Discover Your Middle Eastern Heritage

A family with Middle Eastern heritage and ethnicity spend time together at a park.

The Middle East is home to some of the oldest civilizations and cultures in the world. Because of its unique location nestled between Asia, Africa, and Europe, it has also served as a hub for trade and cultural learning.

If you have Middle Eastern heritage, you share in some of the richest histories known to humanity. What are considered Middle Eastern ethnicities, and how can you find out if you’re of Middle Eastern descent?

What Are the Middle Eastern Ethnicities?

The Middle East is a transcontinental group of countries, primarily situated in western Asia. It includes a diverse set of ethnic groups, the largest of which are Arabs, with over 60 percent of the Middle Eastern population. Other major groups include Persians (who make up over half of Iran’s population), Turks (Turkish people), and Kurds. Kurds are native to the Kurdistan mountains and spread across Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey.

Middle Eastern ethnicities also include Pakistanis, Egyptians, Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Assyrians, Georgians, and Jews, among other smaller groups.

What Is Middle Eastern Heritage?

Anyone with a Middle Eastern background or ancestors from the Middle East can claim its heritage. Learn about your Middle Eastern heritage and culture in the articles below.

September 22, 2021
If you’ve ever enjoyed pita bread, hummus, or falafel, you’ve ventured into the wonderful world of Middle Eastern food. But there’s much mor…
August 20, 2021
The art of the Middle East carries with it thousands of years of human history and is as varied as the many artists who create it. Many Midd…
December 13, 2021
The Middle East is a region with a unique blend and diversity of traditions, foods, religious celebrations, languages, and cultures. Did you…
August 27, 2021
The flowing, beautiful nature of the Arabic alphabet makes it the perfect language for calligraphy, or artistic handwriting. This gorgeous a…

Do You Have Middle Eastern Heritage?

You can find your Middle Eastern family roots with multiple tools. DNA testing can get you started and help you pinpoint your ancestral homelands. It can be a rewarding experience to see an overview of your family history and genetics.

To dive deeper into your family’s history and discover key moments in your ancestors' lives, try building your family tree. These guides can help you get started:

August 20, 2021
For hundreds of years, the Ottoman Empire reigned over parts of modern-day Europe, Asia, and Africa. Well into the 1900s, the empire kept re…
August 4, 2021
If you have ancestors who came from the Middle East and are wondering how to find more information about them, FamilySearch is here to help …

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