The Middle East is the connector between Europe and “Far East”. It is an important factor in global trade because it made the Chinese and Persians be able to trade with each other therefore drawing a connection between the East and the West and enhancing trade. Yet the Middle East seemed to spend more time fixing conflict, likes the Muslims and the Crusaders, within their own empire than trying to reach out to others.
Geographically, trading in the Persian Gulf was perfect. It connected India, The Middle east and the Mediterranean sea. If a successful trade system were just based on location, this place would have been at the top for eternity. Unfortunately the success of trade in the Persian gulf stumbled because there was constant struggle over who controlled and fighting made the trade routes less safe and there was no organization. Also, when the alliance between Persia and Iraq crumbled it had a seriously negative effect of trade. Egypt’s success in trade ended for good when the Portuguese took control of the Persian Gulf trade after the Black Death struck.
The Muslims in the Middle East always struggled with the crusaders from Europe. Even the authorities discouraged trade with Europe. I find it incredible that the importance of their religions so greatly outweighed their want for money and trade that they would sacrifice a profitable trade route just because of their beliefs.
-Dorothy Smith "Bunny"