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A wilayah (Arabic: ولاية) or ولایت (velâyat) in Persian, vilayet in Turkish or vilayat in Urdu, is an administrative division, usually translated as "province", rarely as "governorate". The word comes from the Arabic "w-l-y", "to govern": a wāli — "governor" — governs a wilayah, "that which is governed". Under the Caliphate, the term referred to any constituent near-sovereign state.
Use in specific countries 
Arab World 
For Morocco which is divided into provinces and wilāyas the translation "province" would cause the distinction to cease. For Sudan the term state, and for Mauritania the term region is used. For the Sahrawi refugee camps, each of the five camps are wilayas or provinces.
- Provinces of Algeria
- Provinces of Oman
- Regions of Mauritania
- States of Sudan
- Governorates of Tunisia
The governorates of Iraq (muhafazah) are sometimes translated as province, in contrast to official Iraqi documents and the general use for other Arab countries. This conflicts somehow with the general translation for muhafazah (governorate) and wilāyah (province).
Kenya and Tanzania 
In Kenya, the term wilaya is a Swahili term which refers to the administrative districts into which provinces are divided.
Malaysia and Indonesia 
In Malaysia, the term Wilayah Persekutuan, often shortened to "Wilayah" in colloquial speech, refers to the three federal territories under direct control of the federal government: Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.
Ottoman Empire 
Traditionally the provinces of the Ottoman Empire were known as eyâlets, but beginning in 1864, they were gradually restructured as smaller vilâyets – the Turkish pronunciation of the Arabic word wilāyah. Most were subdivided into sanjaks.
The current provinces of Turkey are called il in Turkish.
Central Asia and Caucasus 
- Provinces of Afghanistan (Pashto: ولايت wilāyat, plural: ولايتونه wilāyatuna), subdivided into districts (Pashto: ولسوالۍ wuləswāləi or Persian: ولسوالی wolaswālī)
- Provinces of Tajikistan (singular: viloyat, plural: viloyatho), subdivided into districts (Tajik: ноҳия, nohiya or Russian: район, raion)
- Provinces of Turkmenistan (singular: welaýat, plural: welaýatlar), subdivided into districts (Turkmen: etrap)
- Provinces of Uzbekistan (singular: viloyat, plural: viloyatlar), subdivided into districts (Uzbek: tuman)
In the Tsez language, the districts of Dagestan are also referred to as "вилайат" (wilayat), plural "вилайатйоби" (wilayatyobi). But the term "район" (rayon), plural "районйаби" (rayonyabi) is also used.
In Iran, the word is also used unofficially.
South Asia 
In Urdu, the term Vilayat is used to refer to any foreign country. As an adjective Vilayati is used to indicate an imported article or good. The British slang term blighty derives from this word, via the fact that the foreign British were referred to using this word during the time of the British Raj.
- Stuart Thompson, Andrew (2005). The Empire Strikes Back? The Impact Of Imperialism on Britain from the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Pearson Education. p. 180. "Other Indian words include blighty ('one's home country', from the Hindi word 'bilayati' meaning 'foreign', whence 'British')"