A long time ago when in Europe there was nothing but a bunch of savage people, in Asia,The Middle East, Mediterranean and North East Africa there was a great civilization with a healthy trading economy and rich culture.
The first crusades started in the 11th century lead by the Franks and the holy Roman Empire. They overruled many islamic countries in the east and started to terrorize these nations,steal their possessions and their knowledge leaving these countries behind in poverty.
The silk routes started mainly in south east Asia with China as the center.
Now the economy of China and India is growing fast and the West is trying to control this growth by forcing these nations to play by their rules but they have learned from the past. The new Silky Road goes from China,India to Africa.
In the north of Africa people are fighting for their freedom and improvement of life.
Their economies,in the near future, will grow faster than the West what will be a turning point of civilization. Maybe in a number of decades,Europe and the US will be far behind.