Portal:Arab world

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A map of the Arab world. This is based on the standard territorial definition of the Arab world which comprises the states and territories of the Arab League plus Western Sahara.

The Arab world (Arabic: العالم العربيal-ʿālam al-ʿarabī ) consists of the Arabic-speaking countries and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere. The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 countries 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 340 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, Palestine, and Syria. Coptic Egyptians and other Egyptians also define themselves as Egyptian and not Arab.

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Skyline of Gaza, 2007

Gaza is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BCE, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. In 635 CE, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and quickly developed into a centre of Islamic law. As a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip territory and several improvements were undertaken in the city. Gaza was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, but in 1993, the city was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority. Following the 2006 election, conflict broke out as the Fatah party seemed unwilling to transfer power to Hamas, resulting in Hamas taking power in Gaza by force. Most of Gaza's inhabitants are Muslim, although there exists a Christian minority.

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Jerusalem panorama early twentieth century2.jpg
View of Jerusalem from southeast, showing city walls, the Dome of the Rock, and al-Aqsa mosque, between 1900 and 1940.

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Suleiman  in a portrait attributed to Titian c.1530

Suleiman I known as “the Magnificent” in the West and Kanuni in the East, (6 November 1494 – 5 September 1566) was the tenth and longest-reigning Emperor, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire's military, political and economic power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes, as well as most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.

At the helm of an expanding empire, Suleiman personally instituted major legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation, and criminal law. His canonical law (or the Kanuns) fixed the form of the empire for centuries after his death. Not only was Suleiman a distinguished poet and goldsmith; he also became a great patron of culture, overseeing the "Golden" age of the Ottoman Empire in its artistic, literary and architectural development. Suleiman was well educated and spoke five languages. In a break with Ottoman tradition, Suleiman married a harem girl, Alexandra Anastasia Lisowska, (also known as Roxelana) who became Hürrem Sultan. Their son, Selim II, succeeded Suleiman following his death in 1566 after 46 years of rule.

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Rafiq al-Tamimi


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