Regional Spotlight: Eastern Mediterranean
The identification of the Eastern Mediterranean as a distinct geographic region has become more prevalent in recent literature. This characterization and identification is probably caused by common geopolitical factors and recent events. There is no universal agreement on the countries that should comprise the Eastern Mediterranean. However, for the purpose of this chapter and as a matter of operational definition, the following countries are included: Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. The unique geographic location of the Eastern Mediterranean is at the junction of three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Watching everyday news shows clearly and easily that these countries have common intertwining affairs affecting not only this region but extending across the globe. Obviously, conflict, war, proxy wars, invasion, migration, refugees, destruction, involvement of world powers, uncertainty, and other major events have significant impact on individual and public health. This is exacerbated by the regions’ substantial socioeconomic and health disparities at multiple levels. There is a huge need to understand this region for any person or organization contemplating healthcare volunteering.