Major Demographic Changes in the Middle East and North Africa

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The major demographic changes in the Middle East and North Africa have been the massive increase in population, and urbanization which has seen the emergence of many large cities throughout the region. The reasons for this have been because of better health care, greater mobility of the population, economic opportunities in the cities and political changes. During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a number of European families started moving to the Middle East and North Africa, with many French and other Europeans settling in Algeria from the 1830s. Many Albanians moved to Egypt, and there were also some Russian Orthodox communities settling in the Holy Land. Even before the Suez Canal, was considerable sea traffic to …show more content…
Postwar political changes saw the rise of nationalism in North Africa. Many Italians left Libya and Eritrea, and at the end of the Franco-Algerian War, some 900,000 French, Italian and German settlers in Algeria moved to France where they were resettled. Many Britons, Greeks, Italians, Maltese and also Copts left Egypt during the 1950s and 1960s. In the Middle East, the creation of Israel initially saw many European Jews moving there, with many North African Jews moving to Israel after the Six-Day War of 1967. During this period large numbers of Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan and Lebanon, and from the 1950s, many Christian Palestinians and Christian Lebanese have resettled in the United States, Canada and Australia. During the 1990s there has been a massive influx of Russian Jews to Israel, combined with the resettlement of the Falashes, the Jews of Ethiopia. The oil wealth of the Middle East from the 1970s created a demand for Western engineers and technicians, as well as tens of thousands of Indians, Pakistanis and Filipinos finding menial and domestic work in the Iraq and the Gulf states. The persecution of the Kurds by Saddam Hussein and the governments of Iran and Turkey has seen many people flee the region, with the persecution of the Marsh Arabs of Iraq causing a population exodus from southern Iraq. During the Gulf War of 1990-91, many of the foreign workers