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The '''Arab world''' ({{lang-ar|العالم العربي}} ''{{transl|ar|al-ʿālam al-ʿarabī}}''; formally: '''Arab homeland''', {{lang|ar|الوطن العربي}} ''{{transl|ar|al-waṭan al-ʿarabī}}''),<ref>{{cite web|last1=Khan|first1=Zafarul-Islam|title=The Arab World – an Arab perspective|url=http://www.milligazette.com/news/6666-the-arab-world-an-arab-perspective|website=milligazette.com|language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|last1=Phillips|first1=Christopher|title=Everyday Arab Identity: The Daily Reproduction of the Arab World|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=C8djTtq2v5AC&pg=PA94&lpg=PA94&dq=#v=onepage&q&f=false|publisher=Routledge|language=en|date=12 November 2012|isbn=9781136219603}}</ref><ref>{{cite book|last1=Mellor|first1=Noha|last2=Rinnawi|first2=Khalil|last3=Dajani|first3=Nabil|last4=Ayish|first4=Muhammad I.|title=Arab Media: Globalization and Emerging Media Industries|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=GoU-NRhn1agC&pg=PT10&lpg=PT10&dq#v=onepage&q&f=false|publisher=John Wiley & Sons|language=en|date=20 May 2013|isbn=978-0745637365}}</ref> also known as the '''Arab nation''' ({{lang|ar|الأمة العربية}} ''{{transl|ar|al-ummah al-ʿarabīyyah}}''), the '''Arabsphere''', or the '''Arab states''',<ref>{{cite web|title=Majority and Minorities in the Arab World: The Lack of a Unifying Narrative|url=http://jcpa.org/article/majority-and-minorities-in-the-arab-world-the-lack-of-a-unifying-narrative/|website=Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs}}</ref> consists of the 22 [[Arabic]]-speaking countries which are members of the [[Arab League]].<ref name="Frishkopf" /> These countries are located in [[Western Asia]], [[North Africa]], and the [[Horn of Africa]], while the southernmost member, the [[Comoros]], is an island country off the coast of [[East Africa]]. The region stretches from the [[Atlantic Ocean]] in the west to the [[Arabian Sea]] in the east, and from the [[Mediterranean Sea]] in the north to the [[Indian Ocean]] in the southeast.<ref name="Frishkopf" /> Arabic is used as the lingua franca throughout the Arab world.
[[Malta]], an island country in [[Southern Europe]] whose [[Maltese language|national language]] also derives from Arabic (through [[Siculo-Arabic|Sicilian Arabic]]), is not included in the region. Similarly, [[Chad]], [[Eritrea]], and [[Israel]] recognize Arabic as one of their official or working languages but are not included in the region because they are not members of the Arab League (although Chad and Eritrea [[Member_states_of_the_Arab_League#Potential_members|applied for full membership]] in 2014). The Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants (as of 2012)<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-arabic-language-day/ |title=World Arabic Language Day |work=UNESCO |date=18 December 2012 |accessdate=12 February 2014}}</ref> and a [[gross domestic product]] of $2.782 trillion (2018). The eastern part of the Arab world is known as the [[Mashriq]], and the western part as the [[Maghreb]].
Similarly, [[Djibouti]] has two official languages, Arabic and [[French language|French]]. It also has several formally recognized national languages; besides Somali, many people speak [[Afar language|Afar]], which is also an Afro-Asiatic language. The majority of the population speaks Somali and Afar, although Arabic is also widely used for trade and other activities.<ref name="Legum">Colin Legum, ''Africa contemporary record: annual survey and documents'', Volume 13, (Africana Pub. Co.: 1985), p.B-116.</ref>
The [[Comoros]] has three official languages: Arabic, [[Comorian language|Comorian]] and French. Comorian is the most widely spoken language, with Arabic having a religious significance, and French being associated with the educational system.
[[Chad]], [[Eritrea]]<ref name="CIA">{{CIA World Factbook link|er|Eritrea|accessdate=28 February 2013}}</ref> and [[Israel]] all recognize Arabic as an official or working language, but none of them is a member-state of the Arab League, although both Chad and Eritrea are observer states of the League (with possible future membership) and have large populations of Arabic speakers.
===Recent history===
Today, Arab states are characterized by their [[autocratic ruler]]s and [[Democracy in the Middle East|lack of democratic control]]. The 2016 ''[[Democracy Index]]'' classifies [[Lebanon]], [[Iraq]] and [[State of Palestine|Palestine]] as "hybrid regimes", [[Tunisia]] as a "flawed democracy" and all other Arab states as "authoritarian regimes". Similarly, the 2011 [[Freedom House]] report classifies the [[Comoros]] and [[Mauritania]] as "[[Electoral democracy|electoral democracies]]",<ref>{{cite web|url=http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2008 |title=Freedom House Country Report |publisher=Freedomhouse.org |date=10 May 2004 |accessdate=13 February 2011 |url-status=dead |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110510005050/http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2008 |archivedate=10 May 2011 }}</ref> [[Lebanon]], [[Kuwait]] and [[Morocco]] as "partly free", and all other Arab states as "not free".
The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq forces, led to the 1990–91 [[Gulf War|Persian Gulf War]]. [[Egypt]], [[Syria]] and [[Saudi Arabia]] joined a multinational coalition that opposed Iraq. Displays of support for Iraq by [[Jordan]] and [[State of Palestine|Palestine]] resulted in strained relations between many of the Arab states. After the war, a so-called "Damascus Declaration" formalized an alliance for future joint Arab defensive actions between Egypt, Syria, and the GCC states.<ref>Egypt's Bid for Arab Leadership: Implications for U.S. Policy, By Gregory L. Aftandilian, Published by Council on Foreign Relations, 1993, {{ISBN|0-87609-146-X}}, pages 6–8</ref>
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