● 中東國家：以歐洲角度往東邊看，介於遠東（中國） 和近東（有點靠近東歐） 之間的國家，具體指地中海東部和南部區域。
We often hear the term Arab countries used in the news. Are Arab countries the same as Middle Eastern countries?
Here comes the answer: There are some similarities, but the two terms refer to entirely different concepts.
- Arab countries: countries and regions where Arabic is the main language spoken, and Islam the dominant religion.
- Middle Eastern countries: a Eurocentric term pointing to those countries to the east of Europe, nestled between the Orient (China) and Near East (the area close to Eastern Europe). To be more specific, they are countries in the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean regions.
One term defines these countries by religion and language while the other is defined from a Eurocentric geographic perspective. It happens that the countries covered by these two terms are the same to a great extent though not entirely the same. For example, Israel is a Middle Eastern country but not an Arab country. Libya is an Arab country but not a Middle Eastern country. Arab-Israeli Conflicts refer to the rivalry and grudges between Israel and Arab states, but this does not mean that Israel does not see eye to eye with any of the Middle Eastern countries, nor does this mean Arab countries are all in the Middle East.