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The '''Arab world''' ({{lang-ar|العالم العربي}} ''{{transl|ar|al-ʿālam al-ʿarabī}}''), formally the '''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|publisher=Routledge|language=en|date=2012|isbn=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|publisher=John Wiley & Sons|language=en|date=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 [[Member states of the Arab League|Arab countries]] which are members of the [[Arab League]].<ref name="Frishkopf" /> A majority of these countries are located in [[Western Asia]], [[North Africa]], and the [[Horn of Africa]]; 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" /> The eastern part of the Arab world is known as the [[Mashriq]], and the western part as the [[Maghreb]]. [[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​access-date​=12 February 2014}}</ref> and a [[gross domestic product]] of $2.782 trillion (2018).
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​access-date​=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​access-date​=13 February 2011}}</ref>
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​access-date​=24 October 2013 |url-status=dead |​archiveurl​archive-url​=https://web.archive.org/web/20120203093100/https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html |​archivedate​archive-date​=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 |​accessdate​access-date​=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==
|publisher=United Nations Statistics Division
|​accessdate​access-date = 24 September 2010
}}<br />
Entries in this table giving figures other than the figures given in this source are bracketed by asterisks () in the Notes field, and the rationale for the figure used are explained in the associated Note.
{{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%. [[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​access-date​=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 |​accessdate​access-date​=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)]
===Largest cities in the Arab world===
{{Main|List of largest cities in the Arab world}}
Table of largest cities in the Arab world by official [[City proper|city propers]]:<ref>{{cite web|title=Demographia World Urban Areas|url=http://www.demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf|publisher=Demographia|​accessdate​access-date​=20 July 2017}}</ref>
{| class="wikitable sortable"
| [[Dubai]]
| 3,805,000
| 1833 AD<ref>{{cite web |title=History of Dubai |url=http://www.dubai.ae/en/aboutdubai/Pages/DubaiHistory.aspx |website=dubai.ae |publisher=[[Government of Dubai]] |​accessdate​access-date​=5 August 2019}}</ref>
===Early history===
[[File:Great Mosque of Kairouan Panorama - Grande Mosquée de Kairouan Panorama.jpg|thumb|upright=1.45|right|The [[Mosque of Uqba|Great Mosque of Kairouan]] (also called the Mosque of Uqba) was founded in 670 by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba ibn Nafi.<ref>{{cite book|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=sm0BfUKwct0C&q=kairouan+oldest+mosques+arab+world&pg=PA248 |title=Hans Kung, ''Tracing the Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions'', éd. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006, p. 248 |date=31 August 2006 |​accessdate​access-date​=17 October 2011|isbn=9780826494238 |last1=Kng |first1=Hans }}</ref> The [[Mosque of Uqba|Great Mosque of Kairouan]] is located in the historic city of [[Kairouan]] in [[Tunisia]].]]
The [[Arab people|Arabs]] historically originate as a [[Central Semitic languages|Central Semitic]] group in southern [[Levant]] and northern [[Arabian peninsula]].<ref>{{cite web |last1=al-Jallad |first1=Ahmad |title=Ancient Levantine Arabic: A Reconstruction Based on the Earliest Sources and the Modern Dialects |url=https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED547427}}</ref> Arab tribes and federations such as [[Nabataeans]], [[Tanukhids]], [[Salihids]], [[Ghassanids]], and numerous other groups were prevalent in southern Levant ([[Syrian Desert]]) and northern Arabia. Their expansion beyond Arabia and the Syrian desert is due to the [[Muslim conquests]] of the 7th and 8th centuries. [[Iraq]] was conquered in 633, [[Levant]] (modern Syria, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon ) between 636 and 640 CE.
The [[Somali Civil War]] is an ongoing civil war taking place in [[Somalia]]. It began in 1991, when a coalition of clan-based armed opposition groups ousted the nation's long-standing military government.
Various factions began competing for influence in the power vacuum that followed, which precipitated an aborted UN peacekeeping attempt in the mid-1990s. A period of decentralization ensued, characterized by a return to customary and religious law in many areas as well as the establishment of autonomous regional governments in the northern part of the country. The early 2000s saw the creation of fledgling interim federal administrations, culminating in the establishment of the [[Transitional Federal Government]] (TFG) in 2004. In 2006, the TFG, assisted by Ethiopian troops, assumed control of most of the nation's southern conflict zones from the newly formed [[Islamic Courts Union]] (ICU). The ICU subsequently splintered into more radical groups, notably [[Al-Shabaab (militant group)|Al-Shabaab]], which have since been fighting the Somali government and its [[AMISOM]] allies for control of the region. In 2011, a coordinated military operation between the Somali military and multinational forces began, which is believed to represent one of the final stages in the war's Islamist insurgency.<ref name="Eanbkois2">{{cite news|url=http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/East-African-Nations-Back-Kenyan-Offensive-in-Somalia-132374053.html|agency=Voice of America|title=E. African Nations Back Kenyan Offensive in Somalia|first=Peter|last=Heinlein|date=22 October 2011|​accessdate​access-date​=23 October 2011}}</ref>
====Arab Spring====
===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​access-date​=13 February 2011 |url-status=dead |​archiveurl​archive-url​=https://web.archive.org/web/20110510005050/http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&year=2008 |​archivedate​archive-date​=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>
After [[World War II]], [[Pan-Arabism]] sought to unite all Arabic-speaking countries into one political entity. Only [[Syria]], [[Iraq]], [[Egypt]], [[Sudan]], [[Tunisia]], [[Libya]] and [[Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen|North Yemen]] considered the short-lived unification of the [[United Arab Republic]]. Historical divisions, competing local nationalisms, and geographical sprawl were major reasons for the failure of Pan-Arabism. [[Arab Nationalism]] was another strong force in the region which peaked during the mid-20th century and was professed by many leaders in Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Syria, and Iraq. Arab Nationalist leaders of this period included [[Gamal Abdel Nasser]] of Egypt, [[Ahmed Ben Bella]] of Algeria, [[Michel Aflaq]], [[Salah al-Din al-Bitar]], [[Zaki al-Arsuzi]], [[Constantin Zureiq]] and [[Shukri al-Kuwatli]] of Syria, [[Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr]] of Iraq, [[Habib Bourguiba]] of Tunisia, [[Mehdi Ben Barka]] of Morocco, and [[Shakib Arslan]] of Lebanon.
Later and current Arab Nationalist leaders include [[Muammar al-Gaddafi]] of Libya, [[Hafez al-Assad]] and [[Bashar al-Assad]] of Syria. The diverse Arab states generally maintained close ties but distinct national identities developed and strengthened with the social, historical and political realities of the past 60 years. This has made the idea of a pan-Arab nation-state increasingly less feasible and likely. Additionally, an upsurge in political Islam has since led to a greater emphasis on pan-Islamic rather than pan-Arab identity amongst some [[Arab Muslims]]<!-- and/or non-Arab Muslims too? -->. Arab nationalists who once opposed Islamic movements as a threat to their power, now deal with them differently for reasons of political reality.<ref>{{cite web|title=Arab Nationalism: Mistaken Identity by Martin Kramer |url=http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/ArabNationalism.htm |​archiveurl​archive-url​=https://web.archive.org/web/20091025064830/http://geocities.com/martinkramerorg/ArabNationalism.htm |​archivedate​archive-date​=25 October 2009 |url-status=live }}</ref>
===Modern boundaries===
Historian Jim Crow, of [[Newcastle University]], has said:
{{quote|Without that imperial carve-up, Iraq would not be in the state it is in today...Gertrude Bell was one of two or three Britons who were instrumental in the creation of the Arab states in the Middle East that were favourable to Britain.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.sundayherald.com/31563 |title=Internet Archive Wayback Machine |date=3 January 2016 |url-status=dead |​archiveurl​archive-url​=https://web.archive.org/web/20030307134402/http://www.sundayherald.com/31563 |​archivedate​archive-date​=7 March 2003 |df=dmy }}</ref>}}
===Modern economies===
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 |​accessdate​access-date​=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​archive-url​=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​archive-date​=30 November 2009}}</ref>
[[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 |authorlinkauthor-link = 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] |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.
*{{Cite book | last = Baumann | first = Andrea | title = Influences of culture on the styles of business behaviour between Western and Arab managers | publisher = GRIN| year = 2006 | location = [[Norderstedt]], [[Germany]] | url = https://books.google.com/books?id=S33VxDyW0bAC | isbn = 978-3-638-86642-2}}
*{{Cite book | last = Deng | first = Francis Mading | authorlinkauthor-link = Francis Deng| title = War of visions: Conflict of identities in the Sudan | publisher = [[The Brookings Institution]] | year = 1995 | location = [[Washington, D.C.]] | url = https://books.google.com/books?id=iAPLHidx8MkC| isbn = 0-8157-1794-6 }}
*{{Cite book | last = Frishkopf | first = Michael| contribution = Introduction: Music and media in the Arab world and ''Music and media in the Arab world'' as music and media in the Arab world: A metadiscourse | title = Music and media in the Arab world | editor-last = Frishkopf | editor-first = Michael | publisher = [[The American University in Cairo Press]] | year = 2010 | location = [[Cairo]] | url = https://books.google.com/books?id=KANOAYzkhA8C| isbn = 978-977-416-293-0}}
* [[Albert Hourani|Hourani, Albert Habib]] (1991). ''A History of the Arab Peoples.'' Cambridge, Mass.: Warner Books. {{ISBN|978-0-674-39565-7}}.
* Hourani, Albert (1983). ''Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798–1939''. Rev., with a new preface. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press. x, 406 p. {{ISBN|0-521-27423-0}} pbk.
* Tausch, Arno. ''A Look at International Survey Data About Arab Opinion'' (31 January 2014). "A look at recent (2013) international survey data about Arab opinion," Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Fall 2013), 57–74. {{ssrn|2388627}}
*{{Cite book | last=Tausch | first=Arno | authorlink​author-link​=Arno Tausch | title=The political algebra of global value change: General models and implications for the Muslim world, with Almas Heshmati and Hichem Karoui. |publisher=Nova Science Publishers, New York|year=2015 | edition=1st | isbn=978-1-62948-899-8}}
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