English / عربي
"Knowledge from the region, action for the region"

Why WANA?

The WANA Institute is concerned with development and sustainability for the people of the West Asia-North Africa region. This terminology is preferred to Middle East-North Africa (MENA).

The term ‘Middle East’ was coined over a century ago and is geographically ambiguous. Our region is only east when considered from the perspective of Europe.

The WANA Institute advocates for a definition of the region less rooted in political geography, but rather in human geography. The pairing of West Asia and North Africa reflects the key patterns of development in the region, geopolitical interdependencies, and the nature of key threats and challenges. This definition acknowledges the principal economic and geopolitical factors that link and influence the region’s development. These include the growing economic influence of Turkey, the resource holdings of the Gulf States, and the influence of Iran and Israel on regional stability.

By acknowledging the region’s interdependence, we gain a platform for authentic, cooperative solutions geared towards lasting change.

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