The term "North Africa" has no single accepted definition. It is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Morocco in the west, to Egypt's Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the east. Others have limited it to the countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, a region known by the French during colonial times as “Afrique du Nord” and by the Arabs as the Maghreb (“West”). The most commonly accepted definition includes Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, as well as Libya and Egypt. “North Africa”, particularly when used in North Africa and the Middle East, often refers only to the countries of the Maghreb and Libya. Egypt, due to its greater Middle Eastern associations, is often considered separately. North Africa includes a number of Spanish and Portuguese possessions, Plazas de soberanía, Ceuta and Melilla and the Canary Islands and Madeira. The countries of North Africa share a common ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity that is unique to this region. 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. Between the 600s and 1000s C.E., Arabs from the Middle East swept across the region in a wave of Muslim conquest. These peoples, physically quite similar, 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.
- Algeria - Territory in northeast Africa, ruled since 1962 by the Al Jumhuriyah al Jazairiyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Shabiyah
- Egypt - Territory mostly in northeast Africa, ruled since 2011 by the Jumhūrīyat Miṣr al-ʿArabīyah
- Libya - Territory in northern Africa, ruled since 2016 by the Government of National Accord
- Maghreb - Region of northwest Africa, west of Egypt
- Morocco - Territory in northwest Africa, ruled since 1956 by the al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
- Tunisia - Territory in northern Africa, ruled since 1956 by the al-Jumhūrīyah at-Tūnisīyah
The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "North Africa" as of 7 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.