中文
اللغة العربية
 
Username
Password 
Remember Me

 

 

Arab World

The Arab World consists of Arab states stretching from Mauritania in the west to Oman in the east. They have a combined population of over 323 million people and their combined economies surpass 1 trillion U.S. dollars, and grow by average 5% annually. The Arab World thus accounts for just over two-fifths of the total output of the entire Muslim world.

The Arab World is made of multiple identities and diversity descendant from various cultures, traditions and roots; naturally major differences and conflicts do exist. The Arab World is not to be confused with the Middle East; Iran and Turkey are not Arab countries. The Arab world consists of 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa whose primary language is Arabic, although not all the people are Semitic Arabs.

The Arab World is the birthplace of the largest monotheistic world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The followers of these religions worship the same God, the main difference between them being their understanding of when God's revelations ceased. While Judaism adheres to the Old Testament, Christianity adds on the teachings of the New Testament, and Islam believes that its holly book, the Quran, contains the final revelations of God, clearing up the points not made clear by earlier prophets.

“Islam, Muslims and Arabs" are not interchangeable terms. Islam refers to the religion itself. Muslims are the followers of Islam. Arabs are a linguistic and cultural community with a common history.

Most, but not all, Arabs are Muslims. About 15 million Arabs are Christian and over 1.5 million are Jewish. About 80% of the world's Muslims are NOT Arabs; Indonesia having the largest Muslim population in the world.

The Arab world is cosmopolitan, not an isolated and insulated culture. It has always been the crossroads of the world and has been enriched by the contributions of many cultures; from Greece, Rome and the ancient Near East; from Judaism, Christianity and Islam; from the Persians and the Turks, India and China; from Europe and America.

Today, there are almost a billion Muslims worldwide; the largest group live in the Indian sub-continent, and only 22% of the total are Arabs. Among the Arabs, there are substantial Christian communities in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. Many of the older Arab cities also have Jewish quarters, though the number of Jews in Arab countries today is relatively small.

It is worth mentioning that Arab Jews and Christians living among Arab Muslims in the Arab World have a way of life that is very similar to that of Muslims. Therefore, not all cultural differences are due to religion

The family is the basic unit of social organization in traditional and contemporary Arab society. At the center of social and economic activities, it is a relatively cohesive social institution. Arab society still holds close to traditional values and morals.

Shared language is generally recognized as one of the defining characteristics of Arabs. The word "Arab" may be derived from a verb which means to "speak clearly" (i.e. be easily understood by other Arabs). However, many Arabs speak local dialects which are not always mutually intelligible.

Within the Arab world there are also distinct groups such as the Berbers, the Kurds, etc…, whose main language is not Arabic, though they may have absorbed some of the prevailing Arab culture.

There is no doubt that Islam has played a major part in shaping Arab culture. The prophet of Islam was an Arab and Arabic is the language of its holly book, the Qur'an; Arab populations were the nucleus for the expansion of Islam. But it would be wrong to assume that Muslims are mainly Arabs or that Arabs are necessarily Muslims.

Arab countries do not feature Israel because it is not thus far considered an Arab country (though a substantial number of Arabs live there). As there is some debate about which countries should be regarded as "Arab", the common benchmark utilized to that purpose is whether they are or not members of the Arab League.

 

© 2007 - 2008 ARABCCI Services Limited, All rights reserved | جميع الحقوق محفوظة | 不得轉載 | Disclaimer | Site Map