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14 Middle Eastern Countries Safer Than America

The Middle East gets a bad rap as a violent place, but here now are 14 countries where you're less likely to get murdered than in the United States. All data comes from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Share this with the next person who tells you they'd never visit the Middle East because it's "too dangerous."

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16. So let's start with America's murder rate: 4.7 murders per 100,000 people. That's the number to beat, Middle East!

Which is just a nose away from Yemen's murder rate at 4.8 per 100,000 people.
Wisegeek.com / Via images.wisegeek.com

Which is just a nose away from Yemen's murder rate at 4.8 per 100,000 people.

15. Iran's Islamic Republic clocks in at 3.9.

Which is the same as the tourist-friendly Maldives.
iranvisitor.com

Which is the same as the tourist-friendly Maldives.

14. Egypt's at 3.4.

Which is the same as Sri Lanka.
wwp.greenwichmeantime.com

Which is the same as Sri Lanka.

13. The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, runs 2.6 per year.

12. Turkey's tied with the UAE at 2.6.

11. Lebanon's at 2.2.

By the way, the civil war ended 25 years ago. The Taif Agreement, which ended the war, could have a master's degree by now.
wordpress.com

By the way, the civil war ended 25 years ago. The Taif Agreement, which ended the war, could have a master's degree by now.

10. Morocco's tied with Lebanon at 2.2.

And 2.2 is also the same as peaceful Norway.
travelnoire.com

And 2.2 is also the same as peaceful Norway.

9. Jordan: 2.0.

8. Israel: 1.8.

Caveat: That data is within the pre-1967 borders and excludes the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
blog.eteacherhebrew.com

Caveat: That data is within the pre-1967 borders and excludes the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

7. Qatar's at 1.1.

Which is officially safer than Canada, which has a murder rate of 1.6.
travelnoire.com

Which is officially safer than Canada, which has a murder rate of 1.6.

6. Oman is tied with Qatar at 1.1.

And they're rapidly closing in on the United Kingdom's murder rate of 1.0.
tourop.travelberry.net

And they're rapidly closing in on the United Kingdom's murder rate of 1.0.

5. Saudi Arabia (.8) is safer than New Zealand (.9).

4. Algeria is at .7.

And Algeria's civil war has been over for 15 years now.
flickr.com

And Algeria's civil war has been over for 15 years now.

3. The little kingdom of Bahrain is at .5.

And that's despite a simmering anti-government uprising that's been rolling since February 2011.
bahrain.zoupfi.fr

And that's despite a simmering anti-government uprising that's been rolling since February 2011.

2. And safest of all: Kuwait at .4.

1. Borders matter; war in one place means nothing on the other side of a fence.

It's time to start thinking of the Middle East as a diverse, beautiful, and, most importantly, safe place. How does your country rank? Check out the raw stuff from the UN itself.

Ryan Bohl is a blogger and writer who spent five years in the Persian Gulf from 2009 until 2014. Read more about his travels at Absurd Living.

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