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Middle East

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The Middle East, as a geographic entity, comprises the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. Also called southwestern Asia.

The Middle East is comprised of Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

"Middle East" is still not a completely settled term and in some documents this area can also be referred to as the Near East. In some references, "Near East" also includes northeastern Africa. Moreover, the list of countries discussed in the context of Middle East is occasionally extended due to strong cultural, economic and political relationships to include such countries as Morocco, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Greece.

The region is well known for its huge stock of crude oil and for being the birthplace and spritual centre of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Outside of Israel, Lebanon and Cyprus, almost everyone in the Middle East is at least nominally Muslim.

The Middle East is a subregion of Africa-Eurasia.

See also Levant, History of Levant, Mesopotamia, Orientalism

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