The term “Levant” often heard in the news roughly corresponds to which of the following regions?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2022 Prelims]
(a) Region along the eastern Mediterranean shores
(b) Region along North African shores stretching from Egypt to Morocco
(c) Region along Persian Gulf and Horn of Africa
(d) The entire coastal areas of Mediterranean Sea
- The Levant is a term used to describe a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia, which represents the land bridge between Africa and Eurasia.
- In modern-day archaeology and other cultural contexts, it is commonly used to refer to the historical region of Syria, including present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and most of Turkey southwest of the middle Euphrates, bordering the Mediterranean in southwestern Asia. It is a crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, and northeast Africa.
- The French mandate of Syria and Lebanon after World War I was called the Levant States, and sometimes the term is still used for those two countries, which became independent in 1946.
- The Arabic term Al-Mashriq, which means “Where the Sun Rises,” also refers to a broader geographic region.
Therefore, option (a) is the correct answer.