Middle Eastern studies (sometimes referred to as Near Eastern studies) is a name given to a number of academic programs associated with the study of the history, culture, politics, economies, and geography of the Middle East, an area that is generally interpreted to cover a range of nations extending from North Africa in the west to the Horn of Africa and the Chinese frontier, including Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and multiple other nations. It is considered a form of area studies, taking an overtly interdisciplinary approach to the study of a region. In this sense Middle Eastern Studies is a far broader and less traditional field than classical Islamic Studies. The subject was historically regarded as part of Oriental studies, which also included East Asian studies and Egyptology and other specialisms in the ancient civilizations of the region; the growth of the field of study in the West is treated at that article. Many academic faculties still cover both areas. Although some academic programs combine Middle Eastern Studies with Islamic Studies, based on the preponderance of Muslims in the region (with Israel being the only exception), others maintain these areas of study as separate disciplines.