The invention of the ‘Middle East’

A vintage globe of the world for sale in an antique shop, 19 December 2019 [Robert Alexander/Getty Images]

What is the Middle East? Why is it the "middle"? And to whom is it "east"?  We should take into consideration that what is "east" to certain geographical location is "west" to another. Thus, Turkey, Iran and Russia are east of Europe, but they are west of Japan. What we know as the Middle East, is actually the Middle West for Japan! In Orientalism, Edward Said argues that the "Orient" was a western invention made to be exploited by the Europeans. For the Europeans, "the world is made of two unequal halves, Orient and Occident" and the "relationship between Orient and Occident is the relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony." The East for European/Western […]