The Middle East is a world region in Western Asia and North-eastern Africa. The term was created by British military strategists in the 19th century, and definitions of the Middle East vary; it is not simply a geographical term, but also a political one, connoting that it separates Europe ("the West") from the Far East, and the traditional trade route of choice between these two extremes.
Egypt is often considered a part of the Middle East, as the Sinai is geologically a part of Asia. Sometimes Azerbaijan is considered a part of the Middle East, as a sort of border region between Europe and Asia. Even the inclusion of Iran is to a degree controversial — it can also be considered to be a Central Asian or South Asian nation.