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The Maghreb ( or ;Literally "sunset"; , "the Arab West"; ; previously known as Barbary Coast), or the Greater Maghreb ( al-Maghrib al-Kabir), is usually defined as much or most of the region of western North Africa or Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. The traditional definition as the region including the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of MoroccoAlgeriaTunisia, and Libya, was later superseded, especially following the 1989 formation of the Arab Maghreb Union, by the inclusion of Mauritania and of the disputed territory of Western Sahara (mostly controlled by Morocco). During the Al-Andalus era in Spain (711–1492), the Maghreb's inhabitants, Maghrebis, were known as "Moors"; the Muslim areas of Spain in those times were usually included in contemporary definitions of the Maghreb—hence the use of "Moorish" or "Moors" to describe the Muslim inhabitants of Spain in Western sources.

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