally part of the British Empire, or a British protectorate. Oman has long-standing military and political ties with the United Kingdom and the United States, although it maintains an independent foreign policy   more
2 votes
1 comment


Lebanon, officially the Lebanese Republic, is a country in the East Mediterranean. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland has ... dictated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity.The earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Phoenicians, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, and eventually became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established. As the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their religion and identity. However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, a religious divide that would last for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome. The ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era   more
1 vote


Yemen officially known as the Republic of Yemen, is an Arab country located in Western Asia, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Gulf of Aden ... and Arabian Sea to the south, and Oman to the east.Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Its capital and largest city is Sana'a. Yemen's territory includes more than 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 354 km to the south of mainland Yemen. It is the only state in the Arabian Peninsula to have a purely republican form of government. Yemen was the first country in the Arabian peninsula to grant women the right to vote. Yemeni unification took place on 22 May 1990, when North Yemen was united with South Yemen, forming the Republic of Yemen.The majority of Yemen's population is divided into tribal groups, especially in the northern areas of the country where 85% of local residents belong to various tribes There are also small groups of peoples of Turkish/Ottoman origin in urban areas. Yemen is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Ali Abdullah Saleh was the first elected president of the reunified Yemen. Since the 1990s, the Houthis has attempted to establish Zaydi Shia principles in the country   more
0 votes


Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, h... igh mountains and deserts, it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Turks, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias and Arab Sunnis. The latter make up the majority of the population.In English, the name "Syria" was formerly synonymous with the Levant while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the third millennium BC. In the Islamic era, its capital city, Damascus, among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate, and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt.The modern Syrian state was established after the First World War as a French mandate, and represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the formerly Ottoman-ruled Arab Levant. It gained independence in April 1946, as a parliamentary republic. The post-independence period was tumultuous, and a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–1971. Between 1958 and 1961, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt, which was terminated by a military coup. Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011, effectively suspending most constitutional protections for citizens, and its system of government is considered to be non-democratic. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, who was in office from 1970 to 2000   more
0 votes


Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia encompassing the Mesopotamian alluvial plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert.Iraq borders Syria to the northwest, Turke... y to the north, Iran to the east, Jordan to the west, Saudi Arabia to the south and southwest, and Kuwait to the south. Iraq has a narrow section of coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf. The capital city, Baghdad is in the center-east of the country. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run through the center of Iraq, flowing from northwest to southeast. These provide Iraq with agriculturally capable land and contrast with the steppe and desert landscape that covers most of Western Asia.Iraq has been known by the Greek toponym 'Mesopotamia' and has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers is often referred to as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of writing. At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires. It was also part of the Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires, and under British control as a League of Nations mandate   more
0 votes


Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked sovereign state forming part of South Asia, Central Asia, and to some extent Western Asia. It has a population of around 30 million inhabiting an area of approximately 647,... 500 km², making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world. It is bordered by Pakistan in the south and the east, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast.Afghanistan has been an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and human migration. Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation from as far back as the Middle Paleolithic. Urban civilization may have begun in the area as early as 3,000 to 2,000 BCE. Sitting at an important geostrategic location that connects the Middle East culture with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, the land has been home to various peoples through the ages and witnessed many military campaigns, notably by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and in modern era Western forces. The land also served as a source from which the Greco-Bactrians, Kushans, Hephthalites, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khiljis, Timurids, Mughals, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires   more
0 votes


Iran also known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1980, is a country in Western Asia. The country is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, with Kazakhstan and Russia to the north across the Caspian Sea... . Iran is bordered on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by Turkey.The 18th-largest country in the world in terms of area at 1,648,195 km², Iran is an ethnically diverse country and has a population of around 77 million. It is a mountainous country of particular geopolitical significance owing to its location in three spheres of Asia. Tehran is the capital, the country's most populous city and the political, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the nation. Iran is a regional power, and holds an important position in international energy security and the world economy as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas. Iran has the largest proven natural gas reserves in the world, and the fourth largest proven petroleum reserves.Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. The first dynasty in Iran formed during the Elamite kingdom in 2800 BC. The Iranian Medes unified Iran into an empire in 625 BC. Cyrus the Great founded the first Achaemenid Empire, which became the largest ancient empire. In 633 AD, Muslim armies invaded Iran, and had conquered the region by 651 AD. The emergence in 1501 of the Safavid dynasty, which promoted Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of their empire, marked one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. The Persian Constitutional Revolution established the nation's first parliament in 1906, within a constitutional monarchy. Following a coup d'état instigated by the UK and US in 1953, Iran gradually became a more autocratic country. Growing dissent with foreign influence culminated during the Iranian Revolution which led to the establishment of an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979   more
0 votes


Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait, is an Arab country in Western Asia. Situated in the northeastern edge of the Arabian peninsula at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. The name "... Kuwait" is derived from the Arabic أكوات ākwāt, the plural of كوت kūt, meaning "fortress built near water". The country covers an area of 17,820 square kilometers and has a population of about 2.8 million.Historically, the region was the site of Characene, a major Parthian port for trade between Mesopotamia and India. By the 19th century, Kuwait came under the influence of the Ottoman Empire. After World War I, it emerged as an independent sheikhdom under the protection of the British Empire. Kuwait's large oil fields were discovered in the late 1930s.After Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, the state's oil industry saw unprecedented economic growth. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by neighboring Iraq. The seven month-long Iraqi occupation came to an end after direct military intervention by United States-led forces. Around 773 Kuwaiti oil wells were set ablaze by the retreating Iraqi army, resulting in a major environmental and economic catastrophe. Kuwait's infrastructure was badly damaged during the war and had to be rebuilt. Twelve years later, Kuwait saw another massive foreign military presence as it served as a springboard for the U.S.-led campaign in 2003 to oust Ba'athist Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein   more
0 votes
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Rafe says2013-09-19T16:10:14.4293302-05:00
I would not live in Israel. Did you know it is the only country in the world without a national constitution? I would not trust a country that does not state anywhere what its basic ethics code's base is.
airmax1227 says2013-09-23T05:32:27.9679807-05:00
@ Rafe Incorrect. There are a few other nations without codified constitutions. The UK and New Zealand are a couple examples.
Rafe says2013-09-23T09:20:53.8721810-05:00
Ok, there are two other countries without a written national constitutuion. That makes them unreliable too, but by no means does this information turn israel's lack of a NC into an aceptable stance.
bsh1 says2013-09-23T11:30:25.6010756-05:00
@Rafe - in the case of the UK, there are still foundational legal tenets that outline the nation's "basic ethics code." Furthermore, the fact that there are multiple parties that all vie for power in free and fair elections means that there is a great institutional check against any slide into autocracy. Competition prevents any one party or group from totally dominating, and elections ensure accountability with the populace. These checks are also present (in varying degrees) in New Zealand and Israel.
Rafe says2013-09-23T11:43:43.9702108-05:00
Of course, but what is keeping said system from going into a full tirany? You say competition. But there are already samples of several parties making agreements and turning on people. I'm not talking just about politics, but businesses also. If a country does not have a document stating it basic rules on what is legal and what is not, what is keeping political parties from, once one of them wins, let's say, turing a democracy into an absolute monarchy? You would be tempted to say people would revolt, but take into account this is not always true. To give an example, Usa is continuously stomping into people's privacy, and no one has revolted yet, save for some whining in social networks.
bsh1 says2013-09-23T11:49:17.8113958-05:00
Frankly, I don't have a problem with the current American government--I don't think it could be described as tyrannical. But that is a whole separate issue. If we look at the UK and Israel specifically, the parties are unlikely to ally because each wants power. So long as they are each vying for power, they check the others from attaining absolute power. And consider how many governments have voiding their NCs and installed autocracies--or those countries who have NCs but are still authoritarian. For example, Zimbabwe or Venezuela. Does the presence of a NC really prevent a slide into authoritarianism if a powerful group really wants to seize power?
Rafe says2013-09-23T11:57:11.2319075-05:00
No, it does not prevent it, but it makes it harder, as it gives people a general idea of what are the limits of those political parties once in power.
bsh1 says2013-09-23T12:05:37.1204191-05:00
But, even in the UK and Israel, there are limits. Custom and tradition (in this case, traditions of democracy) also give people an implicit sense of the rightful boundaries of governmental authority. Even without the constitution, Americans would still sense that slavery is wrong because we have formed traditions against such behavior post-Lincoln. Coupled with the institutional checks I already noted, I don't think that either the UK or Israel is inherently untrustworthy due to a lack of an NC.
Rafe says2013-09-23T12:09:26.6023031-05:00
Well, I have to disagree with your stance on Israel. Without a constitution, their government makes it easier for them to create an apartheid. I'm assuming you already have some knowledge about the wall.
bsh1 says2013-09-23T12:11:51.1400091-05:00
I don't condone many of Israel's policies. However, its voting populace has given its government a mandate to rule. It is still a democracy, though it needs to do more to embrace the human rights of the Palestinians.
Rafe says2013-09-23T12:16:51.7441167-05:00
Can it be considered a democracy when it abuses a great deal of the population, denying them their basic rights?
bsh1 says2013-09-23T12:19:27.5609119-05:00
Can a democracy abuse people--absolutely. It is a human institution and all humans are fallible. Just because you are a democracy does not mean your a perfect or have a perfect human rights record. It merely means that you do give a voice to the people, and aren't as bad as you could be. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, it's not the perfect system, but it's the best one we're likely to devise.
Rafe says2013-09-23T12:28:49.5828454-05:00
You are wrong about what a democracy is. Here are some definitions of it. They say nothing about "not being as bad as they could be" - government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. - a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. As you see, Israel is not qualified to be a true democracy, as there is not equality in the population, and some international rights are not recognized. Say, freedom of worship. Unless you belong to the jewry, you lack formal basic rights.
bsh1 says2013-09-23T12:31:47.0685962-05:00
Israel does allow freedom of worship--and it has made great strides towards equality, including allowing women to pray at sites formerly restricted to men. Perfect equality is unobtainable--you're defining the ideal of democracy. A democracy should be rule of the people, but it should also constantly be moving towards greater equality and respect. Israel is doing that.
Rafe says2013-09-23T12:34:21.3565522-05:00
Allow me to ask. How exaclty can Israel move "towards greater equality and respect", if they constantly refuse to sit and talk?
bsh1 says2013-09-23T12:37:06.5332440-05:00
They are sitting and talking. I don't think you can place the blame for failed negotiations solely on their shoulders. Both sides have demands they refuse to cave on. It is their mutual intransigence that is causing the issues.
Rafe says2013-09-23T12:40:17.6512942-05:00
For what I know, the biggest demand of Palestine was Israel stopping settlement building. Is there any unfair demand you know, and I ignore, from Palestine side?
bsh1 says2013-09-23T12:46:53.7755984-05:00
Palestine also wants its capital to be Jerusalem. That's a sticking point for both.
Rafe says2013-09-23T12:57:03.3885901-05:00
Giving the fact said city already has a wall dividing it, I fail to see how Israel has any reason to not find a solution for that. After all, they created the wall themselves. Could the real reason diplomacy failed be Israel would have to yield land?
bsh1 says2013-09-23T17:20:42.0063770-05:00
Israel is reluctant to cede land--I agree this is a problem. Yet, both sides want the entirety of Jerusalem; neither is willing to hold only a portion of the city. What I'm getting is that both sides need to be more open to compromise.
Rafe says2013-09-23T17:29:10.6288122-05:00
There is also the fact that is hard to reach an agreement with a country using chemical weapons against you.
bsh1 says2013-09-23T17:31:01.0785047-05:00
No idea what you're referring to there...
dontdebateme says2014-12-14T14:47:09.4142399-06:00
Where is ISIS on this list? Just joking

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