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The Historical Significance of North Africa Essay

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History of mankind is about history of war and most of the history is recorded by the conquerors or the colonizers. History of Africa and more specifically North Africa region has been largely ignored by scholars.(Lecture, 8/6) The countries in North African region, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and the disputed territory of the Western Sahara(Lecture, 8/6) is generally understood to be poor, weak, insignificant, uncivilized country. However, these countries played a significant role in impacting other regions of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, itself with their religion, science, cultural ideas, politics, trade and more. Clancy-Smith argues in North Africa, Islam and the Mediterranean World that North Africa served a role of being “cross-roads” and "myriad exchanges or subtle accommodations" (Clancy-Smith, 2) because of their unique, intersecting, strategic location of Islamic, Mediterranean, Atlantic, African and European region. Without closely studying their history, North African nations seem to be insignificant, only being acted upon by other superior nations and not impacting others. However, for centuries out of many elements, their religion, science, literature, political ideas, and location have been reaching other continents influencing them as never thought before.
It is a surprising fact that Islam is the second largest religion is the world today. This is due to the swift expansion of Islam in 632 through 733. Islamic countries in North Africa have expanded their faith in Allah throughout Europe, southern African and even Asia. The transformation was from a small religious community to a state. (Lecture, 8/11) Continuing on from Muhammad, Islam started to spread constantly. Built in 661, the Umay...


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...ropean Mediterranean countries suffer from low income, insufficient growth of GNP compared with their demographic growth, high inflation and unemployment, widespread illiteracy and inadequate health services” (Gold, 27) Therefore, North African countries’ significant location is noticeably influencing the European nations.
The Islamic world remains today a vast land stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with an important presence in Europe and America. (Lecture 8/6) Being colonized for a quite a long time, North African coutries wishes to live at peace with the West as well as the East but at the same time not to be dominated by them. For many centuries, they had been functioning as the “cross-roads” (Clancy-Smith, 1) of culture, politic, trade, science and many more, and it still wishes to devote its religion, resources and energies to building crossroads.


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