This group of men in traditional Arab attire has just crossed a bridge over the River Euphrates in the eastern Syrian town of Deir-es-Zor. I had just checked into a rather modest hotel room on the opposite corner of that bridge road. Looking out the window I could not resist the opportunity to take this photograph.
There is nothing in particular going on, there are no telling surroundings but yet this picture symbolises a good deal to me if I generalise it to a regional context: Proud and traditionalist people groups with a very long history, strong religious sentiments, and a man’s world.
This region consists of largely Muslim countries but with large and important groups of two other world religions, those of the Jews and Christians. Geopolitically this region has for the last few decades been at the centre of the world’s focus and contains some important root causes of much of the world’s disorder. This is partly due to the Israeli-Arab conflict and partly to the rich petroleum resources necessary to the rest of the world.
“Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!” (Golda Meir)
My travels in the Middle East and North Africa (except Morocco). Click to access the dynamic map.
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As seen, these countries are all from the Middle East and North Africa (sometimes abbreviated MENA), and not Sub-Saharan Africa. I will have to make up for that in the years to come.
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All posts presenting the Middle East and Africa
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