The Middle East: between myth and reality


Global Affairs, vol.5, no.1, pp.81-88, 2019 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Critical Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/23340460.2019.1568202
  • Title of Journal : Global Affairs
  • Page Numbers: pp.81-88


There is a huge literature about the Middle East. It is one of the most studied regions of the world. Yet, this popularity might not be the outcome of interest in the rich culture, the cosmopolitan societies or the resourceful lands of the region, but the result of attractive images and perceptions created in the minds of people. In fact, perceptions of the Middle East overshadow the very existence of the region. The concept now reflects a giant unit of a Muslim world which is static, authoritarian, war-prone and sui generis. This representation, oscillating between myth and reality, has almost turned into a fetish for political scientists eager to test their theories and arguments. This commentary aims to highlight the stereotypes, prejudices and beliefs about the region that somehow are the results of generalizations and reductionism. It is time to ask: Which one? The Middle East over there, or the one we have created?