Happy Valentine’s Day!
To share the love, I’ve put together a list of the 5 reasons why I fell in love with this magical, mysterious part of the world… and why, if you haven’t already, you will too!
1. Natural beauty
The Middle East is home not only to vast deserts, but also to mountains, beaches, crystal blue oceans and lush, green oases. Its diverse natural scenery is among the most beautiful and dramatic in the world.
Salalah, Oman during the khareef (monsoon) season (image: Oman Travel Adventures)
The architecture of the Middle East is world famous, from old mud and stone towns to towering minarets and glittering mosaic-covered mosques.
3. The people
I have never met so many kind, welcoming people as I have when travelling in the Middle East. Kindness and generosity are cornerstones of Middle Eastern culture and tradition, and despite the stereotyping and discrimination we so often hear in the mainstream media, Middle Eastern hospitality has become world famous.
Middle Eastern food has spread all over the world, with every major city playing host to restaurants offering the world-famous cuisines of the likes of Lebanon, Morocco, Iran, Syria, Turkey… the list goes on. But there’s nowhere better to experience Middle Eastern dining – which is steeped in culture and tradition – than the region itself.
The rich and complex culture of the Middle East draws people in from all over the world – travellers, historians, academics, linguists, journalists… the list goes on. People have long tried (and often failed) to understand the cultures of the region, from the age-old customs and traditions that differ from place to place, to the mysteries of Islam and the complexities of the Arabic language.
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