The term “Middle East”

Again, an Eurocentric social construct.


The Middle East (1940s- ) was a British military zone during the Second World War set up to defend the Suez Canal and the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf. It was the region “east” of Europe and in the “middle” between Europe and India. By 1943 it was more common than “Near East”, the older term for the region.

Despite its Eurocentrism, even people in the Middle East now use the term “Middle East”.

“Middle East” has no fixed meaning. According to these seven sources:

  1. AJE – Al Jazeera English, 2013
  2. BBC – BBC, 2013
  3. BRI – Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1989
  4. G8 – G8 nations, 2009
  5. NYT – New York Times style guide, 1999
  6. WIK – English-language Wikipedia, 2013
  7. WNW – Webster’s New World Dictionary, 2002

– here is how often different countries are seen as being part of the Middle East:

  • 2 Afghanistan (G8, WNW)
  • 2…

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