Middle East, region loosely defined by geography and culture, located in south-western Asia and north-eastern Africa. In most current usage, the term Middle East refers collectively to Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen, and the states and emirates along the southern and eastern fringes of the Arabian Peninsula, namely, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. When used to designate a so-called culture area, the unity of which is based on Islamic law and custom, the term Middle East usually embraces a much more extensive region, stretching from the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east through all of North Africa, including Sudan and the Maghreb, comprising Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.