Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, some—such as the Hindus and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, the Arab world and Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects.
Throughout most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles in close relation with astronomy, alchemy and medicine. It was present in political circles and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca. Following the end of the 19th century and the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, astrology has been challenged on both theoretical and experimental grounds, has been shown to have no scientific validity or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, common belief in it has declined. While polls have demonstrated that one quarter of American and Canadian people say they continue to believe that star and planet positions affect their lives, astrology is now recognized as a pseudoscience—a belief, incorrectly presented as scientific; the word astrology comes from the early Latin word astrologia, which derives from the Greek ἀστρολογία—from ἄστρον astron and -λογία -logia.
Astrologia passed into meaning'star-divination' with astronomia used for the scientific term. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, the Indians and Maya developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. In the West, astrology most consists of a system of horoscopes purporting to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun and other celestial objects at the time of their birth; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, with roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. A form of astrology was practised in the first dynasty of Mesopotamia. Vedāṅga Jyotiṣa, is one of earliest known Hindu texts on astrology; the text is dated between 1400 BCE to final centuries BCE by various scholars according to astronomical and linguistic evidences.
Chinese astrology was elaborated in the Zhou dynasty. Hellenistic astrology after 332 BCE mixed Babylonian astrology with Egyptian Decanic astrology in Alexandria, creating horoscopic astrology. Alexander the Great's conquest of Asia allowed astrology to spread to Ancient Rome. In Rome, astrology was associated with'Chaldean wisdom'. After the conquest of Alexandria in the 7th century, astrology was taken up by Islamic scholars, Hellenistic texts were translated into Arabic and Persian. In the 12th century, Arabic texts were translated into Latin. Major astronomers including Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler and Galileo practised as court astrologers. Astrological references appear in literature in the works of poets such as Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer, of playwrights such as Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Throughout most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition, it was accepted in political and academic contexts, was connected with other studies, such as astronomy, alchemy and medicine.
At the end of the 17th century, new scientific concepts in astronomy and physics called astrology into question. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, common belief in astrology has declined. Astrology, in its broadest sense, is the search for meaning in the sky. Early evidence for humans making conscious attempts to measure and predict seasonal changes by reference to astronomical cycles, appears as markings on bones and cave walls, which show that lunar cycles were being noted as early as 25,000 years ago; this was a first step towards recording the Moon's influence upon tides and rivers, towards organising a communal calendar. Farmers addressed agricultural needs with increasing knowledge of the constellations that appear in the different seasons—and used the rising of particular star-groups to herald annual floods or seasonal activities. By the 3rd millennium BCE, civilisations had sophisticated awareness of celestial cycles, may have oriented temples in alignment with heliacal risings of the stars.
Scattered evidence suggests that the oldest known astrological references are copies of texts made in the ancient world. The Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa is thought to be compiled in Babylon around 1700 BCE. A scroll documenting an early use of electional astrology is doubtfully ascribed to the reign of the Sumerian ruler Gud
Social science is a category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. Social science as a whole has many branches; these social sciences include, but are not limited to: anthropology, communication studies, history, human geography, linguistics, political science, public health, sociology. The term is sometimes used to refer to the field of sociology, the original "science of society", established in the 19th century. For a more detailed list of sub-disciplines within the social sciences see: Outline of social science. Positivist social scientists use methods resembling those of the natural sciences as tools for understanding society, so define science in its stricter modern sense. Interpretivist social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories, thus treat science in its broader sense. In modern academic practice, researchers are eclectic, using multiple methodologies.
The term "social research" has acquired a degree of autonomy as practitioners from various disciplines share in its aims and methods. The history of the social sciences begins in the Age of Enlightenment after 1650, which saw a revolution within natural philosophy, changing the basic framework by which individuals understood what was "scientific". Social sciences came forth from the moral philosophy of the time and were influenced by the Age of Revolutions, such as the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution; the social sciences developed from the sciences, or the systematic knowledge-bases or prescriptive practices, relating to the social improvement of a group of interacting entities. The beginnings of the social sciences in the 18th century are reflected in the grand encyclopedia of Diderot, with articles from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other pioneers; the growth of the social sciences is reflected in other specialized encyclopedias. The modern period saw "social science" first used as a distinct conceptual field.
Social science was influenced by positivism, focusing on knowledge based on actual positive sense experience and avoiding the negative. Auguste Comte used the term "science sociale" to describe the field, taken from the ideas of Charles Fourier. Following this period, there were five paths of development that sprang forth in the social sciences, influenced by Comte on other fields. One route, taken was the rise of social research. Large statistical surveys were undertaken in various parts of the United States and Europe. Another route undertaken was initiated by Émile Durkheim, studying "social facts", Vilfredo Pareto, opening metatheoretical ideas and individual theories. A third means developed, arising from the methodological dichotomy present, in which social phenomena were identified with and understood; the fourth route taken, based in economics, was developed and furthered economic knowledge as a hard science. The last path was the correlation of knowledge and social values. In this route and prescription were non-overlapping formal discussions of a subject.
Around the start of the 20th century, Enlightenment philosophy was challenged in various quarters. After the use of classical theories since the end of the scientific revolution, various fields substituted mathematics studies for experimental studies and examining equations to build a theoretical structure; the development of social science subfields became quantitative in methodology. The interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of scientific inquiry into human behaviour and environmental factors affecting it, made many of the natural sciences interested in some aspects of social science methodology. Examples of boundary blurring include emerging disciplines like social research of medicine, neuropsychology and the history and sociology of science. Quantitative research and qualitative methods are being integrated in the study of human action and its implications and consequences. In the first half of the 20th century, statistics became a free-standing discipline of applied mathematics.
Statistical methods were used confidently. In the contemporary period, Karl Popper and Talcott Parsons influenced the furtherance of the social sciences. Researchers continue to search for a unified consensus on what methodology might have the power and refinement to connect a proposed "grand theory" with the various midrange theories that, with considerable success, continue to provide usable frameworks for massive, growing data banks; the social sciences will for the foreseeable future be composed of different zones in the research of, sometime distinct in approach toward, the field. The term "social science" may refer either to the specific sciences of society established by thinkers such as Comte, Durkheim and Weber, or more to all disciplines outside of "noble science" and arts. By the late 19th century, the academic social sciences were constituted of five fields: jurisprudence and amendment of the law, health and trade, art. Around the start of the 21st century, the expanding domain of economics in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism.
The social science disciplines are branches of knowledge taught and researched at the college or university level. Social science disciplines are defined and rec
Natural science is a branch of science concerned with the description and understanding of natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer review and repeatability of findings are used to try to ensure the validity of scientific advances. Natural science can be divided into two main branches: physical science. Physical science is subdivided into branches, including physics, chemistry and earth science; these branches of natural science may be further divided into more specialized branches. In Western society's analytic tradition, the empirical sciences and natural sciences use tools from formal sciences, such as mathematics and logic, converting information about nature into measurements which can be explained as clear statements of the "laws of nature"; the social sciences use such methods, but rely more on qualitative research, so that they are sometimes called "soft science", whereas natural sciences, insofar as they emphasize quantifiable data produced and confirmed through the scientific method, are sometimes called "hard science".
Modern natural science succeeded more classical approaches to natural philosophy traced to ancient Greece. Galileo, Descartes and Newton debated the benefits of using approaches which were more mathematical and more experimental in a methodical way. Still, philosophical perspectives and presuppositions overlooked, remain necessary in natural science. Systematic data collection, including discovery science, succeeded natural history, which emerged in the 16th century by describing and classifying plants, minerals, so on. Today, "natural history" suggests observational descriptions aimed at popular audiences. Philosophers of science have suggested a number of criteria, including Karl Popper's controversial falsifiability criterion, to help them differentiate scientific endeavors from non-scientific ones. Validity and quality control, such as peer review and repeatability of findings, are amongst the most respected criteria in the present-day global scientific community; this field encompasses a set of disciplines.
The scale of study can range from sub-component biophysics up to complex ecologies. Biology is concerned with the characteristics and behaviors of organisms, as well as how species were formed and their interactions with each other and the environment; the biological fields of botany and medicine date back to early periods of civilization, while microbiology was introduced in the 17th century with the invention of the microscope. However, it was not until the 19th century. Once scientists discovered commonalities between all living things, it was decided they were best studied as a whole; some key developments in biology were the discovery of genetics. Modern biology is divided into subdisciplines by the type of organism and by the scale being studied. Molecular biology is the study of the fundamental chemistry of life, while cellular biology is the examination of the cell. At a higher level and physiology look at the internal structures, their functions, of an organism, while ecology looks at how various organisms interrelate.
Constituting the scientific study of matter at the atomic and molecular scale, chemistry deals with collections of atoms, such as gases, molecules and metals. The composition, statistical properties and reactions of these materials are studied. Chemistry involves understanding the properties and interactions of individual atoms and molecules for use in larger-scale applications. Most chemical processes can be studied directly in a laboratory, using a series of techniques for manipulating materials, as well as an understanding of the underlying processes. Chemistry is called "the central science" because of its role in connecting the other natural sciences. Early experiments in chemistry had their roots in the system of Alchemy, a set of beliefs combining mysticism with physical experiments; the science of chemistry began to develop with the work of Robert Boyle, the discoverer of gas, Antoine Lavoisier, who developed the theory of the Conservation of mass. The discovery of the chemical elements and atomic theory began to systematize this science, researchers developed a fundamental understanding of states of matter, chemical bonds and chemical reactions.
The success of this science led to a complementary chemical industry that now plays a significant role in the world economy. Physics embodies the study of the fundamental constituents of the universe, the forces and interactions they exert on one another, the results produced by these interactions. In general, physics is regarded as the fundamental science, because all other natural sciences use and obey the principles and laws set down by the field. Physics relies on mathematics as the logical framework for formulation and quantification of principles; the study of the principles of the universe has a long history and derives from direct observation and experimentation. The formulation of theories about the governing laws of the universe has been central to the study of physics from early on, with philosophy yielding to systematic, quantitative experimental testing and observation as the source of verification. Key historical developments in physics include Isaac Newton's theory of universal g
Lambda Literary Award
Lambda Literary Awards known as the "Lammys", are awarded yearly by the U. S.-based Lambda Literary Foundation to published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes. Categories include Humor and Biography. To qualify, a book must have been published in the United States in the year current to the award; the Lambda Literary Foundation states that its mission is "to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, booksellers and librarians – the whole literary community." The awards were instituted in 1988. The program has grown from 14 awards in early years to 22 awards today. Early categories such as HIV/AIDS literature were dropped as the prominence of the AIDS crisis within the gay community waned, categories for bisexual and transgender literature were added as the community became more inclusive. In both the bisexual and transgender categories, one or two awards may be presented annually. In addition to the primary literary awards, the Lambda Literary Foundation presents a number of special awards.
The Pioneer Award is presented as a lifetime achievement award to a distinguished figure in the history of LGBT literature. Beginning in 2011, the Lambda Literary Awards took over the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize presented by the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival; the award, endowed by academic and writer James Duggins, is presented annually to two LGBT writers, one male and one female, to honor their bodies of work. In 2013, the foundation instituted the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award to honor young LGBT writers who have published at least one book. 1 In both the bisexual and transgender categories, presentation may vary according to the number of eligible titles submitted in any given year. If the number of titles warrants separate awards are presented in either two or three categories, while if a smaller number of titles is deemed eligible a merged Literature shortlist is put forward; however when the category shortlists have been merged, judges still retain the right to identify a single winner in the unlisted category.
Ellen Hart has won five awards in the Lesbian Mystery category, the most by any single author, is one of only three writers to have won the award more than once. Michael Nava has won five awards in the Gay Mystery category, the most by any single author, is one of only four writers to have won the award more than once. Marshall Thornton is the only author in the gay mystery category to have won twice for two different series. Alison Bechdel has won four awards in the Humor category, the most by any single author, is one of five writers to have won the award more than once; the Humor category has been discontinued. Nicola Griffith and Melissa Scott have each won four awards in the Scifi/Fantasy/Horror category, are two of six writers to have won the SFFH award more than once. Sarah Waters has won three awards in the Lesbian Fiction category, for Tipping the Velvet and The Night Watch in, is one of only three writers to have won the Lesbian Fiction award more than once. Mark Doty and Adrienne Rich have each won three awards in the Poetry category, are two of seven poets to have won the award more than once Richard Labonté, Tristan Taormino have each won two awards in the Erotica category, each winning once before the category was split into Gay and Lesbian subdivisions, each winning their second after the category was split.
Karin Kallmaker and Michael Thomas Ford have each won two awards in the Romance category, each winning one before the category was split into Gay and Lesbian subdivisions – Kallmaker with Maybe Next Time and Ford with Last Summer, but in 2004 – and each winning their second after the category was split – Ford with Changing Tides in 2008 and Kallmaer with The Kiss That Counted in 2009. Colm Tóibín is the only writer to have won two awards in the Gay Fiction category for The Master in 2004 and for The Empty Family in 2011. Paul Monette is the only writer to have won two awards in the Gay Non-Fiction category, for Borrowed Time in 1989 and for Becoming a Man in 1993. Lillian Faderman is the only writer to have won awards in seven different catego
Algeria the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world's largest Arab country, the largest in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, to the north by the Mediterranean Sea; the country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 1,541 communes. It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries. Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Carthaginians, Vandals, Umayyads, Idrisid, Rustamid, Zirid, Almoravids, Spaniards and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria. Algeria is a middle power.
It supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has one of the largest defence budget on the continent. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union. On 2 April 2019, president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after nearly 20 years in power, following pressure from the country’s army after mass protests against Bouteflika's campaign for a fifth term; the country's name derives from the city of Algiers. The city's name in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazā'ir, a truncated form of the older Jazā'ir Banī Mazghanna, employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi. In the region of Ain Hanech, early remnants of hominid occupation in North Africa were found.
Neanderthal tool makers produced hand axes in the Levalloisian and Mousterian styles similar to those in the Levant. Algeria was the site of the highest state of development of Middle Paleolithic Flake tool techniques. Tools of this era, starting about 30,000 BC, are called Aterian; the earliest blade industries in North Africa are called Iberomaurusian. This industry appears to have spread throughout the coastal regions of the Maghreb between 15,000 and 10,000 BC. Neolithic civilization developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean Maghreb as early as 11,000 BC or as late as between 6000 and 2000 BC; this life, richly depicted in the Tassili n'Ajjer paintings, predominated in Algeria until the classical period. The mixture of peoples of North Africa coalesced into a distinct native population that came to be called Berbers, who are the indigenous peoples of northern Africa. From their principal center of power at Carthage, the Carthaginians expanded and established small settlements along the North African coast.
These settlements served as market towns as well as anchorages. As Carthaginian power grew, its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing and political organization supported several states. Trade links between Carthage and the Berbers in the interior grew, but territorial expansion resulted in the enslavement or military recruitment of some Berbers and in the extraction of tribute from others. By the early 4th century BC, Berbers formed the single largest element of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers rebelled from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War, they succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthage's North African territory, they minted coins bearing the name Libyan, used in Greek to describe natives of North Africa. The Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic Wars.
In 146 BC the city of Carthage was destroyed. As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew. By the 2nd century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms had emerged. Two of them were established behind the coastal areas controlled by Carthage. West of Numidia lay Mauretania, which extended across the Moulouya River in modern-day Morocco to the Atlantic Ocean; the high point of Berber civilization, unequaled until the coming of the Almohads and Almoravids more than a millennium was reached during the reign of Masinissa in the 2nd century BC. After Masinissa's death in 148 BC, the Berber kingdoms were reunited several times. Masinissa's line survived until 24 AD, when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire. For several centuries Algeria was ruled by the Romans. Like the rest of No
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands, they form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world. The first mention of Arabs is from the mid-ninth century BCE as a tribal people in eastern and southern Syria and the north of the Arabian Peninsula; the Arabs appear to have been under the vassalage of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the succeeding Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid and Parthian empires. Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires. Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate, "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia. Today, "Arab" refers to a large number of people whose native regions form the Arab world due to the spread of Arabs and the Arabic language throughout the region during the early Muslim conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries and the subsequent Arabisation of indigenous populations.
The Arabs forged the Rashidun, Umayyad and the Fatimid caliphates, whose borders reached southern France in the west, China in the east, Anatolia in the north, the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In the early 20th century, the First World War signalled the end of the Ottoman Empire; this resulted in the defeat and dissolution of the empire and the partition of its territories, forming the modern Arab states. Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the Arab League was founded on 22 March 1945; the Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland whilst respecting the individual sovereignty of its member states. Today, Arabs inhabit the 22 Arab states within the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen; the Arab world stretches around 13 million km2, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can be found in the global diaspora. The ties that bind Arabs are ethnic, cultural, identical, nationalist and political; the Arabs have their own customs, architecture, literature, dance, cuisine, society and mythology. The total number of Arabs are an estimated 450 million. Arabs are a diverse group in terms of religious practices. In the pre-Islamic era, most Arabs followed polytheistic religions; some tribes had adopted Christianity or Judaism, a few individuals, the hanifs observed monotheism. Today, about 93% of Arabs are adherents of Islam, there are sizable Christian minorities. Arab Muslims belong to the Sunni, Shiite and Alawite denominations. Arab Christians follow one of the Eastern Christian Churches, such as the Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic churches. Other smaller minority religions are followed, such as the Bahá'í Faith and Druze. Arabs have influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and architecture, philosophy, ethics, politics, music, cinema, medicine and technology in the ancient and modern history.
The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" to refer to a people appears in the Kurkh Monoliths, an Akkadian language record of the ninth century BCE Assyrian conquest of Aram, which referred to Bedouins of the Arabian Peninsula under King Gindibu, who fought as part of a coalition opposed to Assyria. Listed among the booty captured by the army of king Shalmaneser III of Assyria in the Battle of Qarqar are 1000 camels of "Gi-in-di-bu'u the ar-ba-a-a" or " Gindibu belonging to the Arab; the related word ʾaʿrāb is used to refer to Bedouins today, in contrast to ʿarab which refers to Arabs in general. The term Arab and ʾaʿrāb are mentioned around 40 times in pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions; the term Arab occurs in the titles of the Himyarite kings from the time of'Abu Karab Asad until MadiKarib Ya'fur. The term ʾaʿrāb is driven from the term Arab according to Sabaean grammar; the term is mentioned in Quranic verses referring to people who were living in Madina and it might be a south Arabian loan-word into Quranic language.
The oldest surviving indication of an Arab national identity is an inscription made in an archaic form of Arabic in 328 using the Nabataean alphabet, which refers to Imru' al-Qays ibn'Amr as "King of all the Arabs". Herodotus refers to the Arabs in the Sinai, southern Palestine, the frankincense region. Other ancient Greek historians like Agatharchides, Diodorus Siculus and Strabo mention Arabs living in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, southern Jordan, the Syrian steppe and in eastern Arabia. Inscriptions dating to the 6th century BCE in Yemen include the term "Arab"; the most popular Arab account holds that the word "Arab" came from an eponymous father called Ya'rub, the first to speak Arabic. A