Here comes the information I could find in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. I believe it provides relevant information on the definition of the area and the genesis of the term. I could not find more; a paper World Encyclopedia might help you:
"The Middle East is a subcontinent for the historical and cultural sub region of Africa-Eurasia traditionally held to be countries or regions in Southwest Asia and parts of North Africa.
Many Western definitions of the "Middle East" ? in both established reference books and common usage ? define the region as 'nations in Southwest Asia, from Iran to Egypt'  Egypt, with its Sinai Peninsula in Asia, is often considered part of the 'Middle East', although most of the country lies geographically in North Africa. North African nations without Asian links, such as Libya, Tunisia and Algeria, are increasingly being called North African ? as opposed to Middle Eastern (Iran to Egypt-Asia) ? by international media outlets. However, North African countries can also be considered part of the Middle East.
One widely used definition of "Middle East" is that of the airline industry, maintained ...
The solution gives the history of how the Middle East came to be known as the Middle East. The text contains 728 words.