The Maghreb, an Arabic word meaning “west” or “place of sunset”, refers to northwestern Africa.
This part of the continent was conquered by the Arabs in the seventh century and remains Arabic in culture and religion today.
It borders on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Countries in this region are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya and the area known as Western Sahara, which is trying to gain its independence from Morocco.
After the end of the Ice Age, contact between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa was extremely limited, and many ports along the Maghreb coast were occupied by Phoenicians.
Rome took over many of these ports after the defeat of Carthage.
The Arabic language became widespread in the region after the invasion of the Banu Hilal.