are descendants of local Jewish communities in the Middle East and North Africa from biblical times into the modern era.
They include descendants of Babylonian Jews from modern Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian Jews, Yemenite Jews, Georgian Jews, Mountain Jews from Dagestan and Azerbaijan, Persian Jews from Iran, Bukharan Jews from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
For this reason, "Sephardim" has come to mean not only "Spanish Jews" proper but "Jews of the Spanish rite", just as "Ashkenazim" is used for "Jews of the German rite", whether or not their families originate in Germany.
Many of the Sephardi Jews exiled from Spain resettled in greater or lesser numbers in the Arab world, such as Syria and Morocco.
The reason for this classification of all Mizrahim under Sephardi rite is that most Mizrahi communities use much the same religious rituals as Sephardim proper due to historical reasons.