Arab people

Arabic-speaking ethnic and national groups, originally from the Arabian Peninsula

The Arabs (Arabic: العرب) are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in the Middle East and North Africa. They speak Arabic which is one of the Semitic languages, and which is also the name of the ethnic family which they belong to. Genealogically, Arabs are those who can trace their ancestry back to the people who first lived on the Arabian Peninsula.

Muhammad Bin Abdo”
Total population
approx. 450” million[1]
Regions with significant populations
 Pan-Arab States449,754,575
 United States3,500,000[5]
 Iran700,000 - 2,000,000[6]
Predominantly Islam
largest minority: Christianity; other religions

Who is an Arab


There are three points which decide whether someone is considered Arab or not:

Minorities are the Iraqi Turkmens in some Arab countries. The Iraqi Turkmen people are often considered Arab, but they are an Turkic people ethnic group with their own language and culture. The same goes for Berbers (Amazigh) and Bedouins.[12]

There are many people who can be called Arabs by these points, but who do not think of themselves as Arab. Examples include modern Egyptians (Coptics) and the Syriacs (Aramaics/Assyrians). Although they live in countries like Syria or Egypt which is part of the Arab League and speak the official language-Arabic, they are different cultural groups. They have their own languages,[13] culture, identity and churches, such as the Coptic Church and the Syriac Catholic and Orthodox churches. Even though many have assimilated to Arab society, they have their own heritage that spans 3,000 years.

Traditional genealogy


In Islamic and Jewish tradition, Arabs are a Semitic people from the Ishmaelites, who trace their ancestry from Ishmael, a son of the ancient patriarch Abraham and Hagar and of the sons from Abhraham and his wife Keturah. Medieval Arab genealogists separate the Arabs into two groups: the "original Arabs" (Bedouin) of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan (identified with the biblical Joktan) and the "Arabized Arabs" (musta`ribah) of North Arabia, descending from Adnan who is descended from Ishmael.



Most Arabs today follow the religion of Islam, whose central prophet is Muhammad. Christianity makes up the largest religious minority - most of the Christians that do consider themselves Arabs belong to the Greek Orthodox Church with smaller numbers of Roman Catholics.

While Coptic and Maronite Catholic Christians are native Arabic-speakers, many reject the Arab pan-ethnicity, but are still considered Arab by outsider sources.

There are some small communities practicing Judaism and polytheism (the worship of many gods).


  1. "Arabic Language - ninemsn Encarta". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  2. "Brazil - Brasil - BRAZZIL - News from Brazil - Arabs: They are 12 Million in Brazil - Brazilian Immigration - September 2004". Archived from the original on 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  3. By (2008-01-29). "French-Arabs battle stereotypes - Entertainment News, French Cinema, Media". Variety. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
  4. "Inmigración sirio-libanesa en Argentina". Archived from the original on 2010-06-20. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  5. "Our History". Arab American Institute. Archived from the original on 2010-05-10.
  6. Iran, CIA factbook (1% Arabic-speakers and 3% ethnic Arabs)Archived 2012-02-03 at the Wayback Machine
  7. The World Factbook World Factbook website Archived 2013-05-10 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Mexico".
  9. Serge D. Elie, "Hadiboh: From Peripheral Village to Emerging City", Chroniques Yéménites: "In the middle, were the Arabs who originated from different parts of the mainland (e.g., prominent Mahrî tribes10, and individuals from Hadramawt, and Aden)". Footnote 10: "Their neighbours in the West scarcely regarded them as Arabs, though they themselves consider they are of the pure stock of Himyar.” [1] Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Most Spoken Languages In the World". Archived from the original on 2016-03-26.
  12. Belge, Ceren; Karakoç, Ekrem (2015). "Minorities in the Middle East: Ethnicity, Religion, and Support for Authoritarianism". Political Research Quarterly. 68 (2): 280–292. doi:10.1177/1065912915580627. JSTOR 24371832. S2CID 154397743.
  13. The Coptic language survives only in certain religious rituals; it is not now spoken by Coptic Christians.

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