The middle is a relevant measure in reference to two other points or regions. For example, take my thumb and my little pinkie and somewhere in the middle is my middle finger and named as such, "middle finger"for one obvious reason, it is in the middle of five fingers. Count them if you will, one is the thumb, two is the index finger, it is used to point at things, three is the middle finger, it is used, oh for many things, followed by finger number four and pinkie is number five. So, number three sits snuggly right in the middle.
Now, let's talk about the "Middle East".
To do so, we would have to establish two reference points, the outer points if you will, or more broadly regions of the world and find the center of it or the middle of the "EAST". Fine you say, where is the east? where does it start and where does it end?. Let's pick a reference point of the eastern part of the "EAST", be it right or wrong, but possibly close enough. Let Japan be the farther point east in the "EAST" just like the pinkie is on your right hand.
The region they have been calling the "Middle East" for the past seventy some years or so revolves around what was known as the greater Syria, as in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Israel and Jordan were not on the map yet, neither was Kuwait for that matter. Many erroneously reference and map the "Middle East" to include such countries as Morocco and even Pakistan. To exaggerate this sort of definition of the "Middle East" one might as well include Spain, Italy, Greece and the Balkans. But we won't do that.
For argument sake, let us take the current definition of the "Middle East" the way it is currently used and say that Lebanon or Palestine is in the center of the "Middle East", again as it is used by the media. So, we would now assume that as the term "Middle East" is used, Lebanon or Palestine would be in the middle or center of the "East", just like the middle finger is on your right hand. No pun nor disrespect intended!.
So, we have defined the east of the "East", the middle of the "East" and now we need to find the west of the "East". If we go on a map and measure the distance between Lebanon and Japan to be, for argument sake fifty units to the right, then we must measure about fifty units to the left to find the other side, the western side of the "East". This would probably land us somewhere in the Atlantic, even beyond the British isles and the British that contributed to this MISNOMER. Besides we all know that the western world begins somewhere in Europe, where the anglo-saxon languages dominate.
The same people that refer to the "Middle East" as that area that includes Lebanon, Syria and Palestine also refer to the "West" as those countries that extend from somewhere in Europe all the way to the Americas. Whether or not poor Latin countries are included in the "West" is doubtful. For that I think they use the term "Third world countries".
Houston, I have a problem. This argument clearly shows that there is no such thing as the "Middle East" involving Lebanon, Syria or Palestine and certainly not the Arab world nor currently occupied Palestine. The problem is that some people, those who started this "Middle East" error in measurements just don't know their thumb or pinkie from their middle finger. Abolish this term, "Middle East" and let's call it what it really is, Terra dei Miserabili or maybe Via Dolorosa and that would be more befitting.
(The "Middle East" is a misnomer. The US state department refers to this area as the Levant, also known or named "Al Mashreq", as well as "Bilad ash-Sham", a sizeable part of western Asia. That's what it is and not the middle of any east unless you can disprove my middle finger theory.)
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