Investigation of the Middle East and North Africa Boundaries from Human Features Perspective

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Political Geography, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 M.A of Political Geography, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

Introduction
The geographical factors play considerable role in tensions between countries. Especially since the tension is placed on geographical factors, classified as geopolitical crises and because of the involvement of the geographical values, these kinds of crises are very persistent and therefore the governments could rarely make give and take in political discussions on these issues. Because in inside of the country and among its nation can easily accused of treason to the national interests and the homeland. During the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries many tensions have taken in the Middle East and North Africa that the origin of most of them directly or indirectly linked to geographical factors, and particularly on borders. The Middle East and North Africa borders are often the outcome of the colonial powers agreements on paper and drawn regardless to the human features of the border areas. Therefore in many cases the borders separate same people in ethnicity, linguistic and religious. These kinds of boundaries known as superimposed boundaries that there are many of them in this region which can be studied and in this regard the present research studying 53 borderlines in length of 31569 kilometers.
Methodology
The research method is descriptive-analytic and data gathering procedure is based on library and documentation. The data analysis is qualitative and quantitative and the results shown in the form of graphs and tables.
Findings
The study of human features of the Middle East and North Africa borders on ethnicity, linguistic and religious shows that from 53 borderlines, from ethnic point of view, 43 borderlines in length of 29361 kilometers (93% length of borderlines) are mismatch; it means that this borderlines separate same ethnic groups, 6 borderlines (3% length of borderlines) in length of 821 kilometers are match; it means that this borderlines separate diffrent ethnic groups and 4 borderlines (4% length of borderlines) in length of 1387 kilometers are both match and mismatch at the same time, it means that in some parts of borderline we can show mismatch and in the other parts of that borderline we can show match.
From linguistic point of view, 36 borderlines in length of 22133 kilometers (70% length of borderlines) are mismatch, 8 borderlines (7% length of borderlines) in length of 2255 kilometers are match and 9 borderlines (23% length of borderlines) in length of 7181 kilometers are both match and mismatch at the same time, it means that in some parts of borderline we can show mismatch and in the other parts of that borderline we can show match.
From religious point of view, 40 borderlines in length of 24141 kilometers (76% length of borderlines) are mismatch, 6 borderlines (5% length of borderlines) in length of 1470 kilometers are match and 7borderlines (19% length of borderlines) in length of 5958 kilometers are both match and mismatch at the same time, it means that in some parts of borderline we can show mismatch and in the other parts of that borderline we can show match.
Conclusion
The results of the study of 53 borderlines in the Middle East and North Africa shows that most of borderlines in the region are superimposed boundaries that drawn by colonial powers on papers without paying attention to human features in the ground. Therefore there is little match between borderlines and human characteristics in terms of ethnic, linguistic and religious. This situation is the roots of many persistent and durable tensions in the region.
 
 

Keywords


Volume 12, Issue 41
March 2016
Pages 83-103
  • Receive Date: 10 January 2016
  • Revise Date: 17 February 2016
  • Accept Date: 09 April 2016
  • First Publish Date: 20 April 2016