Arab

Arab

Overview
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity
Panethnicity
Panethnicity is the grouping together, and collective labeling, of various independently distinguishable, self-identified and self-sustained ethnicities into one all-encompassing group of people.Often labels of panethnicity group together people of different nationalities and/or ethnicities that...

 primarily living in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. They are identified
Identity (social science)
Identity is a term used to describe a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations . The term is used more specifically in psychology and sociology, and is given a great deal of attention in social psychology...

 as such on one or more of genealogical
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

, linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

, or cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing an important part of Arab identity.

The word "Arab" has had several different, but overlapping, meanings over the centuries (and sometimes even today).
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Timeline

636   Battle of Yarmouk: Arab forces led by Khalid ibn al-Walid take control of Syria and Palestine away from the Byzantine Empire, marking the first great wave of Muslim conquests and the rapid advance of Islam outside Arabia.

758   Guangzhou is sacked by Arab and Persian pirates.

1917   World War I: Arabian troops led by T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") and Auda ibu Tayi capture Aqaba from the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.

1918   World War I: Arab forces under T. E. Lawrence (a/k/a "Lawrence of Arabia") capture Damascus.

1948   1948 Arab-Israeli War: the Kfar Etzion massacre is committed by Arab irregulars, the day before the declaration of independence of the state of Israel on May 14.

1967   UN Security Council Resolution 242 is adopted by the UN Security Council, establishing a set of the principles aimed at guiding negotiations for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement.

1970   Fighting between Arab guerrillas and government forces in Amman, Jordan.

1977   Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel, when he meets Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and speaks before the Knesset in Jerusalem, seeking a permanent peace settlement.

1985   STS-51-G Space Shuttle Discovery completes its mission, best remembered for having Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab and first Muslim in space, as a Payload Specialist.

1985   United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard is arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations. He is subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

 
Encyclopedia
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity
Panethnicity
Panethnicity is the grouping together, and collective labeling, of various independently distinguishable, self-identified and self-sustained ethnicities into one all-encompassing group of people.Often labels of panethnicity group together people of different nationalities and/or ethnicities that...

 primarily living in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. They are identified
Identity (social science)
Identity is a term used to describe a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations . The term is used more specifically in psychology and sociology, and is given a great deal of attention in social psychology...

 as such on one or more of genealogical
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

, linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

, or cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing an important part of Arab identity.

The word "Arab" has had several different, but overlapping, meanings over the centuries (and sometimes even today). In addition to including all Arabized people of the world (with language tending to be the acid test), it has also at times been used exclusively for bedouin (Arab nomads [although sometimes in the past a related word, "`a-RAB," with rhe Arabic letter "alif" in the second syllable, was used when this specific meaning was intended] and their now almost entirely sedentary descendants). It is sometimes used that way colloquially even today in some places. Townspeople in the past sometimes were called "sons of the Arabs." As in the case of other ethnicities/nations, people identify themselves (or are identified by others) as "Arabs" to varying degrees. This may or may not be one's primary identity (it tends to compete with country, religion, sect, etc.), and whether or not it is emphasized may vary from time to time and depend on whom one is talking too. For further analysis of the word (thorough and scholarly, though not without its biases), see Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History, new edition (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 3-14 (introduction).

Etymology


The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 appears in the Monolith Inscription, an Akkadian language
Akkadian language
Akkadian is an extinct Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate...

 record of the 9th century BC Assyrian Conquest of Syria
Assyrian Conquest of Syria
Assyrian Conquest of Syria was an invasion by the armies of Assyria led by King Shalmaneser III to conquer Syria. The war resulted in the formation of what became known as the 12 kings alliance against Assyria...

 (Arabs had formed part of a coalition of forces opposed to Assyria). Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria , and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II....

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 in the Battle of Qarqar
Battle of Qarqar
The Battle of Qarqar was fought in 853 BC when the army of Assyria led by king Shalmaneser III encountered an allied army of 12 kings at Qarqar led by Hadadezer of Damascus and King Ahab of Israel...

 are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or "[the man] Gindibu
Gindibu
Gindibu led the Arab forces at the Battle of Qarqar , as an ally of Ben Haddad the king of the Aramean state of Damascus, as they fought against Assyria...

 belonging to the ʕarab" (ar-ba-a-a being an adjectival nisba of the noun ʕarab).

The most popular Arab account holds that the word 'Arab' came from an eponymous father called Yarab, who was supposedly the first to speak Arabic. Al-Hamdani had another view; he states that Arabs were called GhArab (West in Semitic) by Mesopotamians because Arabs resided to the west of Mesopotamia; the term was then corrupted into Arab. Yet another view is held by Al-Masudi
Al-Masudi
Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Mas'udi , was an Arab historian and geographer, known as the "Herodotus of the Arabs." Al-Masudi was one of the first to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, Muruj adh-dhahab...

 that the word Arabs was initially applied to the Ishmaelites
Ishmaelites
According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

 of the "Arabah" valley.

The root of the word has many meanings in Semitic languages including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "merchant," "raven" and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name. It is also possible that some forms were metathetical
Metathesis (linguistics)
Metathesis is the re-arranging of sounds or syllables in a word, or of words in a sentence. Most commonly it refers to the switching of two or more contiguous sounds, known as adjacent metathesis or local metathesis:...

 from "moving around" (Arabic "traverse"), and hence, it is alleged, "nomadic."

Identity


Arab identity is defined independently of religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes
Jewish tribes of Arabia
The Arab Jewish tribes are the Arab tribes professing the Jewish faith that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula before and during the advent of Islam. It is not always clear whether they were originally Israelite in ancestry, genealogically Arab tribes that converted to Judaism, or a mixture of both...

. Today, however, most Arabs are Muslim, with a minority adhering to other faiths, largely Christianity
Christianity in the Middle East
Christianity has its origin in the Middle East and was the major religion of the region from the fourth century until some time after the Saracen Muslim Conquests of the 7th century...

. Arabs are generally Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, Shia, or Ismaili Muslims, but currently, 7.1 percent to 10 percent of Arabs are Arab Christians. This figure does not include Christian ethnic groups such as Assyrians
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, Syriacs
Syriacs
Syriac may refer to:* Syriac alphabet* Syriac language* Syriac Christians* Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syriac as their liturgical language* Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people, adherents of Syriac Christianity-See also:...

 and those designated as Arameans or Phoenicians.

Muslim but non-Arab people, who are about 80 percent of the world's Muslim population, do not form part of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, but instead comprise what is the geographically larger, and more diverse, Muslim World
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

.

Arabic, the main unifying feature among Arabs, is a Semitic language
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 originating in Arabia. From there it spread to a variety of distinct peoples across most of West Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, resulting in their acculturation
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

 and eventual denomination as Arabs. Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

, a culturo-linguistic shift, was often, though not always, in conjunction with Islamization
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

, a religious shift.

With the rise of Islam in the 7th century, and as the language of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, Arabic became the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of the Islamic world. It was in this period that Arabic language and culture was widely disseminated with the early Islamic expansion
Spread of Islam
The Spread of Islam started shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. During his lifetime, the community of Muhammad, the ummah, was established in the Arabian Peninsula by means of conversion to Islam and conquering of territory, and oftentimes the conquered had to either...

, both through conquest
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 and cultural contact
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

.

Arabic culture
Arabic culture
Arab culture refers to the culture in Arab countries of West Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Language, literature, gastronomy, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, mysticism are all part of the cultural heritage of the pan-Arab world.-Language:The Arabic...

 and language, however, began a more limited diffusion before the Islamic age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, first spreading in West Asia beginning in the 2nd century, as Arab Christians
Arab Christians
Arab Christians are ethnic Arabs of Christian faith, sometimes also including those, who are identified with Arab panethnicity. They are the remnants of ancient Arab Christian clans or Arabized Christians. Many of the modern Arab Christians are descendants of pre-Islamic Christian Arabian tribes,...

 such as the Ghassanids
Ghassanids
The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

, Lakhmids
Lakhmids
The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...

 and Banu Judham
Banu Judham
The Banu Judham is a Yemeni tribe that emigrated to Syria and Egypt and dwelled with the Azd and Hamdan Kahlani tribes. Most Arab genealogists are not sure whether they are a Kahlani or a Himyarite tribe.-Settling in Syria and Egypt:...

 began migrating north from Arabia into the Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert
The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

, south western Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

.

In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the following two criteria:
  • Genealogical
    Genealogy
    Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

    : someone who can trace his or her ancestry to the tribes of Arabia
    Tribes of Arabia
    Tribes of Arabia refers to Arab clans hailing from the Arabian Peninsula.Much of the lineage provided before Ma'ad relies on biblical genealogy and therefore questions persist concerning the accuracy of this segment of Arab genealogy...

     – the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula
    Arabian Peninsula
    The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

     – and the Syrian Desert
    Syrian Desert
    The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

    . This was the definition used in medieval times, for example by Ibn Khaldun
    Ibn Khaldun
    Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

    , but has decreased in importance over time, as a portion of those of Arab ancestry lost their links with their ancestors' motherland. In the modern era, however, DNA tests have at times proved reliable in identifying those of Arab genealogical descent. For example, it has been found that the frequency of the "Arab marker" Haplogroup J1 collapses suddenly at the borders of Arabic speaking countries.
  • Linguistic
    Language
    Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

    : someone whose first language
    First language
    A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

    , and by extension cultural expression, is Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    , including any of its varieties
    Varieties of Arabic
    The Arabic language is a Semitic language characterized by a wide number of linguistic varieties within its five regional forms. The largest divisions occur between the spoken languages of different regions. The Arabic of North Africa, for example, is often incomprehensible to an Arabic speaker...

    . This definition covers more than 300 million people. Certain groups that fulfill this criterion reject this definition on the basis of non-Arab ancestry; such an example may be seen in the way that Egyptians identified themselves in the early 20th century.


The relative importance of these factors is estimated differently by different groups and frequently disputed. Some combine aspects of each definition, as done by Palestinian Habib Hassan Touma
Habib Hassan Touma
Habib Hassan Touma ) was a Palestinian composer and ethnomusicologist. He authored a number of books, essays and articles on Arabic music....

, who defines an Arab "in the modern sense of the word", as "one who is a national of an Arab state, has command of the Arabic language, and possesses a fundamental knowledge of Arab tradition, that is, of the manners, customs, and political and social systems of the culture." Most people who consider themselves Arab do so based on the overlap of the political and linguistic definitions.
Few people consider themselves Arab based on the political definition without also having Arabic as a first or primary language. Thus Kurds
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

, the Assyrian
Assyrian
-In antiquity:*ancient Assyria**the Old Assyrian period **the Middle Assyrian period **the Neo-Assyrian period *Either of two provinces of the Persian Empire:**Achaemenid Assyria...

 Christians and Mandeans of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and its surrounds (who primarily speak Mesopotamian Aramaic), Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Shabak
Shabak
Sherut haBitachon haKlali , officially known by the acronym Shabak , officially known in English as Israel Security Agency , and commonly known in English as the Shin Bet , is Israel's internal security service. Its motto is "Magen VeLo Yera'e"...

, Turcoman, Circassians and Baluch
Baluch
Baluch may refer to:*Balochistan region of south and southwest Asia*Baloch people, a people inhabiting the region of Balochistan*Sindhi Baloch, a community of Baloch descent found in the province of Sindh in Pakistan...

 do not identify as Arab, and some Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 have also rejected the label. Some other ethno-religious minorities within Western Asia and North Africa who do speak Arabic as their primary community language also do not identify with the Arab identity, most notably the Syriac Christian communities such as Maronites
Maronites
Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

 of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and the Copts of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

The Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, a regional organization of countries intended to encompass the Arab world, defines an Arab as:
The relation of and is complicated further by the notion of "lost Arabs" mentioned in the Qur'an as punished for their disbelief. All contemporary Arabs were considered as descended from two ancestors, Qahtan and Adnan
Adnan
Adnan is the traditional ancestor of the Adnani Arabs of northern, central and western Arabia, as opposed to the Qahtani of Southern and south eastern Arabia who descend from Qahtan.-Origin:...

.

Versteegh (1997) is uncertain whether to ascribe this distinction to the memory of a real difference of origin of the two groups, but it is certain that the difference was strongly felt in early Islamic times. Even in Islamic Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 there was enmity between the Qays of the northern and the Kalb of the southern group. The so-called Sabaean
Sabaean language
Sabaean , also known as Himyarite , was an Old South Arabian language spoken in Yemen from c. 1000 BC to the 6th century AD, by the Sabaeans; it was used as a written language by some other peoples of Ancient Yemen, including the Hashidites, Sirwahites, Humlanites, Ghaymanites, Himyarites,...

 or Himyarite language described by Abū Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdānī (died 946) appears to be a special case of language contact between the two groups, an originally north Arabic dialect spoken in the south, and influenced by Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian is the term used to describe four extinct, closely related languages spoken in the far southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. There were a number of other Sayhadic languages , of which very little evidence survived, however...

.

During the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Arabs forged an Arab Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 (under the Rashidun
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 and Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

s, and later the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

s) whose borders touched southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in the west, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in the east, Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 in the north, and the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In much of this area, the Arabs spread Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and the Arabic culture, Science, and Language (the language of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

) through conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 and cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

.

Two references valuable for understanding the political significance of Arab identity: Michael C. Hudson, Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (Yale University Press, 1977), especially Chs. 2 and 3; and Michael N. Barnett, Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order (Columbia University Press, 1998).

Arab population



The table below shows the number of Arab people, including expatriates and some groups that may not be identified as Arabs.
style="font-weight:bold;" | Arab states
Flag Country Total Population % Arabs Notes
 Egypt Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

82,079,636 90%
 Sudan Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

45,047,502 70%
 Algeria Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

35,423,000 80%
 Morocco Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

32,381,000 66% The high level of mixing between Arabs and Berbers makes differentiating between the two ethnicities in Morocco difficult. This figure includes Arabs of Berber descent.
 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

26,246,000 90%
 Iraq Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

31,467,000 75%-80%
 Yemen Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

24,256,000 100%
 Syria Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

22,505,000 90%
 Tunisia Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

10,374,000 98% Almost all of Tunisia's citizenry has Arab and Berber background. Because of the high degree of assimilation Tunisians are often referred to as Arab-Berber.
 Libya Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

6,546,000 97% Almost all of Libya's citizenry has Arab and Berber background. Because of the high degree of assimilation Libyans are often referred to as Arab-Berber.
 Jordan Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

6,472,000 98%
 Lebanon Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

4,255,000 95%
 Palestinian territories Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

4,225,710 90% Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

: 1,657,155, 100% Palestinian Arab, West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

: 2,568,555, 83% Palestinian Arab and other
 Kuwait Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

3,030,000 80%
 United Arab Emirates UAE
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

4,707,000 19% Less than 20% of the population in the Emirates are citizens, the majority are foreign workers and expatriates. Those holding Emirati citizenship are overwhelmingly Arab.
 Oman Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

2,905,000
 Mauritania Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

3,343,000 80% The majority of Mauritania's population are ethnic Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

, an ethnicity with a mix of Arab and Berber ancestry, with a smaller Black African ancestry. Moors make up 80% of the population in Mauritania, the remaining 20% are members of a number of Black African ethnic groups.
 Qatar Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

1,508,000 55% The native population is a minority in Qatar, making up 20% of the population. The native population is ethnically Arab. An additional 35% of the population is made up of Arabs, mostly Egyptian and Palestinian workers. The remaining population is made up of other foreign workers.
 Bahrain Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

803,000 62.4% 62.4% of the Bahrain's population are native Bahrainis. Bahrainis are ethnically Arabs.

Arab diaspora


The Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora refers to Arab immigrants, and their descendants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands and now reside in non-Arab countries, primarily in Latin America, and Europe, as well as North America and South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West...

 is a global diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 distributed across many continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

s.
style="font-weight:bold;" | Arab diaspora
Flag Country Number of Arabs Total Population % Arabs Notes
 Brazil Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

6,000,000 191,241,714 3.0%
 Canada Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

470,000 34,190,000 1.40%
 Early Modern France France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

65,073,482
 United States United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

311,965,000
 Netherlands Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

418,000 17,196,000 2.5%
 Argentina Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

1,336,000 40,482,000 3.3%
 Italy Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

60,234,000
 Australia Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

21,885,016
 United Kingdom United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

61,113,205
 Israel Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

1,500,000 7,653,600 20.5%
 Turkey Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

74,816,000
 Mexico Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

111,211,789
 Chile Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

700,000 16,928,873 4.2%
 South Africa South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

26,814,843
 Germany Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

82,060,000
 Ecuador Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

13,625,000
 Russia Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

142,008,838
Total


According to the International Organization for Migration
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

, there are 13 million first-generation Arab migrants in the world, of which 5.8 reside in Arab countries. Arab expatriates contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development. In 2009 Arab countries received a total of 35.1 billion USD in remittance in-flows and remittances sent to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 from other Arab countries are 40 to 190 per cent higher than trade revenues between these and other Arab countries.

Central Asia and Caucasus
In 1728, a Russian officer described a group of Sunni Arab nomads who populated the Caspian
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 shores of Mughan
Mughan plain
Mugan plain is a plain in northwestern Iran and the southern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The highest density of irrigation canals is in the section of the Mugan plain which lies in the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is located on the bank of the Aras river extending to Iran...

 (in present-day Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

) and spoke a mixed Turkic-Arabic language. It is believed that these groups migrated to the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 in the 16th century. The 1888 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 also mentioned a certain number of Arabs populating the Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate was one of the guberniyas of the Russian Empire, with its centre in Baku. Area : 34,4000 sq. verstas, population : 789,659. The only foreign border of the governorate was Persia, in the south...

 of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. They retained an Arabic dialect
Shirvani Arabic
Shirvani Arabic was a dialect of Arabic that was once spoken in what is now central and northwestern Azerbaijan and Dagestan . Arabic was spoken in this region since the Muslim conquest of the South Caucasus at the beginning of the 8th century...

 at least into the mid-19th century, but since then have fully assimilated with the neighbouring Azeris
Azerbaijani people
The Azerbaijanis are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as in the neighbourhood states, Georgia, Russia and formerly Armenia. Commonly referred to as Azeris or Azerbaijani Turks , they also live in a wider area from the Caucasus to...

 and Tats
Tats
Tats are an Iranian people, presently living within Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia ....

. Today in Azerbaijan alone, there are nearly 30 settlements still holding the name Arab (for example, Arabgadim, Arabojaghy, Arab-Yengija, etc.).

From the time of the Arab conquest of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, continuous small-scale Arab migration from various parts of the Arab world was observed in Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

 influencing and shaping the culture of the local peoples. Up until the mid-20th century, there were still individuals in Dagestan who claimed Arabic to be their native language, with the majority of them living in the village of Darvag to the north-west of Derbent
Derbent
Derbent |Lak]]: Чурул, Churul; Persian: دربند; Judæo-Tat: דארבּאנד/Дэрбэнд/Dərbənd) is a city in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia, close to the Azerbaijani border. It is the southernmost city in Russia, and it is the second most important city of Dagestan...

. The latest of these accounts dates to the 1930s. Most Arab communities in southern Dagestan underwent linguistic Turkicisation, thus nowadays Darvag is a majority-Azeri village.

According to the History of Ibn Khaldun, the Arabs that were once in Central Asia have been either killed or have fled the Tatar invasion of the region, leaving only the locals . However, today many people in Central Asia identify as Arabs. Most Arabs of Central Asia
Central Asian Arabic
Central Asian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and currently facing extinction. It was once spoken among Central Asia's numerous settled and nomadic Arab communities, which inhabited areas in Samarqand, Bukhara, Qashqadarya, Surkhandarya , and Khatlon...

 are fully integrated into local populations, and sometimes call themselves the same as locals (for example, Tajiks, Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

) but they use special titles to show their Arabic origin such as Sayyid
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

, Khoja
Khoja (Turkestan)
Khwāja or Khoja, , a Persian word literally meaning 'master', was used in Central Asia as a title of the descendants of the famous Central Asian Naqshbandi Sufi teacher, Ahmad Kasani . The most powerful religious figure in the late Timurid era was the Naqshbandi Shaykh Khoja Ahrar...

 or Siddiqui
Siddiqui
Siddiqui, is a Muslim family name, found in the South Asia and the Middle East. Shaikh is an additional title used occasionally by Siddiqui/Siddique to signify their Arab heritage...

.

Iranian Arab communities are also found in Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq's Basra Province and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahwaz and covers an area of 63,238 km²...

.

South Asia
In South Asia descendants of Arabs are known as Ashraf
Ashraf
Ashraf refers to someone claiming descent from Muhammad by way of his daughter Fatimah. The word is the plural of sharīf "noble", from sharafa "to be highborn"...

.

Semitic origin


There is a consensus that the Semitic peoples originated from Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

, deriving the entire population of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 from population movements out of Jazirat al-Arab
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 ("island of the Arabs") – an area between the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, with Hadramawt its southern perimeter, extending northward up to the area just east of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 (Jordan). It should be pointed out that these settlers were not Arabs or Arabic speakers. Early non Arab Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 peoples from the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia , ancient Egypt, ancient Iran The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia...

, such as the Arameans, Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Amorites, Israelites, Ebla
Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

ites, Ugarit
Ugarit
Ugarit was an ancient port city in the eastern Mediterranean at the Ras Shamra headland near Latakia, Syria. It is located near Minet el-Beida in northern Syria. It is some seven miles north of Laodicea ad Mare and approximately fifty miles east of Cyprus...

es and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed. Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of Western Asia to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

 remained the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as Western Asia's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander III of Macedon, though it survives to this day among Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 (aka Chaldo-Assyrian) Christians and Mandeans in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, northeast Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, southeast Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and northwest Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

Early history


The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria , and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II....

 lists a King Gindibu
Gindibu
Gindibu led the Arab forces at the Battle of Qarqar , as an ally of Ben Haddad the king of the Aramean state of Damascus, as they fought against Assyria...

 of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian is a language known from fragmentary inscriptions in modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, dating to between roughly the 6th century BC and the 6th century AD, all written in scripts derived from Epigraphic South Arabian...

 dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. Many of the Qedarite
Qedarite
The Qedarites were a largely nomadic, ancient Arab tribal confederation...

 queens were also described as queens of the aribi. The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 occasionally refers to Aravi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 tribes in the Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert
The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

 and Arabia. Arab tribes came into conflict with the Assyrians during the reign of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal |Ashur]] is creator of an heir"; 685 BC – c. 627 BC), also spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was an Assyrian king, the son of Esarhaddon and the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire...

, and he records military victories against the poweful Qedar tribe among others.

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups:
  • "Ancient Arabs", tribes that had vanished or been destroyed, such as 'Ad and Thamud
    Thamud
    The Thamūd were a people of ancient Arabia who were known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad. Although they are thought to have originated in southern Arabia, Arabic tradition has them moving north to settle on the slopes of Mount Athlab near Mada'in Saleh...

    , often mentioned in the Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

     as examples of God's power to destroy wicked peoples.
  • "Pure Arabs" of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan. The Qahtanite
    Qahtanite
    The terms Qahtanite and Qahtani refer to Semitic peoples either originating in, or claiming genealogical descent from the southern extent of the Arabian Peninsula, especially from Yemen....

    s (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated from the land of Yemen
    Yemen
    The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

     following the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam (sadd Ma'rib).
  • The "Arabized Arabs" (musta`ribah) of center and North Arabia, descending from Ishmael
    Ishmael
    Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

    , the elder son of Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    . The Book of Genesis narrates that God promised Hagar
    Hagar
    -People:* Hagar , handmaid of Sarah and mother of Abraham's son Ishmael* Hagar Finer, Israeli WIBF bantamweight champion* Albert Hagar, Canadian politician* Mandy Hagar, New Zealand children's author...

     to beget from Ishmael twelve princes and turn him to a great nation. The Book of Jubilees, in the other hand, claims that the sons of Ishmael
    Ishmael
    Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

     intermingled with the 6 sons of Keturah
    Keturah
    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah....

    , from Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    , and their descendants were called Arabs and Ishmaelites
    Ishmaelites
    According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

    :
    Book of Jubilees
    Jubilees
    The Book of Jubilees , sometimes called Lesser Genesis , is an ancient Jewish religious work, considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches...

     20:13 And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah
    Keturah
    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah....

     and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran
    Desert of Paran
    The Desert of Paran or Wilderness of Paran , is the place in which the Hebrew Bible says the Israelites spent part of their 40 years of wandering: Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran...

     to the entering in of Babylon
    Babylon
    Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

     in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites
    Ishmaelites
    According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

    .


Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

's Muqaddima distinguishes between sedentary Muslims who used to be nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic Arabs and the Bedouin nomadic Arabs of the desert. He used the term "formerly-nomadic" Arabs and refers to sedentary Muslims by the region or city they lived in, as in Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, Spaniards
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

is. The Christians of Italy and the Crusaders preferred the term Saracens for all the Arabs and Muslims of that time. The Christians of Iberia used the term Moor
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 to describe all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.
Muslims of Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 referred to the nomadic tribes of the deserts as the A'raab, and considered themselves sedentary, but were aware of their close racial bonds. The term "A'raab' mirrors the term Assyrians used to describe the closely related nomads they defeated in Syria.

The Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 does not use the word , only the nisba adjective . The Qur'an calls itself , "Arabic", and , "clear". The two qualities are connected for example in ayat 43
Az-Zukhruf
Surat Az-Zukhruf is the 43rd sura, or chapter, of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. It contains 89 ayat, or verses....

.2–3, "By the clear Book: We have made it an Arabic recitation in order that you may understand". The Qur'an became regarded as the prime example of the , the language of the Arabs. The term
{{pp-protect|small=yes}}
{{Redirect2|Arab|Arabs||Arab (disambiguation)}}
{{Arabs}}
Arab people, also known as Arabs ({{lang-ar|عرب}}, ʿarab), are a panethnicity
Panethnicity
Panethnicity is the grouping together, and collective labeling, of various independently distinguishable, self-identified and self-sustained ethnicities into one all-encompassing group of people.Often labels of panethnicity group together people of different nationalities and/or ethnicities that...

 primarily living in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. They are identified
Identity (social science)
Identity is a term used to describe a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations . The term is used more specifically in psychology and sociology, and is given a great deal of attention in social psychology...

 as such on one or more of genealogical
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

, linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

, or cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing an important part of Arab identity.

The word "Arab" has had several different, but overlapping, meanings over the centuries (and sometimes even today). In addition to including all Arabized people of the world (with language tending to be the acid test), it has also at times been used exclusively for bedouin (Arab nomads [although sometimes in the past a related word, "`a-RAB," with rhe Arabic letter "alif" in the second syllable, was used when this specific meaning was intended] and their now almost entirely sedentary descendants). It is sometimes used that way colloquially even today in some places. Townspeople in the past sometimes were called "sons of the Arabs." As in the case of other ethnicities/nations, people identify themselves (or are identified by others) as "Arabs" to varying degrees. This may or may not be one's primary identity (it tends to compete with country, religion, sect, etc.), and whether or not it is emphasized may vary from time to time and depend on whom one is talking too. For further analysis of the word (thorough and scholarly, though not without its biases), see Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History, new edition (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 3-14 (introduction).

Etymology


{{Further|Arab (etymology)}}

The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 appears in the Monolith Inscription, an Akkadian language
Akkadian language
Akkadian is an extinct Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate...

 record of the 9th century BC Assyrian Conquest of Syria
Assyrian Conquest of Syria
Assyrian Conquest of Syria was an invasion by the armies of Assyria led by King Shalmaneser III to conquer Syria. The war resulted in the formation of what became known as the 12 kings alliance against Assyria...

 (Arabs had formed part of a coalition of forces opposed to Assyria). Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria , and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II....

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 in the Battle of Qarqar
Battle of Qarqar
The Battle of Qarqar was fought in 853 BC when the army of Assyria led by king Shalmaneser III encountered an allied army of 12 kings at Qarqar led by Hadadezer of Damascus and King Ahab of Israel...

 are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or "[the man] Gindibu
Gindibu
Gindibu led the Arab forces at the Battle of Qarqar , as an ally of Ben Haddad the king of the Aramean state of Damascus, as they fought against Assyria...

 belonging to the ʕarab" (ar-ba-a-a being an adjectival nisba of the noun ʕarab).

The most popular Arab account holds that the word 'Arab' came from an eponymous father called Yarab, who was supposedly the first to speak Arabic. Al-Hamdani had another view; he states that Arabs were called GhArab (West in Semitic) by Mesopotamians because Arabs resided to the west of Mesopotamia; the term was then corrupted into Arab. Yet another view is held by Al-Masudi
Al-Masudi
Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Mas'udi , was an Arab historian and geographer, known as the "Herodotus of the Arabs." Al-Masudi was one of the first to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, Muruj adh-dhahab...

 that the word Arabs was initially applied to the Ishmaelites
Ishmaelites
According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

 of the "Arabah" valley.

The root of the word has many meanings in Semitic languages including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "merchant," "raven" and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name. It is also possible that some forms were metathetical
Metathesis (linguistics)
Metathesis is the re-arranging of sounds or syllables in a word, or of words in a sentence. Most commonly it refers to the switching of two or more contiguous sounds, known as adjacent metathesis or local metathesis:...

 from {{transl|sem|ʿ-B-R}} "moving around" (Arabic {{transl|ar|DIN|ʿ-B-R}} "traverse"), and hence, it is alleged, "nomadic."

Identity


Arab identity is defined independently of religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes
Jewish tribes of Arabia
The Arab Jewish tribes are the Arab tribes professing the Jewish faith that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula before and during the advent of Islam. It is not always clear whether they were originally Israelite in ancestry, genealogically Arab tribes that converted to Judaism, or a mixture of both...

. Today, however, most Arabs are Muslim, with a minority adhering to other faiths, largely Christianity
Christianity in the Middle East
Christianity has its origin in the Middle East and was the major religion of the region from the fourth century until some time after the Saracen Muslim Conquests of the 7th century...

. Arabs are generally Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, Shia, or Ismaili Muslims, but currently, 7.1 percent to 10 percent of Arabs are Arab Christians. This figure does not include Christian ethnic groups such as Assyrians
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, Syriacs
Syriacs
Syriac may refer to:* Syriac alphabet* Syriac language* Syriac Christians* Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syriac as their liturgical language* Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people, adherents of Syriac Christianity-See also:...

 and those designated as Arameans or Phoenicians.

Muslim but non-Arab people, who are about 80 percent of the world's Muslim population, do not form part of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, but instead comprise what is the geographically larger, and more diverse, Muslim World
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

.

Arabic, the main unifying feature among Arabs, is a Semitic language
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 originating in Arabia. From there it spread to a variety of distinct peoples across most of West Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, resulting in their acculturation
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

 and eventual denomination as Arabs. Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

, a culturo-linguistic shift, was often, though not always, in conjunction with Islamization
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

, a religious shift.

With the rise of Islam in the 7th century, and as the language of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, Arabic became the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of the Islamic world.{{cn|date=November 2011}} It was in this period that Arabic language and culture was widely disseminated with the early Islamic expansion
Spread of Islam
The Spread of Islam started shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. During his lifetime, the community of Muhammad, the ummah, was established in the Arabian Peninsula by means of conversion to Islam and conquering of territory, and oftentimes the conquered had to either...

, both through conquest
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 and cultural contact
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

.

Arabic culture
Arabic culture
Arab culture refers to the culture in Arab countries of West Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Language, literature, gastronomy, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, mysticism are all part of the cultural heritage of the pan-Arab world.-Language:The Arabic...

 and language, however, began a more limited diffusion before the Islamic age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, first spreading in West Asia beginning in the 2nd century, as Arab Christians
Arab Christians
Arab Christians are ethnic Arabs of Christian faith, sometimes also including those, who are identified with Arab panethnicity. They are the remnants of ancient Arab Christian clans or Arabized Christians. Many of the modern Arab Christians are descendants of pre-Islamic Christian Arabian tribes,...

 such as the Ghassanids
Ghassanids
The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

, Lakhmids
Lakhmids
The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...

 and Banu Judham
Banu Judham
The Banu Judham is a Yemeni tribe that emigrated to Syria and Egypt and dwelled with the Azd and Hamdan Kahlani tribes. Most Arab genealogists are not sure whether they are a Kahlani or a Himyarite tribe.-Settling in Syria and Egypt:...

 began migrating north from Arabia into the Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert
The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

, south western Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

.

In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the following two criteria:
  • Genealogical
    Genealogy
    Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

    : someone who can trace his or her ancestry to the tribes of Arabia
    Tribes of Arabia
    Tribes of Arabia refers to Arab clans hailing from the Arabian Peninsula.Much of the lineage provided before Ma'ad relies on biblical genealogy and therefore questions persist concerning the accuracy of this segment of Arab genealogy...

     – the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula
    Arabian Peninsula
    The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

     – and the Syrian Desert
    Syrian Desert
    The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

    . This was the definition used in medieval times, for example by Ibn Khaldun
    Ibn Khaldun
    Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

    , but has decreased in importance over time, as a portion of those of Arab ancestry lost their links with their ancestors' motherland. In the modern era, however, DNA tests have at times proved reliable in identifying those of Arab genealogical descent. For example, it has been found that the frequency of the "Arab marker" Haplogroup J1 collapses suddenly at the borders of Arabic speaking countries.
  • Linguistic
    Language
    Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

    : someone whose first language
    First language
    A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

    , and by extension cultural expression, is Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    , including any of its varieties
    Varieties of Arabic
    The Arabic language is a Semitic language characterized by a wide number of linguistic varieties within its five regional forms. The largest divisions occur between the spoken languages of different regions. The Arabic of North Africa, for example, is often incomprehensible to an Arabic speaker...

    . This definition covers more than 300 million people. Certain groups that fulfill this criterion reject this definition on the basis of non-Arab ancestry; such an example may be seen in the way that Egyptians identified themselves in the early 20th century.


The relative importance of these factors is estimated differently by different groups and frequently disputed. Some combine aspects of each definition, as done by Palestinian Habib Hassan Touma
Habib Hassan Touma
Habib Hassan Touma ) was a Palestinian composer and ethnomusicologist. He authored a number of books, essays and articles on Arabic music....

, who defines an Arab "in the modern sense of the word", as "one who is a national of an Arab state, has command of the Arabic language, and possesses a fundamental knowledge of Arab tradition, that is, of the manners, customs, and political and social systems of the culture." Most people who consider themselves Arab do so based on the overlap of the political and linguistic definitions.
Few people consider themselves Arab based on the political definition without also having Arabic as a first or primary language. Thus Kurds
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

, the Assyrian
Assyrian
-In antiquity:*ancient Assyria**the Old Assyrian period **the Middle Assyrian period **the Neo-Assyrian period *Either of two provinces of the Persian Empire:**Achaemenid Assyria...

 Christians and Mandeans of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and its surrounds (who primarily speak Mesopotamian Aramaic), Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Shabak
Shabak
Sherut haBitachon haKlali , officially known by the acronym Shabak , officially known in English as Israel Security Agency , and commonly known in English as the Shin Bet , is Israel's internal security service. Its motto is "Magen VeLo Yera'e"...

, Turcoman, Circassians and Baluch
Baluch
Baluch may refer to:*Balochistan region of south and southwest Asia*Baloch people, a people inhabiting the region of Balochistan*Sindhi Baloch, a community of Baloch descent found in the province of Sindh in Pakistan...

 do not identify as Arab, and some Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 have also rejected the label. Some other ethno-religious minorities within Western Asia and North Africa who do speak Arabic as their primary community language also do not identify with the Arab identity, most notably the Syriac Christian communities such as Maronites
Maronites
Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

 of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and the Copts of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

The Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, a regional organization of countries intended to encompass the Arab world, defines an Arab as:
{{quote|An Arab is a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic-speaking country, and who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic-speaking peoples.}}

The relation of {{transl|ar|ʿarab}} and {{transl|ar|ʾaʿrāb}} is complicated further by the notion of "lost Arabs" {{transl|ar|al-ʿArab al-ba'ida}} mentioned in the Qur'an as punished for their disbelief. All contemporary Arabs were considered as descended from two ancestors, Qahtan and Adnan
Adnan
Adnan is the traditional ancestor of the Adnani Arabs of northern, central and western Arabia, as opposed to the Qahtani of Southern and south eastern Arabia who descend from Qahtan.-Origin:...

.

Versteegh (1997) is uncertain whether to ascribe this distinction to the memory of a real difference of origin of the two groups, but it is certain that the difference was strongly felt in early Islamic times. Even in Islamic Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 there was enmity between the Qays of the northern and the Kalb of the southern group. The so-called Sabaean
Sabaean language
Sabaean , also known as Himyarite , was an Old South Arabian language spoken in Yemen from c. 1000 BC to the 6th century AD, by the Sabaeans; it was used as a written language by some other peoples of Ancient Yemen, including the Hashidites, Sirwahites, Humlanites, Ghaymanites, Himyarites,...

 or Himyarite language described by Abū Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdānī (died 946) appears to be a special case of language contact between the two groups, an originally north Arabic dialect spoken in the south, and influenced by Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian is the term used to describe four extinct, closely related languages spoken in the far southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. There were a number of other Sayhadic languages , of which very little evidence survived, however...

.{{Citation needed|date=September 2011}}{{dubious|date=September 2011}}

During the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Arabs forged an Arab Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 (under the Rashidun
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 and Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

s, and later the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

s) whose borders touched southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in the west, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in the east, Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 in the north, and the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In much of this area, the Arabs spread Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and the Arabic culture, Science, and Language (the language of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

) through conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 and cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

.

Two references valuable for understanding the political significance of Arab identity: Michael C. Hudson, Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (Yale University Press, 1977), especially Chs. 2 and 3; and Michael N. Barnett, Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order (Columbia University Press, 1998).

Arab population



The table below shows the number of Arab people, including expatriates and some groups that may not be identified as Arabs.
style="font-weight:bold;" | Arab states
Flag Country Total Population % Arabs Notes
 Egypt Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

82,079,636 90%
 Sudan Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

45,047,502 70%
 Algeria Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

35,423,000 80%
 Morocco Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

32,381,000 66% The high level of mixing between Arabs and Berbers makes differentiating between the two ethnicities in Morocco difficult. This figure includes Arabs of Berber descent.
 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

26,246,000 90%
 Iraq Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

31,467,000 75%-80%
 Yemen Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

24,256,000 100%
 Syria Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

22,505,000 90%
 Tunisia Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

10,374,000 98% Almost all of Tunisia's citizenry has Arab and Berber background. Because of the high degree of assimilation Tunisians are often referred to as Arab-Berber.
 Libya Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

6,546,000 97% Almost all of Libya's citizenry has Arab and Berber background. Because of the high degree of assimilation Libyans are often referred to as Arab-Berber.
 Jordan Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

6,472,000 98%
 Lebanon Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

4,255,000 95%
 Palestinian territories Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

4,225,710 90% Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

: 1,657,155, 100% Palestinian Arab, West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

: 2,568,555, 83% Palestinian Arab and other
 Kuwait Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

3,030,000 80%
 United Arab Emirates UAE
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

4,707,000 19% Less than 20% of the population in the Emirates are citizens, the majority are foreign workers and expatriates. Those holding Emirati citizenship are overwhelmingly Arab.
 Oman Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

2,905,000
 Mauritania Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

3,343,000 80% The majority of Mauritania's population are ethnic Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

, an ethnicity with a mix of Arab and Berber ancestry, with a smaller Black African ancestry. Moors make up 80% of the population in Mauritania, the remaining 20% are members of a number of Black African ethnic groups.{{dubious|date=October 2011}}
 Qatar Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

1,508,000 55% The native population is a minority in Qatar, making up 20% of the population. The native population is ethnically Arab. An additional 35% of the population is made up of Arabs, mostly Egyptian and Palestinian workers. The remaining population is made up of other foreign workers.
 Bahrain Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

803,000 62.4% 62.4% of the Bahrain's population are native Bahrainis. Bahrainis are ethnically Arabs.

Arab diaspora


The Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora refers to Arab immigrants, and their descendants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands and now reside in non-Arab countries, primarily in Latin America, and Europe, as well as North America and South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West...

 is a global diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 distributed across many continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

s.
style="font-weight:bold;" | Arab diaspora
Flag Country Number of Arabs Total Population % Arabs Notes
 Brazil Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

6,000,000 191,241,714 3.0%
 Canada Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

470,000 34,190,000 1.40%
 Early Modern France France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

65,073,482
 United States United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

311,965,000
 Netherlands Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

418,000 17,196,000 2.5%
 Argentina Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

1,336,000 40,482,000 3.3%
 Italy Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

60,234,000
 Australia Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

21,885,016
 United Kingdom United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

61,113,205
 Israel Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

1,500,000 7,653,600 20.5%
 Turkey Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

74,816,000
 Mexico Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

111,211,789
 Chile Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

700,000 16,928,873 4.2%
 South Africa South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

26,814,843{{citation needed|date=October 2011}}
 Germany Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

82,060,000
 Ecuador Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

13,625,000
 Russia Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

142,008,838
Total


According to the International Organization for Migration
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

, there are 13 million first-generation Arab migrants in the world, of which 5.8 reside in Arab countries. Arab expatriates contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development.{{citation needed|date=October 2011}} In 2009 Arab countries received a total of 35.1 billion USD in remittance in-flows and remittances sent to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 from other Arab countries are 40 to 190 per cent higher than trade revenues between these and other Arab countries.

Central Asia and Caucasus

{{See|Arabs in the Caucasus|Emirate of Tbilisi|Emirate of Armenia|History of Arabs in Afghanistan}}
In 1728, a Russian officer described a group of Sunni Arab nomads who populated the Caspian
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 shores of Mughan
Mughan plain
Mugan plain is a plain in northwestern Iran and the southern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The highest density of irrigation canals is in the section of the Mugan plain which lies in the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is located on the bank of the Aras river extending to Iran...

 (in present-day Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

) and spoke a mixed Turkic-Arabic language. It is believed that these groups migrated to the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 in the 16th century. The 1888 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 also mentioned a certain number of Arabs populating the Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate was one of the guberniyas of the Russian Empire, with its centre in Baku. Area : 34,4000 sq. verstas, population : 789,659. The only foreign border of the governorate was Persia, in the south...

 of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. They retained an Arabic dialect
Shirvani Arabic
Shirvani Arabic was a dialect of Arabic that was once spoken in what is now central and northwestern Azerbaijan and Dagestan . Arabic was spoken in this region since the Muslim conquest of the South Caucasus at the beginning of the 8th century...

 at least into the mid-19th century, but since then have fully assimilated with the neighbouring Azeris
Azerbaijani people
The Azerbaijanis are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as in the neighbourhood states, Georgia, Russia and formerly Armenia. Commonly referred to as Azeris or Azerbaijani Turks , they also live in a wider area from the Caucasus to...

 and Tats
Tats
Tats are an Iranian people, presently living within Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia ....

. Today in Azerbaijan alone, there are nearly 30 settlements still holding the name Arab (for example, Arabgadim, Arabojaghy, Arab-Yengija, etc.).

From the time of the Arab conquest of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, continuous small-scale Arab migration from various parts of the Arab world was observed in Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

 influencing and shaping the culture of the local peoples. Up until the mid-20th century, there were still individuals in Dagestan who claimed Arabic to be their native language, with the majority of them living in the village of Darvag to the north-west of Derbent
Derbent
Derbent |Lak]]: Чурул, Churul; Persian: دربند; Judæo-Tat: דארבּאנד/Дэрбэнд/Dərbənd) is a city in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia, close to the Azerbaijani border. It is the southernmost city in Russia, and it is the second most important city of Dagestan...

. The latest of these accounts dates to the 1930s. Most Arab communities in southern Dagestan underwent linguistic Turkicisation, thus nowadays Darvag is a majority-Azeri village.

According to the History of Ibn Khaldun, the Arabs that were once in Central Asia have been either killed or have fled the Tatar invasion of the region, leaving only the locals . However, today many people in Central Asia identify as Arabs. Most Arabs of Central Asia
Central Asian Arabic
Central Asian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and currently facing extinction. It was once spoken among Central Asia's numerous settled and nomadic Arab communities, which inhabited areas in Samarqand, Bukhara, Qashqadarya, Surkhandarya , and Khatlon...

 are fully integrated into local populations, and sometimes call themselves the same as locals (for example, Tajiks, Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

) but they use special titles to show their Arabic origin such as Sayyid
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

, Khoja
Khoja (Turkestan)
Khwāja or Khoja, , a Persian word literally meaning 'master', was used in Central Asia as a title of the descendants of the famous Central Asian Naqshbandi Sufi teacher, Ahmad Kasani . The most powerful religious figure in the late Timurid era was the Naqshbandi Shaykh Khoja Ahrar...

 or Siddiqui
Siddiqui
Siddiqui, is a Muslim family name, found in the South Asia and the Middle East. Shaikh is an additional title used occasionally by Siddiqui/Siddique to signify their Arab heritage...

.

Iranian Arab communities are also found in Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq's Basra Province and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahwaz and covers an area of 63,238 km²...

.

South Asia

{{See|Ashraf|Caste system among South Asian Muslims}}
In South Asia descendants of Arabs are known as Ashraf
Ashraf
Ashraf refers to someone claiming descent from Muhammad by way of his daughter Fatimah. The word is the plural of sharīf "noble", from sharafa "to be highborn"...

.
{{Expand section|date=May 2011}}

Semitic origin


There is a consensus that the Semitic peoples originated from Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

, deriving{{Clarify|date=April 2011}} the entire population of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 from population movements out of Jazirat al-Arab
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 ("island of the Arabs") – an area between the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, with Hadramawt its southern perimeter, extending northward up to the area just east of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 (Jordan). It should be pointed out that these settlers were not Arabs or Arabic speakers. Early non Arab Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 peoples from the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia , ancient Egypt, ancient Iran The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia...

, such as the Arameans, Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Amorites, Israelites, Ebla
Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

ites, Ugarit
Ugarit
Ugarit was an ancient port city in the eastern Mediterranean at the Ras Shamra headland near Latakia, Syria. It is located near Minet el-Beida in northern Syria. It is some seven miles north of Laodicea ad Mare and approximately fifty miles east of Cyprus...

es and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed. Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of Western Asia to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

 remained the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as Western Asia's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander III of Macedon, though it survives to this day among Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 (aka Chaldo-Assyrian) Christians and Mandeans in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, northeast Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, southeast Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and northwest Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

Early history


The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria , and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II....

 lists a King Gindibu
Gindibu
Gindibu led the Arab forces at the Battle of Qarqar , as an ally of Ben Haddad the king of the Aramean state of Damascus, as they fought against Assyria...

 of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian is a language known from fragmentary inscriptions in modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, dating to between roughly the 6th century BC and the 6th century AD, all written in scripts derived from Epigraphic South Arabian...

 dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. Many of the Qedarite
Qedarite
The Qedarites were a largely nomadic, ancient Arab tribal confederation...

 queens were also described as queens of the aribi. The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 occasionally refers to Aravi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 tribes in the Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert
The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

 and Arabia.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} Arab tribes came into conflict with the Assyrians during the reign of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal |Ashur]] is creator of an heir"; 685 BC – c. 627 BC), also spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was an Assyrian king, the son of Esarhaddon and the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire...

, and he records military victories against the poweful Qedar tribe among others.

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups:
  • "Ancient Arabs", tribes that had vanished or been destroyed, such as 'Ad and Thamud
    Thamud
    The Thamūd were a people of ancient Arabia who were known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad. Although they are thought to have originated in southern Arabia, Arabic tradition has them moving north to settle on the slopes of Mount Athlab near Mada'in Saleh...

    , often mentioned in the Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

     as examples of God's power to destroy wicked peoples.
  • "Pure Arabs" of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan. The Qahtanite
    Qahtanite
    The terms Qahtanite and Qahtani refer to Semitic peoples either originating in, or claiming genealogical descent from the southern extent of the Arabian Peninsula, especially from Yemen....

    s (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated from the land of Yemen
    Yemen
    The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

     following the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam (sadd Ma'rib).
  • The "Arabized Arabs" (musta`ribah) of center and North Arabia, descending from Ishmael
    Ishmael
    Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

    , the elder son of Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    . The Book of Genesis narrates that God promised Hagar
    Hagar
    -People:* Hagar , handmaid of Sarah and mother of Abraham's son Ishmael* Hagar Finer, Israeli WIBF bantamweight champion* Albert Hagar, Canadian politician* Mandy Hagar, New Zealand children's author...

     to beget from Ishmael twelve princes and turn him to a great nation.({{Bibleverse||Genesis|17:20|HE}}) The Book of Jubilees, in the other hand, claims that the sons of Ishmael
    Ishmael
    Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

     intermingled with the 6 sons of Keturah
    Keturah
    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah....

    , from Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    , and their descendants were called Arabs and Ishmaelites
    Ishmaelites
    According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

    :
    Book of Jubilees
    Jubilees
    The Book of Jubilees , sometimes called Lesser Genesis , is an ancient Jewish religious work, considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches...

     20:13 And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah
    Keturah
    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah....

     and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran
    Desert of Paran
    The Desert of Paran or Wilderness of Paran , is the place in which the Hebrew Bible says the Israelites spent part of their 40 years of wandering: Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran...

     to the entering in of Babylon
    Babylon
    Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

     in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites
    Ishmaelites
    According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

    .


Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

's Muqaddima distinguishes between sedentary Muslims who used to be nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic Arabs and the Bedouin nomadic Arabs of the desert. He used the term "formerly-nomadic" Arabs and refers to sedentary Muslims by the region or city they lived in, as in Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, Spaniards
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

is. The Christians of Italy and the Crusaders preferred the term Saracens for all the Arabs and Muslims of that time. The Christians of Iberia used the term Moor
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 to describe all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.
Muslims of Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 referred to the nomadic tribes of the deserts as the A'raab, and considered themselves sedentary, but were aware of their close racial bonds. The term "A'raab' mirrors the term Assyrians used to describe the closely related nomads they defeated in Syria.

The Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 does not use the word {{transl|ar|ʿarab}}, only the nisba adjective {{transl|ar|ʿarabiy}}. The Qur'an calls itself {{transl|ar|ʿarabiy}}, "Arabic", and {{transl|ar|Mubin}}, "clear". The two qualities are connected for example in ayat 43
Az-Zukhruf
Surat Az-Zukhruf is the 43rd sura, or chapter, of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. It contains 89 ayat, or verses....

.2–3, "By the clear Book: We have made it an Arabic recitation in order that you may understand". The Qur'an became regarded as the prime example of the {{transl|ar|al-ʿarabiyya}}, the language of the Arabs. The term
{{pp-protect|small=yes}}
{{Redirect2|Arab|Arabs||Arab (disambiguation)}}
{{Arabs}}
Arab people, also known as Arabs ({{lang-ar|عرب}}, ʿarab), are a panethnicity
Panethnicity
Panethnicity is the grouping together, and collective labeling, of various independently distinguishable, self-identified and self-sustained ethnicities into one all-encompassing group of people.Often labels of panethnicity group together people of different nationalities and/or ethnicities that...

 primarily living in the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. They are identified
Identity (social science)
Identity is a term used to describe a person's conception and expression of their individuality or group affiliations . The term is used more specifically in psychology and sociology, and is given a great deal of attention in social psychology...

 as such on one or more of genealogical
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

, linguistic
Natural language
In the philosophy of language, a natural language is any language which arises in an unpremeditated fashion as the result of the innate facility for language possessed by the human intellect. A natural language is typically used for communication, and may be spoken, signed, or written...

, or cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing an important part of Arab identity.

The word "Arab" has had several different, but overlapping, meanings over the centuries (and sometimes even today). In addition to including all Arabized people of the world (with language tending to be the acid test), it has also at times been used exclusively for bedouin (Arab nomads [although sometimes in the past a related word, "`a-RAB," with rhe Arabic letter "alif" in the second syllable, was used when this specific meaning was intended] and their now almost entirely sedentary descendants). It is sometimes used that way colloquially even today in some places. Townspeople in the past sometimes were called "sons of the Arabs." As in the case of other ethnicities/nations, people identify themselves (or are identified by others) as "Arabs" to varying degrees. This may or may not be one's primary identity (it tends to compete with country, religion, sect, etc.), and whether or not it is emphasized may vary from time to time and depend on whom one is talking too. For further analysis of the word (thorough and scholarly, though not without its biases), see Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History, new edition (Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 3-14 (introduction).

Etymology


{{Further|Arab (etymology)}}

The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people
People
People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:* as the plural of person or a group of people People is a plurality of human beings or other beings possessing enough qualities constituting personhood. It has two usages:*...

 appears in the Monolith Inscription, an Akkadian language
Akkadian language
Akkadian is an extinct Semitic language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia. The earliest attested Semitic language, it used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate...

 record of the 9th century BC Assyrian Conquest of Syria
Assyrian Conquest of Syria
Assyrian Conquest of Syria was an invasion by the armies of Assyria led by King Shalmaneser III to conquer Syria. The war resulted in the formation of what became known as the 12 kings alliance against Assyria...

 (Arabs had formed part of a coalition of forces opposed to Assyria). Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria , and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II....

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

 in the Battle of Qarqar
Battle of Qarqar
The Battle of Qarqar was fought in 853 BC when the army of Assyria led by king Shalmaneser III encountered an allied army of 12 kings at Qarqar led by Hadadezer of Damascus and King Ahab of Israel...

 are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or "[the man] Gindibu
Gindibu
Gindibu led the Arab forces at the Battle of Qarqar , as an ally of Ben Haddad the king of the Aramean state of Damascus, as they fought against Assyria...

 belonging to the ʕarab" (ar-ba-a-a being an adjectival nisba of the noun ʕarab).

The most popular Arab account holds that the word 'Arab' came from an eponymous father called Yarab, who was supposedly the first to speak Arabic. Al-Hamdani had another view; he states that Arabs were called GhArab (West in Semitic) by Mesopotamians because Arabs resided to the west of Mesopotamia; the term was then corrupted into Arab. Yet another view is held by Al-Masudi
Al-Masudi
Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Ali al-Mas'udi , was an Arab historian and geographer, known as the "Herodotus of the Arabs." Al-Masudi was one of the first to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, Muruj adh-dhahab...

 that the word Arabs was initially applied to the Ishmaelites
Ishmaelites
According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

 of the "Arabah" valley.

The root of the word has many meanings in Semitic languages including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "merchant," "raven" and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name. It is also possible that some forms were metathetical
Metathesis (linguistics)
Metathesis is the re-arranging of sounds or syllables in a word, or of words in a sentence. Most commonly it refers to the switching of two or more contiguous sounds, known as adjacent metathesis or local metathesis:...

 from {{transl|sem|ʿ-B-R}} "moving around" (Arabic {{transl|ar|DIN|ʿ-B-R}} "traverse"), and hence, it is alleged, "nomadic."

Identity


Arab identity is defined independently of religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes
Jewish tribes of Arabia
The Arab Jewish tribes are the Arab tribes professing the Jewish faith that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula before and during the advent of Islam. It is not always clear whether they were originally Israelite in ancestry, genealogically Arab tribes that converted to Judaism, or a mixture of both...

. Today, however, most Arabs are Muslim, with a minority adhering to other faiths, largely Christianity
Christianity in the Middle East
Christianity has its origin in the Middle East and was the major religion of the region from the fourth century until some time after the Saracen Muslim Conquests of the 7th century...

. Arabs are generally Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, Shia, or Ismaili Muslims, but currently, 7.1 percent to 10 percent of Arabs are Arab Christians. This figure does not include Christian ethnic groups such as Assyrians
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, Syriacs
Syriacs
Syriac may refer to:* Syriac alphabet* Syriac language* Syriac Christians* Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syriac as their liturgical language* Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people, adherents of Syriac Christianity-See also:...

 and those designated as Arameans or Phoenicians.

Muslim but non-Arab people, who are about 80 percent of the world's Muslim population, do not form part of the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, but instead comprise what is the geographically larger, and more diverse, Muslim World
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

.

Arabic, the main unifying feature among Arabs, is a Semitic language
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 originating in Arabia. From there it spread to a variety of distinct peoples across most of West Asia and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, resulting in their acculturation
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

 and eventual denomination as Arabs. Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

, a culturo-linguistic shift, was often, though not always, in conjunction with Islamization
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

, a religious shift.

With the rise of Islam in the 7th century, and as the language of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, Arabic became the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of the Islamic world.{{cn|date=November 2011}} It was in this period that Arabic language and culture was widely disseminated with the early Islamic expansion
Spread of Islam
The Spread of Islam started shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. During his lifetime, the community of Muhammad, the ummah, was established in the Arabian Peninsula by means of conversion to Islam and conquering of territory, and oftentimes the conquered had to either...

, both through conquest
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 and cultural contact
Acculturation
Acculturation explains the process of cultural and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures. The effects of acculturation can be seen at multiple levels in both interacting cultures. At the group level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and...

.

Arabic culture
Arabic culture
Arab culture refers to the culture in Arab countries of West Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Language, literature, gastronomy, art, architecture, music, spirituality, philosophy, mysticism are all part of the cultural heritage of the pan-Arab world.-Language:The Arabic...

 and language, however, began a more limited diffusion before the Islamic age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, first spreading in West Asia beginning in the 2nd century, as Arab Christians
Arab Christians
Arab Christians are ethnic Arabs of Christian faith, sometimes also including those, who are identified with Arab panethnicity. They are the remnants of ancient Arab Christian clans or Arabized Christians. Many of the modern Arab Christians are descendants of pre-Islamic Christian Arabian tribes,...

 such as the Ghassanids
Ghassanids
The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

, Lakhmids
Lakhmids
The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...

 and Banu Judham
Banu Judham
The Banu Judham is a Yemeni tribe that emigrated to Syria and Egypt and dwelled with the Azd and Hamdan Kahlani tribes. Most Arab genealogists are not sure whether they are a Kahlani or a Himyarite tribe.-Settling in Syria and Egypt:...

 began migrating north from Arabia into the Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert
The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

, south western Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

.

In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the following two criteria:
  • Genealogical
    Genealogy
    Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

    : someone who can trace his or her ancestry to the tribes of Arabia
    Tribes of Arabia
    Tribes of Arabia refers to Arab clans hailing from the Arabian Peninsula.Much of the lineage provided before Ma'ad relies on biblical genealogy and therefore questions persist concerning the accuracy of this segment of Arab genealogy...

     – the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula
    Arabian Peninsula
    The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

     – and the Syrian Desert
    Syrian Desert
    The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

    . This was the definition used in medieval times, for example by Ibn Khaldun
    Ibn Khaldun
    Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

    , but has decreased in importance over time, as a portion of those of Arab ancestry lost their links with their ancestors' motherland. In the modern era, however, DNA tests have at times proved reliable in identifying those of Arab genealogical descent. For example, it has been found that the frequency of the "Arab marker" Haplogroup J1 collapses suddenly at the borders of Arabic speaking countries.
  • Linguistic
    Language
    Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

    : someone whose first language
    First language
    A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

    , and by extension cultural expression, is Arabic
    Arabic language
    Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

    , including any of its varieties
    Varieties of Arabic
    The Arabic language is a Semitic language characterized by a wide number of linguistic varieties within its five regional forms. The largest divisions occur between the spoken languages of different regions. The Arabic of North Africa, for example, is often incomprehensible to an Arabic speaker...

    . This definition covers more than 300 million people. Certain groups that fulfill this criterion reject this definition on the basis of non-Arab ancestry; such an example may be seen in the way that Egyptians identified themselves in the early 20th century.


The relative importance of these factors is estimated differently by different groups and frequently disputed. Some combine aspects of each definition, as done by Palestinian Habib Hassan Touma
Habib Hassan Touma
Habib Hassan Touma ) was a Palestinian composer and ethnomusicologist. He authored a number of books, essays and articles on Arabic music....

, who defines an Arab "in the modern sense of the word", as "one who is a national of an Arab state, has command of the Arabic language, and possesses a fundamental knowledge of Arab tradition, that is, of the manners, customs, and political and social systems of the culture." Most people who consider themselves Arab do so based on the overlap of the political and linguistic definitions.
Few people consider themselves Arab based on the political definition without also having Arabic as a first or primary language. Thus Kurds
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

, the Assyrian
Assyrian
-In antiquity:*ancient Assyria**the Old Assyrian period **the Middle Assyrian period **the Neo-Assyrian period *Either of two provinces of the Persian Empire:**Achaemenid Assyria...

 Christians and Mandeans of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and its surrounds (who primarily speak Mesopotamian Aramaic), Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

, Shabak
Shabak
Sherut haBitachon haKlali , officially known by the acronym Shabak , officially known in English as Israel Security Agency , and commonly known in English as the Shin Bet , is Israel's internal security service. Its motto is "Magen VeLo Yera'e"...

, Turcoman, Circassians and Baluch
Baluch
Baluch may refer to:*Balochistan region of south and southwest Asia*Baloch people, a people inhabiting the region of Balochistan*Sindhi Baloch, a community of Baloch descent found in the province of Sindh in Pakistan...

 do not identify as Arab, and some Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 have also rejected the label. Some other ethno-religious minorities within Western Asia and North Africa who do speak Arabic as their primary community language also do not identify with the Arab identity, most notably the Syriac Christian communities such as Maronites
Maronites
Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

 of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 and the Copts of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

The Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

, a regional organization of countries intended to encompass the Arab world, defines an Arab as:
{{quote|An Arab is a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic-speaking country, and who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic-speaking peoples.}}

The relation of {{transl|ar|ʿarab}} and {{transl|ar|ʾaʿrāb}} is complicated further by the notion of "lost Arabs" {{transl|ar|al-ʿArab al-ba'ida}} mentioned in the Qur'an as punished for their disbelief. All contemporary Arabs were considered as descended from two ancestors, Qahtan and Adnan
Adnan
Adnan is the traditional ancestor of the Adnani Arabs of northern, central and western Arabia, as opposed to the Qahtani of Southern and south eastern Arabia who descend from Qahtan.-Origin:...

.

Versteegh (1997) is uncertain whether to ascribe this distinction to the memory of a real difference of origin of the two groups, but it is certain that the difference was strongly felt in early Islamic times. Even in Islamic Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 there was enmity between the Qays of the northern and the Kalb of the southern group. The so-called Sabaean
Sabaean language
Sabaean , also known as Himyarite , was an Old South Arabian language spoken in Yemen from c. 1000 BC to the 6th century AD, by the Sabaeans; it was used as a written language by some other peoples of Ancient Yemen, including the Hashidites, Sirwahites, Humlanites, Ghaymanites, Himyarites,...

 or Himyarite language described by Abū Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdānī (died 946) appears to be a special case of language contact between the two groups, an originally north Arabic dialect spoken in the south, and influenced by Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian is the term used to describe four extinct, closely related languages spoken in the far southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. There were a number of other Sayhadic languages , of which very little evidence survived, however...

.{{Citation needed|date=September 2011}}{{dubious|date=September 2011}}

During the Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Arabs forged an Arab Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 (under the Rashidun
Rashidun
The Rightly Guided Caliphs or The Righteous Caliphs is a term used in Sunni Islam to refer to the first four Caliphs who established the Rashidun Caliphate. The concept of "Rightly Guided Caliphs" originated with the Abbasid Dynasty...

 and Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

s, and later the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

s) whose borders touched southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in the west, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in the east, Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 in the north, and the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In much of this area, the Arabs spread Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and the Arabic culture, Science, and Language (the language of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

) through conversion
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 and cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

.

Two references valuable for understanding the political significance of Arab identity: Michael C. Hudson, Arab Politics: The Search for Legitimacy (Yale University Press, 1977), especially Chs. 2 and 3; and Michael N. Barnett, Dialogues in Arab Politics: Negotiations in Regional Order (Columbia University Press, 1998).

Arab population



The table below shows the number of Arab people, including expatriates and some groups that may not be identified as Arabs.
style="font-weight:bold;" | Arab states
Flag Country Total Population % Arabs Notes
 Egypt Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

82,079,636 90%
 Sudan Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

45,047,502 70%
 Algeria Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

35,423,000 80%
 Morocco Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

32,381,000 66% The high level of mixing between Arabs and Berbers makes differentiating between the two ethnicities in Morocco difficult. This figure includes Arabs of Berber descent.
 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

26,246,000 90%
 Iraq Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

31,467,000 75%-80%
 Yemen Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

24,256,000 100%
 Syria Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

22,505,000 90%
 Tunisia Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

10,374,000 98% Almost all of Tunisia's citizenry has Arab and Berber background. Because of the high degree of assimilation Tunisians are often referred to as Arab-Berber.
 Libya Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

6,546,000 97% Almost all of Libya's citizenry has Arab and Berber background. Because of the high degree of assimilation Libyans are often referred to as Arab-Berber.
 Jordan Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

6,472,000 98%
 Lebanon Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

4,255,000 95%
 Palestinian territories Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

4,225,710 90% Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

: 1,657,155, 100% Palestinian Arab, West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

: 2,568,555, 83% Palestinian Arab and other
 Kuwait Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

3,030,000 80%
 United Arab Emirates UAE
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

4,707,000 19% Less than 20% of the population in the Emirates are citizens, the majority are foreign workers and expatriates. Those holding Emirati citizenship are overwhelmingly Arab.
 Oman Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

2,905,000
 Mauritania Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

3,343,000 80% The majority of Mauritania's population are ethnic Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

, an ethnicity with a mix of Arab and Berber ancestry, with a smaller Black African ancestry. Moors make up 80% of the population in Mauritania, the remaining 20% are members of a number of Black African ethnic groups.{{dubious|date=October 2011}}
 Qatar Qatar
Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...

1,508,000 55% The native population is a minority in Qatar, making up 20% of the population. The native population is ethnically Arab. An additional 35% of the population is made up of Arabs, mostly Egyptian and Palestinian workers. The remaining population is made up of other foreign workers.
 Bahrain Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

803,000 62.4% 62.4% of the Bahrain's population are native Bahrainis. Bahrainis are ethnically Arabs.

Arab diaspora


The Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora
Arab diaspora refers to Arab immigrants, and their descendants who, voluntarily or as refugees, emigrated from their native lands and now reside in non-Arab countries, primarily in Latin America, and Europe, as well as North America and South Asia, parts of Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and West...

 is a global diaspora
Diaspora
A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

 distributed across many continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

s.
style="font-weight:bold;" | Arab diaspora
Flag Country Number of Arabs Total Population % Arabs Notes
 Brazil Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

6,000,000 191,241,714 3.0%
 Canada Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

470,000 34,190,000 1.40%
 Early Modern France France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

65,073,482
 United States United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

311,965,000
 Netherlands Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

418,000 17,196,000 2.5%
 Argentina Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

1,336,000 40,482,000 3.3%
 Italy Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

60,234,000
 Australia Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

21,885,016
 United Kingdom United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

61,113,205
 Israel Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

1,500,000 7,653,600 20.5%
 Turkey Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

74,816,000
 Mexico Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

111,211,789
 Chile Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

700,000 16,928,873 4.2%
 South Africa South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

26,814,843{{citation needed|date=October 2011}}
 Germany Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

82,060,000
 Ecuador Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

13,625,000
 Russia Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

142,008,838
Total


According to the International Organization for Migration
International Organization for Migration
The International Organization for Migration is an intergovernmental organization. It was initially established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration to help resettle people displaced by World War II....

, there are 13 million first-generation Arab migrants in the world, of which 5.8 reside in Arab countries. Arab expatriates contribute to the circulation of financial and human capital in the region and thus significantly promote regional development.{{citation needed|date=October 2011}} In 2009 Arab countries received a total of 35.1 billion USD in remittance in-flows and remittances sent to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 from other Arab countries are 40 to 190 per cent higher than trade revenues between these and other Arab countries.

Central Asia and Caucasus

{{See|Arabs in the Caucasus|Emirate of Tbilisi|Emirate of Armenia|History of Arabs in Afghanistan}}
In 1728, a Russian officer described a group of Sunni Arab nomads who populated the Caspian
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 shores of Mughan
Mughan plain
Mugan plain is a plain in northwestern Iran and the southern part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The highest density of irrigation canals is in the section of the Mugan plain which lies in the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is located on the bank of the Aras river extending to Iran...

 (in present-day Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

) and spoke a mixed Turkic-Arabic language. It is believed that these groups migrated to the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 in the 16th century. The 1888 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
The Encyclopædia Britannica , published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia that is available in print, as a DVD, and on the Internet. It is written and continuously updated by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert...

 also mentioned a certain number of Arabs populating the Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate was one of the guberniyas of the Russian Empire, with its centre in Baku. Area : 34,4000 sq. verstas, population : 789,659. The only foreign border of the governorate was Persia, in the south...

 of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. They retained an Arabic dialect
Shirvani Arabic
Shirvani Arabic was a dialect of Arabic that was once spoken in what is now central and northwestern Azerbaijan and Dagestan . Arabic was spoken in this region since the Muslim conquest of the South Caucasus at the beginning of the 8th century...

 at least into the mid-19th century, but since then have fully assimilated with the neighbouring Azeris
Azerbaijani people
The Azerbaijanis are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in northwestern Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as in the neighbourhood states, Georgia, Russia and formerly Armenia. Commonly referred to as Azeris or Azerbaijani Turks , they also live in a wider area from the Caucasus to...

 and Tats
Tats
Tats are an Iranian people, presently living within Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia ....

. Today in Azerbaijan alone, there are nearly 30 settlements still holding the name Arab (for example, Arabgadim, Arabojaghy, Arab-Yengija, etc.).

From the time of the Arab conquest of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, continuous small-scale Arab migration from various parts of the Arab world was observed in Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

 influencing and shaping the culture of the local peoples. Up until the mid-20th century, there were still individuals in Dagestan who claimed Arabic to be their native language, with the majority of them living in the village of Darvag to the north-west of Derbent
Derbent
Derbent |Lak]]: Чурул, Churul; Persian: دربند; Judæo-Tat: דארבּאנד/Дэрбэнд/Dərbənd) is a city in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia, close to the Azerbaijani border. It is the southernmost city in Russia, and it is the second most important city of Dagestan...

. The latest of these accounts dates to the 1930s. Most Arab communities in southern Dagestan underwent linguistic Turkicisation, thus nowadays Darvag is a majority-Azeri village.

According to the History of Ibn Khaldun, the Arabs that were once in Central Asia have been either killed or have fled the Tatar invasion of the region, leaving only the locals . However, today many people in Central Asia identify as Arabs. Most Arabs of Central Asia
Central Asian Arabic
Central Asian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and currently facing extinction. It was once spoken among Central Asia's numerous settled and nomadic Arab communities, which inhabited areas in Samarqand, Bukhara, Qashqadarya, Surkhandarya , and Khatlon...

 are fully integrated into local populations, and sometimes call themselves the same as locals (for example, Tajiks, Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

) but they use special titles to show their Arabic origin such as Sayyid
Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

, Khoja
Khoja (Turkestan)
Khwāja or Khoja, , a Persian word literally meaning 'master', was used in Central Asia as a title of the descendants of the famous Central Asian Naqshbandi Sufi teacher, Ahmad Kasani . The most powerful religious figure in the late Timurid era was the Naqshbandi Shaykh Khoja Ahrar...

 or Siddiqui
Siddiqui
Siddiqui, is a Muslim family name, found in the South Asia and the Middle East. Shaikh is an additional title used occasionally by Siddiqui/Siddique to signify their Arab heritage...

.

Iranian Arab communities are also found in Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq's Basra Province and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahwaz and covers an area of 63,238 km²...

.

South Asia

{{See|Ashraf|Caste system among South Asian Muslims}}
In South Asia descendants of Arabs are known as Ashraf
Ashraf
Ashraf refers to someone claiming descent from Muhammad by way of his daughter Fatimah. The word is the plural of sharīf "noble", from sharafa "to be highborn"...

.
{{Expand section|date=May 2011}}

Semitic origin


There is a consensus that the Semitic peoples originated from Arabian peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

, deriving{{Clarify|date=April 2011}} the entire population of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 from population movements out of Jazirat al-Arab
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 ("island of the Arabs") – an area between the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, with Hadramawt its southern perimeter, extending northward up to the area just east of the Dead Sea
Dead Sea
The Dead Sea , also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface. The Dead Sea is deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world...

 (Jordan). It should be pointed out that these settlers were not Arabs or Arabic speakers. Early non Arab Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 peoples from the Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East
The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia , ancient Egypt, ancient Iran The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia...

, such as the Arameans, Akkadians (Assyrians and Babylonians), Amorites, Israelites, Ebla
Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

ites, Ugarit
Ugarit
Ugarit was an ancient port city in the eastern Mediterranean at the Ras Shamra headland near Latakia, Syria. It is located near Minet el-Beida in northern Syria. It is some seven miles north of Laodicea ad Mare and approximately fifty miles east of Cyprus...

es and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed. Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of Western Asia to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language
Aramaic language
Aramaic is a group of languages belonging to the Afroasiatic language phylum. The name of the language is based on the name of Aram, an ancient region in central Syria. Within this family, Aramaic belongs to the Semitic family, and more specifically, is a part of the Northwest Semitic subfamily,...

 remained the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as Western Asia's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander III of Macedon, though it survives to this day among Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 (aka Chaldo-Assyrian) Christians and Mandeans in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, northeast Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, southeast Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and northwest Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

.

Early history


The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

n inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III
Shalmaneser III was king of Assyria , and son of the previous ruler, Ashurnasirpal II....

 lists a King Gindibu
Gindibu
Gindibu led the Arab forces at the Battle of Qarqar , as an ally of Ben Haddad the king of the Aramean state of Damascus, as they fought against Assyria...

 of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian is a language known from fragmentary inscriptions in modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, dating to between roughly the 6th century BC and the 6th century AD, all written in scripts derived from Epigraphic South Arabian...

 dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. Many of the Qedarite
Qedarite
The Qedarites were a largely nomadic, ancient Arab tribal confederation...

 queens were also described as queens of the aribi. The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 occasionally refers to Aravi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 tribes in the Syrian Desert
Syrian Desert
The Syrian Desert , also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles . also the desert is very rocky and flat...

 and Arabia.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} Arab tribes came into conflict with the Assyrians during the reign of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal |Ashur]] is creator of an heir"; 685 BC – c. 627 BC), also spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was an Assyrian king, the son of Esarhaddon and the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire...

, and he records military victories against the poweful Qedar tribe among others.

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups:
  • "Ancient Arabs", tribes that had vanished or been destroyed, such as 'Ad and Thamud
    Thamud
    The Thamūd were a people of ancient Arabia who were known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad. Although they are thought to have originated in southern Arabia, Arabic tradition has them moving north to settle on the slopes of Mount Athlab near Mada'in Saleh...

    , often mentioned in the Qur'an
    Qur'an
    The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

     as examples of God's power to destroy wicked peoples.
  • "Pure Arabs" of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan. The Qahtanite
    Qahtanite
    The terms Qahtanite and Qahtani refer to Semitic peoples either originating in, or claiming genealogical descent from the southern extent of the Arabian Peninsula, especially from Yemen....

    s (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated from the land of Yemen
    Yemen
    The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

     following the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam (sadd Ma'rib).
  • The "Arabized Arabs" (musta`ribah) of center and North Arabia, descending from Ishmael
    Ishmael
    Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

    , the elder son of Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    . The Book of Genesis narrates that God promised Hagar
    Hagar
    -People:* Hagar , handmaid of Sarah and mother of Abraham's son Ishmael* Hagar Finer, Israeli WIBF bantamweight champion* Albert Hagar, Canadian politician* Mandy Hagar, New Zealand children's author...

     to beget from Ishmael twelve princes and turn him to a great nation.({{Bibleverse||Genesis|17:20|HE}}) The Book of Jubilees, in the other hand, claims that the sons of Ishmael
    Ishmael
    Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

     intermingled with the 6 sons of Keturah
    Keturah
    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah....

    , from Abraham
    Abraham
    Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

    , and their descendants were called Arabs and Ishmaelites
    Ishmaelites
    According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

    :
    Book of Jubilees
    Jubilees
    The Book of Jubilees , sometimes called Lesser Genesis , is an ancient Jewish religious work, considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches...

     20:13 And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah
    Keturah
    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah....

     and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran
    Desert of Paran
    The Desert of Paran or Wilderness of Paran , is the place in which the Hebrew Bible says the Israelites spent part of their 40 years of wandering: Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran...

     to the entering in of Babylon
    Babylon
    Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

     in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites
    Ishmaelites
    According to the Book of Genesis, Ishmaelites are the descendants of Ishmael, the elder son of Abraham.-Traditional Origins:According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham's first wife was named Sarah and his second wife Hagar. However Sarah was old and barren, and could not conceive...

    .


Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

's Muqaddima distinguishes between sedentary Muslims who used to be nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic Arabs and the Bedouin nomadic Arabs of the desert. He used the term "formerly-nomadic" Arabs and refers to sedentary Muslims by the region or city they lived in, as in Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

, Spaniards
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 and Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

is. The Christians of Italy and the Crusaders preferred the term Saracens for all the Arabs and Muslims of that time. The Christians of Iberia used the term Moor
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 to describe all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.
Muslims of Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 referred to the nomadic tribes of the deserts as the A'raab, and considered themselves sedentary, but were aware of their close racial bonds. The term "A'raab' mirrors the term Assyrians used to describe the closely related nomads they defeated in Syria.

The Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 does not use the word {{transl|ar|ʿarab}}, only the nisba adjective {{transl|ar|ʿarabiy}}. The Qur'an calls itself {{transl|ar|ʿarabiy}}, "Arabic", and {{transl|ar|Mubin}}, "clear". The two qualities are connected for example in ayat 43
Az-Zukhruf
Surat Az-Zukhruf is the 43rd sura, or chapter, of the Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam. It contains 89 ayat, or verses....

.2–3, "By the clear Book: We have made it an Arabic recitation in order that you may understand". The Qur'an became regarded as the prime example of the {{transl|ar|al-ʿarabiyya}}, the language of the Arabs. The term {{transl has the same root and refers to a particularly clear and correct mode of speech. The plural noun {{transl|ar|ʾaʿrāb}} refers to the Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

 tribes of the desert who resisted Muhammad, for example in ayat 9
At-Tawba
Surah At-Tawbah also known as al-Bara'ah "the Ultimatum" in many hadith is the ninth chapter of the Qur'an, with 129 verses. It is one of the last Madinan Suras. It is the only Sura of the Qur'an that does not begin with the bismillah...

.97, {{transl|ar|alʾaʿrābu ʾašaddu kufrān wa nifāqān}} "the Bedouin are the worst in disbelief
KUFR
KUFR is a radio station broadcasting a Christian radio format. Licensed to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, the station serves the Salt Lake City area. The station is currently owned by Family Stations, Inc....

 and hypocrisy".

Based on this, in early Islamic terminology, {{transl|ar|ʿarabiy}} referred to the language, and {{transl|ar|ʾaʿrāb}} to the Arab Bedouins, carrying a negative connotation due to the Qur'anic verdict just cited. But after the Islamic conquest of the 8th century, the language of the nomadic Arabs became regarded as the most pure by the grammarians following Abi Ishaq
Abi Ishaq
' , an Arab grammarian and is the earliest known grammarian of the Arabic language. He compiled a prescriptive grammar by referring to the usage of the Bedouins, whose language was seen as especially pure .Two students of Abi Ishaq's were and...

, and the term {{transl|ar|kalam al-ʿArab}}, "language of the Arabs", denoted the uncontaminated language of the Bedouins.

Classical kingdoms


{{main|Palmyra|Nabateans}}

Proto-Arabic, or Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian
Ancient North Arabian is a language known from fragmentary inscriptions in modern day Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia, dating to between roughly the 6th century BC and the 6th century AD, all written in scripts derived from Epigraphic South Arabian...

, texts give a clearer picture of the Arabs' emergence. The earliest are written in variants of epigraphic
Epigraph (literature)
In literature, an epigraph is a phrase, quotation, or poem that is set at the beginning of a document or component. The epigraph may serve as a preface, as a summary, as a counter-example, or to link the work to a wider literary canon, either to invite comparison or to enlist a conventional...

 south Arabian musnad
South Arabian alphabet
The ancient Yemeni alphabet branched from the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet in about the 9th century BC. It was used for writing the Yemeni Old South Arabic languages of the Sabaean, Qatabanian, Hadramautic, Minaean, Himyarite, and proto-Ge'ez in Dʿmt...

 script, including the 8th century BCE Hasaean
Al-Hasa
Al-Ahsa is the largest governorate in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, named after Al-Ahsa oasis. The name Al-Ahsa is also given to the biggest city in the region, Hofuf. In classic Arabic, Ahsa means the sound of water underground. It has one of the largest oases in the world with Date Palms of...

 inscriptions of eastern Saudi Arabia, the 6th century BCE Lihyanite texts of southeastern Saudi Arabia and the Thamudic
Thamudic
Thamudic is an Old North Arabian dialect known from pre-Islamic inscriptions scattered across the Arabian desert and the Sinai. Dating to between the 4th century BC and the 3rd or 4th century AD, they were incorrectly named after the Thamud people, with whom they are not directly...

 texts found throughout Arabia and the Sinai (not in reality connected with Thamud
Thamud
The Thamūd were a people of ancient Arabia who were known from the 1st millennium BC to near the time of Muhammad. Although they are thought to have originated in southern Arabia, Arabic tradition has them moving north to settle on the slopes of Mount Athlab near Mada'in Saleh...

).

The Nabataeans
Nabataeans
Thamudi3.jpgThe Nabataeans, also Nabateans , were ancient peoples of southern Canaan and the northern part of Arabia, whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus , gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea...

 were nomadic newcomers{{Dubious|date=August 2009}} who moved into territory vacated by the Edomites – Semites who settled the region centuries before them. Their early inscriptions were in Aramaic, but gradually switched to Arabic, and since they had writing, it was they who made the first inscriptions in Arabic. The Nabataean Alphabet was adopted by Arabs to the south, and evolved into modern Arabic script around the 4th century. This is attested by Safaitic
Safaitic
Safaitic is the name given to an Old North Arabian dialect, preserved in the form of inscriptions which are written in a type of South Semitic script. These inscriptions were written by bedouin and semi-nomadic inhabitants of the Syro-Arabian desert...

 inscriptions (beginning in the 1st century BCE) and the many Arabic personal names in Nabataean inscriptions. From about the 2nd century BCE, a few inscriptions from Qaryat al-Faw (near Sulayyil) reveal a dialect which is no longer considered "proto-Arabic", but pre-classical Arabic. Five Syriac
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

 inscriptions mentioning Arabs have been found at Sumatar Harabesi
Sumatar Harabesi
Sumatar Harabesi was an ancient watering place for semi-nomadic peoples located in the Tektek Mountains, southeast of Urfa and northeast of Harran, in modern day Turkey...

, one of which has been dated to the 2nd century CE.

Late kingdoms


{{See|Lakhmids|Ghassanids|Kindites}}
The Ghassanids
Ghassanids
The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

, Lakhmids
Lakhmids
The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...

 and Kindites were the last major migration of non-Muslims out of Yemen to the north.
  • The Ghassanids
    Ghassanids
    The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

     increased the Semitic presence in the then Hellenized Syria
    Syria (Roman province)
    Syria was a Roman province, annexed in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for seven centuries, until 637 when it fell to the Islamic conquests.- Principate :The...

    , the majority of Semites were Aramaic peoples. They mainly settled in the Hauran
    Hauran
    Hauran, , also spelled Hawran or Houran, is a volcanic plateau, a geographic area and a people located in southwestern Syria and extending into the northwestern corner of Jordan. It gets its name from the Aramaic Hawran, meaning "cave land." In geographic and geomorphic terms, its boundaries...

     region and spread to modern Lebanon
    Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

    , Palestine and East Jordan.


Greeks and Romans referred to all the nomadic population of the desert in the Near East as Arabi. The Romans called Yemen "Arabia Felix". The Romans called the vassal nomadic states within the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 "Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea
Arabia Petraea, also called Provincia Arabia or simply Arabia, was a frontier province of the Roman Empire beginning in the 2nd century; it consisted of the former Nabataean kingdom in modern Jordan, southern modern Syria, the Sinai Peninsula and northwestern Saudi Arabia. Its capital was Petra...

" after the city of Petra
Petra
Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the Jordanian governorate of Ma'an that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduits system. Established sometime around the 6th century BC as the capital city of the Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan as well as its most visited...

, and called unconquered deserts bordering the empire to the south and east Arabia Magna.
  • The Lakhmids
    Lakhmids
    The Lakhmids , Banu Lakhm , Muntherids , were a group of Arab Christians who lived in Southern Iraq, and made al-Hirah their capital in 266. Poets described it as a Paradise on earth, an Arab Poet described the city's pleasant climate and beauty "One day in al-Hirah is better than a year of...

     as a dynasty inherited their power from the Tanukhids, the mid Tigris region around their capital Al-Hira they ended up allying with the Sassanid against the Ghassanids
    Ghassanids
    The Ghassanids were a group of South Arabian Christian tribes that emigrated in the early 3rd century from Yemen to Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the Holy Land....

     and the Byzantine Empire
    Byzantine Empire
    The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

    . The Lakhmids contested control of the Central Arabian tribes with the Kindites with the Lakhmids eventually destroying Kinda
    Kindah
    The kingdom of Kindah was a vassal kingdom which ruled from Qaryah dhat Kahl in Nejd, Central Arabia . The kingdom controlled much of the northern Arabian peninsula in the 4th and 5th centuries AD.-Origin:...

     in 540 after the fall of their main ally Himyar
    Himyar
    The Himyarite Kingdom or Himyar , historically referred to as the Homerite Kingdom by the Greeks and the Romans, was a kingdom in ancient Yemen. Established in 110 BC, it took as its capital the modern day city of Sana'a after the ancient city of Zafar...

    . The Persians Sassanids dissolved the Lakhmid dynasty in 602, being under puppet kings, then under thir direct control.
  • The Kindites migrated from Yemen along with the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, but were turned back in Bahrain by the Abdul Qais Rabi'a tribe. They returned to Yemen and allied themselves with the Himyarites who installed them as a vassal kingdom that ruled Central Arbia from "Qaryah Dhat Kahl" (the present-day called Qaryat al-Faw) in Central Arabia. They ruled much of the Northern/Central Arabian peninsula, till they were destroyed by the Lakhmid king Al-Mundhir, and his son 'Amr
    'Amr III ibn al-Mundhir
    Amr III ibn al-Mundhir was the king of the Lakhmid Arabs in 554–569.He was the son of the great al-Mundhir III ibn al-Nu'man , and succeeded to the throne upon his father's death. He is also often called Amr ibn Hind after his mother, Hind bint al-Harith b. Amr b. Hujr Akil al-Murar al-Kindi...


Arab Caliphate


Rashidun Era (632-661)
{{main|Rashidun Caliphate}}
After the death of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 in 632, Rashidun armies
Rashidun army
The Rashidun Caliphate Army or Rashidun army was the primary military body of the Rashidun Caliphate's armed forces during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, serving alongside the Rashidun Navy...

 launched campaigns of conquest
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

, establishing the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, or Islamic Empire
Rashidun Caliphate
The Rashidun Caliphate , comprising the first four caliphs in Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death in 632, Year 10 A.H.. At its height, the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant, Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and Central Asia...

, one of the largest empires in history. It was larger and lasted longer than the previous Arab empires of Queen Mawia
Mavia (queen)
Mavia, was an Arab warrior-queen, who ruled over a confederation of semi-nomadic Arabs, in southern Syria, in the latter half of the fourth century. She led her troops in a rebellion against Roman rule, riding at the head of her army into Phoenicia and Palestine...

 or the Palmyrene Empire
Palmyrene Empire
The Palmyrene Empire was a splinter empire, that broke off of the Roman Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century. It encompassed the Roman provinces of Syria Palaestina, Egypt and large parts of Asia Minor....

 which was predominantly Syriac rather than Arab. The Rashidun state was a completely new state and not a mere imitation of the earlier Arab kingdoms such as the Himyarite, Lakhmids or Ghassanids, although it benefited greatly from their art, administration and architecture.

Umayyad Era (661-750)
{{main|Umayyad Caliphate}}


In 661 Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 turned to the hands of the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 dynasty, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 was established as the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 capital. They were proud of their Arab ancestry and sponsored the poetry and culture of pre-Islamic Arabia. They established garrison towns at Ramla
Ramla
Ramla , is a city in central Israel. The city is predominantly Jewish with a significant Arab minority. Ramla was founded circa 705–715 AD by the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abed al-Malik after the Arab conquest of the region...

, ar-Raqqah, Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

, Kufa
Kufa
Kufa is a city in Iraq, about south of Baghdad, and northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000....

, Mosul
Mosul
Mosul , is a city in northern Iraq and the capital of the Ninawa Governorate, some northwest of Baghdad. The original city stands on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh on the east bank, but the metropolitan area has now grown to encompass substantial...

 and Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

, all of which developed into major cities.

Caliph Abd al-Malik established Arabic as the Caliphate's official language in 686. This reform greatly influenced the conquered non-Arab peoples and fueled the Arabization
Arabization
Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

 of the region. However, the Arabs' higher status among non-Arab Muslim converts and the latter's obligation to pay heavy taxes caused resentment. Caliph Umar II
Umar II
Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was an Umayyad caliph who ruled from 717 to 720. He was also a cousin of the former caliph, being the son of Abd al-Malik's younger brother, Abd al-Aziz. He was also a great-grandson of the companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Umar bin Al-Khattab.-Lineage:Umar was born around...

 strove to resolve the conflict when he came to power in 717. He rectified the situation, demanding that all Muslims be treated as equals, but his intended reforms did not take effect as he died after only three years of rule. By now, discontent with the Umayyads swept the region and an uprising occurred in which the Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

s came to power and moved the capital to Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

.

Umayyads expanded their Empire westwards capturing North Africa from the Byzantines. Prior to the Arab conquest, North Africa was inhibited by various people including Punics
Punics
The Punics were a group of western Semitic-speaking peoples from Carthage in North Africa who traced their origins to a group of Phoenician and Cypriot settlers, but also to North African Berbers . Punics were probably a mix of Berbers and Phoenicians in terms of culture and ancestry...

, Vandals and Greeks. It was not until the 11th century that the Maghreb saw a large influx of ethnic Arabs. Starting with the 11th century, the Arab bedouin Banu Hilal
Banu Hilal
The Banu Hilal were a confederation of Arabian Bedouin tribes that migrated from Upper Egypt into North Africa in the 11th century, having been sent by the Fatimids to punish the Zirids for abandoning Shiism. Other authors suggest that the tribes left the grasslands on the upper Nile because of...

 tribes migrated to the West. Having been sent by the Fatimids to punish the Berber Zirids for abandoning Shiism, they travelled westwards. The Banu Hilal quickly defeated the Zirids and deeply weakened the neighboring Hammadid
Hammadid
The Hammadids were a Berber dynasty who ruled an area roughly corresponding to north-eastern modern Algeria for about a century and a half , until they were destroyed by the Almohads...

s. Their influx was a major factor in the Arabization of the Maghreb, Although Berbers would rule the region until the 16th century (under such powerful dynasties as the Almoravids
Almoravids
The Almoravids were a Berber dynasty of Morocco, who formed an empire in the 11th-century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Their capital was Marrakesh, a city which they founded in 1062 C.E...

, the Almohads, Hafsids, etc.), the arrival of these tribes would eventually help to Arabize much of it ethnically in addition to the linguistic and political impact on the none-Arabs there. With the collapse of the Umayyad state in 1031 AD, Islamic Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 was divided into small kingdoms.
{{See also|Abbadid|Taifa|Nasrid|Zengid dynasty|Ikhshidid dynasty}}

Abbassid Era (750-1513)
{{main|Abbasid Caliphate}}

Abbasids let a revolt against the Umayyads and defeated them in the Battle of the Zab
Battle of the Zab
The Battle of the Zab took place on the banks of the Great Zab river in what is now Iraq on January 25, 750. It spelled the end of the Umayyad Caliphate and the rise of the Abbasids, a dynasty that would last until the 13th century.-Background:A serious rebellion had broken out in 747 against...

 effectively ending their rule in all part of the Empire except Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

. The Abbasids descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas, but unlike the Ummayads, they had the support of non-Arab subjects of the Umayyads. where Umayyads treated non-Arabs in contempt. Abbasids ruled for 200 years before they lost their central control when Wilayas
Wilayah
A wilāyah or vilâyet , or vilayat in Urdu and Turkish, is an administrative division, usually translated as "province", rarely as "governorate". The word comes from the Arabic "w-l-y", "to govern": a wāli — "governor" — governs a wilayah, "that which is governed"...

 begain to fracture, afterwards in the 1190s there was a revival for their power which was put to end by the Mongols who conquered Baghdad and killed the Caliph, members of the Abbasid royal family escaped the massacre and resorted to Cairo, which fractured from the Abbasid rule two years earlier, the Mamluk generals were taking the political side of the kingdom while Abbasid Caliphs were engaged in civil activities and continued patronizing science, arts and literature.
  • Fractured Entities:
  • Fatimids
  • Ayyubid dynasty
    Ayyubid dynasty
    The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin, founded by Saladin and centered in Egypt. The dynasty ruled much of the Middle East during the 12th and 13th centuries CE. The Ayyubid family, under the brothers Ayyub and Shirkuh, originally served as soldiers for the Zengids until they...


Ottoman Caliphate


Arabs were ruled by Ottoman sultans from 1513 to 1918. Ottomans defeated the Mamluk Sultanate in Cairo, and ended the Abbasid Caliphate when they choose to bear the title of Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

. Arabs did not feel the change of administration because Ottomans modeled their rule after the previous Arab administration systems. {{Citation needed|date=March 2011}} After World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 when the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was overthrown by the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, former Ottoman colonies were divided up between the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 as Mandates.

Modern


Arabs in modern times live in the Arab world, which comprises 22 countries. They are all modern states and became significant as distinct political entities after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. {{Citation needed|date=March 2011}}

Religion


{{Main|Arabian mythology|Arab Muslims|Arab Christians}}
Arab Muslims are generally Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 or Shia, one exception being the Ibadis, who predominate in Oman and can be found as small minorities in Algeria and Libya (mostly Berbers). Arab Christians
Arab Christians
Arab Christians are ethnic Arabs of Christian faith, sometimes also including those, who are identified with Arab panethnicity. They are the remnants of ancient Arab Christian clans or Arabized Christians. Many of the modern Arab Christians are descendants of pre-Islamic Christian Arabian tribes,...

 generally follow Eastern Churches such as the Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches and the Maronite church and others. In Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 most Christians are Assyrians rather than Arabs, and follow the Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical...

, Syriac Orthodox and Chaldean Church. The Greek Catholic churches and Maronite church are under the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 of Rome, and a part of the larger worldwide Catholic Church. There are also Arab communities consisting of Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 and Baha'is.
Before the coming of Islam, most Arabs followed a pagan religion with a number of deities, including Hubal
Hubal
Hubal was a god worshipped in pre-Islamic Arabia, notably at the Kaaba in Mecca.-Hubal in Mecca:Hubal most prominently appears at Mecca, where an image of his was worshipped at the Kaaba. According to Karen Armstrong, the sanctuary was dedicated to Hubal, who was worshipped as the greatest of the...

, Wadd
Wadd
Wadd "Love, Friendship", known variously as Ilumquh, ʻAmm and Sīn, was the Minaean moon god. Snakes were believed to be sacred to Wadd. He is mentioned in the Qur'ān as a deity of the time of the Prophet Noah....

, Allāt
Allāt
' or ' was a Pre-Islamic Arabian goddess who was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. She is mentioned in the Qur'an , which indicates that pre-Islamic Arabs considered her as one of the daughters of Allah along with Manāt and al-‘Uzzá....

, Manat
Manat
Manat may refer to* Azerbaijani manat, unit of currency in Azerbaijan* Turkmenistani manat, unit of currency in Turkmenistan* The designation of the Soviet ruble in both Azerbaijani and Turkmen* Manāt, the goddess of fate and destiny in pre-Islamic Arabia...

, and Uzza
Uzza
Al-Uzzá was one of the three chief goddesses of Arabian religion in pre-Islamic times and was worshiped as one of the daughters of Allah by the pre-Islamic arabs along with Allāt and Manāt. Al-‘Uzzá was also worshipped by the Nabataeans, who equated her with the Greek goddess Aphrodite Ourania...

. A few individuals, the hanif
Hanif
Hanif is a term that refers to those who maintain the pure monothestic Muslim beliefs of the patriarch Ibrahim. More specifically, in Islamic thought it refers to the people during the period known as the Age of Ignorance, who were seen to have rejected idolatry and retained some or all of the...

s, had apparently rejected polytheism
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

 in favor of monotheism
Monotheism
Monotheism is the belief in the existence of one and only one god. Monotheism is characteristic of the Baha'i Faith, Christianity, Druzism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Samaritanism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.While they profess the existence of only one deity, monotheistic religions may still...

 unaffiliated with any particular religion. Some tribes had converted to Christianity or Judaism. The most prominent Arab Christian kingdoms were the Ghassanid and Lakhmid kingdoms. When the Himyarite king converted to Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 in the late 4th century, the elites of the other prominent Arab kingdom, the Kindites, being Himyirite vassals, apparently also converted (at least partly). With the expansion of Islam, polytheistic Arabs were rapidly Islamized
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

, and polytheistic traditions gradually disappeared.

Today, Sunni Islam dominates in most areas, overwhelmingly so in North Africa. Shia Islam is dominant in southern Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. Substantial Shi'a populations exist in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

, northern Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, the al-Batinah region in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, and in northern Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

. The Druze community, concentrated in Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. Many Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 claim independence from other major religions in the area and consider their religion more of a philosophy. Their books of worship are called Kitab Al Hikma (Epistles of Wisdom). They believe in reincarnation and pray to five messengers from God.
Christians make up 5.5% of the population of the Near East.
In Lebanon they number about 39% of the population. In Syria, Christians make up 16% of the population. In British Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 estimates ranged as high as 25%, but is now 3.8% due largely to the 1948 Palestinian exodus
1948 Palestinian exodus
The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

 or Nakba. In West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and in Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, Arab Christians make up 8% and 0.8% of the populations, respectively. In Iraq, Christians constitute today up 3%, the number dropped from 5% after Iraq war, few of these are Arabs. In Israel, Arab Christians constitute 2.1% (roughly 9% of the Arab population). Arab Christians make up 6% of the population of Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

. Most North
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

n Arabs are Christian, as are about half of Arabs in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 who come particularly from Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian territories
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

. One well known member of this religious and ethnic community is Saint Abo
Abo of Tiflis
Saint Abo of Tiflis or Abo Tbileli is a Christian martyr and the Patron Saint of the city of Tbilisi, Georgia....

, martyr and the patron saint of Tbilisi
Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisi and it was officially known as Tiflis until 1936...

, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

.

Jews from Arab countries – mainly Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews
Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahiyim, , also referred to as Adot HaMizrach are Jews descended from the Jewish communities of the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucasus...

 and Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews
Yemenite Jews are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen . Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet...

 – are today usually not categorised as Arab. Sociologist Philip Mendes asserts that before the anti-Jewish actions of the 1930s and 1940s, overall Iraqi Jews "viewed themselves as Arabs of the Jewish faith, rather than as a separate race or nationality". Also, prior to the massive Sephardic emigrations to the Middle East in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Jewish communities of what are today Syria, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt and Yemen were known by other Jewish communities as Musta'arabi Jews or "like Arabs". Prior to the emergence of the term Mizrahi, the term "Arab Jews
Arab Jews
Arab Jews is a term referring to Jews living in the Arab World, or Jews descended from such persons.The term was occasionally used in the early 20th century, mainly by Arab nationalists, to describe the 1 million Jews living in the Arab world at the time...

" was sometimes used to describe Jews of the Arab world. The term is rarely used today. The few remaining Jews in the Arab countries reside mostly in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, following the creation of the state of Israel, most of these Jews fled their countries of birth and are now mostly concentrated in Israel. Some immigrated to France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where they form the largest Jewish community, outnumbering European Jews
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

, but relatively few to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. See Jewish exodus from Arab lands
Jewish exodus from Arab lands
The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries was a mass departure, flight and expulsion of Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab and Muslim countries, from 1948 until the early 1970s...

.

Urbanization


Dozens of large cities & hundreds of towns reflect pronounced urban character of Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

; in most of the countries about 40% of people are urban dwellers. All Arab nations suffer from economical inequalities, especially the concentration of wealth
Wealth
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions. The word wealth is derived from the old English wela, which is from an Indo-European word stem...

 and power
Political power
Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

 in ruling elite. Most are also undergoing severe urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 stresses as the failing rural economies drive poverty stricken landless peasants to the cities. The growth of modern cities through rural migration has causes serious problems in these urban sectors, including unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

, housing shortages and, the proliferation of vast slums.

Science


The Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

 was inaugurated by the middle of the 8th century by the ascension of the Abbasid Caliphate and the transfer of the capital from Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 to the newly founded city Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

. The Abbassids were influenced by the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

ic injunctions and hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 such as "The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of martyrs" stressing the value of knowledge. During this period the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

 became an intellectual centre for science, philosophy, medicine and education as the Abbasids championed the cause of knowledge and established the "House of Wisdom
House of Wisdom
The House of Wisdom was a library and translation institute established in Abbassid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It was a key institution in the Translation Movement and considered to have been a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age...

" (Arabic: بيت الحكمة) in Baghdad. Rival Muslim dynasties such as the Fatimid
Fatimid
The Fatimid Islamic Caliphate or al-Fāṭimiyyūn was a Berber Shia Muslim caliphate first centered in Tunisia and later in Egypt that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Sudan, Sicily, the Levant, and Hijaz from 5 January 909 to 1171.The caliphate was ruled by the Fatimids, who established the...

s of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

s of al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 were also major intellectual centres with cities such as Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

 and Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 rivaling Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

.

Culture


Arab culture is a term that draws together the common themes and overtones found in the Arab countries, especially those of the Middle-Eastern countries. This region's distinct religion, art, and food are some of the fundamental features that define Arab culture.

Art


Arabic Art includes a wide range or artistic components, it can be Arabic miniature
Arabic miniature
Arabic miniatures are small paintings on paper, whether book illustrations or separate works of art. Arabic miniature art dates to the late 7th century. Arabs depended on such art not only to satisfy their artistic taste, but also for scientific explanations....

, calligraphy or Arabesque
Arabesque
The arabesque is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines, often combined with other elements...

.

Architecture


Arab Architecture has a deep diverse history, it dates to the dawn of the history in pre-Islamic Arabia. Each of it phases largely an extension of the earlier phase, it left also heavy impact on the architecture of other nations.

Music



Arabic music is the music of Arab people or countries, especially those centered on the Arabian Peninsula. The world of Arab music has long been dominated by Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

, a cultural center, though musical innovation and regional styles abound from Morocco to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 has, in recent years, also become a major center of Arabic music. Classical Arab music is extremely popular across the population, especially a small number of superstars known throughout the Arab world. Regional styles of popular music include Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

n raï
Raï
Raï is a form of folk music that originated in Oran, Algeria from Bedouin shepherds, mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arabic musical forms, which dates back to the 1930s....

, Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 gnawa
Gnawa
The Gnawa people originated from North and West Africa; to be precise the ancient Ghanaian Empire of Ouagadougou .This name Gnawa is taken from one of the indigenous languages of the Sahara Desert called Tamazight...

, Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

i sawt, Egyptian
Culture of Egypt
The culture of Egypt has thousands of years of recorded history. Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations. For millennia, Egypt maintained a strikingly complex and stable culture that influenced later cultures of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. After the Pharaonic era, Egypt itself...

 el gil and Arabesque-pop music in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

Literature


Arabic literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

spans for over two millennium, it has three phases, the pre-Islamic, Islamic and modern. Arabic literature had contributions by thousands of figures, many of them are not only poets but are celebrates in other fields such as politicians, scientists and scholars among others.
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External links


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