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RICHEST PEOPLE OF THE MIDDLE EAST PART 2 OF 3
The Middle East is a historical and political region of Africa-Eurasia with no clear definition. The term "Middle East" was popularized around 1900 by the British, and has been criticized for its loose definition. The Middle East traditionally includes countries or regions in Southwest Asia and parts of North Africa. 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 center of world affairs. 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. In modern times, the Middle East remains a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive region.
The Middle East defines a geographical area, but does not have precise defined borders. The most common and highly arbitrary definition includes: Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Many Western definitions of the "Middle East" — in both established reference books and common usage — define the region as "nations in Southwest Asia, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Egypt."
The inclusion of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey is sometimes contentious as they are not Arab states. 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 Algeria, are increasingly being called North African — as opposed to Middle Eastern (Pakistan to Egypt-Asia) — by international media outlets.