The Arabic language is now more dominant in the Maghreb, and is also a member of the Afroasiatic language family. It was brought to the region by Islam.
The term is generally applied to all of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, but in older Arabic usage pertained only to the area of the three countries between the high ranges of the Atlas Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Historically, some writers also included Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Malta in the definition, especially during the periods of Arab and Muslim domination.
Mauretania and Western Sahara are also often included.