Conflict, turmoil and the flight of innocents from their homes is not a new phenomenon in the Middle East but has been etched in history over the past 7,000 years.
From the merging of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms in Ancient Egypt in BC 3100 to the establishment of a judicial system in Babylon in BC 1800 and the expansion of the militaristic Roman Empire, this region has seen great scientific and social development in the wake of war and conquest.
As empires have risen and fallen, populations migrated, and philosophies and religions emerged, the Middle East today is in essence built on the foundations of both its brilliant and bloody history.
The interactive map below, courtesy of Maps of War (www.mapsofwar.com), charts the flux of empires and peoples over the past 5,000 years.
Source: Al Jazeera