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{{short description|Geographic and cultural region in Africa and the Middle East}}
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{{Use dmy dates|date=​July​January 20112020}}
{{Infobox continent
|title = Arab world
}}
 
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​978-1-136-21960-3|page=94​}}</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​Member states of the Arab League​#​Potential_members​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]].
 
In [[post-classical history]], the Arab world was synonymous with the historic Arab empires and [[caliphate]]s. [[Arab nationalism]] arose in the second half of the 19th century along with other [[Rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire|nationalist]] movements within the [[Ottoman Empire]]. The Arab League was formed in 1945 to represent the interests of Arab people and especially to pursue the political unification of the Arab countries; a project known as [[Pan-Arabism]].<ref name="encyclopedia1">{{cite encyclopedia|url=http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P1-113946363.html |title=Arab League Sends Delegation to Iraq |encyclopedia=Encyclopedia.com |date=8 October 2005 |accessdate=13 February 2011}}</ref><ref name="encyclopedia2">{{cite encyclopedia|url=http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P1-113950671.html |title=Arab League Warns of Civil War in Iraq |encyclopedia=Encyclopedia.com |date=8 October 2005 |accessdate=13 February 2011}}</ref>
 
==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 Arabian Peninsula.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=ary|title=Arabic, Moroccan Spoken​|publisher=​}}</ref>
 
===Standard territorial definition===
Israel is not part of the Arab world. By some definitions,<ref name="Kronholm"/><ref>Rinnawi: xvi</ref> [[Arab citizens of Israel]] may concurrently be considered a constituent part of the Arab world.
 
[[Iran]] has about 1.5&nbsp;million Arabic speakers.<ref>{{cite web|title=Middle East {{ndash}} Iran |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html |work=[[The World Factbook]] |accessdate=24 October 2013 |url-status=dead |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20120203093100/https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html |archivedate=3 February 2012 }}</ref> [[Iranian Arabs]] are mainly found in [[Ahvaz]], a southwestern region in the [[Khuzestan Province]]; others inhabit the [[Bushehr Province|Bushehr]] and [[Hormozgan Province|Hormozgan]] provinces and the city of [[Qom]]. [[Mali]] and [[Senegal]] recognize [[Hassaniya]], the Arabic dialect of the [[Moors|Moorish]] ethnic minority, as a [[national language]].<ref name="Hassaniyya">{{cite web|url=http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=mey |title=Hassaniyya – A language of Mauritania |publisher=Ethnologue.com |date= |accessdate=17 October 2011}}</ref> [[Greece]] and [[Cyprus]] also recognize [[Cypriot Maronite Arabic]] under the [[European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages]]. Additionally, Malta, though not part of the Arab world, has as its official language [[Maltese language|Maltese]]. The language is grammatically akin to Maghrebi Arabic.
 
==Arab League states==
===Education===
{{Main|Higher Education in the Arab World}}
According to [[UNESCO]], the average rate of [[adult literacy]] (ages 15 and older) in this region [[List of countries by literacy rate|is 76.9%]]. In Mauritania and Yemen, the rate is lower than the average, at barely over 50%. On the other hand, [[Syria]], [[Lebanon]], [[State of Palestine|Palestine]] and [[Jordan]] record a high adult literacy rate of over 90%.{{citation needed|date=January 2014}} The average rate of adult literacy shows steady improvement, and the absolute number of adult illiterates fell from 64 million to around 58&nbsp;million between 1990 and 2000–2004. Overall, the gender disparity in adult literacy is high in this region, and of the illiteracy rate, women account for two-thirds, with only 69 literate women for every 100 literate men. The average GPI (Gender Parity Index) for adult literacy is 0.72, and gender disparity can be observed in Egypt, Morocco, and Yemen. Above all, the GPI of Yemen is only 0.46 in a 53% adult literacy rate.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001489/148972E.pdf | title=Regional overview: Arab States | publisher=UNESCO | year=2007 | accessdate=6 April 2018 }}</ref> According to a UN survey, in the Arab world, the average person reads four pages a year and one new title is published each year for every 12,000 people.<ref name=RIA>{{cite web |url=http://en.rian.ru/world/20081111/118255514.html |title=Average Arab reads 4 pages a year |author=RIA Novosti |date=11 November 2008 |publisher= |accessdate=16 August 2010}}</ref> The [[Arab Thought Foundation]] reports that just above 8% of people in Arab countries aspire to get an education.<ref name=RIA/>
 
Literacy rate is higher among the [[Youth in the Arab world|youth]] than adults. Youth literacy rate (ages 15–24) in the Arab region increased from 63.9 to 76.3% from 1990 to 2002. The average rate of GCC States *[https://web.archive.org/web/20161004140510/http://arabwindow.net/cat/gulf/ Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)]
==History==
{{main|History of the Arabs}}
 
===Early history===
{{further|Arabization}}
While the Arab world had been of limited interest to the European colonial powers, the [[British Empire]] being mostly interested in the [[Suez Canal]] as a route to [[British India]], the economic and geopolitical situation changed dramatically after the discovery of large [[petroleum]] deposits in the 1930s, coupled with the vastly increased demand for petroleum in the west as a result of the [[Second Industrial Revolution]].
 
The [[Persian Gulf]] is particularly well-endowed with this strategic [[raw material]]: five Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar, are among the top ten petroleum or gas exporters worldwide. In Africa, Algeria (10th world) and Libya are important gas exporters. In addition Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and Sudan all have smaller but significant reserves. Where present, these have had significant effects on regional politics, often enabling [[rentier state]]s, leading to economic disparities between oil-rich and oil-poor countries, and, particularly in the more sparsely populated states of the Persian Gulf and Libya, triggering extensive labor immigration. It is believed that the Arab world holds approximately 46% of the world's total proven oil reserves and a quarter of the world's natural-gas reserves.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21580630-even-rich-arab-countries-cannot-squander-their-resources-indefinitely-haves-and|title=The haves and the have-nots​|publisher=​|via=The Economist}}</ref>
 
[[Islamism]] and [[Pan-Islamism]] were on the rise during the 1980s. The [[Hezbollah]], a militant Islamic party in [[Lebanon]], was founded in 1982.
As of 2006, the Arab world accounts for two-fifths of the gross domestic product and three-fifths of the trade of the wider [[Muslim world]].{{Citation needed|date=November 2007}}
 
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.
[[Saudi Arabia]] remains the top Arab economy in terms of total GDP. It is Asia's eleventh largest economy, followed by [[Egypt]] and [[Algeria]], which were also the second and third largest economies in Africa (after [[South Africa]]), in 2006. In terms of GDP per capita, [[Qatar]] is the richest developing country in the world.<ref>CIA [[World Factbook]], GDP by country classification</ref>
 
The total GDP of all Arab countries in 1999 was US$531.2&nbsp;billion.<ref>{{Cite book |last = Lewis |first = Bernard |authorlink = Bernard Lewis |title = The Crisis of Islam |publisher = [[Random House]] |year = 2004 |location = New York City |page = [https://archive.org/details/crisisofislam00bern/page/116 116] |url = |doi = |id = |isbn = 978-0-8129-6785-2 |title-link = The Crisis of Islam }}</ref> By grouping all the latest GDP figures, the total Arab world GDP is estimated to be worth at least $2.8&nbsp;trillion in 2011.<ref>http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/05/05/147980.html</ref> This is only smaller than the GDP of US, China, Japan and Germany.
 
==Geography==
 
[[File:Abbasids Dynasty 750 - 1258 (AD).PNG|thumb|right|[[Abbasid caliphate]] (750 – 1258 CE)]]
The Arab world straddles two continents, Africa and Asia. It is mainly oriented along an east-westeast–west axis.
 
====Arab Africa====
* [http://www.carboun.com Carboun] Information and resources relating to energy, environment, and sustainability in the Arab World
* {{wikivoyage-inline}}
 
{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2011}}
 
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