The Middle East has been the origin of world’s most primitive civilizations such as Mesopotamia(Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia) and primeval Egypt. The region is situated at the juncture of Eurasia (traditional continents of Europe and Asia), Africa, Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean.
The region has been the birth place and spiritual center for religions like Christianity, Islam, Manichaeism Yezidi, Judaism, Yarsan, Druze and Mandeanism. Middle Eastern country Iran has been the origin of Zoroastrianism, Manicheanism, and the Bahá'í Faith. All the way through its history the Middle East has been a sensitive area for world affairs in every aspects may it be strategically, economically, politically, ethnically or else religiously.
People from various ethnic groups like Arabs, Turks, Persians, Jews, Kurds, AssyriansMaronites, Egyptian Copts, Arameans, Armenians, Syriacs, Azeris, Maltese, Greeks, Turcomans, Shabaks, Circassians, Roma, Gagauz, Berbers, Mhallami Yazidis, Mandeans, Georgians and Samaritans are living in different areas in Middle East.
Food in Middle Eastern Culture is different in different areas. Still they have commonality to certain extent. Some of the ingredients like olives and olive oil, pitas, chickpeas, mint, honey, sesame seeds, sumac and parsley are commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisines. The kibbeh and shawarma are two popular dishes all over Middle East.
The simplest form of clothing used by the people in Middle East is covering or pinning an unmodified cloth around the body. It is known as izar. Besides izar, other dresses like Sleeveless Cloaks, Pullover Tunic, Front Opening Coat, Vest, Skirt, Trousers are worn by residents of Middle East and ghoutra and the turban are different types of head covering used by men.
In most of the regions in Middle East, people take their food from a common plate kept in the center of the table. The left hand is considered unclean and is meant only for maintaining the bodily hygiene. Hence, only the right hand is used for eating and shaking hands or giving something with left hand is treated as an insult.
On wedding day the invitees get five almonds as gifts for the bride and the groom. The five almonds symbolize prosperity, fertility, happiness, long-lasting married life and good health.