North Africa

North Africa, or Northern Africa, is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal.

North Africa
Sovereign states (7)
Other territories (3)
Partially recognized states (1)
Time zonesUTC+00:00
Population density of Africa (2000)

The United Nations definition includes Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, and Western Sahara, the territory disputed between Morocco and the Sahrawi Republic.[4] The African Union definition includes the same countries except Sudan.[5] The Sahel, south of the Sahara Desert, can be considered a southern boundary of North Africa.[6][7][8] North Africa includes the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, and the plazas de soberanía. It can also be considered to include Malta, as well as other Spanish, Portuguese and Italian regions such as the Canary Islands, Madeira, Lampedusa and Lampione.

Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians.[9] In the seventh and eighth centuries, Arabs from the Middle East swept across the region in a wave of Muslim conquest. These peoples formed a single population in many areas, as Berbers and Egyptians merged into Arabic and Muslim culture. This process of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa ever since.

The countries of North Africa share a large amount of ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity with the Middle East. The Islamic influence in the region is significant, and North Africa is a major part of the Muslim world. North Africa is associated with West Asia in the realm of geopolitics to form a Middle East-North Africa region.[10]

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