Most recently, I had become incredibly annoyed by the incorrect use of Mediterranean that was used in place of Middle Eastern. Today I realized that I can't be too annoyed when these terms are misused. "Mediterranean" scares Americans less than "Middle Eastern" so restaurants that are, in reality, Middle Eastern use the term Mediterranean because it's less intimidating and more friendly.
It's why The Dallas Observer wrote about an Iranian guy and said he was from Persia. Persia is not a place right now, but Iran gives people a BAD taste in their mouths due to recent news, that they risked it and put Persia instead. If you go to a few Iranian restaurants in Dallas, they actually use the wording "Persian/Mediterranean", as if those terms are interchangeable. I even went to an Afghani restaurant that used the word Mediterranean! Do you know how FAR AWAY Afghanistan is from the Mediterranean Sea?! Far as hell! These restaurants are intentionally mislabeling their restaurant to sound more inviting. It's sad, but understandable.
To give you an idea, here's a map of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding countries:
Mediterranean countries include Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. Also SPAIN, GREECE, ITALY!
(My apologies, I don't have the website I copied this from, but if you Google search "map of North Africa, this is the first image)
Here's the rest of the middle east:
Middle east contries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkemnistan, notably MORE countries by far.
Also, all of the North African countries that are Arab are included in the middle east term, but obviously not all middle east countries are included in the Mediterranean term.
Also, the middle east isn't a country or a continent. It's a region, and not even an "official" region. It's just a vague description of countries in relation to the Western contries.