Culture is a set of beliefs, ideas, values, norms, a common tradition, a trust system and behaviour, including history, religion, ethnic identity, language and nation. It shows that it is not only the formal institutions which are crucial for shaping the structure of the country but also the culture and society which also play a big role in building peace and warmth among diverse societies and cultures. In the Middle East there are about 20 countries with a wide range of religions with different ethnic and linguistic groups. Given this diversity, one should not be surprised by many cultures in the region.
Middle East: the rich mosaic
Ethnic and cultural diversity of nomadic herders resembles “ethnic mosaic” in the Middle East. It should be noted that Western scholars fully appreciate sectarian and cultural differentiation in the Middle East, thus reflecting a high society that is characterised by its first charity and antiquity. Compared to other parts of the world, such as Russia, Eastern Europe and South-East Asia, the Middle East represents a great combination of culture. The vast majority of the region’s population are Arabic-speaking, with one written version of the Arabic language, commonly used languages in schools, radio and newspapers. Secondly, the region is mostly Muslim and has existed for thousands of years. Sunni Islam is the majority of people in Morocco, Iraq and Turkey; Iranians, on the contrary, are all Shiite Muslims. Thirdly, the tripartite division of the population into urban, rural and migration segments is a universal characteristic in the identified area in the Middle East.
The Middle East, located between Africa, Asia and Europe for thousands of years, was the cornerstone of the builders, travellers and empires. The Africans, Central Asia and Celts were involved in ethnic interventions. The most important ethnic groups in the Middle East are Arabs, Iranians (also called Persians), Turks, Jews, Kurds, Berbers, Armenians, Nubians, and Greeks. Most countries in the region are multi ethnic and having cultural diversities. But even if diversity enhances the cultural wealth of society, unfortunately, this can also lead to political conflicts. For example, Kurds do not have their own national state, but they are located throughout Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. These political and military attempts to create an autonomous Kurdistan strongly resisted these countries. Nevertheless, the requirement for relative cultural coherence with the region is not to deny the existing cultural diversity; in fact, each country in the region contains groups or minorities that are different from the majority of the population, and these groups or minorities are labeled in a certain culture. These ethnic or community markers include religious beliefs, language, tribal members, ethnic differences, and local customs. Among them, the two most important national and cultural identity signs in the Middle East are language and religion.
-Role of religion in culture
The Middle East is the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and all monotheistic religions come from the same tradition. Islam is the predominant religion this region. Each religion uses the text of the early group, so they have many rules and beliefs. For example, Islam and Judaism follow the same rules, values and use religion as the basis of civil law. All three have a tradition of prophets, from Adam and Abraham to Solomon and Joseph. Jesus is important to both Christianity and Islam, and Muslims follow the teachings of Muhammad.Religion plays an important role not only through prayer and teaching in daily life, but also at the end of the working week. The Friday is a Muslim holiday, Saturdays and Saturdays, Jewish Holidays, Christian Holidays, and shops of various associations. Religious holidays and memorable events such as Id al-Fitr (Rapid Festival at the end of Ramadan) or Jewish Easter or Easter Sunday are ruled by Rome or Orthodox churches and are considered to be a national holiday in different countries.
The understanding of God (Arabic: God) is reflected in the region, even though Arabic is not a native language, but in Arabic and Arabic in Turkey and Iran. “What do you want?” “Ikhholla!” “Thank God.” Inshallah, the hope of the future, is “God’s favour.” The exclamation point “Mashallah” means, for example, when God sees a newborn as a manifestation of joy. These phrases are for those who are like God, while others speak English “Mercy” (“Be with God”). Religion also plays an important role in national and international politics. There are many Muslims in Turkey, but officially secular. Other countries in the region imagine a particular religion, mainly Islam. The Lebanese constitution sought to ensure separation between Maronite and Orthodox Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Shiite Muslims and Druze, including 18 officially recognised religions. However, as the population of different groups grew at different levels, the system was not a general representative of the population, and a civil war began. Therefore religion plays important role in the societies in general and their culture in particular.
Family and languages
The family is an important part of the Middle Eastern culture, which is reflected in the reputation of the Arab peoples, which is often used to give priority to the name. A person can be called a son (“son”), then his father or Abu (“father”), and then the name of the child. In traditional Arab society, the family is considered as great united family – cousins, grandmothers and grandmothers, second- generation cousins, cousins, prostitutes, nephews, etc. – all together. This is still true, especially in rural areas. The increasing urban migration has reduced some of these large families, and in urban areas only natives of non-state families are growing also. In case of languages the four main languages in the region are Indian–European, Semitic, Altai or Turkic and African. The Hebrew, Persian and Turkish are the national languages of Israel, Iran and Turkey. Arabic language is the official language of other countries in the region. Persian language is written in Arabic letters, and its dictionary contains many Arabic words. Apart from this hospitality has also seen as an important part of the middle east culture where people like to share moments of happiness and joy together such as through gifts, hugs and passing cuisines.
Arts, literature and architecture
Centuries after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Arab followers spread their doctrines in Egypt, as well as in Africa, both in the West and in Spain and in the east of Sassanid Persia. Because of the rapid expansion and shortcomings of the former Arabian Peninsula, Muslims received a unique style from the synthesis of Byzantine, Coptic and Roman art. The great power of Islamic art lies in its ability to synthesise its design elements with imported ones. The original decoration of the page is an important factor that can be large or small in every work of Islamic art and architecture. Islamic art prevents the true appearance of humans and animals, and its flower patterns are far from the original models. The Prohibition of the Image of the Cited Living Objects Although the Quran does not exist, the representational character of Islamic art is based on a traditional religious ban on imitation of God.
The earliest Islamic architectural monument, located at 691-92 in Jerusalem, is located at the site of the second Jewish temple, Qubbat al-Sahrah(Dome of the rock). Muslims believe this is the place where Muhammad is raised to heaven. Its decoration depicts green, blue and golden grapes and flowers, precious stones and corals. The Great Mosque of Damascus (705-14) built by Al-Walid in the original Roman temple. The palace of the desert of Khirbat al-Maafar (Jordan) of the 8th century depicts carved and cast ceramics, reliefs of sculptures and figurines of frescoes. In the year 750 AD, the Abbasid dynasty moved the capital to Baghdad to the east, and from 836 to 892 the Abbasid rulers lived in Samara. The Samara large mosque is an important example of Iraqi hypocrisy, which speaks of its size and magnificent tower. In Iran, there are several Islamic buildings built before the 10th century. it still stands. For example, Sassanid construction equipment is combined with the form of a mosque. In turkey the mosques became influenced by the Persian architecture till thew middle of 17th century.
Apart from the historical art and culture, in the present time the most famous architecture in middle east are
Museum of islamic art, doha, Qatar;
Ferrari world, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Khalifa, Dubai;
World Trade Centre, Bahrain;
Cayan Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Cultural diversity in middle East
The Middle East, which exists for thousands of years in Africa, Asia and Europe, is the foundation of builders, travellers and empires. The Africans, Central Asia and the Celtics are involved in ethnic intervention in the region. The largest ethnic groups in the Middle East are the Arabs, Iranians (also called Persian), Turks, Jews, Kurds, Berber, Armenians, Nubians, Azerbaijanis and Greeks. Many countries in the region are multiethnic and rich in diversity. However, diversity can increase the cultural value of society, unfortunately, can lead to political conflicts also.The Kurds, for example, do not have their own national state, but they spread throughout Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. These political and military attempts to create an autonomous Kurdistan strongly resisted by these states. The languages also play a big role in families, which reflect the consistent migration of different peoples in the region.
Israel is one of the most cultural rich country of the middle east. It has rich culture mosaic from centuries. It is located in the south eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The country is famous for its art, music, literature and culture all over the world. The Israeli music such has Mizrahi and sephardic are world famous musics. In terms of literature Israeli literature such as poetry are world famous for example Hebrew as a part of renaissance period. Apart from this the monuments and historical landscape of Israel are famous across the world such as Israel museum in Jerusalem.
The religious aspect of Israel is consist of five major religions where judaism is practised by most of the people. The other religions are Christianity, islam, Druze and Baha l faith.
Role of religion
Around the world, relations between religion and state are regulated in a wide variety of ways. Some countries have a strict regime of separation between the two, ranging from “friendly” separation to “hostile” separation between them. Israel does not have a constitution, and the proclamation of independence includes an obligation to ensure the equality of all religions. However, there has never been a decision to separate religion from the state, and in fact there is no such division. In the absence of a formal solution, the situation in Israel is regulated by a mechanism that supports existing mechanisms related to the pre-nationalist period. These mechanisms, known as the “status quo”, were born in 1947, when they were worried whether the leadership of the ultra-Orthodox community could resist the creation of the state. The status quo is a compass that defines religion in Israel. The scope of this statement has been extended for many years. However, over the years, the status quo has been severely eroded, which has been the cause of the inconsistency between religion and the state of Israel.
since the last century Israel has experienced a huge migration from eastern Europe mainly Russia who are less familiar with jewish traditions and values. Along with this the emerging influence of western values and cultures also give an alternative to the native jewish tradition in Israel. Despite that the jewish tradition has been preserved profoundly in Israel. There has been strong desire by the non religious people to connect themselves to their native tradition through the means of culture by arts, writing and heritages. however, there are also opposed sides who see a rift between religious jews and secular jews. Therefore there is a debate between traditional religious jews and the western values which are emerging on the one hand and the contradiction between religion and state on the other hand which needs to be answered.
Judaism is a complex of religious, national, social and cultural elements. In the past, these components of identity were considered integrated whole. However, some recent serious changes in the Jewish lifestyle have led to the destruction of this mixture. The most important of these changes firstly is secularisation. In the past 250 years, religious people and organisations have significantly declined their centrality in Jewish identity. This change is a turning point in Jewish history because it puts the essence of Judaism at the forefront. As a result there comes a duality in the country where the people have same history on the one hand but there perception and ambitions became different. Secondly, the origin of Israel as a state which has further aggravated the crisis for jews. Instead of resolving the issues of jews identity it has rather increased the problems for them such as role of religion in state, cultural values of jews and their identity. The major debate and dualism comes between the western liberal culture and traditional jewish culture which is existing in Israel in the present world. Therefore the question comes how and by what methods the duality can be resolved in the Israel? Therefore the cultural orientation is a big issue in Israel today.
Cultural disputes and challenges
Since there is a huge disagreement going on between religion and state in Israel the issue has generated further problems in the daily life of people of the country. For example, firstly, the case of conversion to judaism which has created huge amount of issues in the country. It has generated the problems over the boundaries of jewish identity. secondly, the issue of sabbath which has the issue regarding the problem of preferred state in Israel. Thirdly the issues regarding the question of marriage and divorce rich forms the major issues in the jewish societies which needs urgent attention of the state. Therefore the presence of varieties of views and societies within jewish tradition in Israel is itself a big issue which has created further issues in the region.
The complex Jewish society consisting of several departments with different belief systems and values and the most important Jewish existence organization in our generation – the meeting between the State of Israel – is the basis for the tension between Israel’s religion and the state. However, the Jewish Ideological camp and the meeting of the State of Israel deviated from the class arguments of those who usually struggled with religion and national law, political science and politics, and extended to a field called “identity discourse”.
The Jewish community of Israel is in the midst of an cultural crisis. Undoubtedly, despite differences and disagreements, Israeli Jews formed a single, clearly defined group of countries that could work together to achieve their goals. The success of the country in different areas proves this. However, the identity crisis represents a serious threat to the unity and common future of Israel. This ongoing crisis has caused constant instability in the country of Israel. The crisis of identity is one of the main factors of its political instability also. As a result it poses a great threat to the culture of Israel. Therefore cultural and social aspect have to be rechecked and needs huge attention from the state. The cultural values needs to be preserved and tamed in such a way that they must be used in the promotion of peace and harmony among the different groups in the country.