Sheikhdom

Sheikhdom

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A sheikhdom ( [Mashyakhah]) is a geographical area or a society
Society
A society, or a human society, is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations...

 (usually tribal), that is ruled by a sheikh
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

 (Arabic: ). Sheikhdoms exist almost exclusively within Arab countries, particularly in 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...

.

The word is generally used as a descriptive term for political systems rather than as a noun (such as the case is with "Kingdom"), and although some countries such as 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...

are ruled by a sheikh, they are not typically referred to as sheikdoms.