Which Countries Make Up the Middle East and Where Did the Term “Middle East” Come From?

Geographers sometimes disagree on this point, but most place the following countries in the Middle East:

Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The Middle East is often used as a synonym for Near East, as opposed to the Far East.

The term “Middle East” probably originated in the 1850s in the British India Office.

It became more widely known, however, when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan used the term in 1902 to define the area between Arabia and India.