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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Dec 28, 2009

Population Growth in the Arab World

The United Nations sent a warning to the Arab League members telling them that they are unprepared for the effects of population growth and climate change and urged the 22 country group to take action during its meeting (New York Times, Dec. 2, 2009).

The United Nations warning should be a reminder to the top political leadership in the Arab world, who may not be aware that tens of millions of people in their countries do not have enough food to eat on a daily basis. Egypt, the most populated Arab country, started organizing groups for family planning and birth control in the 1930s, when the total population was less than one-fourth its present size of 83 million people. The Arab world population is estimated at 335 million as of 2008. The most critical part is that 60% of the population is under the age of 25 years. Furthermore, the present average number of live births per woman is 3.6 babies, compared to 2.6 babies at the global level. From a demographic point of view, based on the present birth rate, the Arab world will double its population during the next 25 to 30 years to reach at least 650 million people (The National Newspaper, Dec.2, 2009).

What are the consequences of population growth at the present and in the future on these societies, in regard to economic development, employment, housing, transportation, health care, education and food production? In addition to the negative aspects of population growth, there is also the destructive impact of global warming and weather changes on the region. There is less rainfall, more droughts with longer duration and more desertification, less food productivity, and above all, the decreasing availability of fresh water resources in the Arab world. All of these problems should be dealt with, and the sooner, the better.

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