Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Middle East

Dear Heather,
Is the Middle East really in the middle?
Duncan Idaho
Undisclosed location

Dear Duncan,
If you're looking at a global map from the perspective of East-West, and North America is the West, then you can see that the Middle East is clearly in the middle of the eastern part of the world. However, all of this is based on the presumption that North America is West. If you were standing in Japan, and Japan was the center of the world, then the Middle East would actually be considered West. It's all relative and most of the maps are designed in a fairly Eurocentric manner such that the U.S. and Europe are the center of the universe. Some maps even exaggerate the actual size of the U.S. in relation to Asia and Africa, which are much larger than North America. This relates to the politics of global hegemony which map-makers are subject to and which are continuously being re-written in a de-stabilized, post colonial world.

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