Europa has a lock on regional surveys of the world, publishing volumes on every major region every year and carrying out this service for decades. Each volume carries an enormous amount of information, including essays, country-by-country surveys, and statistical information. It also includes bibliographies, current addresses and telephone numbers of institutions, information on leading organizations and media outlets.
The Middle East volume includes particularly useful sections on the Palestinian organizations, the Saudi economy, and the recent history of Ceuta and Melilla (two Spanish towns on the North African coast).
With its many years of practice, Europa has perfected the art of remaining up to date. In a virtuoso performance, it managed to include information on the Israel-Jordan treaty of October 26, 1994 in a finished volume which arrived in the United States a mere month and a half later.
Two flaws mar this otherwise impressive volume: the anti-Israel animus that appears in several of the preliminary essays (notably the nearly book-length account of the Arab-Israeli conflict), something totally out of place in a reference book; and the inevitably layered quality in some of the historical accounts, reflecting the fact that these essays get modified and updated year after year. Tight editing could eliminate these two problems, thereby permitting the Europa annual to attain its full potential.