Global Connections The Middle East
Communities Respond Educator's Resources Maps Glossary Search:
Connecting Questions Explore a Theme Timeline

Historic Political Borders | Modern Socio-Political | Topographic/Resources | Muslim Population

Map of the Middle East in 2002

Map of the Middle East in 1920

These are the current internationally recognized boundaries in the Middle East. Disputed boundaries are indicated with a dotted line.

In 1919, the British and French implemented the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement and divided the Arab world into nation-states. The League of Nations recognized these borders and allotted "mandates" to the French and British to govern these states until it was determined that they were ready for independence.

Map of the Middle East in 1880 Map of the Middle East in 1600

In the 1700s and 1800s, the once-powerful Ottoman Empire started to lose power. Great Britain, France, and Russia were on the hunt for new territories to conquer and began to interfere in the affairs and territories of the Ottoman Empire and Egypt.

The two primary rulers in the region were the Ottoman and Safavid Empires. The Ottoman Empire began in the 1300s in what is now Turkey. Between 1516 and 1517, the Ottomans conquered the Arab provinces. The Safavid Empire, based in what is today Iran, lasted from 1501-1722.

Search | Site Map | Maps | Glossary | About the Site | Help | Pledge