Mediterranean Sea  

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"The cause of the break with the tradition of antiquity was the rapid and unexpected advance of Islam. The result of this advance was the final separation of East from West, and the end of the Mediterranean unity. Countries like Africa and Spain, which had always been parts of the Western community, gravitated henceforth in the orbit of Baghdad. In these countries another religion made its appearance, and an entirely different culture. The Western Mediterranean, having become a Musulman lake, was no longer the thoroughfare of commerce and of thought which it had always been." --Mohammed and Charlemagne (1922) by Henri Pirenne

"The lack of a truly European asylum and migration policy is now turning the Mediterranean into a graveyard. Our immediate priority must be to save lives at sea. When people are dying right in front of our eyes, human decency demands that we hold out our hand to save them."--Martin Schulz, 2015

"OUT of an apparently world-wide, prehistoric, Neolithic base arose the great civilizations of ancient times. These we see in the Near East (in Egypt, the valley of the Tigris-Euphrates, and Persia); around the Mediterranean (in Crete, Greece, and westward to the Pillars of Hercules); in the Far East (in India, China, and Japan); and in the Americas (in Middle, South, and North America). " --Gardner's Art Through the Ages (1926) by Helen Gardner

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The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a completely separate body of water.

21st century and migrations

In 2013, the Maltese president described the Mediterranean Sea as a "cemetery" due to the large number of migrants who drowned there after their boats capsized. European Parliament president Martin Schulz said in 2014 that Europe's migration policy "turned the Mediterranean into a graveyard", referring to the number of drowned refugees in the region as a direct result of the policies. An Azerbaijani official described the sea as "a burial ground ... where people die".

Following the 2013 Lampedusa migrant shipwreck, the Italian government decided to strengthen the national system for the patrolling of the Mediterranean Sea by authorising "Operation Mare Nostrum", a military and humanitarian mission in order to rescue the migrants and arrest the traffickers of immigrants. In 2015, more than one million migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.

Italy was particularly affected by the European migrant crisis. Since 2013, over 700,000 migrants have landed in Italy, mainly sub-Saharan Africans.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mediterranean Sea" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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