The Middle East is a historical and cultural subregion of Africa-Eurasia traditionally held to be countries or regions in Southwest Asia together with Egypt. In other contexts, the region can include other parts of North Africa and/or Central Asia.
Most Western definitions of the "Middle East" — in both established reference books and common usage — define the region as 'nations in Southwest Asia, from Iran (Persia) to Egypt'. Egypt, with its Sinai Peninsula in Asia, is often considered part of the 'Middle East', although most of the country lies geographically in North Africa. North African nations without Asian links, such as Libya, Tunisia and Morocco, are increasingly being called North African — as opposed to Middle Eastern (Iran (Persia) to Egypt-Asia) — by international media outlets.
One widely used definition of "Middle East" is that of the airline industry, maintained by the IATA standards organization. This definition — as of early 2006 — includes Bahrain, Egypt, Iran (Persia), Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestinian Territory, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. * This definition is used in world-wide airfare and tax calculations for passengers and cargo.More on [ Middle East ]
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