Middle Eastern Views of Mental Illness

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There are many countries that are considered to be countries of the Middle East. Some of these include Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Yemen, and Isreal, just to name a few. Many of these countries have things in common, such as belief in Islam, use of the Arabic language, connections through the Arab League, historical ties, etc. The different countries form a chain of countries that are linked by culture and religion on the one hand and yet vary greatly in terms of dialect and history on the other. The Arabic language is a large common denominator between these countries; however, dialects can be so different from each other to a point where a person from Syria can hardly communicate with a person from Algeria. (1) Most landscape in the Middle East is either occupied by harsh desert conditions or mountains. This has made its people very tough in terms of living conditions. Lebanon, parts of Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq have mountainous areas while most of the other countries are flat and extremely arid. Those living in the desert traditionally used to move around in a perennial search for water, which resulted in unique eating behaviors and homes. A typical Arab house in the desert is built out of mud and has little furniture. The food is basic with little processing. However, in the mountains of Lebanon, Syria or Turkey one will encounter strong homes with heavy stones and arches that can last for generations. In addition, food in these areas is usually produced during summertime and stored in cellars for use when nature does not allow them to go out and work their snow covered fields.(1) Religions play a big role in the dynamics of the Middle Eastern society. They are considered to be one of the main pillars of the society and individuals are stereotyped based on religion. Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are the main religions practiced in the middle-east and people who practice these faiths only surround themselves with people of the same faith. Daily life is practiced...
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