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==Definition==
The linguistic and political denotation inherent in the term ''[[Arab people|Arab]]'' is generally dominant over [[genealogical]] considerations. In Arab states, [[Modern Standard Arabic]] is the only language used by the government. The language of an individual nation is called [[Darija]], which means "everyday/colloquial language."<ref>Wehr, Hans: ''Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic'' (2011); Harrell, Richard S.: ''Dictionary of Moroccan Arabic'' (1966)</ref> Darija shares the majority of its vocabulary with standard Arabic, but it also significantly borrows from Berber (Tamazight) substrates,<ref>Tilmatine Mohand, Substrat et convergences: Le berbére et l'arabe nord-africain (1999), in Estudios de dialectologia norteaafricana y andalusi 4, pp 99–119</ref> as well as extensively from French, the language of the historical colonial occupier of the [[Maghreb]]. Darija is spoken and, to various extents, mutually understood in the Maghreb countries, especially Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, but it is unintelligible to speakers of other Arabic dialects, mainly for those in Egypt and the Middle​Arabian​East​Peninsula​.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=ary|title=Arabic, Moroccan Spoken|publisher=}}</ref>
 
===Standard territorial definition===
| Saudi Arabia
| 2 || {{convert|2149690|km2|sqmi|disp=table}}
|| 16.4% || Largest country in the [[​Middle​Western​East​Asia​]].
| {{UN_Population|Saudi Arabia}} || style="text-align:right;" | 45
| 19 || {{convert|{{#expr: 28146658 / 2149690 round 0}}|/km2|0|disp=table}}
The Arab states are mostly, although not exclusively, developing economies and derive their export revenues from oil and gas, or the sale of other raw materials. Recent years have seen significant economic growth in the Arab World, due largely to an increase in oil and gas prices, which tripled between 2001 and 2006, but also due to efforts by some states to diversify their economic base. Industrial production has risen, for example the amount of steel produced between 2004 and 2005 rose from 8.4 to 19 million tonnes. (Source: Opening speech of Mahmoud Khoudri, [[Algeria]]'s Industry Minister, at the 37th General Assembly of the Iron & Steel Arab Union, Algiers, May 2006). However even 19 million tons pa still only represents 1.7% of global steel production, and remains inferior to the production of countries like [[Brazil]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.worldsteel.org |title=World Steel Association – Home |publisher=Worldsteel.org |date= |accessdate=17 October 2011}}</ref>
 
The main economic organisations in the Arab World are the [[Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)]], comprising the states in the Persian Gulf, and the Union of the Arab Maghreb (UMA), made up of North African States. The GCC has achieved some success in financial and monetary terms, including plans to establish a common currency in the Persian Gulf region. Since its foundation in 1989, the UMA's most significant accomplishment has been the establishment of a 7000&nbsp;km highway crossing North Africa from [[Mauritania]] to [[Libya]]'s border with [[Egypt]]. The central stretch of the highway, expected to be completed in 2010, will cross [[Morocco]], [[Algeria]] and [[Tunisia]]. In recent years a new term has been coined to define a greater economic region: the MENA region (standing for "Middle East and North Africa") is becoming increasingly popular, especially with support from the current US administration.
 
As of August 2009 it was reported that Saudi Arabia is the strongest Arab economy according to World Bank.<ref>{{Cite web|url=http://www.infoprod.co.il/article/2/283|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20091130182205/http://www.infoprod.co.il/article/2/283|url-status=dead|title=World Bank: Saudi Arabia, strongest Arab economy|archivedate=30 November 2009}}</ref>
The Arab World stretches across more than {{convert|13000000|km2}} of [[North Africa]] and the part of North-East Africa and South-West Asia. The eastern part of the Arab world is called the ''[[Mashriq]]''. Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania are the ''[[Maghreb]]'' or ''Maghrib''.
[[File:Magrib.png|thumb|right|The ''[[Maghreb]]'' (Western Arab world)]]
The term "Arab" often connotes the MiddleArabian EastPeninsula, but the larger (and more populous) part of the Arab World is North Africa. Its eight million square kilometers include two of the largest countries of the African continent, [[Algeria]] (2.4&nbsp;million km<sup>2</sup>) in the center of the region and [[Sudan]] (1.9&nbsp;million km<sup>2</sup>) in the southeast. Algeria is about three-quarters the size of [[India]], or about one-and-a-half times the size of [[Alaska]], the largest state in the United States. The largest country in the Arab MiddleWestern EastAsia is [[Saudi Arabia]] (2&nbsp;million km<sup>2</sup>).
 
At the other extreme, the smallest autonomous mainland Arab country in North Africa and the Middle East is [[Lebanon]] (10,452&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup>), and the smallest island Arab country is [[Bahrain]] (665&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup>).
 
Notably, every Arab country borders a sea or ocean, with the exception of the Arab region of northern Chad, which is completely landlocked. Iraq is actually nearly landlocked, as it has only a very narrow access to the Persian Gulf.
The northern boundary of the African Arab world has also fluttered briefly in the other direction, first through the [[Crusades]] and later through the imperial involvement of [[France]], [[United Kingdom|Britain]], [[Spain]], and [[Italy]]. Another visitor from northern shores, [[Turkey]], controlled the east of the region for centuries, though not as a colonizer. Spain still maintains two small enclaves, [[Ceuta]] and [[Melilla]] (called "Morocco Espanol"), along the otherwise Moroccan coast. Overall this wave has ebbed, though like the Arab expansion north it has left its mark. The proximity of North Africa to Europe has always encouraged interaction, and this continues with Arab immigration to Europe and European interest in the Arab countries today. However, population centers and the physical fact of the sea keeps this boundary of the Arab World settled on the Mediterranean coastline.
 
To the east, the [[Red Sea]] defines the boundary between [[Africa]] and [[Asia]], and thus also between Arab Africa and the Arab Middle​Western​East​Asia​. This sea is a long and narrow waterway with a northwest tilt, stretching 2,300 kilometers from [[Egypt]]'s [[Sinai peninsula]] southeast to the [[Bab-el-Mandeb]] strait between [[Djibouti]] in Africa and [[Yemen]] in Arabia but on average just 150 kilometers wide. Though the sea is navigable along its length, historically much contact between Arab Africa and the Arab MiddleWestern EastAsia has been either overland across the Sinai or by sea across the Mediterranean or the narrow Bab al Mendeb strait. From northwest to southeast, Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea form the African coastline, with Djibouti marking Bab al Mendeb's African shore.
 
Southeast along the coast from Djibouti is Somalia, but the Somali coast soon makes a 90-degree turn and heads northeast, mirroring a bend in the coast of Yemen across the water to the north and defining the south coast of the Gulf of Aden. The Somali coast then takes a hairpin turn back southwest to complete the horn of Africa. For six months of the year the [[monsoon]] winds blow from up equatorial Somalia, past Arabia and over the small Yemeni archipelago of [[Socotra]], to rain on [[India]]; they then switch directions and blow back. Hence the east- and especially southeast-coast boundary of Arab Africa has historically been a gateway for maritime trade and cultural exchange with both [[East Africa]] and the subcontinent. The trade winds also help explain the presence of the Comoros islands, an Arab-African country, off the coast of [[Mozambique]], near [[Madagascar]] in the [[Indian Ocean]], the southernmost part of the Arab World.
The southern boundary of Arab North Africa is the strip of scrubland known as the [[Sahel]] that crosses the continent south of the Sahara.
 
====Arab MiddleWestern EastAsia====
The WestWestern Asian Arab region comprises the [[Arabian Peninsula]], most of the [[Levant]] (excluding Cyprus and Israel), most of Mesopotamia (excluding parts of Turkey and Iran) and the Persian Gulf region. The peninsula is roughly a tilted rectangle that leans back against the slope of northeast Africa, the long axis pointing toward [[Turkey]] and [[Europe]].
 
==See also==
Khestwol
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