The Middle East is a not so precisely defined term. In this context we consider as Middle East the southwestern part of Asia including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, the Lebanon, Israel and the countries of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen etc.). Egypt
is considered as part of North Africa
. The dominant religion of the region is Islam, but there are also relatively small Christian and Jewish minorities in the Middle East. Three of the world's main religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, originated here. The region is desertic in the south and temperate in the north and along the mediterranean coast. Most economies in this region are either developed or well-off due to their oil revenues. Because of the presence of huge oil reserves the Middle East has a huge strategic significance. The Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is a major source of instability for the region and the world.