Middle East & Maghrib MapsWhat we call "belly dance" in the west has its roots in the Middle East and North Africa (the Maghrib). Some understanding of the geography and culture of this part of the world enriches the dance.
What is the Middle East? The phrase really only came into use after WW2. But it is now taken to include the countries around the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea (Egypt & Sudan and the the Levant) plus the Arabian penisula, Iran and sometimes Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Although many of these countries share the Muslim religion and many are Arab states - this is not true of all. Greece, Turkey, and Iran for instance are not Arab states.
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