The Middle East is a political and cultural subregion of Eurasia or of Afro-Eurasia. The core of the region comprises the lands between the Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, along with the Arabian and Sinai peninsulas. Sometimes, it is used in a broader sense which can include areas stretching from Morocco in the west to Pakistan in the east and the Caucasus and/or Central Asia in the north. The media (such as the BBC) and various organisations usually consider the Middle East to be Southwest Asia (including Cyprus) plus all of Egypt and minus the Caucasus.
The history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, with the (geopolitical) importance of the region being recognized for millennia. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; the Baha'i faith, Mandaeism, Unitarian Druze, and numerous other belief systems were also established within the region.
The Middle East generally has a hot, arid climate, with several major rivers providing irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas such as the Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds of Mesopotamia, and most of what is known as the Fertile Crescent.