Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The word Arab is used with several meanings.

It is often used to refer to any person of the Middle East or North Africa whose mother tongue is the Arabic language. Broadly, the term refers to anyone of a people living in this area, even though such a people may have no connection to Arabia, other than having been invaded during the Arab expansion. The Berber peoples of North Africa, for example, though often called Arabs by Westerners, are connected to Arabia only by often speaking Arabic as a second language, since that remains the official language of the country in which they live as a result of the Arab expansion.

Racially, an Arab is a person of Arabic descent, whose original ancestry comes from the Arabian Peninsula. Arabs are a Semitic people, who trace their ancestry from Ishmael, a son of the ancient patriarch Abraham and Hagar.

Most, but not all, Arabs have embraced the religion of Islam. Many American Arabs are Christian Arabs from Syria and Lebanon.

See also: Semitic people, Ababda, Pan-Arabism, Arab League

External link