MENA is an English-language acronym referring to the Middle East and North Africa region. An alternative for the same group of countries is WANA (West Asia and North Africa). The term covers an extensive region stretching from Morocco to Iran, including all Mashriq and Maghreb countries. This toponym is roughly synonymous with the term the Greater Middle East.

The population of the MENA region at its least extent is estimated to be around 381 million people. This constitutes about 6% of the total world population. The MENA acronym is often used in academia, military planning, disaster relief, media planning as a broadcast region, and business writing.[1][2]


Due to the geographic ambiguity and Eurocentric nature of the term "Middle East", some people prefer use of the terms Arab World, WANA (West Asia and North Africa)[3] or the less common NAWA (North Africa-West Asia).[4] Both the Arab world[5] and MENA region remain the most common terms and are used by most organizations, academia, and political entities flexibly, including those in the region itself. The World Bank,[6] UNDP[7] and even the UNSC[8] all use both terms.

List of countries

MENA has no standardized definition; different organizations define the region as consisting of different territories. The following is a list of commonly included countries and territories.[1][9][10][11]

Other countries sometimes counted as part of MENA:

*Non-sovereign territories.


The MENA region has vast reserves of petroleum and natural gas that make it a vital source of global economic stability. According to the Oil and Gas Journal (January 1, 2009), the MENA region has 60% of the world's oil reserves (810.98 billion barrels (128.936 km3)) and 45% of the world's natural gas reserves ( 2,868,886 billion cubic feet (81,237.8 km3) ).[12]

As of 2011, 8 of the 15 OPEC nations are within the MENA region.


According to Pew Research Center, 40% of the adult population in MENA has completed less than a year of primary school. The fraction is higher for women, of whom half have been to school for less than a year.[13]


Islam is by far the dominant religion in nearly all of the MENA territories; 91.2% of the population is Muslim. The Middle East-North Africa region comprises 20 countries and territories with an estimated Muslim population of 315 million or about 23% of the world's Muslim population.[14] The term "MENA" is often defined in part in relation to majority Muslim countries that based on the countries located in the region, although several nations in the region are not majority Muslim-dominated.[15]

Other terms


From April 2013, the International Monetary Fund started using a new analytical region called MENAP (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan), which adds Afghanistan and Pakistan to MENA countries.[16] Now MENAP is prominent economic grouping in IMF reports.[17][18]


The term MENAT has been used to include Turkey in the list of MENA countries.[19][20]

Instability in the region

Due to rich resources, mainly oil and gas, combined with its location between three continents, (Asia, Africa and Europe), the MENA region has been in conflict since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire; notably due to the creation of Israel, a Jewish state among Arab and Muslim countries; Israeli–Palestinian conflict; the Iran–Iraq War; Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict; and the rise of terrorism. Conflict in the region had come to its highest peak so far in the 21st century, with incidents such as the U.S. intervention of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent Iraq War and the rise of ISIS; the Arab Spring, which spread war to throughout the region such as the Syrian Civil War, Libyan Civil War and Yemeni Civil War.

See also


  1. ^ a b "World Bank Definition: MENA". Archived from the original on 29 October 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  2. ^ "World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, Marrakech, Morocco, 26-28 October 2010". World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa 2010 - World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  3. ^ "West Asia and North Africa: A Regional Vision". Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Welcome". Archived from the original on 30 April 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  5. ^ Malone, David (25 October 2003). "Arab World Data". World Bank. Washington D.C. Archived from the original on 13 July 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Financial education in the Arab World: Strategies, Implementation and Impact". World Bank. Archived from the original on 2016-11-04. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  7. ^ "United Nations Development Programme in the Arab States". UNDP. Archived from the original on 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  8. ^ Malone, David (25 October 2003). "Reforming the Security Council: Where Are the Arabs?". The Daily Star. Beirut. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  9. ^ Dumper, Michael, and Stanley, Bruce E., Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopaedia, 2007
  10. ^ George T. Abed, Hamid Reza Davoodi (2003). Challenges of Growth and Globalization in the Middle East and North Africa. International Monetary Fund. p. 2. Retrieved 10 February 2018.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Cluster Munitions in the Middle East and North Africa" (PDF). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ "International Reserves". United States Department of Energy. Archived from the original on 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ Masci, David. "About one-fifth of adults globally have no formal schooling". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  14. ^ "Middle East-North Africa Overview". Pew Forum. 7 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Politics and Islam in Central Asia and MENA". 24 April 2012. Archived from the original on 6 February 2017.
  16. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database". Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  17. ^ "World Economic Outlook Database" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-04-23.
  18. ^ "MENAP" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  19. ^ "MENAT Regional Council". Syracuse University Dubai. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "About GE in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT)". General Electric. Archived from the original on August 4, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
American Made (film)

American Made is a 2017 American biographical action crime film directed by Doug Liman, written by Gary Spinelli, and starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Alejandro Edda, Mauricio Mejía, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jesse Plemons. The plot focuses on Barry Seal, a former TWA pilot who flew missions for the CIA, and became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s. In order to avoid jail time, Seal became an informant for the DEA.The film was first released in Taiwan on August 18, 2017, and then in the United States on September 29, 2017. It is the first film directed by Liman to be released by Universal Pictures since The Bourne Identity in 2002, and played in 2D and IMAX in select theaters. It grossed $134 million worldwide against a budget of $50 million, and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Cruise's performance.

Arab Spring

The Arab Spring (Arabic: الربيع العربي) was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East in late 2010. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, beginning with protests in Tunisia (Noueihed, 2011; Maleki, 2011). In the news, social media has been heralded as the driving force behind the swift spread of revolution throughout the world, as new protests appear in response to success stories shared from those taking place in other countries (see Howard, 2011). In many countries, the governments have also recognized the importance of social media for organizing and have shut down certain sites or blocked Internet service entirely, especially in the times preceding a major rally (see The Telegraph, 2011). Governments have also scrutinized or suppressed discussion in those forums through accusing content creators of unrelated crimes or shutting down communication on specific sites or groups, such as through Facebook (Solomon, 2011; Seyid, 2011).The effects of the Tunisian Revolution spread strongly to five other countries: Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, where either the regime was toppled or major uprisings and social violence occurred, including riots, civil wars or insurgencies. Sustained street demonstrations took place in Morocco, Iraq, Algeria, Iranian Khuzestan, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Sudan. Minor protests occurred in Djibouti, Mauritania, the Palestinian National Authority, Saudi Arabia, and the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. A major slogan of the demonstrators in the Arab world is ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ an-niẓām ("the people want to bring down the regime").The wave of initial revolutions and protests faded by mid-2012, as many Arab Spring demonstrations were met with violent responses from authorities, as well as from pro-government militias, counter-demonstrators and militaries. These attacks were answered with violence from protestors in some cases.

Large-scale conflicts resulted: the Syrian Civil War; the Iraqi insurgency and the following civil war; the Egyptian Crisis, coup, and subsequent unrest and insurgency; the Libyan Civil War; and the Yemeni Crisis and following civil war.A power struggle continued after the immediate response to the Arab Spring. While leadership changed and regimes were held accountable, power vacuums opened across the Arab world. Ultimately it resulted in a contentious battle between a consolidation of power by religious elites and the growing support for democracy in many Muslim-majority states. The early hopes that these popular movements would end corruption, increase political participation, and bring about greater economic equity quickly collapsed in the wake of the counter-revolutionary moves by foreign state actors in Yemen and of the Saudi-UAE-linked military deep state in Egypt, the regional and international military interventions in Bahrain and Yemen, and the destructive civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.Some have referred to the succeeding and still ongoing conflicts as the Arab Winter. As of May 2018, only the uprising in Tunisia has resulted in a transition to constitutional democratic governance.

Attack on Saint Menas church

On December 29, 2017, in Helwan, Cairo, Egypt, a gunman opened fire at the Coptic Orthodox Church of Saint Menas and a nearby shop owned by a Coptic man, killing ten citizens and a police officer and injuring around ten people. He was wounded by police and arrested. Investigators said he had carried out several attacks in the last year.

Later, Amaq News Agency described that terrorist attack was carried out by a person belonging to the Islamic state.

BeIN Sports (Middle East TV network)

beIN Sports (Arabic: بي إن سبورتس العربية‎) is a group of sports channels based in Doha, Qatar, serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is owned by beIN Media Group, a subsidiary of Al Jazeera Media Network. The channels primarily broadcast in Arabic, but it also offers feeds in English, French, and Spanish,

Formerly known as Al Jazeera Sport, it was re-named beIN Sports in December 2013 to unify it with Al Jazeera's international group of sports networks in the lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.In July 2013, the network acquired MENA rights to the Premier League. On 4 September 2017, the IOC announced a partnership with beIN Sports to launch a local linear version of Olympic Channel for MENA on 1 November 2017.

Boomerang (Middle East and Africa TV channel)

Boomerang in Middle East and Africa (formerly Boomerang HQ) is a children's channel owned by Turner Broadcasting System Europe which air children's cartoons; Boomerang Africa —which broadcasts in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Boomerang MENA—which broadcasts in the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to Greece and Cyprus.

Boomerang HQ was launched on 5 June 2005, broadcasting in select EMEA territories.

On 1 July 2016, Boomerang MENA was launched for the Middle East and North Africa to replace Boomerang Africa. In the Middle East and North Africa, Boomerang MENA is offered on beIN and numerous other miscellaneous providers; it is available in both English and Arabic, and broadcasts in HD as well. Boomerang MENA is also the version used in Greece and Cyprus. It has a separate schedule from Boomerang Africa, and features differing censorship rules as well.

Cartoon Network (Middle East and Africa)

Cartoon Network refers to two digital children's TV channels broadcasting animated programs: Cartoon Network MENA, which serves the Middle East and North Africa region (excluding Israel, Iran and Turkey) along with Cyprus; and Cartoon Network Africa (formerly known as Cartoon Network HQ), which serves Sub-Saharan Africa. Cartoon Network was created by Turner Broadcasting System. Cartoon Network UK/Europe (the direct precursor to Cartoon Network feeds in the EMEA region, including Cartoon Network HQ) was launched on September 17, 1993. In October 1999, Cartoon Network UK became a separate feed from Cartoon Network HQ, but initially had a nearly identical schedule to Cartoon Network HQ until the latter became completely independent from the UK feed in 2001.

Cartoon Network HQ used to broadcast in time-sharing with Turner Classic Movies. TCM would air classic movies from 9:00 PM CET to 6:00 AM CET, while Cartoon Network would run for the rest of the day.

On July 1, 2016, Cartoon Network MENA, a feed in HD on beIN, was launched to replace Cartoon Network Africa in the MENA region. It features both English and Arabic audio tracks. In addition to being offered by various Gulf IPTV providers (as well as Cablevision in Lebanon and most Cypriot TV providers except for NOVA Cyprus), Cartoon Network MENA also has a separate schedule and censorship rules from Cartoon Network Africa.

Che Guevara

Ernesto "Che" Guevara (;Spanish: [ˈtʃe ɣeˈβaɾa] June 14, 1928 – October 9, 1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.As a young medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was radicalized by the poverty, hunger and disease he witnessed. His burgeoning desire to help overturn what he saw as the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the United States prompted his involvement in Guatemala's social reforms under President Jacobo Árbenz, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow at the behest of the United Fruit Company solidified Guevara's political ideology. Later in Mexico City, Guevara met Raúl and Fidel Castro, joined their 26th of July Movement and sailed to Cuba aboard the yacht Granma with the intention of overthrowing U.S.-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Guevara soon rose to prominence among the insurgents, was promoted to second in command and played a pivotal role in the victorious two-year guerrilla campaign that deposed the Batista regime.Following the Cuban Revolution, Guevara performed a number of key roles in the new government. These included reviewing the appeals and firing squads for those convicted as war criminals during the revolutionary tribunals, instituting agrarian land reform as minister of industries, helping spearhead a successful nationwide literacy campaign, serving as both national bank president and instructional director for Cuba's armed forces, and traversing the globe as a diplomat on behalf of Cuban socialism. Such positions also allowed him to play a central role in training the militia forces who repelled the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and bringing Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles to Cuba, which precipitated the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Additionally, Guevara was a prolific writer and diarist, composing a seminal manual on guerrilla warfare, along with a best-selling memoir about his youthful continental motorcycle journey. His experiences and studying of Marxism–Leninism led him to posit that the Third World's underdevelopment and dependence was an intrinsic result of imperialism, neocolonialism and monopoly capitalism, with the only remedy being proletarian internationalism and world revolution. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to foment revolution abroad, first unsuccessfully in Congo-Kinshasa and later in Bolivia, where he was captured by CIA-assisted Bolivian forces and summarily executed.Guevara remains both a revered and reviled historical figure, polarized in the collective imagination in a multitude of biographies, memoirs, essays, documentaries, songs and films. As a result of his perceived martyrdom, poetic invocations for class struggle and desire to create the consciousness of a "new man" driven by moral rather than material incentives, Guevara has evolved into a quintessential icon of various leftist movements. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, while an Alberto Korda photograph of him, titled Guerrillero Heroico (shown), was cited by the Maryland Institute College of Art as "the most famous photograph in the world".

DMAX (Middle East and North Africa)

DMAX is a TV channel in the Middle East and North Africa. beIN Media Group and Discovery Communications announced in February 2016, that they would launch a version of DMAX in the MENA market.

The channel was launched on 1 August 2016 and broadcast on beIN Network.

DTX (TV channel)

DTX (Discovery Turbo Xtra) is a television channel devoted to programming about transport. It is a CEEMEA version of Discovery Turbo.

It launched on 14 February 2012, in Romania, and on 17 September 2013 in Poland, replaced Discovery World, and later roll-out in Turkey and Eastern Europe. Later in Poland, in second half of November 2016, Discovery Turbo Xtra renamed as DTX.

In the Middle East, it is launched on 1 April 2016 and broadcast on beIN Network.

Francisco Z. Mena

Francisco Z. Mena Municipality is a municipality in Puebla in south-eastern Mexico.The municipality is named after General Francisco Zacarías Mena (1841-1910).

Ikobi language

Ikobi, or Ikobi-Mena after its two varieties, is a Papuan language, or pair of languages, of Papua New Guinea. Wurm and Hattori (1981) treat the two varieties, Ikobi and Mena, as distinct languages, but Ethnologue 16 judges them to be one.

Mena, Arkansas

Mena ( MEE-nə) is a city in Polk County, Arkansas, United States. It is also the county seat of Polk County. The population was 5,737 as of 2010 census.

Mena is included in the Ark-La-Tex socio-economic region. Surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest, Mena is a gateway to some of the most visited tourist attractions in Arkansas.

Mena, Sikasso

Mena is a small town and commune in the Cercle of Kolondieba in the Sikasso Region of southern Mali. In 1998 the commune had a population of 5014.

Mena (Mercurian crater)

Mena is a crater in the Beethoven quadrangle on Mercury. It has a diameter of 25 kilometers. Its name was adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1976. Mena is named for the Spanish poet Juan de Mena, who lived from 1411 to 1456.

Mena Suvari

Mena Alexandra Suvari (; born February 13, 1979) is an American actress, fashion designer, and model. After beginning her career as a model and guest-starring in several television series, she made her film debut in the drama Nowhere (1997).

Suvari rose to international prominence for her roles in the 1999 romantic drama film American Beauty, for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and in three of the American Pie original films (1999–2001, 2012). Her other notable films include Slums of Beverly Hills (1998), Loser (2000), Sugar & Spice (2001), Rumor Has It (2005), Stuck (2007), and You May Not Kiss the Bride (2010).

Suvari played recurring roles in the fourth season of HBO drama series Six Feet Under (2004), garnering a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and in the second season of Chicago Fire (2013). She also portrayed Elizabeth Short in the anthology series American Horror Story: Murder House and reprised the role in American Horror Story: Apocalypse and starred in the eight-episode series South of Hell (2015).

Suvari has been a model for Lancôme cosmetics and print ads for Lancôme Paris Adaptîve, as well as a long-time supporter and activist for the Starlight Children's Foundation and the African Medical and Research Foundation.


Orbit Showtime Network (OSN, stylized as "osn") is a direct-broadcast satellite provider serving the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It offers popular entertainment content such as movies, sporting events and various TV shows from major networks and studios such as Warner Bros., Paramount, HBO, Fox, Disney, Sony, Zee Network, MGM, Universal, ESPN and DreamWorks in addition to local versions specifically for the MENA region. As of 2015 OSN offers 154 television channels and 53 high-definition channels and 3D entertainment. OSN was formed as a result of merger of two of the Mideast's largest TV networks, Orbit and Showtime Arabia in 2009.The OSN network is owned and operated by Panther Media Group Limited, a joint venture between KIPCO (60.5%) and Mawarid Holding (39.5%) and is registered in the DIFC. OSN's corporate headquarters and Broadcast Center are based in Dubai Media City in the United Arab Emirates.

OSN introduced several technologies and services in the Middle East market. In 2012 the OSN DVR HD was launched. OSN Play, an online TV platform; Plus HD, a 3D, HD, internet-enabled satellite receiver and recorder and OSN on Demand, the region's first VOD service were all launched in the same year.In August 2013, OSN acquired Pehla Media & Entertainment, offering around forty channels in a variety of South Asian languages in the MENA region, with content such as Bollywood movies and cricket, including the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Roberto Mena Pérez

Roberto Mena Perez (born March 6, 1984) is a wheelchair basketball player from Spain. He represented Spain at the 2012 Summer Paralympics as a member of Spain men's national wheelchair basketball team.

Saint Menas

For the Florentine saint, see Minias of Florence.Saint Minas (also Meena, Mina, Menas, Mena, Menes, Mennas; Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲙⲏⲛⲁ) (285 – c. 309), the Martyr and Wonder-worker, is one of the most well-known Coptic saints in the East and the West, due to the many miracles that are attributed to his intercession and prayers. Minas was an Coptic soldier in the Roman army martyred because he refused to recant his Christian faith. The common date of his commemoration is November 11, which occurs 13 days later (November 24) on the Julian calendar.

His feast day is celebrated every year on 15 Hathor in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which corresponds to November 24 on the Gregorian Calendar. In Eastern Orthodox Churches that follow the old style or Julian calendar, it is likewise celebrated on November 24. In the Eastern Orthodox Churches that follow the new style or Revised Julian calendar, as well as in the Catholic Church, it is celebrated on November 11.

Although Minas is recognized as a minor saint in Western churches, it is considered likely by many historians that he is celebrated in these churches under the name of Saint Christopher (i.e. the "Christ-bearer"), as one of the legends associated with Mina has him, like Christopher, carrying the Christ Child.

Valle de Mena

The Mena Valley (Spanish: Valle de Mena) is a municipality of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castilla y León, Spain, that borders the provinces of Alava and Vizcaya (Basque Country) and Cantabria.

The municipality has 3,926 inhabitants distributed among 43 small villages, being its capital Villasana de Mena with 1.554 inhabitants.

Earth's primary regions

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