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Arab
العرب al-ʿarab
Arab infobox.jpg
Philip the ArabJohn of DamascusAl-KindiAl-Khansa
Faisal I of IraqGamal Abdel NasserAsmahanMay Ziade
Total population
approx. 350 to 422 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Pan-Arab States 339,510,535
 Brazil 12,000,000[2]
 France 6,000,000[3]
 Argentina 3,500,000[4]
 United States 3,500,000[5]
 Iran 700,000 - 2,000,000[6]
 Israel 1,500,000[7]
 Mexico 1,100,000[8]
Languages

Arabic, Modern South Arabian[9][10]

Religion

Predominantly Islam; largest minority: Christianity; other religions

Arab people (Arabic: عربي‎, ʿarabi) or Arabs (العرب al-ʿarab) are a panethnicity of peoples of various ancestral origins, religious backgrounds and historic identities, whose members, on an individual basis, identify as such on one or more of linguistic, cultural, political, or genealogical grounds.[11] Those self-identifing as Arab, however, rarely do so on their own. Most hold multiple identities, with a more localized prioritized ethnic identity — such as Egyptian, Lebanese, or Palestinian — in addition to further tribal, village and clan identities.

Arabic, the main unifying feature among Arabs, is a Semitic language originating in Arabia. From there it spread to a variety of distinct peoples across most of West Asia and North Africa,[12] resulting in their acculturation as Arabs, or Arabization, often though not always, in conjunction with Islamization.

With the rise of Islam in the 7th century CE as the language of the Qur'an, Arabic became the lingua franca of the wider Mediterranean region. It was in this period that Arabic language and culture was widely disseminated with the early Islamic expansion, both through conquest and cultural contact.[13]

Arabic culture and language, however, began a more limited diffusion before the Islamic age, first spreading in West Asia beginning in the 2nd century, as Arab Christians such as the Ghassanids, Lakhmids and Banu Judham began migrating north from Arabia into the Syrian Desert and the Levant.[14][15]

Contents

Etymology

The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" as defining a group of people dates from the 9th century BCE.[16]

The root of the word has many meanings in Semitic languages including "west/sunset," "desert," "mingle," "merchant," "raven" and are "comprehensible" with all of these having varying degrees of relevance to the emergence of the name. It is also possible that some forms were metathetical from ʿ-B-R "moving around" (Arabic ʿ-B-R "traverse"), and hence, it is alleged, "nomadic."

Arab identity

Arab identity is defined independently of religious identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes. Today, however, most Arabs are Muslim, with a minority adhereing to other faiths, largely Christianity.

Islamized but non-Arabized peoples, and therefore the majority, or 80% of the world's Muslim population, do not form part of the Arab World, but instead comprise what is the geographically larger, and more diverse, Muslim World.

In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the following three criteria:

Distribution of Arabic as sole official language (green) and one of several official or national languages (blue).
  • Political: in the modern nationalist era, any person who is a citizen of a country where Arabic is either the national language or one of the official languages, and/or a citizen of a country which may simply be a member of the Arab League (thereby having Arabic as an official government language, even if not used by the majority of the population). This definition would cover over 300 million people. It may be the most contested definition, as it is the most simplistic one. It would exclude the entire Arab diaspora outside of the Arab world, but include not only people with Arab ancestry (Gulf Arabs and others, such as Bedouins, where they may exist) or who identify themselves as Arabs, but would also include Arabized groups who do not identify themselves as Arabs (including many Lebanese and many Egyptians, both Christians and Muslims) and even non-Arabized ethnic minorities who have remained non-Arabic-speaking (such as the Berbers in Morocco, Kurds in Iraq, or the Somali majority of Arab League member Somalia).
Traditional Bedouin

The relative importance of these three factors is estimated differently by different groups and frequently disputed. Some combine aspects of each definition, as done by Habib Hassan Touma,[19] who defines an Arab "in the modern sense of the word", as "one who is a national of an Arab state, has command of the Arabic language, and possesses a fundamental knowledge of Arab tradition, that is, of the manners, customs, and political and social systems of the culture." Most people who consider themselves Arab do so based on the overlap of the political and linguistic definitions. Few people consider themselves Arab based on the political definition without also having Arabic as a language. Thus few Kurds and Berbers identify as Arab, although for instance some Berbers also consider themselves Arab (see for example: Gellner, Ernest and Micaud, Charles, Eds. Arabs and Berbers: from tribe to nation in North Africa. Lexington: Lexington Books, 1972). Some religious minorities within Western Asia and North Africa who speak Arabic or any of its varieties as their primary community language, such as Egyptian Copts and Lebanese and Syrian Christians, may not identify as Arabs.

The Arab League at its formation in 1946 defined Arab as "a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic speaking country, who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic speaking peoples".

The relation of ʿarab and ʾaʿrāb is complicated further by the notion of "lost Arabs" al-ʿArab al-ba'ida mentioned in the Qur'an as punished for their disbelief. All contemporary Arabs were considered as descended from two ancestors, Qahtan and Adnan.

Versteegh (1997) is uncertain whether to ascribe this distinction to the memory of a real difference of origin of the two groups, but it is certain that the difference was strongly felt in early Islamic times. Even in Islamic Spain there was enmity between the Qays of the northern and the Kalb of the southern group. The so-called Himyarite language described by Al-Hamdani (died 946) appears to be a special case of language contact between the two groups, an originally north Arabic dialect spoken in the south, and influenced by Old South Arabian.

During the Muslim conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries, the Arabs forged an Arab Empire (under the Rashidun and Umayyads, and later the Abbasids) whose borders touched southern France in the west, China in the east, Asia Minor in the north, and the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In much of this area, the Arabs spread Islam and the Arabic language (the language of the Qur'an) through conversion and cultural assimilation. Many groups became known as "Arabs" through this process of Arabization rather than through descent. Thus, over time, the term Arab came to carry a broader meaning than the original ethnic term: cultural Arab vs. ethnic Arab. Arab nationalism declares that Arabs are united in a shared history, culture and language. A related ideology, Pan-Arabism, calls for all Arab lands to be united as one state. Arab nationalism has often competed for existence with regional nationalism in the Middle East, such as Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi and Egyptian nationalism.

Population of Arabic speakers

The Arab World is the largest geocultural unit in the world after Russia and Anglo-America, with a population exceeding 300 million and spanning more than 14,000,000 square kilometres (5,400,000 sq mi), from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east. The table below is based on the number of Arabic-speakers (Arabophones), some of whom do not identify as Arabs, note that Gulf countries speak Arabic exclusively and the rate below includes foreign guest workers there.

Arab states
Flag Country Number of Arabic speakers Total Population % Arabic speakers Notes
Egypt Egypt 82,667,004 82,999,000 99.6% [7] For more information, see Egyptians: Identity.
Algeria Algeria 34,546,050 34,895,000 99%
Morocco Morocco 31,705,063 31,993,000 99.1%
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 28,000,000 28,686,633 99.7% [7]
Iraq Iraq 24,206,350 31,234,000 77.5% [7]
Yemen Yemen 23,580,000 23,580,000 100% [7]
Syria Syria 19,781,118 21,906,000 90.3% [7]
Sudan Sudan 16,486,080 42,272,000 39% [7]
Somalia Somalia 20,456,080 27,342,000 80% [7]
Tunisia Tunisia 10,121,244 10,327,800 98% [7]
Libya Libya 6,227,400 6,420,000 97% [7]
Jordan Jordan 6,189,680 6,316,000 98% [7]
Lebanon Lebanon 4,012,800 4,224,000 95% [7] Many Lebanese reject Arab identity and do not self identify as Arabs (see Lebanese people: Identity, Lebanese nationalism, Phoenicianism)
Kuwait Kuwait 2,388,000 2,985,000 80% [7]
United Arab Emirates UAE 1,839,600 4,599,000 40% [7]
Oman Oman 1,650,100 2,845,000 58% [20]
Mauritania Mauritania 1,645,500 3,291,000 50% [7]
Qatar Qatar 563,600 1,409,000 40% [7]
Bahrain Bahrain 493,584 791,000 62.4% [7]
Total ~298,150,751 ~345,434,433 ~86.32%

The Arab diaspora is a global diaspora estimated at between 30 and 50 million people distributed across every continent and almost every country in the world. More than half of the Arabic diaspora is concentrated in Latin America. Other regions with high concentrations are Western Europe, Western Asia and North America.

Arab diaspora
Flag Country Number of Arabic speakers Total Population % Arabic speakers Notes
Brazil Brazil 12,000,000 191,241,714 6.28% [21]
France France 6,000,000 65,073,482 9.22%
Argentina Argentina 3,500,000 40,482,000 8.65% [22]
United States United States 3,500,000 307,473,000 1.14% [23]
Iran Iran 2,225,880 74,196,000 3% [7]
Italy Italy 1,950,210 60,234,000 3.1% [24]
Israel Israel 1,500,000 7,411,000 20.24% [25]
Turkey Turkey 1,200,000 74,816,000 1.60%
Mexico Mexico 1,100,000 111,211,789 1%
Chile Chile 700,000 16,928,873 4.2% [26]
Colombia Colombia 700,000 44,928,970 1.56% [27]
United Kingdom United Kingdom 500,000 61,113,205 0.82%
Australia Australia 500,000 21,885,016 2.29%
Canada Canada 500,000 33,790,000 1.48%
Venezuela Venezuela 400,000 26,814,843 1.5% [28]
Germany Germany 400,000 82,060,000 0.49%
Pakistan Pakistan 300,000 180,808,000 0.17%
Ecuador Ecuador 200,000 13,625,000 1.47%
Russia Russia 200,000 142,008,838 0.14%
Total ~36,025,880

History

Ancient Near East

Al Khazneh, "The Treasury" at Petra in Jordan, built in the early 1st century BCE by the Nabataeans

Many scholars derive the entire population of the Mesopotamia from population movements out of Jazirat al-Arab ("island of the Arabs") – an area between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, with Hadramawt its southern perimeter, extending northward up to the area just east of the Dead Sea (Jordan).[29] Early Semitic peoples from the Ancient Near East, such as the Arameans, Akkadians and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia and the Levant; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed.[30] Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of Western Asia to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language remained the lingua franca of Mesopotamia and the Levant. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as Western Asia's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander III of Macedon.

The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyrian inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III lists a King Gindibu of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Proto-Arabic dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. Many of the Qedarite queens were also described as queens of the aribi. The Hebrew Bible occasionally refers to Arvi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic tribes in the Syrian Desert and Arabia.

Proto-Arabic, or Ancient North Arabian, texts give a clearer picture of the Arabs' emergence. The earliest are written in variants of epigraphic south Arabian musnad script, including the 8th century BCE Hasaean inscriptions of eastern Saudi Arabia, the 6th century BCE Lihyanite texts of southeastern Saudi Arabia and the Thamudic texts found throughout Arabia and the Sinai (not in reality connected with Thamud).

The Nabataeans were nomadic newcomers[31] who moved into territory vacated by the Edomites – Semites who settled the region centuries before them. Their early inscriptions were in Aramaic, but gradually switched to Arabic, and since they had writing, it was they who made the first inscriptions in Arabic. The Nabataean Alphabet was adopted by Arabs to the south, and evolved into modern Arabic script around the 4th century. This is attested by Safaitic inscriptions (beginning in the 1st century BCE) and the many Arabic personal names in Nabataean inscriptions. From about the 2nd century BCE, a few inscriptions from Qaryat al-Faw (near Sulayyil) reveal a dialect which is no longer considered "proto-Arabic", but pre-classical Arabic. Five Syriac inscriptions mentioning Arabs have been found at Sumatar Harabesi, one of which has been dated to the 2nd century CE.

Early migrations

In Sassanid times, Arabia Petraea was a border province between the Roman and Persian empires, and from the early centuries AD was increasingly affected by Arab influence, notably with the Ghassanids migrating north from the 3rd century.

The Ghassanids, Lakhmids and Kindites were the last major migration of non-Muslims out of Yemen to the north.

  • The Ghassanids revived the Semitic presence in the then Hellenized Syria. They mainly settled in the Hauran region and spread to modern Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. The Ghassanids held Syria until the expansion of Islam.
Coin showing the Roman Emperor, Philip the Arab

Greeks and Romans referred to all the nomadic population of the desert in the Near East as Arabi. The Romans called Yemen "Arabia Felix".[32] The Romans called the vassal nomadic states within the Roman Empire "Arabia Petraea" after the city of Petra, and called unconquered deserts bordering the empire to the south and east Arabia Magna.

  • The Lakhmids settled the mid Tigris region around their capital Al-hira they ended up allying with the Sassanid against the Ghassanids and the Byzantine Empire. The Lakhmids contested control of the Central Arabian tribes with the Kindites with the Lakhmids eventually destroying Kinda in 540 after the fall of their main ally Himyar. The Sassanids dissolved the Lakhmid kingdom in 602.
  • The Kindites migrated from Yemen along with the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, but were turned back in Bahrain by the Abdul Qais Rabi'a tribe. They returned to Yemen and allied themselves with the Himyarites who installed them as a vassal kingdom that ruled Central Arbia from Qaryah dhat Kahl (the present-day Qaryat al-Faw) in Central Arabia. They ruled much of the Northern/Central Arabian peninsula until the fall of the Himyarites in 525AD.

Early Islamic period

Age of the Caliphs      Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632/A.H. 1–11      Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661/A.H. 11–40      Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750/A.H. 40–129

Muslims of Medina referred to the nomadic tribes of the deserts as the A'raab, and considered themselves sedentary, but were aware of their close racial bonds. The term "A'raab' mirrors the term Assyrians used to describe the closely related nomads they defeated in Syria.

The Qur'an does not use the word ʿarab, only the nisba adjective ʿarabiy. The Qur'an calls itself ʿarabiy, "Arabic", and Mubin, "clear". The two qualities are connected for example in ayat 43.2–3, "By the clear Book: We have made it an Arabic recitation in order that you may understand". The Qur'an became regarded as the prime example of the al-ʿarabiyya, the language of the Arabs. The term ʾiʿrāb has the same root and refers to a particularly clear and correct mode of speech. The plural noun ʾaʿrāb refers to the Bedouin tribes of the desert who resisted Muhammad, for example in ayat 9.97, alʾaʿrābu ʾašaddu kufrān wa nifāqān "the Bedouin are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy".

Based on this, in early Islamic terminology, ʿarabiy referred to the language, and ʾaʿrāb to the Arab Bedouins, carrying a negative connotation due to the Qur'anic verdict just cited. But after the Islamic conquest of the 8th century, the language of the nomadic Arabs became regarded as the most pure by the grammarians following Abi Ishaq, and the term kalam al-ʿArab, "language of the Arabs", denoted the uncontaminated language of the Bedouins.

Levant and Iraq

Map detailing Rashidun Caliphates invasion of Levant.

The arrival of Islam united many tribes in Arabia, who then moved northwards to conquer the Levant and Iraq. In 661, and throughout the Caliphate's rule by the Ummayad dynasty, Damascus was established as the Muslim capital. In these newly acquired territories, Arabs comprised the ruling military elite and as such, enjoyed special privileges. They were proud of their Arab ancestry and sponsored the poetry and culture of pre-Islamic Arabia whilst diffusing with Levantine and Iraqi culture. They established garrison towns at Ramla, ar-Raqqah, Basra, Kufa, Mosul and Samarra, all of which developed into major cities.[33]

Caliph Abd al-Malik established Arabic as the Caliphate's official language in 686. This reform greatly influenced the conquered non-Arab peoples and fueled the Arabization of the region. However, the Arabs' higher status among non-Arab Muslim converts and the latter's obligation to pay heavy taxes caused resentment. Caliph Umar II strove to resolve the conflict when he came to power in 717. He rectified the situation, demanding that all Muslims be treated as equals, but his intended reforms did not take effect as he died after only three years of rule. By now, discontent with the Umayyads swept the region and an uprising occurred in which the Abbasids came to power and moved the capital to Baghdad. The Abbasids were also Arabs (descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas), but unlike the Ummayads, they had the support of non-Arab Islamic groups.[33] Through the adoption of the Arabic language and Islam, the Levantine and Iraqi populations became Arabized.

North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula

Inland in North Africa, the nomadic Berbers allied with Arab Muslims in invading Spain. The Arabs mainly settled the old Phoenician and Carthagenian towns, while the Berbers remained dominant inland. Inland north Africa remained partly Arab until the 11th century, whereas the Iberian Peninsula, particularly its southern part, remained heavily Arab, until the expulsion of the Moriscos in the 15th century.

Islamic Golden Age

View of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolás in the Albaycin of Granada.

During the Muslim conquests of the 7th and early 8th centuries, Rashidun armies established the Caliphate, or Islamic Empire, one of the largest empires in history. The Islamic Golden Age was soon inaugurated by the middle of the 8th century by the ascension of the Abbasid Caliphate and the transfer of the capital from Damascus to the newly founded city Baghdad. The Abbassids were influenced by the Qur'anic injunctions and hadith such as "The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of martyrs" stressing the value of knowledge. During this period the Muslim world became an intellectual centre for science, philosophy, medicine and education as the Abbasids championed the cause of knowledge and established the "House of Wisdom" (Arabic:بيت الحكمة) in Baghdad; where both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars sought to translate and gather all the world's knowledge into Arabic. Many classic works of antiquity that would otherwise have been forgotten were translated into Arabic and later in turn translated into Turkish, Persian, Hebrew and Latin. During this period the Muslim world was a cauldron of cultures which collected, synthesized and advanced the knowledge gained from the ancient Mesopotamian, Roman, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Egyptian, North African, Greek and Byzantine civilizations. Rival Muslim dynasties such as the Fatimids of Egypt and the Umayyads of al-Andalus were also major intellectual centres with cities such as Cairo and Córdoba rivaling Baghdad.[34]

Arabs of the Caucasus and Central Asia

In 1728, a Russian officer described a group of Sunni Arab nomads who populated the Caspian shores of Mughan (in present-day Azerbaijan) and spoke a mixed Turkic-Arabic language.[35] It is believed that these groups migrated to the Caucasus in the 16th century.[36] The 1888 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica also mentioned a certain number of Arabs populating the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire.[37] They retained an Arabic dialect at least into the mid-19th century,[38] but since then have fully assimilated with the neighbouring Azeris and Tats. Today in Azerbaijan alone, there are nearly 30 settlements still holding the name Arab (e.g. Arabgadim, Arabojaghy, Arab-Yengija, etc.).

From the time of the Arab conquest of the Caucasus, continuous small-scale Arab migration from various parts of the Arabic-speaking world was observed in Dagestan influencing and shaping the culture of the local peoples. Up until the mid-20th century, there were still individuals in Dagestan who claimed Arabic to be their native language, with the majority of them living in the village of Darvag to the north-west of Derbent. The latest of these accounts dates to the 1930s.[36] Most Arab communities in southern Dagestan underwent linguistic Turkicisation, thus nowadays Darvag is a majority-Azeri village.[39][40]

According to the History of Ibn Khaldun, the Arabs that were once in Central Asia have been either killed or have fled the Tatar invasion of the region, leaving only the locals .[41] However, today many people in Central Asia identify as Arabs. Most Arabs of Central Asia are fully integrated into local populations, and sometimes call themselves the same as locals (e.g. Tajiks, Uzbeks) but they use special titles to show their Arabic origin such as Sayyid, Khoja or Siddiqui.[42]

Iranian Arab communities are also found in Khorasan Province.

Tribal genealogy

Arab family of Ramallah,1905

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups:

  • "Ancient Arabs", tribes that had vanished or been destroyed, such as 'Ad and Thamud, often mentioned in the Qur'an as examples of God's power to destroy wicked peoples.
  • "Pure Arabs" of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan. The Qahtanites (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated the land of Yemen following the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam (sadd Ma'rib).

Book of Jubilees 20:13 And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran to the entering in of Babylon in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites.

Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddima distinguishes between sedentary Muslims who used to be nomadic Arabs and the Bedouin nomadic Arabs of the desert. He used the term "formerly-nomadic" Arabs and refers to sedentary Muslims by the region or city they lived in, as in Egyptians, Spaniards and Yemenis.[43] The Christians of Italy and the Crusaders preferred the term Saracens for all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.[44] The Christians of Iberia used the term Moor to describe all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.

Religion

Arab Muslims are generally Sunni, Shia, Ismaili and Druze. Arab Christians generally follow Eastern Churches such as the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches and the Maronite church.[45] The Greek Catholic churches and Maronite church are under the Pope of Rome, and a part of the larger worldwide Catholic Church.

The Kaaba, located in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) is the center of Islam. It is where Muslims from all over the world travel to and gather there to pray in unity
Christian martyr Saint Abo, the patron saint of Tbilisi

Before the coming of Islam, most Arabs followed a pagan religion with a number of deities, including Hubal,[46] Wadd,[47] Allāt,[48] Manat,[49] and Uzza.[50] A few individuals, the hanifs, had apparently rejected polytheism in favor of monotheism unaffiliated with any particular religion. Some tribes had converted to Christianity or Judaism. The most prominent Arab Christian kingdoms were the Ghassanid and Lakhmid kingdoms.[51] When the Himyarite king converted to Judaism in the late 4th century,[52] the elites of the other prominent Arab kingdom, the Kindites, being Himyirite vassals, apparently also converted (at least partly). With the expansion of Islam, polytheistic Arabs were rapidly Islamized, and polytheistic traditions gradually disappeared.[53][54]

Today, Sunni Islam dominates in most areas, overwhelmingly so in North Africa. Shia Islam is dominant in southern Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Substantial Shi'a populations exist in Saudi Arabia,[55] Kuwait, northern Syria, the al-Batinah region in Oman, and in northern Yemen. The Druze community, concentrated in the Levant, follow a faith that was originally an offshoot of Ismaili Shia Islam,[56] and are also Arab.

Christians make up 5.5% of the population of the Near East.[57] In Lebanon they number about 39% of the population.[58] In Syria, Christians make up 16% of the population.[59] In Palestine before the creation of Israel estimates ranged as high as 25%, but is now 3.8% due largely to the 1948 Palestinian exodus. In West Bank and in Gaza, Arab Christians make up 8% and 0.8% of the populations, respectively.[60][61] In Israel, Arab Christians constitute 1.7% (roughly 9% of the Palestinian Arab population).[62] Arab Christians make up 6% of the population of Jordan.[63] Most North and South American Arabs are Christian,[64] as are about half of Arabs in Australia who come particularly from Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian territories.

Jews from Arab countries – mainly Mizrahi Jews and Yemenite Jews – are today usually not categorised as Arab. Sociologist Philip Mendes asserts that before the anti-Jewish actions of the 1930s and 1940s, overall Iraqi Jews "viewed themselves as Arabs of the Jewish faith, rather than as a separate race or nationality".[65] Prior to the emergence of the term Mizrahi, the term "Arab Jews" was sometimes used to describe Jews of the Arab world. The term is rarely used today. The few remaining Jews in the Arab countries reside mostly in Morocco and Tunisia. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, following the creation of the state of Israel, most of these Jews left or were expelled from their countries of birth and are now mostly concentrated in Israel. Some immigrated to France, where they form the largest Jewish community, outnumbering European Jews, but relatively few to the United States. See Jewish exodus from Arab lands.

Culture

Arab culture is an inclusive term that draws together the common themes and overtones found in the Arabic-speaking cultures, especially those of the Middle-Eastern countries. This region's distinct religion, art, and food are some of the fundamental features that define Arab culture.

Arabic music is the music of Arabic-speaking people or countries, especially those centered around the Arabian Peninsula. The world of Arab music has long been dominated by Cairo, a cultural center, though musical innovation and regional styles abound from Morocco to Saudi Arabia. Beirut has, in recent years, also become a major center of Arabic music. Classical Arab music is extremely popular across the population, especially a small number of superstars known throughout the Arab world. Regional styles of popular music include Algerian raï, Moroccan gnawa, Kuwaiti sawt, Egyptian el gil and Turkish Arabesque-pop music.

See also

Arabic-speaking world

Geography

Language and culture

Arab Organizations

Arab People

References

Notes
  1. ^ Arabic Language - ninemsn Encarta
  2. ^ Brazil - Brasil - BRAZZIL - News from Brazil - Arabs: They are 12 Million in Brazil - Brazilian Immigration - September 2004
  3. ^ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117979837.html?categoryid=2879&cs=1
  4. ^ Inmigración sirio-libanesa en Argentina
  5. ^ http://www.aaiusa.org/about/17/our-history Arab American Institute (AAI)
  6. ^ Iran, CIA factbook (1% Arabic-speakers and 3% ethnic Arabs)
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r The World Factbook [1]
  8. ^ WorldStatesmen.org - Mexico
  9. ^ Kister, M.J. "Ķuāḍa." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2008. Brill Online. 10 April 2008: "The name is an early one and can be traced in fragments of the old Arab poetry. The tribes recorded as Ķuḍā'ī were: Kalb [q.v.], Djuhayna , Balī, Bahrā' [q.v.], Khawlān [q.v.], Mahra , Khushayn, Djarm, 'Udhra [q.v.], Balkayn [see al-Kayn ], Tanūkh [q.v.] and Salīh"
  10. ^ Serge D. Elie, "Hadiboh: From Peripheral Village to Emerging City", Chroniques Yéménites: "In the middle, were the Arabs who originated from different parts of the mainland (e.g., prominent Mahrî tribes10, and individuals from Hadramawt, and Aden)". Footnote 10: "Their neighbours in the West scarcely regarded them as Arabs, though they themselves consider they are of the pure stock of Himyar.” [2]
  11. ^ Deng, 1995, p. 405.
  12. ^ Arab
  13. ^ Islam and the Arabic language
  14. ^ Banu Judham migration
  15. ^ Ghassanids Arabic linguistic influence in Syria
  16. ^ Retsö, 2003, p. 105.
  17. ^ Jankowski, James. "Egypt and Early Arab Nationalism" in Rashid Kakhlidi, ed., Origins of Arab Nationalism, pp. 244–45
  18. ^ qtd in Dawisha, Adeed. Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century. Princeton University Press. 2003, p. 99
  19. ^ 1996, p.xviii
  20. ^ Joshua Project. "Arab, Omani of Oman Ethnic People Profile". Joshua Project. http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php?rop3=100431&rog3=MU. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  21. ^ "Brazil – Brasil – BRAZZIL – News from Brazil – Arabs: They are 12 Million in Brazil – Brazilian Immigration – September 2004". Brazzil. http://www.brazzil.com/2004/html/articles/sep04/p118sep04.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  22. ^ Inmigracion sirio-libanesa en Argentina
  23. ^ http://www.aaiusa.org/about/17/our-history Arab American Institute (AAI)
  24. ^ http://istati.it
  25. ^ CBS Israel
  26. ^ (Spanish) En Chile viven unas 700.000 personas de origen árabe y de ellas 500.000 son descendientes de emigrantes palestinos que llegaron a comienzos del siglo pasado y que constituyen la comunidad de ese origen más grande fuera del mundo árabe.
  27. ^ Colombia awakens to the Arab world
  28. ^ Arabs making their mark in Latin America
  29. ^ Cragg, 1991, p. 13.
  30. ^ Journal of Semitic Studies Volume 52, Number 1
  31. ^ Biblical Israel Tours
  32. ^ Reconstruction of the World Map according to Dionysus
  33. ^ a b Lunde, Paul (2002). Islam. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing. pp. 50–52. ISBN 0-7894-8797-7. 
  34. ^ Vartan Gregorian, "Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith", Brookings Institution Press, 2003, pg 26–38 ISBN 081573283X
  35. ^ Genko, A. The Arabic Language and Caucasian Studies. USSR Academy of Sciences Publ. Moscow-Leningrad. 8–109
  36. ^ a b Zelkina, Anna. Arabic as a Minority Language. Walter de Gruyter, 2000; p. 101
  37. ^ Baynes, Thomas Spencer (ed). "Transcaucasia." Encyclopædia Britannica. 1888. p. 514
  38. ^ Golestan-i Iram by Abbasgulu Bakikhanov. Translated by Ziya Bunyadov. Baku: 1991, p. 21
  39. ^ Seferbekov, Ruslan. Characters Персонажи традиционных религиозных представлений азербайджанцев Табасарана.
  40. ^ Stephen Adolphe Wurm et al. Atlas of languages of intercultural communication. Walter de Gruyter, 1996; p. 966
  41. ^ History of Ibn Khaldun
  42. ^ Arabic As a Minority Language By Jonathan Owens, pg. 184
  43. ^ Levity.com, Islam
  44. ^ www.eyewitnesstohistory.com
  45. ^ CHRISTIANS (in the Arab world)
  46. ^ Is Hubal The Same As Allah?
  47. ^ Encyclopedia Mythica entry on Wadd
  48. ^ Dictionary of Ancient Deities
  49. ^ The Book of Idols (Kitab Al-Asnam) by Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi
  50. ^ The Book of Idols (Kitab Al-Asnam) by Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi
  51. ^ From Marib The Sabean Capital To Carantania
  52. ^ "Msn Encarta entry on Himyarites". Msn Encarta entry on Himyarites. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761570797/himyarites.html. 
  53. ^ History of Islam
  54. ^ Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion
  55. ^ Shia Muslims in the Mideast
  56. ^ Britannica – Druze
  57. ^ Christian Communities in the Middle East. Oxford University Press. 1998. ISBN 0-19-829388-7. 
  58. ^ CIA – The World Factbook – Lebanon
  59. ^ CIA – The World Factbook – Syria
  60. ^ CIA The World Factbook – West Bank
  61. ^ CIA The World Factbook – Gaza
  62. ^ CIA The World Factbook – Israel
  63. ^ CIA The World Factbook – Jordan
  64. ^ "The Arab American Institute | Arab Americans". Aaiusa.org. http://www.aaiusa.org/arab-americans/22/demographics. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  65. ^ THE FORGOTTEN REFUGEES: the causes of the post-1948 Jewish Exodus from Arab Countries By Philip Mendes
Bibliography
This article contains Arabic text, written from right to left in a cursive style with some letters joined. Without proper rendering support, you may see unjoined Arabic letters written left-to-right instead of right-to-left or other symbols instead of Arabic script.

External links


This article contains Arabic text, written from right to left in a cursive style with some letters joined. Without proper rendering support, you may see unjoined Arabic letters written left-to-right, instead of right-to-left or other symbols instead of Arabic script.
Arab
العرب al-ʿarab
File:Arab infobox.jpg
Philip the ArabJohn of DamascusAl-KindiAl-Khansa
Faisal I of IraqGamal Abdel NasserAsmahanMay Ziade
Total population
approx. 350 to 422 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Pan-Arab States 339,510,535
 Brazil 12,000,000[2]
Template:Country data Iran 2,000,000[3]
Template:Country data Israel 1,414,000[4]
 United States 1,545,982[5]
 Mexico 1,066,825[6]
Languages

Arabic, Modern South Arabian[7][8]

Religion

Predominantly Islam; largest minority: Christianity; other religions

An Arab (Arabic: عربي‎, ʿarabi) is a person who identifies as such on ethnic, linguistic or cultural grounds.[9][10] The plural form, Arabs (العرب al-ʿarab), refers to the ethnocultural group at large.

Though the Arabic language is older, Arabic culture was first spread in the Middle East beginning in the 2nd century as culturally Arab Christians such as the Ghassanids, Lakhmids and Banu Judham began migrating into the Syrian Desert and the Levant.[11][12] The Arabic language gained greater prominence with the rise of Islam in the 7th century CE as the language of the Qur'an, and Arabic language and culture were more widely disseminated as a result of early Islamic expansion.[13]

Contents

Etymology

"Arab" is defined independently of religious identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jews. The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" as defining a group of people dates from the 9th century BCE.[14] Islamized but non-Arabized peoples, and therefore the majority of the world's Muslims, do not form part of the Arab World but comprise what is the geographically larger and diverse Muslim World.

In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the following three criteria: [[File:|right|thumb|Arab family of Ramallah,1905.]] [[File:|thumb|right|Traditional Bedouin]]

  • Political: in the modern nationalist era, any person who is a citizen of a country where Arabic is either the national language or one of the official languages, and/or a citizen of a country which may simply be a member of the Arab League (thereby having Arabic as an official government language, even if not used by the majority of the population). This definition would cover over 300 million people. It may be the most contested definition as it is the most simplistic one. It would exclude the entire Arab diaspora, but include not only those genealogically Arabs (Gulf Arabs and others, such as Bedouins, where they may exist) and those Arabized-Arab-identified, but would also include Arabized non-Arab-identified groups (including many Lebanese and many Egyptians, both Christians and Muslims) and even non-Arabized ethnic minorities which have remained non-Arabic-speaking (such as the Berbers in Morocco, Kurds in Iraq, or the Somali majority of Arab League member Somalia).
File:Arabic speaking
Distribution of Arabic as sole official language (green) and one of several official languages (blue)

The relative importance of these three factors is estimated differently by different groups and frequently disputed. Some combine aspects of each definition, as done by Habib Hassan Touma,[17] who defines an Arab "in the modern sense of the word", as "one who is a national of an Arab state, has command of the Arabic language, and possesses a fundamental knowledge of Arab tradition, that is, of the manners, customs, and political and social systems of the culture." Most people who consider themselves Arab do so based on the overlap of the political and linguistic definitions. Few people consider themselves Arab based on the political definition without the linguistic one; thus few Kurds and Berbers identify as Arab. But some do, for instance some Berbers also consider themselves Arab (v. e.g. Gellner, Ernest and Micaud, Charles, Eds. Arabs and Berbers: from tribe to nation in North Africa. Lexington: Lexington Books, 1972). Some religious minorities within the Middle East and North Africa who have Arabic or any of its varieties as their primary community language, such as Egyptian Copts, may not identify as Arabs.

The Arab League at its formation in 1946 defined Arab as "a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic speaking country, who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic speaking peoples".

The relation of ʿarab and ʾaʿrāb is complicated further by the notion of "lost Arabs" al-ʿArab al-ba'ida mentioned in the Qur'an as punished for their disbelief. All contemporary Arabs were considered as descended from two ancestors, Qahtan and Adnan.

Versteegh (1997) is uncertain whether to ascribe this distinction to the memory of a real difference of origin of the two groups, but it is certain that the difference was strongly felt in early Islamic times. Even in Islamic Spain there was enmity between the Qays of the northern and the Kalb of the southern group. The so-called Himyarite language described by Al-Hamdani (died 946) appears to be a special case of language contact between the two groups, an originally north Arabic dialect spoken in the south, and influenced by Old South Arabian.

During the Muslim conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries, the Arabs forged an Arab Empire (under the Rashidun and Umayyads, and later the Abbasids) whose borders touched southern France in the west, China in the east, Asia Minor in the north, and the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In much of this area, the Arabs spread Islam and the Arabic language (the language of the Qur'an) through conversion and cultural assimilation. Many groups became known as "Arabs" through this process of Arabization rather than through descent. Thus, over time, the term Arab came to carry a broader meaning than the original ethnic term: cultural Arab vs. ethnic Arab. Arab nationalism declares that Arabs are united in a shared history, culture and language. A related ideology, Pan-Arabism, calls for all Arab lands to be united as one state. Arab nationalism has often competed for existence with regional nationalism in the Middle East, such as Lebanese and Egyptian.

Population

The top 15 countries with the largest Arab populations outside the "Pan-Arab states" or the Arab world of the Middle East and North Africa by rankings. Often the main Arabic ethnic-national groups are Syrians and Lebanese, but can include other Arab nationalities.

24 other nations with above 100,000 Arabs: Haiti, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Senegal, Nigeria, Venezuela, Colombia, Uruguay, New Zealand, Denmark, Cyprus, Spain, Bulgaria, Ghana, Switzerland, Greece, Jamaica, The Philippines, Dominician Republic, Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden, Honduras and Russia. And 100 more nations with over 10,000 Arabs.

The global presence of Arab diasporas is significant to the development and contributions of the Arab culture in the world, from the Islamic religion to the economic well-being of several nations, and the contributions of arts and sciences by the Arabic peoples in the last millennia in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Origins and history

Pre-Arabic Near East

Early Semitic peoples from the Ancient Near East, such as the Arameans, Akkadians and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia and the Levant; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed.[19] Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of the Middle East to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language remained the lingua Franca of Mesopotamia and the Levant. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as the Middle East's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander the Great.

The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyrian inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III lists a King Gindibu of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Proto-Arabic dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. The Hebrew Bible occasionally refers to Arvi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic tribes in the Syrian Desert and Arabia.

Proto-Arabic, or Ancient North Arabian, texts give a clearer picture of the Arabs' emergence. The earliest are written in variants of epigraphic south Arabian musnad script, including the 8th century BCE Hasaean inscriptions of eastern Saudi Arabia, the 6th century BCE Lihyanite texts of southeastern Saudi Arabia and the Thamudic texts found throughout Arabia and the Sinai (not in reality connected with Thamud).

The Nabataeans were nomadic newcomers[citation needed] who moved into territory vacated by the Edomites -- Semites who settled the region centuries before them. Their early inscriptions were in Aramaic, but gradually switched to Arabic, and since they had writing, it was they who made the first inscriptions in Arabic. The Nabataean Alphabet was adopted by Arabs to the south, and evolved into modern Arabic script around the 4th century. This is attested by Safaitic inscriptions (beginning in the 1st century BCE) and the many Arabic personal names in Nabataean inscriptions. From about the 2nd century BCE, a few inscriptions from Qaryat al-Faw (near Sulayyil) reveal a dialect which is no longer considered "proto-Arabic", but pre-classical Arabic.

Yemeni migrations to the North

In Sassanid times, Arabia Petraea was a border province between the Roman and Persian empires[citation needed], and from the early centuries AD was increasingly affected by Arab influence, notably with the Ghassanids migrating north from the 3rd century.

The Ghassanids,Lakhmids and Kindites were the last major migration of non-Muslims out of Yemen to the north.

  • The Ghassanids revived the Semitic presence in the then Hellenized Syria. They mainly settled in the Hauran region and spread to modern Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. The Ghassanids held Syria until the expansion of Islam.

Greeks and Romans referred to all the nomadic population of the desert in the Near East as Arabi. The Romans called Yemen "Arabia Felix"[20]. The Romans called the vassal nomadic states within the Roman Empire "Arabia Petraea" after the city of Petra, and called unconquered deserts bordering the empire to the south and east Arabia Magna.

  • The Lakhmids settled the mid Tigris region around their capital Al-hira they ended up allying with the Sassanid against the Ghassanids and the Byzantine Empire. The Lakhmids contested control of the Central Arabian tribes with the Kindites with the Lakhmids eventually destroying Kinda in 540 after the fall of their main ally Himyar. The Sassanids dissolved the Lakhmid kingdom in 602.
  • The Kindites migrated from Yemen along with the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, but were turned back in Bahrain by the Abdul Qais Rabi'a tribe. They returned to Yemen and allied themselves with the Himyarites who installed them as a vassal kingdom that ruled Central Arbia from Qaryah dhat Kahl (the present-day Qaryat al-Faw) in Central Arabia. They ruled much of the Northern/Central Arabian peninsula until the fall of the Himyarites in 525AD.

Early Islamic period

[[File:|thumb|200px|Dress of Arab women, fourth to sixth century.]]

File:PLATE8DX foruth
Dress of Arab men, fourth to sixth century.

Muslims of Medina referred to the nomadic tribes of the deserts as the A'raab, and considered themselves sedentary, but were aware of their close racial bonds. The term "A'raab' mirrors the term Assyrians used to describe the closely related nomads they defeated in Syria.

The Qur'an does not use the word ʿarab, only the nisba adjective ʿarabiy. The Qur'an calls itself ʿarabiy, "Arabic", and Mubin, "clear". The two qualities are connected for example in ayat 43.2-3, "By the clear Book: We have made it an Arabic recitation in order that you may understand". The Qur'an became regarded as the prime example of the al-ʿarabiyya, the language of the Arabs. The term ʾiʿrāb has the same root and refers to a particularly clear and correct mode of speech. The plural noun ʾaʿrāb refers to the Bedouin tribes of the desert who resisted Muhammad, for example in ayat 9.97, alʾaʿrābu ʾašaddu kufrān wa nifāqān "the Bedouin are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy".

Based on this, in early Islamic terminology, ʿarabiy referred to the language, and ʾaʿrāb to the Arab Bedouins, carrying a negative connotation due to the Qur'anic verdict just cited. But after the Islamic conquest of the 8th century, the language of the nomadic Arabs became regarded as the most pure by the grammarians following Abi Ishaq, and the term kalam al-ʿArab, "language of the Arabs", denoted the uncontaminated language of the Bedouins.

Levant and Iraq

The arrival of Islam united many tribes in Arabia, who then moved northwards to conquer the Levant and Iraq. In 661, and throughout the Caliphate's rule by the Ummayad dynasty, Damascus was established as the Muslim capital. In these newly acquired territories, Arabs comprised the ruling military elite and as such, enjoyed special privileges. They were proud of their Arab ancestry and sponsored the poetry and culture of pre-Islamic Arabia whilst diffusing with Levantine and Iraqi culture. They established garrison towns at Ramla, ar-Raqqah, Basra, Kufa, Mosul and Samarra, all of which developed into major cities.[21]

Caliph Abd al-Malik established Arabic as the Caliphate's official language in 686. This reform greatly influenced the conquered non-Arab peoples and fueled the Arabization of the region. However, the Arabs' higher status among non-Arab Muslim converts and the latter's obligation to pay heavy taxes caused resentment. Caliph Umar II strove to resolve the conflict when he came to power in 717. He rectified the situation, demanding that all Muslims be treated as equals, but his intended reforms did not take effect as he died after only three years of rule. By now, discontent with the Umayyads swept the region and an uprising occurred in which the Abbasids came to power and moved the capital to Baghdad. The Abbasids were also Arabs (descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas), but unlike the Ummayads, they had the support of non-Arab Islamic groups.[21] Through the adoption of the Arabic language and Islam, the Levantine and Iraqi populations became Arabized.

North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula

The Phoenicians and later the Carthaginians dominated North African and Iberian shores for more than 8 centuries until they were suppressed by the Romans and the later Vandal invasion. Inland, the nomadic Berbers allied with Arab Muslims in invading Spain. The Arabs mainly settled the old Phoenician and Carthagenian towns, while the Berbers remained dominant inland. Inland north Africa remained partly Arab until the 11th century, whereas the Iberian Peninsula, particularly its southern part, remained heavily Arab, until the expulsion of the Moriscos in the 17th century.

Medieval

Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddima distinguishes between sedentary Muslims who used to be nomadic Arabs and the Bedouin nomadic Arabs of the desert. He used the term "formerly-nomadic" Arabs and refers to sedentary Muslims by the region or city they lived in, as in Egyptians, Spaniards and Yemenis. [22] The Christians of Italy and the Crusaders preferred the term Saracens for all the Arabs and Muslims of that time. [23] The Christians of Iberia used the term Moor to describe all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.[24]

Arabs of the Caucasus and Central Asia

In 1728, a Russian officer described a group of Sunni Arab nomads who populated the Caspian shores of Mughan (in present-day Azerbaijan) and spoke a mixed Turkic-Arabic language.[25] It is believed that these groups migrated to the Caucasus in the 16th century.[26] The 1888 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica also mentioned a certain number of Arabs populating the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire.[27] They retained an Arabic dialect at least into the mid-19th century,[28] but since then have fully assimilated with the neighbouring Azeris and Tats. Today in Azerbaijan alone, there are nearly 30 settlements still holding the name Arab (e.g. Arabgadim, Arabojaghy, Arab-Yengija, etc.).

From the time of the Arab conquest of the Caucasus, continuous small-scale Arab migration from various parts of the Arabic-speaking world was observed in Dagestan influencing and shaping the culture of the local peoples. Up until the mid-20th century, there were still individuals in Dagestan who claimed Arabic to be their native language, with the majority of them living in the village of Darvag to the north-west of Derbent. The latest of these accounts dates to the 1930s.[26] Most Arab communities in southern Dagestan underwent linguistic Turkicisation, thus nowadays Darvag is a majority-Azeri village.[29][30]

According to the History of Ibn Khaldun, the Arabs that were once in Central Asia have been either killed or have fled the Tatar invasion of the region, leaving only the locals .[31] However, today many people in Central Asia identify as Arabs. Most Arabs of Central Asia are fully integrated into local populations, and sometimes call themselves the same as locals (e.g. Tajiks, Uzbeks) but they use special titles to show their Arabic origin such as Sayyid, Khoja or Siddiqui.[32]

Iranian Arab communities are also found in Khorasan Province.

Banu Umayya of Damascus in the Levant & North Africa, 661AD

The Umayyid Caliphs starting with Mu'awiyah Ibn Abi Sufyaan were the first Arab force to conquer the North African region, however most of them where in Damascus (The Levant) at this time and not in North Africa. It is not until their removal from Damascus by the Abbasid Caliphs will they enter Spain/Andalus and then North Africa after their expulsion from Spain/Andalus.

Banu Fahr in North Africa, 670AD

Uqbah Ibn Naafi' and his forces (Banu Fahr) subdued Kusayla (a Berber chief) after the first Berber apostacy in the Aures Mountain region in modern day Algeria. This led to many bloody battles between the Arab Banu Fahr and the Apostates of the region. Uqbah Ibn Naafi' the chief of the Muslim forces was slain during these battles and buried in what will later be known as the city of Sidi Uqbah in the province of Biskra,Algeria. Uqbah Ibn Naafi', a companion of Muhammad, The Prophet of Islam and the Banu Fahr build the city of Qayrawan in modern day Tunisia and the city of Uqbah ibn Naafi' in modern day Algeria

Banu Hashim (Idrisids) in North Africa, 788AD

Idris I, fell into a quarrel with the Abbasids and fled Egypt for the Maghreb. With the support of the Berber of the Region they established the Idrisid dynasty which was located in modern day Morocco and Algeria.

Banu Umayya of Andalus/Cordoba in North Africa, 1031AD

The Umayyad Dynasty eventually fell after much infighting and mismanagement left them weak to invading European forces from France. This led to the wholesale murder, expulsion, and destruction of both the Muslim Arabs and Non-Arabs as well as much of the monuments and literature which they left behind. The Banu Umayya clan then fled with the rest of the Muslims to the Maghreb region.

Banu Hilal and Banu Muqal (Banu Hashim) in North Africa, 1046AD

The Banu Hilal was a populous Arab tribal confederation, organized by the Fatimids. They struck in Libya, reducing the Zenata Berbers (a clan that claimed Yemeni ancestry from pre-Islamic periods) and the Sanhaja berber confederation to small coastal towns. The Banu Hilal, Banu Muqal, Banu Jashm and other smaller tribes eventually Settled in modern Morocco and Algeria.

Banu Sulaym in North Africa, 1049AD

The Banu Sulyam is another Bedouin tribal confederation from Nejd which followed through the trials of Banu Hilal and helped them defeat the Zirids in the Battle of Gabis in 1052 AD, and finally took Kairuan in 1057 Ad. The Banu Sulaym mainly settled and completely Arabized Libya.

Banu Kanz Nubia/Sudan, 11th-14th century

A branch of the Rabi'ah tribe settled in north Sudan and slowly Arabized the Makurian kingdom in modern Sudan until 1315 AD when the Banu Kanz inherited the kingdom of Makuria and paved the way for the Arabization of the Sudan, that was completed by the arrival of the Ja'Alin and Juhayna Arab tribes.

Banu Hassan Mauritania 1644–1674AD

The Banu Maqil is a Yemeni nomadic tribe that settled in Tunisia in the 13th century. The Banu Hassan a Maqil branch moved into the Sanhaja region in whats today the Western Sahara and Mauritania, they fought a thirty years war on the side of the Lamtuna Arabized Berbers who claimed Himyarite ancestry (from the early Islamic invasions) defeating the Sanhaja berbers and Arabizing Mauritania.

Tribal genealogy

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups:

  • "Ancient Arabs", tribes that had vanished or been destroyed, such as 'Ad and Thamud, often mentioned in the Qur'an as examples of God's power to destroy wicked peoples.
  • "Pure Arabs" of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan. The Qahtanites (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated the land of Yemen following the destruction of the Ma'rib Dam (sadd Ma'rib).

Book of Jubilees 20:13 And Ishmael and his sons, and the sons of Keturah and their sons, went together and dwelt from Paran to the entering in of Babylon in all the land which is towards the East facing the desert. And these mingled with each other, and their name was called Arabs, and Ishmaelites.

Religions

Arab Muslims are generally Sunni, Shia, Ismaili and Druze. The self-identified Arab Christians generally follow Eastern Churches such as the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches and the Maronite church.[33] The Greek Catholic churches and Maronite church are under the Pope of Rome, and a part of the larger worldwide Catholic Church.

File:Saint Abo of
Christian martyr Saint Abo, the patron saint of Tbilisi.

Before the coming of Islam, most Arabs followed a religion with a number of deities, including Hubal,[34] Wadd,[35] Allāt,[36] Manat, [37] and Uzza.[38] A few individuals, the hanifs, had apparently rejected polytheism in favor of monotheism unaffiliated with any particular religion. Some tribes had converted to Christianity or Judaism. The most prominent Arab Christian kingdoms were the Ghassanid and Lakhmid kingdoms.[39] When the Himyarite king converted to Judaism in the late 4th century,[40] the elites of the other prominent Arab kingdom, the Kindites, being Himyirite vassals, apparently also converted (at least partly). With the expansion of Islam, polytheistic Arabs were rapidly Islamized, and polytheistic traditions gradually disappeared.[41][42]

Today, Sunni Islam dominates in most areas, overwhelmingly so in North Africa. Shia Islam is dominant in southern Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Substantial Shi'a populations exist in Saudi Arabia,[43] Kuwait, northern Syria, the al-Batinah region in Oman, and in northern Yemen. The Druze community, concentrated in the Levant, follow a faith that was originally an offshoot of Ismaili Shia Islam,[44] and are also Arab.

Christians make up 5.5% of the population of the Near East.[45] In Lebanon they number about 39% of the population although not all Lebanese Christians identify as Arabs.[46] In Syria, Christians make up 16% of the population.[47] In Palestine before the creation of Israel estimates ranged as high as 25%, but is now 3.8% due largely to the 1948 Palestinian exodus. In West Bank and in Gaza, Arab Christians make up 8% and 0.8% of the populations, respectively.[48][49] In Israel, Arab Christians constitute 1.7% (roughly 9% of the Palestinian Arab population).[50] Arab Christians make up 6% of the population of Jordan.[51] Most North and South American Arabs are Christian,[52] as are about half of Arabs in Australia who come particularly from Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian territories.

Jews from Arab countries – mainly Mizrahi Jews and Yemenite Jews – are today usually not categorised as Arab. Sociologist Philip Mendes asserts that before the anti-Jewish actions of the 1930s and 1940s, overall Iraqi Jews "viewed themselves as Arabs of the Jewish faith, rather than as a separate race or nationality".[53] Prior to the emergence of the term Mizrahi, the term "Arab Jews" (Yehudim ‘Áravim, יהודים ערבים) was sometimes used to describe Jews of the Arab world. The term is rarely used today. The few remaining Jews in the Arab countries reside mostly in Morocco and Tunisia. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, following the creation of the state of Israel, most of these Jews left or were expelled from their countries of birth and are now mostly concentrated in Israel. Some immigrated to France, where they form the largest Jewish community, outnumbering European Jews, but relatively few to the United States. See Jewish exodus from Arab lands.

Photo Gallery

See also

General
Origins
Language and culture
Diaspora

Sources

References and notes



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Contents

Arab is a city in Alabama.

Get in

The best way to get into Arab is to fly in from the nearby airport in Huntsville,AL and drive to Arab.

Get around

There is no public transportation so bring a car !

See

Arab City Park is beautiful and well maintained city park that includes the Arab historic park.

Do

The Poke - Salat Festival in May is locally popular.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also arab
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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Contents

English

Pronunciation

  • ărʹəb, /ˈærəb/, /"{r@b/; also, for a person ārʹăb, /ˈeɪræb/, /"eIr{b/ (derogatory)
  •  Audio (US)help, file

Etymology

From Arabic عرب (‎3arab) "Arabs" or عربي (‎3arabiy) "Arab" (adjective), "Arabic".

Adjective

Arab

  1. of or pertaining to Arabs and their nations

Translations

Noun

Singular
Arab

Plural
Arabs

Arab (plural Arabs)

  1. A person of Arab origin.
  2. A breed of horse.

Translations

Derived terms

Anagrams


Czech

Proper noun

Arab m.

  1. Arab (person)

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


ambush, a city in the mountains of Judah (Josh 15:52), now Er-Rabiyeh.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)


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