Arab world

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Arab world_table_infobox_0

Arab worldArab world_table_caption_0
AreaArab world_header_cell_0_0_0 13,132,327 km (5,070,420 sq mi)Arab world_cell_0_0_1
PopulationArab world_header_cell_0_1_0 423,000,000Arab world_cell_0_1_1
Population densityArab world_header_cell_0_2_0 29.839/km (70.37/sq mi)Arab world_cell_0_2_1
GDP (nominal)Arab world_header_cell_0_3_0 $2.782 trillionArab world_cell_0_3_1
GDP per capitaArab world_header_cell_0_4_0 $6,647Arab world_cell_0_4_1
DemonymArab world_header_cell_0_5_0 ArabArab world_cell_0_5_1
CountriesArab world_header_cell_0_6_0 22 statesArab world_cell_0_6_1
DependenciesArab world_header_cell_0_7_0 Arab LeagueArab world_cell_0_7_1
Time zonesArab world_header_cell_0_8_0 UTC+0 to UTC+4Arab world_cell_0_8_1
Internet TLDArab world_header_cell_0_9_0 .africa, .asiaArab world_cell_0_9_1
Largest citiesArab world_header_cell_0_10_0 Major cities of Arab world

ListArab world_cell_0_10_1

The Arab world (Arabic: العالم العربي‎ al-ʿālam al-ʿarabī), formally the Arab homeland (الوطن العربي al-waṭan al-ʿarabī), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربية al-ummah al-ʿarabīyyah), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League. Arab world_sentence_0

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. Arab world_sentence_1

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. Arab world_sentence_2

The eastern part of the Arab world is known as the Mashriq, and the western part as the Maghreb. Arab world_sentence_3

Arabic is used as the lingua franca throughout the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_4

Malta, an island country in Southern Europe whose national language also derives from Arabic (through Sicilian Arabic), is not included in the region. Arab world_sentence_5

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 applied for full membership in 2014). Arab world_sentence_6

The Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants (as of 2012) and a gross domestic product of $2.782 trillion (2018). Arab world_sentence_7

In post-classical history, the Arab world was synonymous with the historic Arab empires and caliphates. Arab world_sentence_8

Arab nationalism arose in the second half of the 19th century along with other nationalist movements within the Ottoman Empire. Arab world_sentence_9

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. Arab world_sentence_10

Definition Arab world_section_0

The linguistic and political denotation inherent in the term Arab is generally dominant over genealogical considerations. Arab world_sentence_11

In Arab states, Modern Standard Arabic is used by the government. Arab world_sentence_12

The language of an individual nation is called Darija, which means "everyday/colloquial language" or Aammiyya. Arab world_sentence_13

The majority of Darija's cognates are shared with standard Arabic, but it also significantly borrows from Berber (Tamazight) substrates, as well as extensively from French, the language of the historical colonial occupier of the Maghreb. Arab world_sentence_14

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. Arab world_sentence_15

Standard territorial definition Arab world_section_1

Main article: Arab League Arab world_sentence_16

Although no globally accepted definition of the Arab world exists, all countries that are members of the Arab League are generally acknowledged as being part of the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_17

The Arab League is a regional organisation that aims (among other things) to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries and sets out the following definition of an Arab: Arab world_sentence_18

This standard territorial definition is sometimes seen to be inappropriate or problematic, and may be supplemented with certain additional elements (see ancillary linguistic definition below). Arab world_sentence_19

Member states of the Arab League Arab world_section_2

Main article: Member states of the Arab League Arab world_sentence_20

Ancillary linguistic definition Arab world_section_3

Main article: Arabic language Arab world_sentence_21

As an alternative to, or in combination with, the standard territorial definition, the Arab world may be defined as consisting of peoples and states united to at least some degree by Arabic language, culture or geographic contiguity, or those states or territories in which the majority of the population speaks Arabic, and thus may also include populations of the Arab diaspora. Arab world_sentence_22

When an ancillary linguistic definition is used in combination with the standard territorial definition, various parameters may be applied to determine whether a state or territory should be included in this alternative definition of the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_23

These parameters may be applied to the states and territories of the Arab League (which constitute the Arab world under the standard definition) and to other states and territories. Arab world_sentence_24

Typical parameters that may be applied include: whether Arabic is widely spoken; whether Arabic is an official or national language; or whether an Arabic cognate language is widely spoken. Arab world_sentence_25

While Arabic dialects are spoken in a number of Arab League states, Literary Arabic is official in all of them. Arab world_sentence_26

Several states have declared Arabic to be an official or national language, although Arabic is not as widely spoken there. Arab world_sentence_27

As members of the Arab League, however, they are considered part of the Arab world under the standard territorial definition. Arab world_sentence_28

Somalia has two official languages, Arabic and Somali, both of which belong to the larger Afro-Asiatic language family. Arab world_sentence_29

Although Arabic is widely spoken by many people in the north and urban areas in the south, Somali is the most widely used language, and contains many Arabic loan words. Arab world_sentence_30

Similarly, Djibouti has two official languages, Arabic and French. Arab world_sentence_31

It also has several formally recognized national languages; besides Somali, many people speak Afar, which is also an Afro-Asiatic language. Arab world_sentence_32

The majority of the population speaks Somali and Afar, although Arabic is also widely used for trade and other activities. Arab world_sentence_33

The Comoros has three official languages: Arabic, Comorian and French. Arab world_sentence_34

Comorian is the most widely spoken language, with Arabic having a religious significance, and French being associated with the educational system. Arab world_sentence_35

Chad, Eritrea and Israel all recognize Arabic as an official or working language, but none of them is a member-state of the Arab League, although both Chad and Eritrea are observer states of the League (with possible future membership) and have large populations of Arabic speakers. Arab world_sentence_36

Israel is not part of the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_37

By some definitions, Arab citizens of Israel may concurrently be considered a constituent part of the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_38

Iran has about 1.5 million Arabic speakers. Arab world_sentence_39

Iranian Arabs are mainly found in Ahvaz, a southwestern region in the Khuzestan Province; others inhabit the Bushehr and Hormozgan provinces and the city of Qom. Arab world_sentence_40

Mali and Senegal recognize Hassaniya, the Arabic dialect of the Moorish ethnic minority, as a national language. Arab world_sentence_41

Greece and Cyprus also recognize Cypriot Maronite Arabic under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Arab world_sentence_42

Additionally, Malta, though not part of the Arab world, has as its official language Maltese. Arab world_sentence_43

The language is grammatically akin to Maghrebi Arabic. Arab world_sentence_44

Arab League states Arab world_section_4

Demographics Arab world_section_5

Main article: Demographics of the Arab League Arab world_sentence_45

In the Arab world, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic (symptomatic of Arabic diglossia), serves as an official language in the Arab League states, and Arabic dialects are used as lingua franca. Arab world_sentence_46

Various indigenous languages are also spoken, which predate the spread of the Arabic language. Arab world_sentence_47

This contrasts with the situation in the wider Islamic world, where, in contiguous Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Perso-Arabic script is used and Arabic is the primary liturgical language, but the tongue is not official at the state level or spoken as a vernacular. Arab world_sentence_48

Arabs constitute around one quarter of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the Islamic world. Arab world_sentence_49

Religion Arab world_section_6

The majority of people in the Arab world adhere to Islam, and the religion has official status in most countries. Arab world_sentence_50

Shariah law exists partially in the legal system in some countries (especially in the Arabian peninsula), while others are legislatively secular. Arab world_sentence_51

The majority of the Arab countries adhere to Sunni Islam. Arab world_sentence_52

Iraq and Bahrain, however, are Shia majority countries, while Lebanon, Yemen, and Kuwait have large Shia minorities. Arab world_sentence_53

In Saudi Arabia, Ismailite pockets are also found in the eastern Al-Hasa region and the southern city of Najran. Arab world_sentence_54

Ibadi Islam is practiced in Oman, where Ibadis constitute around 75% of Muslims. Arab world_sentence_55

There are also some Christian adherents in the Arab world, particularly in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine. Arab world_sentence_56

Coptic, Maronite and Assyrian Christian enclaves exist in the Nile Valley, Levant and northern Iraq respectively. Arab world_sentence_57

There are also numbers of Assyrian, Armenian, Syriac-Aramean and Arab Christians throughout Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, many of which have diminished due to various regional conflicts. Arab world_sentence_58

Smaller ethno-religious minorities across the Arab League include the Yezidis, Yarsan and Shabaks (mainly in Iraq), the Druzes (mainly in Syria and also in Lebanon, Jordan) and Mandaeans (in Iraq). Arab world_sentence_59

Formerly, there were significant minorities of Jews throughout the Arab World. Arab world_sentence_60

However, the Arab–Israeli conflict prompted their mass exodus between 1948 and 1972. Arab world_sentence_61

Today small Jewish communities remain, ranging anywhere from just 10 in Bahrain, to more than 1,000 in Tunisia and some 3,000 in Morocco. Arab world_sentence_62

Historically, slavery in the Muslim world developed out of pre-Islamic practices of slavery in the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_63

Education Arab world_section_7

Main article: Higher Education in the Arab World Arab world_sentence_64

According to UNESCO, the average rate of adult literacy (ages 15 and older) in this region is 76.9%. Arab world_sentence_65

In Mauritania and Yemen, the rate is lower than the average, at barely over 50%. Arab world_sentence_66

Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan record a high adult literacy rate of over 90%. Arab world_sentence_67

The average rate of adult literacy shows steady improvement, and the absolute number of adult illiterates fell from 64 million to around 58 million between 1990 and 2000–2004. Arab world_sentence_68

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. Arab world_sentence_69

The average GPI (Gender Parity Index) for adult literacy is 0.72, and gender disparity can be observed in Egypt, Morocco, and Yemen. Arab world_sentence_70

Above all, the GPI of Yemen is only 0.46 in a 53% adult literacy rate. Arab world_sentence_71

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. Arab world_sentence_72

The Arab Thought Foundation reports that just above 8% of people in Arab countries aspire to get an education. Arab world_sentence_73

Literacy rate is higher among the youth than adults. Arab world_sentence_74

Youth literacy rate (ages 15–24) in the Arab region increased from 63.9 to 76.3% from 1990 to 2002. Arab world_sentence_75

The average rate of GCC States * Arab world_sentence_76

Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) was 94%, followed by the Maghreb at 83.2% and the Mashriq at 73.6%. Arab world_sentence_77

The United Nations published an Arab human development report in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Arab world_sentence_78

These reports, written by researchers from the Arab world, address some sensitive issues in the development of Arab countries: women empowerment, availability of education and information among others. Arab world_sentence_79

Gender equality and women's rights Arab world_section_8

Women in the Arab world are still denied equality of opportunity, although their disenfranchisement is a critical factor crippling the Arab nations' quest to return to the first rank of global leaders in commerce, learning and culture, according to a United Nations-sponsored report in 2008. Arab world_sentence_80

Child marriages Arab world_section_9

According to the United Nations, 14% of Arab girls are married by the age of 18. Arab world_sentence_81

Violence Arab world_section_10

Rapists are often treated leniently or acquitted in the Arab region if they marry their victims. Arab world_sentence_82

37% of Arab women experienced violence in their lifetime but the numbers may be higher according to indicators. Arab world_sentence_83

In some countries, the share of women experiencing violence and abuse by intimate partner reaches 70%. Arab world_sentence_84

Largest cities in the Arab world Arab world_section_11

Main article: List of largest cities in the Arab world Arab world_sentence_85

Table of largest cities in the Arab world by official city propers: Arab world_sentence_86

Arab world_table_general_1

RankArab world_header_cell_1_0_0 CountryArab world_header_cell_1_0_1 CityArab world_header_cell_1_0_2 PopulationArab world_header_cell_1_0_3 Founding dateArab world_header_cell_1_0_4 ImageArab world_header_cell_1_0_5
1Arab world_cell_1_1_0 EgyptArab world_cell_1_1_1 CairoArab world_cell_1_1_2 16,225,000Arab world_cell_1_1_3 969 ADArab world_cell_1_1_4 Arab world_cell_1_1_5
2Arab world_cell_1_2_0 IraqArab world_cell_1_2_1 BaghdadArab world_cell_1_2_2 6,960,000Arab world_cell_1_2_3 762 ADArab world_cell_1_2_4 Arab world_cell_1_2_5
3Arab world_cell_1_3_0 Saudi ArabiaArab world_cell_1_3_1 RiyadhArab world_cell_1_3_2 6,030,000Arab world_cell_1_3_3 100–200 ADArab world_cell_1_3_4 Arab world_cell_1_3_5
4Arab world_cell_1_4_0 SudanArab world_cell_1_4_1 KhartoumArab world_cell_1_4_2 5,345,000Arab world_cell_1_4_3 1821 ADArab world_cell_1_4_4 Arab world_cell_1_4_5
5Arab world_cell_1_5_0 JordanArab world_cell_1_5_1 AmmanArab world_cell_1_5_2 4,995,000Arab world_cell_1_5_3 7250 BCArab world_cell_1_5_4 Arab world_cell_1_5_5
6Arab world_cell_1_6_0 EgyptArab world_cell_1_6_1 AlexandriaArab world_cell_1_6_2 4,870,000Arab world_cell_1_6_3 331 BCArab world_cell_1_6_4 Arab world_cell_1_6_5
7Arab world_cell_1_7_0 KuwaitArab world_cell_1_7_1 Kuwait CityArab world_cell_1_7_2 4,660,000Arab world_cell_1_7_3 1613 ADArab world_cell_1_7_4 Arab world_cell_1_7_5
8Arab world_cell_1_8_0 MoroccoArab world_cell_1_8_1 CasablancaArab world_cell_1_8_2 4,370,000Arab world_cell_1_8_3 768 ADArab world_cell_1_8_4 Arab world_cell_1_8_5
9Arab world_cell_1_9_0 Saudi ArabiaArab world_cell_1_9_1 JeddahArab world_cell_1_9_2 3,875,000Arab world_cell_1_9_3 600 BCArab world_cell_1_9_4 Arab world_cell_1_9_5
10Arab world_cell_1_10_0 United Arab EmiratesArab world_cell_1_10_1 DubaiArab world_cell_1_10_2 3,805,000Arab world_cell_1_10_3 1833 ADArab world_cell_1_10_4 Arab world_cell_1_10_5

History Arab world_section_12

Main article: History of the Arabs Arab world_sentence_87

Early history Arab world_section_13

Further information: Arabization Arab world_sentence_88

The Arabs historically originate as a Central Semitic group in southern Levant and northern Arabian peninsula. Arab world_sentence_89

Arab tribes and federations such as Nabataeans, Tanukhids, Salihids, Ghassanids, and numerous other groups were prevalent in southern Levant (Syrian Desert) and northern Arabia. Arab world_sentence_90

Their expansion beyond Arabia and the Syrian desert is due to the Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries. Arab world_sentence_91

Iraq was conquered in 633, Levant (modern Syria, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon ) between 636 and 640 CE. Arab world_sentence_92

Egypt was conquered in 639, and gradually Arabized during the medieval period. Arab world_sentence_93

A distinctively Egyptian Arabic language emerged by the 16th century. Arab world_sentence_94

The Maghreb was also conquered in the 7th century, and gradually Arabized under the Fatimids. Arab world_sentence_95

Islam was brought to Sudan from Egypt during the 8th to 11th centuries. Arab world_sentence_96

The culture of Sudan today depends on the tribe, some have a pure Nubian, Beja, or Arabic culture and some have a mixture of Arab and Nubian elements. Arab world_sentence_97

Ottoman and colonial rule Arab world_section_14

The Arab Abbasid Caliphate fell to the Mongol invasions in the 13th century. Arab world_sentence_98

Egypt, the Levant and Hejaz also came under the Turkish Mamluk Sultanate. Arab world_sentence_99

By 1570, the Turkish Ottoman Empire controlled most of the Arab world. Arab world_sentence_100

However, Morocco remained under the rule of the Zenata Wattasid dynasty, which was succeeded by the Saadi dynasty in the 16th to 17th centuries. Arab world_sentence_101

The Ajuran Sultanate also held sway in the southern part of the Horn region. Arab world_sentence_102

The sentiment of Arab nationalism arose in the second half of the 19th century along with other nationalisms within the declining Ottoman Empire. Arab world_sentence_103

When the Ottoman Empire collapsed as a result of World War I, much of the Arab world came to be controlled by the European colonial empires: Mandatory Palestine, Mandatory Iraq, British protectorate of Egypt, French protectorate of Morocco, Italian Libya, French Tunisia, French Algeria, French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and the so-called Trucial States, a British protectorate formed by the sheikhdoms on the former "Pirate Coast". Arab world_sentence_104

These Arab states only gained their independence during or after World War II: the Republic of Lebanon in 1943, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 1946, the Kingdom of Libya in 1951, the Kingdom of Egypt in 1952, the Kingdom of Morocco and Tunisia in 1956, the Republic of Iraq in 1958, the Somali Republic in 1960, Algeria in 1962, and the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Arab world_sentence_105

By contrast, Saudi Arabia had fragmented with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and was unified under Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia by 1932. Arab world_sentence_106

The Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen also seceded directly from the Ottoman Empire in 1918. Arab world_sentence_107

Oman, apart from brief intermittent Persian and Portuguese rule has, been self-governing since the 8th century. Arab world_sentence_108

Rise of Arab nationalism Arab world_section_15

Further information: Islam and modernity and Arab Cold War Arab world_sentence_109

The Arab League was formed in 1945 to represent the interests of the Arabs, and especially to pursue the political unification of the Arab world, a project known as Pan-Arabism. Arab world_sentence_110

There were some short-lived attempts at such unification in the mid-20th century, notably the United Arab Republic of 1958 to 1961. Arab world_sentence_111

The Arab League's main goal is to unify politically the Arab populations so defined. Arab world_sentence_112

Its permanent headquarters are located in Cairo. Arab world_sentence_113

However, it was moved temporarily to Tunis during the 1980s, after Egypt was expelled for signing the Camp David Accords (1978). Arab world_sentence_114

Pan-Arabism has mostly been abandoned as an ideology since the 1980s, and was replaced by Pan-Islamism on one hand, and individual nationalisms on the other. Arab world_sentence_115

Modern conflicts Arab world_section_16

Main article: List of modern conflicts in the Middle East Arab world_sentence_116

Unification of Saudi Arabia Arab world_section_17

The unification of Saudi Arabia was a 30-year-long military and political campaign, by which the various tribes, sheikhdoms, and emirates of most of the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by the House of Saud, or Al Saud, between 1902 and 1932, when the modern-day Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was proclaimed. Arab world_sentence_117

Carried out under the charismatic Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, this process created what is sometimes referred to as the Third Saudi State, to differentiate it from the first and second states that existed under the Al Saud clan. Arab world_sentence_118

The Al-Saud had been in exile in Ottoman Iraq since 1893 following the disintegration of the Second Saudi State and the rise of Jebel Shammar under the Al Rashid clan. Arab world_sentence_119

In 1902, Ibn Saud recaptured Riyadh, the Al Saud dynasty's former capital. Arab world_sentence_120

He went on to subdue the rest of Nejd, Al-Hasa, Jebel Shammar, Asir, and Hejaz (location of the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina) between 1913 and 1926. Arab world_sentence_121

The resultant polity was named the Kingdom of Nejd and Hejaz from 1927 until it was further consolidated with Al-Hasa and Qatif into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Arab world_sentence_122

Arab–Israeli conflict Arab world_section_18

Further information: Arab–Israeli conflict Arab world_sentence_123

The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 has given rise to the Arab–Israeli conflict, one of the major unresolved geopolitical conflicts. Arab world_sentence_124

The Arab states in changing alliances were involved in a number of wars with Israel and its western allies between 1948 and 1973, including the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the 1956 Suez Crisis, the Six-Day War of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Arab world_sentence_125

An Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in 1979. Arab world_sentence_126

Iraq–Iran War Arab world_section_19

Main article: Iran–Iraq War Arab world_sentence_127

The Iran–Iraq War (also known as the First Gulf War and by various other names) was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the second longest conventional war of the 20th century. Arab world_sentence_128

It was initially referred to in English as the "Gulf War" prior to the "Gulf War" of 1990. Arab world_sentence_129

The war began when Iraq invaded Iran, launching a simultaneous invasion by air and land into Iranian territory on 22 September 1980 following a long history of border disputes, and fears of Shia Islam insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution. Arab world_sentence_130

Iraq was also aiming to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state. Arab world_sentence_131

Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of the revolutionary chaos in Iran (see Iranian Revolution, 1979) and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and were quickly repelled by the Iranians who regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. Arab world_sentence_132

For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive. Arab world_sentence_133

Lebanese Civil War Arab world_section_20

Main article: Lebanese Civil War Arab world_sentence_134

The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon, lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. Arab world_sentence_135

Another one million people (a quarter of the population) were wounded, and today approximately 76,000 people remain displaced within Lebanon. Arab world_sentence_136

There was also a mass exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon. Arab world_sentence_137

Western Sahara conflict Arab world_section_21

Main article: Western Sahara conflict Arab world_sentence_138

The Western Sahara War was an armed struggle between the Sahrawi Polisario Front and Morocco between 1975 and 1991, being the most significant phase of the Western Sahara conflict. Arab world_sentence_139

The conflict erupted after the withdrawal of Spain from the Spanish Sahara in accordance with the Madrid Accords, by which it transferred administrative control of the territory to Morocco and Mauritania, but not the sovereignty. Arab world_sentence_140

In 1975, Moroccan government organized the Green March of some 350,000 Moroccan citizens, escorted by around 20,000 troops, who entered Western Sahara, trying to establish Moroccan presence. Arab world_sentence_141

While at first met with just minor resistance by the Polisario, Morocco later engaged a long period of guerilla warfare with the Sahrawi nationalists. Arab world_sentence_142

During the late 1970s, the Polisario Front, desiring to establish an independent state in the territory, successively fought both Mauritania and Morocco. Arab world_sentence_143

In 1979, Mauritania withdrew from the conflict after signing a peace treaty with the Polisario. Arab world_sentence_144

The war continued in low intensity throughout the 1980s, though Morocco made several attempts to take the upper hand in 1989–1991. Arab world_sentence_145

A cease-fire agreement was finally reached between the Polisario Front and Morocco in September 1991. Arab world_sentence_146

North Yemen Civil War Arab world_section_22

Main article: North Yemen Civil War Arab world_sentence_147

The North Yemen Civil War was fought in North Yemen between royalists of the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen and factions of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1962 to 1970. Arab world_sentence_148

The war began with a coup d'état carried out by the republican leader, Abdullah as-Sallal, which dethroned the newly crowned Imam al-Badr and declared Yemen a republic under his presidency. Arab world_sentence_149

The Imam escaped to the Saudi Arabian border and rallied popular support. Arab world_sentence_150

Somali Civil War Arab world_section_23

Main article: Somali Civil War Arab world_sentence_151

The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. Arab world_sentence_152

It began in 1991, when a coalition of clan-based armed opposition groups ousted the nation's long-standing military government. Arab world_sentence_153

Various factions began competing for influence in the power vacuum that followed, which precipitated an aborted UN peacekeeping attempt in the mid-1990s. Arab world_sentence_154

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. Arab world_sentence_155

The early 2000s saw the creation of fledgling interim federal administrations, culminating in the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004. Arab world_sentence_156

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). Arab world_sentence_157

The ICU subsequently splintered into more radical groups, notably Al-Shabaab, which have since been fighting the Somali government and its AMISOM allies for control of the region. Arab world_sentence_158

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. Arab world_sentence_159

Arab Spring Arab world_section_24

Main articles: Arab Spring, Libyan Civil War, and Syrian Civil War Arab world_sentence_160

The popular protests throughout the Arab world of late 2010 to the present have been directed against authoritarian leadership and associated political corruption, paired with demands for more democratic rights. Arab world_sentence_161

The two most violent and prolonged conflicts in the aftermath of the Arab Spring are the Libyan Civil War and Syrian Civil War. Arab world_sentence_162

Petroleum Arab world_section_25

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. Arab world_sentence_163

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. Arab world_sentence_164

In Africa, Algeria (10th world) and Libya are important gas exporters. Arab world_sentence_165

In addition Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and Sudan all have smaller but significant reserves. Arab world_sentence_166

Where present, these have had significant effects on regional politics, often enabling rentier states, 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. Arab world_sentence_167

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. Arab world_sentence_168

Islamism and Pan-Islamism were on the rise during the 1980s. Arab world_sentence_169

The Hezbollah, a militant Islamic party in Lebanon, was founded in 1982. Arab world_sentence_170

Islamic terrorism became a problem in the Arab world in the 1970s to 1980s. Arab world_sentence_171

While the Muslim Brotherhood had been active in Egypt since 1928, their militant actions were limited to assassination attempts on political leaders. Arab world_sentence_172

Recent history Arab world_section_26

Today, Arab states are characterized by their autocratic rulers and lack of democratic control. Arab world_sentence_173

The 2016 Democracy Index classifies Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine as "hybrid regimes", Tunisia as a "flawed democracy" and all other Arab states as "authoritarian regimes". Arab world_sentence_174

Similarly, the 2011 Freedom House report classifies the Comoros and Mauritania as "electoral democracies", Lebanon, Kuwait and Morocco as "partly free", and all other Arab states as "not free". Arab world_sentence_175

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq forces, led to the 1990–91 Persian Gulf War. Arab world_sentence_176

Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia joined a multinational coalition that opposed Iraq. Arab world_sentence_177

Displays of support for Iraq by Jordan and Palestine resulted in strained relations between many of the Arab states. Arab world_sentence_178

After the war, a so-called "Damascus Declaration" formalized an alliance for future joint Arab defensive actions between Egypt, Syria, and the GCC states. Arab world_sentence_179

A chain of events leading to the destabilization of the authoritarian regimes established during the 1950s throughout the Arab world became apparent during the early years of the 21st century. Arab world_sentence_180

The 2003 invasion of Iraq led to the collapse of the Baathist regime and ultimate execution of Saddam Hussein. Arab world_sentence_181

A growing class of young, educated, secular citizens with access to modern media such as Al Jazeera (since 1996) and communicating via the internet began to form a third force besides the classical dichotomy of Pan-Arabism vs. Pan-Islamism that had dominated the second half of the 20th century. Arab world_sentence_182

In Syria, the Damascus Spring of 2000 to 2001 heralded the possibility of democratic change, but the Baathist regime managed to suppress the movement. Arab world_sentence_183

In 2003, the Egyptian Movement for Change, popularly known as Kefaya, was launched to oppose the Mubarak regime and to establish democratic reforms and greater civil liberties in Egypt. Arab world_sentence_184

States and territories Arab world_section_27

For the states and territories constituting the Arab world, see definition above. Arab world_sentence_185

Forms of government Arab world_section_28

Different forms of government are represented in the Arab World: Some of the countries are monarchies: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Arab world_sentence_186

The other Arab countries are all republics. Arab world_sentence_187

With the exception of Lebanon, Tunisia, Palestine, and recently Mauritania, democratic elections throughout the Arab World are generally viewed as compromised, due to outright vote rigging, intimidation of opposition parties, and severe restraints on civil liberties and political dissent. Arab world_sentence_188

After World War II, Pan-Arabism sought to unite all Arabic-speaking countries into one political entity. Arab world_sentence_189

Only Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya and North Yemen considered the short-lived unification of the United Arab Republic. Arab world_sentence_190

Historical divisions, competing local nationalisms, and geographical sprawl were major reasons for the failure of Pan-Arabism. Arab world_sentence_191

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 world_sentence_192

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. Arab world_sentence_193

Later and current Arab Nationalist leaders include Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya, Hafez al-Assad and Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Arab world_sentence_194

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. Arab world_sentence_195

This has made the idea of a pan-Arab nation-state increasingly less feasible and likely. Arab world_sentence_196

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. Arab world_sentence_197

Arab nationalists who once opposed Islamic movements as a threat to their power, now deal with them differently for reasons of political reality. Arab world_sentence_198

Modern boundaries Arab world_section_29

Many of the modern borders of the Arab World were drawn by European imperial powers during the 19th and early 20th century. Arab world_sentence_199

However, some of the larger states (in particular Egypt and Syria) have historically maintained geographically definable boundaries, on which some of the modern states are roughly based. Arab world_sentence_200

The 14th-century Egyptian historian Al-Maqrizi, for instance, defines Egypt's boundaries as extending from the Mediterranean in the north to lower Nubia in the south; and between the Red Sea in the east and the oases of the Western/Libyan desert. Arab world_sentence_201

The modern borders of Egypt, therefore, are not a creation of European powers, and are at least in part based on historically definable entities which are in turn based on certain cultural and ethnic identifications. Arab world_sentence_202

At other times, kings, emirs or sheikhs were placed as semi-autonomous rulers over the newly created nation states, usually chosen by the same imperial powers that for some drew the new borders, for services rendered to European powers like the British Empire, e.g. Sherif Hussein ibn Ali. Arab world_sentence_203

Many African states did not attain independence until the 1960s from France after bloody insurgencies for their freedom. Arab world_sentence_204

These struggles were settled by the imperial powers approving the form of independence given, so as a consequence almost all of these borders have remained. Arab world_sentence_205

Some of these borders were agreed upon without consultation of those individuals that had served the colonial interests of Britain or France. Arab world_sentence_206

One such agreement solely between Britain and France (to the exclusion of Sherif Hussein ibn Ali), signed in total secrecy until Lenin released the full text, was the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Arab world_sentence_207

Another influential document written without the consensus of the local population was the Balfour Declaration. Arab world_sentence_208

As former director of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, Efraim Halevy, now a director at the Hebrew University said, Arab world_sentence_209

He went on to give an example, Arab world_sentence_210

Historian Jim Crow, of Newcastle University, has said: Arab world_sentence_211

Modern economies Arab world_section_30

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. Arab world_sentence_212

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. Arab world_sentence_213

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. Arab world_sentence_214

Industrial production has risen, for example the amount of steel produced between 2004 and 2005 rose from 8.4 to 19 million tonnes. Arab world_sentence_215

(Source: Opening speech of Mahmoud Khoudri, Algeria's Industry Minister, at the 37th General Assembly of the Iron & Steel Arab Union, Algiers, May 2006). Arab world_sentence_216

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. Arab world_sentence_217

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. Arab world_sentence_218

The GCC has achieved some success in financial and monetary terms, including plans to establish a common currency in the Persian Gulf region. Arab world_sentence_219

Since its foundation in 1989, the UMA's most significant accomplishment has been the establishment of a 7000 km highway crossing North Africa from Mauritania to Libya's border with Egypt. Arab world_sentence_220

The central stretch of the highway, expected to be completed in 2010, will cross Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Arab world_sentence_221

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. Arab world_sentence_222

As of August 2009 it was reported that Saudi Arabia is the strongest Arab economy according to World Bank. Arab world_sentence_223

Saudi Arabia remains the top Arab economy in terms of total GDP. Arab world_sentence_224

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. Arab world_sentence_225

In terms of GDP per capita, Qatar is the richest developing country in the world. Arab world_sentence_226

The total GDP of all Arab countries in 1999 was US$531.2 billion. Arab world_sentence_227

By grouping all the latest GDP figures, the total Arab world GDP is estimated to be worth at least $2.8 trillion in 2011. Arab world_sentence_228

This is only smaller than the GDP of US, China, Japan and Germany. Arab world_sentence_229

Geography Arab world_section_31

The Arab World stretches across more than 13,000,000 square kilometres (5,000,000 sq mi) of North Africa and the part of North-East Africa and South-West Asia. Arab world_sentence_230

The eastern part of the Arab world is called the Mashriq. Arab world_sentence_231

Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania are the Maghreb or Maghrib. Arab world_sentence_232

The term "Arab" often connotes the Arabian Peninsula, but the larger (and more populous) part of the Arab World is North Africa. Arab world_sentence_233

Its eight million square kilometers include two of the largest countries of the African continent, Algeria (2.4 million km) in the center of the region and Sudan (1.9 million km) in the southeast. Arab world_sentence_234

Algeria is about three-quarters the size of India, or about one-and-a-half times the size of Alaska, the largest state in the United States. Arab world_sentence_235

The largest country in the Arab Western Asia is Saudi Arabia (2 million km). Arab world_sentence_236

At the other extreme, the smallest autonomous mainland Arab country is Lebanon (10,452 km), and the smallest island Arab country is Bahrain (665 km). Arab world_sentence_237

Notably, every Arab country borders a sea or ocean, with the exception of the Arab region of northern Chad, which is completely landlocked. Arab world_sentence_238

Iraq is actually nearly landlocked, as it has only a very narrow access to the Persian Gulf. Arab world_sentence_239

Historical boundaries Arab world_section_32

The political borders of the Arab world have wandered, leaving Arab minorities in non-Arab countries of the Sahel and the Horn of Africa as well as in the Middle Eastern countries of Cyprus, Turkey and Iran, and also leaving non-Arab minorities in Arab countries. Arab world_sentence_240

However, the basic geography of sea, desert and mountain provides the enduring natural boundaries for this region. Arab world_sentence_241

The Arab world straddles two continents, Africa and Asia. Arab world_sentence_242

It is mainly oriented along an east–west axis. Arab world_sentence_243

Arab Africa Arab world_section_33

Arab Africa comprises the entire northern third of the continent. Arab world_sentence_244

It is surrounded by water on three sides (west, north, and east) and desert or desert scrubland on the fourth (south). Arab world_sentence_245

In the west, it is bounded by the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Arab world_sentence_246

From northeast to southwest, Morocco, Western Sahara (mostly unilaterally annexed by Morocco), and Mauritania make up the roughly 2,000 kilometers of Arab Atlantic coastline. Arab world_sentence_247

The southwestern sweep of the coast is gentle but substantial, such that Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott (18°N, 16°W), is far enough west to share longitude with Iceland (13–22°W). Arab world_sentence_248

Nouakchott is the westernmost capital of the Arab World and the third-westernmost in Africa, and sits on the Atlantic fringe of the southwestern Sahara. Arab world_sentence_249

Next south along the coast from Mauritania is Senegal, whose abrupt border belies the gradient in culture from Arab to indigenous African that historically characterizes this part of West Africa. Arab world_sentence_250

Arab Africa's boundary to the north is again a continental boundary, the Mediterranean Sea. Arab world_sentence_251

This boundary begins in the west with the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, the thirteen kilometer wide channel that connects the Mediterranean with the Atlantic to the west, and separates Morocco from Spain to the north. Arab world_sentence_252

East along the coast from Morocco are Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, followed by Egypt, which forms the region's (and the continent's) northeastern corner. Arab world_sentence_253

The coast turns briefly but sharply south at Tunisia, slopes more gently southeastward through the Libyan capital of Tripoli, and bumps north through Libya's second city, Benghazi, before turning straight east again through Egypt's second city, Alexandria, at the mouth of the Nile. Arab world_sentence_254

Along with the spine of Italy to its north, Tunisia thus marks the junction of western and eastern Mediterranean, and a cultural transition as well: west of Egypt begins the region of the Arab World known as the Maghreb include (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania). Arab world_sentence_255

Historically the 4,000-kilometer Mediterranean boundary has fluttered. Arab world_sentence_256

Population centers north of it in Europe have invited contact and Arab exploration—mostly friendly, though sometimes not. Arab world_sentence_257

Islands and peninsulas near the Arab coast have changed hands. Arab world_sentence_258

The islands of Sicily and Malta lie just a hundred kilometers east of the Tunisian city of Carthage, which has been a point of contact with Europe since its founding in the first millennium BCE; both Sicily and Malta at times have been part of the Arab World. Arab world_sentence_259

Just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco, regions of the Iberian peninsula were part of the Arab World throughout the Middle Ages, extending the northern boundary at times to the foothills of the Pyrenees and leaving a substantial mark on local and wider European and Western culture. Arab world_sentence_260

The northern boundary of the African Arab world has also fluttered briefly in the other direction, first through the Crusades and later through the imperial involvement of France, Britain, Spain, and Italy. Arab world_sentence_261

Another visitor from northern shores, Turkey, controlled the east of the region for centuries, though not as a colonizer. Arab world_sentence_262

Spain still maintains two small enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla (called "Morocco Espanol"), along the otherwise Moroccan coast. Arab world_sentence_263

Overall this wave has ebbed, though like the Arab expansion north it has left its mark. Arab world_sentence_264

The proximity of North Africa to Europe has always encouraged interaction, and this continues with Arab immigration to Europe and European interest in the Arab countries today. Arab world_sentence_265

However, population centers and the physical fact of the sea keeps this boundary of the Arab World settled on the Mediterranean coastline. Arab world_sentence_266

To the east, the Red Sea defines the boundary between Africa and Asia, and thus also between Arab Africa and Arab Western Asia. Arab world_sentence_267

This sea is a long and narrow waterway with a northwest tilt, stretching 2,300 kilometers from Egypt's Sinai peninsula southeast to the Bab-el-Mandeb strait between Djibouti in Africa and Yemen in Arabia but on average just 150 kilometers wide. Arab world_sentence_268

Though the sea is navigable along its length, historically much contact between Arab Africa and Arab Western Asia has been either overland across the Sinai or by sea across the Mediterranean or the narrow Bab al Mendeb strait. Arab world_sentence_269

From northwest to southeast, Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea form the African coastline, with Djibouti marking Bab al Mendeb's African shore. Arab world_sentence_270

Southeast along the coast from Djibouti is Somalia, but the Somali coast soon makes a 90-degree turn and heads northeast, mirroring a bend in the coast of Yemen across the water to the north and defining the south coast of the Gulf of Aden. Arab world_sentence_271

The Somali coast then takes a hairpin turn back southwest to complete the horn of Africa. Arab world_sentence_272

For six months of the year the monsoon winds blow from up equatorial Somalia, past Arabia and over the small Yemeni archipelago of Socotra, to rain on India; they then switch directions and blow back. Arab world_sentence_273

Hence the east- and especially southeast-coast boundary of Arab Africa has historically been a gateway for maritime trade and cultural exchange with both East Africa and the subcontinent. Arab world_sentence_274

The trade winds also help explain the presence of the Comoros islands, an Arab-African country, off the coast of Mozambique, near Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, the southernmost part of the Arab World. Arab world_sentence_275

The southern boundary of Arab North Africa is the strip of scrubland known as the Sahel that crosses the continent south of the Sahara. Arab world_sentence_276

Arab Western Asia Arab world_section_34

The Western Asian Arab region comprises the Arabian Peninsula, most of the Levant (excluding Cyprus and Israel), most of Mesopotamia (excluding parts of Turkey and Iran) and the Persian Gulf region. Arab world_sentence_277

The peninsula is roughly a tilted rectangle that leans back against the slope of northeast Africa, the long axis pointing toward Turkey and Europe. Arab world_sentence_278

See also Arab world_section_35

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab world.