Arabic is also the language of Islam, and many Muslims read and recite holy text in Arabic even if it is not their main language.
Persian languages, primarily Farsi, are spoken throughout Iran, and Turkish is spoken in Turkey.
Olives and chickpeas are frequently used in cooking, and flatbreads such as pita are popular.
Some dishes are specific to one region, and flavoring techniques may change from country to country.
Similarities exist, however, and some dishes are popular throughout much of the Middle East.
Middle Eastern music tends to have strong melodies and complex rhythms.
Middle Eastern vocalists usually sing with a nasal quality, as opposed to Western singers who tend to strive for more of a chest quality.
For example, Iran is the modern-day successor to the Persian empire, and Iranians speak Farsi or other Persian languages while most of the rest of the Middle East speaks dialects of Arabic.