Middle East
Overview
 
The Middle East is a region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

 that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, in opposition to Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

. The corresponding adjective is Middle-Eastern and the derived noun is Middle-Easterner.

The history of the Middle East
History of the Middle East
This article is a general overview of the history of the Middle East. For more detailed information, see articles on the histories of individual countries and regions...

 dates back to ancient times, and throughout its history, the Middle East has been a major centre of world affairs. When discussing ancient history, however, the term Near East is more commonly used.
 
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