The Arab world (Arabic: العالم العربي al-ʿālam al-ʿarabī ) consists of the Arabic-speaking states and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.
The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. It has a combined population of around 400 million people, with over half under 25 years of age.
The sentiment of Arab nationalism arose in the second half of the 19th century along with other nationalist movements within the Ottoman Empire. The Arab League was formed in 1945 to represent the interests of the Arabs, and especially to pursue the political unification of the Arab countries, a project known as Pan-Arabism. The popular protests throughout the Arab world of late 2010 to early 2011 are directed against the governments and the associated political corruption, paired with the demand for more economic opportunity.
The term "Arab world" is usually rejected by those living in the region who do not consider themselves Arabs, like non-Semitic people such as the Berbers and Kurds, as it implies the entire region is Arab in its identity, population, and origin, whereas the original homeland of the Arabs is the Arabian Peninsula. The term is also rejected by some indigenous Semitic minorities such as the Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Mizrahim, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and Syriacs, as they pre-date Arabs in places such as Iraq, Israel/Palestine, and Syria. Coptic Egyptians and other Egyptians also define themselves as Egyptian and not Arab.
Famous quotes containing the words arab and/or world:
“As the Arab proverb says, The dog barks and the caravan passes. After having dropped this quotation, Mr. Norpois stopped to judge the effect it had on us. It was great; the proverb was known to us: it had been replaced that year among men of high worth by this other: Whoever sows the wind reaps the storm, which had needed some rest since it was not as indefatigable and hardy as, Working for the King of Prussia.”
—Marcel Proust (18711922)
“Learning has been as great a Loser by being shut up in Colleges and Cells, and secluded from the World and good Company. By that Means, every Thing of what we call Belles Lettres became totally barbarous, being cultivated by Men without any Taste of Life or Manners, and without that Liberty and Facility of Thought and Expression, which can only be acquird by Conversation.”
—David Hume (17111776)