The Arabian Peninsula is the birthplace of Islam and the cradle of many civilisations, as well as home to eight important Arab nations. All have been reliant on oil and natural gas and are now in the process of diversifying and de-carbonising their economies as they and the world tackles the challenge of climate change.
Few regions offer more variety and have suffered more conflict than Israel and the Levant, which also includes Lebanon, currently reeling from one crisis to another, and the seeming never-ending tragedy of Syria and its bloody civil war. The issue of Israel and the Palestinians seems as intractable and as far from resolution as ever.
The north coast of Africa stretches from Morocco's Atlantic coast in the west to the Suez Canal in the east and is a region with an extra-ordinary past and a fascinating and often turbulent present. All countries threw off the shackles of colonialism to forge very individual futures.