Definition/Scope: The Middle East is a region that spans southwestern Asia and northeastern Africa. It has no clear boundaries, often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. The term "Middle East" was popularized around 1900 in the United Kingdom. The corresponding adjective to Middle East is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner. The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history the Middle East has been a major centre of world affairs. The Middle East is also the historical origin of three of the world's major religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The Middle East generally has an arid and hot climate, with several major rivers providing for irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas. Many countries located around the Persian Gulf have large quantities of crude oil. The countries that are thought to be in the Middle East are: Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Broader Terms:Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Narrower Terms:Abu Ghraib (Iraq)
Related Terms:Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries