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middle east

Israel and Palestine
Jerusalem is a city like no other – it has fired people’s imaginations in every generation and is revered by adherents of the three monotheistic faiths.
Turkey
With the establishment of the Ottoman empire, the years 1300-1453 constitute the early or first Ottoman period, when Ottoman art was in search of new ideas.
Syria
Archaeologists have demonstrated that the civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth.

North Africa

Egypt
Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most ancient and important monuments, including the Giza Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza; the southern city of Luxor contains a particularly large number of ancient artifacts such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Today, Egypt is widely regarded as the main political and cultural centre of the Middle East.
Morocco
What became modern Morocco in the seventh century, was an area of Berbers influenced by the Arabs, who brought their customs, culture, and Islam, to which most of the Berbers converted, forming states and kingdoms such as the Kingdom of Nekor and Barghawata, sometimes after long-running series of civil wars. Under Idris ibn Abdallah who founded the Idrisid Dynasty, the country soon cut ties and broke away from the control of the distant Abbasid caliphs in Baghdad and the Umayyad rule in Al-Andalus. The Idrisids established Fes as their capital and Morocco became a centre of learning and a major regional power.
Tunisia
Around forty percent of the country is composed of the Sahara desert, with much of the remainder consisting of particularly fertile soil, and a 1300 km coastline. Both played a prominent role in ancient times, first with the famous Phoenician city of Carthage, and later, as the Africa Province, which became known as the bread basket of the Roman Empire.

Contemporary architecture

   

Fertile Crescent

Iraq
The region of Iraq was historically known as Mesopotamia (Greek: "between the rivers"). It was home to the world's first known civilization, the Sumerian culture, followed by the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian cultures, whose influence extended into neighboring regions as early as 5000 BC. These civilizations produced the earliest writing and some of the first sciences, mathematics, laws and philosophies of the world; hence its common epithet, the "Cradle of Civilization".
Iran
Architecture in "Greater Iran" has a continuous history from at least 5000BCE to the present, with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Syria to North India and the borders of China, from the Caucasus to Zanzibar. Persian buildings vary from peasant huts to tea houses, and garden pavilions to "some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen".
Uzbekistan
Located in the heart of Central Asia between the Amu Darya (Oxus) and Syr Darya (Jaxartes) Rivers, Uzbekistan has a long and interesting heritage. The leading cities of the Silk Road - Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva - are located in Uzbekistan.

West Asia

Pakistan
Ancient sites in Pakistan include Buddhist monuments, Hindu/Buddhist temples, Palaces and Monuments built by Emperors, tombs, pleasure grounds and Anglo-Mogul mansions - some in a state of dereliction which makes their former grandeur more emphatic. Sculpture is dominated by Graeco-Buddhist friezes, and crafts by ceramics, jewellery, silk goods and engraved woodwork and metalwork.
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This month's featured building

  Masjid al-Haram 638, 1571 Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām (المسجد الحرام IPA: [ʔælˈmæs.ʤi.dæl.ħɑˈrɑːm] "The Sacred Mosque"), is the largest mosque in the world. Located in the city of Mecca, it surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims turn towards while offering daily prayer and is considered to be the holiest place on Earth by Muslims. The mosque is also commonly known as the Haram or Haram Sharif.

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