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Scythia , and "Eastern Asia" the easternmost reaches of geographical knowledge in classical authors, i. Transoxania and India. Use of the term in the context of contemporary geopolitics or world economy appears to date from at least the mids. Western Asia is located directly south of Eastern Europe. To the north, the region is delimited from Europe by the Caucasus Mountains , to the southwest, it is delimited from Africa by the Isthmus of Suez , while to the east, the region adjoins Central Asia and South Asia.

Three major tectonic plates converge on Western Asia, including the African , Eurasian , and Arabian plates. Several major aquifers provide water to large portions of Western Asia.

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Western Asia is primarily arid and semi-arid , and can be subject to drought , but it also contains vast expanses of forest and fertile valleys. The region consists of grasslands , rangelands , deserts , and mountains. Water shortages are a problem in many parts of West Asia, with rapidly growing populations increasing demands for water, while salinization and pollution threaten water supplies. There are two wind phenomena in Western Asia: the sharqi and the shamal. The sharqi or sharki is a wind that comes from the south and southeast. It is seasonal, lasting from April to early June, and comes again between late September and November.

The winds are dry and dusty, with occasional gusts up to 80 kilometres per hour 50 miles per hour and often kick up violent sand and dust storms that can carry sand a few thousand meters high, and can close down airports for short periods of time. These winds can last for a full day at the beginning and end of the season, and for several days during the middle of the season.

The shamal is a summer northwesterly wind blowing over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait , often strong during the day, but decreasing at night. This weather effect occurs anywhere from once to several times a year. Western Asia contains large areas of mountainous terrain. Mount Ararat in Turkey rises to 5, meters. The Zagros Mountains are located in Iran, in areas along its border with Iraq.

The Central Plateau of Iran is divided into two drainage basins. In Yemen , elevations exceed 3, meters in many areas, and highland areas extend north along the Red Sea coast and north into Lebanon.

A fault -zone also exists along the Red Sea, with continental rifting creating trough -like topography with areas located well-below sea level. Jebel al Akhdar is a small range of mountains located in northeastern Oman, bordering the Gulf of Oman. The population of Western Asia was estimated at million as of , projected to reach million by by Maddison ; the estimate excludes the Caucasus and Cyprus.

This corresponds to an annual growth rate of 1. The most populous countries in the region are Turkey and Iran and, each with around 79 million people, followed by Iraq and Saudi Arabia with around 33 million people each. Numerically, Western Asia is predominantly Arab , Persian , Turkish , and the dominating languages are correspondingly Arabic , Persian and Turkish , each with of the order of 70 million speakers, followed by smaller communities of Kurdish , Azerbaijani , Hebrew , Armenian and Eastern Aramaic.

The dominance of Arabic and Turkish is the result of the medieval Arab and Turkic invasions beginning with the Islamic conquests of the 7th century AD, which displaced the formerly dominant Aramaic and Hebrew in the Levant, and Greek in Anatolia, although Hebrew is once again the dominant language in Israel , and Aramaic spoken largely by Chaldeans , Arameans and Assyrians and Greek both remain present in their respective territories as minority languages.

The economy of Western Asia is diverse and the region experiences high economic growth. Turkey has the largest economy in the region, followed by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Petroleum is the major industry in the regional economy, as more than half of the world's oil reserves and around 40 percent of the world's natural gas reserves are located in the region.


Due to its disputed status, most embassies are in Tel Aviv. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Westernmost portion of Asia. Notes a Area and population figures include the Sinai. See also: Geography of Asia. See also: Climate of Asia.

See also: Economy of Western Asia. Saudi Arabia. Aegean Sea. Arabian Sea. Aral Sea. Black Sea. Caspian Sea.

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Gulf of Aden. Gulf of Oman. Mediterranean Sea.

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Geography portal Asia portal. Jerusalem is the State of Palestine's de jure capital under its " Amended Basic Law" , but not its de facto capital as its government branches are based in Ramallah. The UN and most sovereign states do not recognize Jerusalem as either state's de jure capital under the position that Jerusalem's status is pending future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In practice, therefore, most maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv and its suburbs, or else in suburbs such as Mevaseret Zion outside Jerusalem proper.

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