The Palestinian people referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs, are an ethnonational group comprising the modern descendants of the peoples who have lived in Palestine over the centuries, including Jews and Samaritans, who today are culturally and linguistically Arab. Despite various wars and exoduses one half of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in historic Palestine, the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel. In this combined area, as of 2005, Palestinians constituted 49% of all inhabitants, encompassing the entire population of the Gaza Strip, the majority of the population of the West Bank and 20.8% of the population of Israel proper as Arab citizens of Israel. Many are Palestinian refugees or internally displaced Palestinians, including more than a million in the Gaza Strip, about 750,000 in the West Bank and about 250,000 in Israel proper. Of the Palestinian population who live abroad, known as the Palestinian diaspora, more than half are stateless, lacking citizenship in any country.
Between 2.1 and 3.24 million of the diaspora population live in neighboring Jordan, over 1 million live between Syria and Lebanon and about 750,000 live in Saudi Arabia, with Chile's half a million representing the largest concentration outside the Middle East. Palestinian Christians and Muslims constituted 90% of the population of Palestine in 1919, just before the third wave of Jewish immigration under the post-WW1 British Mandatory Authority, opposition to which spurred the consolidation of a unified national identity, fragmented as it was by regional, class and family differences; the history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars. Legal historian Assaf Likhovski states that the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the 20th century, when an embryonic desire among Palestinians for self-government in the face of generalized fears that Zionism would lead to a Jewish state and the dispossession of the Arab majority crystallised among most editors and Muslim, of local newspapers.
"Palestinian" was used to refer to the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people by Palestinian Arabs in a limited way until World War I. After the creation of the State of Israel, the exodus of 1948 and more so after the exodus of 1967, the term came to signify not only a place of origin but the sense of a shared past and future in the form of a Palestinian state. Modern Palestinian identity now encompasses the heritage of all ages from biblical times up to the Ottoman period. Founded in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization is an umbrella organization for groups that represent the Palestinian people before international states; the Palestinian National Authority established in 1994 as a result of the Oslo Accords, is an interim administrative body nominally responsible for governance in Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1978, the United Nations has observed an annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. According to Perry Anderson, it is estimated that half of the population in the Palestinian territories are refugees and that they have collectively suffered US$300 billion in property losses due to Israeli confiscations, at 2008–09 prices.
The Greek toponym Palaistínē, with which the Arabic Filastin is cognate, first occurs in the work of the 5th century BCE Greek historian Herodotus, where it denotes the coastal land from Phoenicia down to Egypt. Herodotus employs the term as an ethnonym, as when he speaks of the'Syrians of Palestine' or'Palestinian-Syrians', an ethnically amorphous group he distinguishes from the Phoenicians. Herodotus makes other inhabitants of Palestine; the Greek word reflects an ancient Eastern Mediterranean-Near Eastern word, used either as a toponym or ethnonym. In Ancient Egyptian Peleset/Purusati has been conjectured to refer to the "Sea Peoples" the Philistines. Among Semitic languages, Akkadian Palaštu is used of 7th-century Philistia and its, by four city states. Biblical Hebrew's cognate word Plištim, is translated Philistines. Syria Palestina continued to be used by historians and geographers and others to refer to the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, as in the writings of Philo and Pliny the Elder.
After the Romans adopted the term as the official administrative name for the region in the 2nd century CE, "Palestine" as a stand-alone term came into widespread use, printed on coins, in inscriptions and in rabbinic texts. The Arabic word Filastin has been used to refer to the region since the time of the earliest medieval Arab geographers, it appears to have been used as an Arabic adjectival noun in the region since as early as the 7th century CE. The Arabic newspaper Falasteen, published in Jaffa by Issa and Yusef al-Issa, addressed its readers as "Palestinians". During the Mandatory Palestine period, the term "Palestinian" was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity, those granted citizenship by the British Mandatory authorities were granted "Palestinian citizenship". Other examples include the use of the term Palestine Regiment to refer to the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group of the British Army during World War II, the term "Palestinian Talmud", an alternative nam
The term "Palestine refugees" referred to both Arabs and Jews whose normal place of residence had been in Mandatory Palestine but were displaced and lost their livelihoods as a result of the 1948 Palestine war. The UNRWA definition of the term includes the patrilineal descendants of the original "Palestine refugees", but is limited to persons residing in UNRWA's areas of operation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Syria. In 2012, there were an estimated 4,950,000 registered patrilineal descendants of the original "Palestine refugees", based on the UNRWA registration requirements, of which an estimated 1.5 million lived in UNRWA camps. The number of original refugees "who meet UNRWA's Palestine Refugee criteria" was 711,000 in 1950 of which 30,000–50,000 were still alive in 2012; the term does not include internally displaced Palestinians, who became Israeli citizens and neither displaced Palestinian Jews. According to some estimates, as many as 1,049,848–1,380,714 people, who descend from displaced people of Mandatory Palestine are not registered under UNRWA and neither UNHCR mandates.
During the 1948 Palestine War, around 85% of the Palestinian Arab population of what became Israel fled or were expelled from their homes, to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, to the countries of Lebanon and Jordan. They, their descendants, who are entitled to registration, are assisted by UNWRA in 59 registered camps, 10 of which were established in the aftermath of the Six-Day War in 1967 to cope with new Palestinian refugees. Being the only refugees in the world to be inherited, including unregistered, displaced persons and refugee descendants, the Palestinian Arab refugee and displaced population has grown to be the second largest in the world, after an estimated 11,000,000 Syrians displaced by the Syrian Civil War, they are the world's oldest unsettled refugee population, having been under the ongoing governance of Arab states following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the refugee populations of the West Bank under Israeli governance since the Six-Day War and Palestinian administration since 1994, the Gaza Strip administered by the Islamic Resistance Movement since 2007.
Citizenship or legal residency in host countries is denied in Lebanon where the absorption of Palestinians would upset a delicate confessional balance, but available in Jordan where 40% of UNWRA-registered Palestinian refugees have acquired full citizenship rights. On 11 December 1948, the UN General Assembly in non-binding Resolution 194, Article 11 resolved that the refugees who wish to "live at peace with their neighbors... should be permitted" to return to their homes at the "earliest practicable date" This forms one basis for the Palestinian political claim for a'Palestinian right of return'. An independent poll conducted in 2003 with the Palestinian populations of Gaza, West Bank and Lebanon showed that the majority would accept a financial compensation and a place to live in West Bank or Gaza in place of returning to the exact place in modern-day Israel where they or their ancestors lived. Only 10 % said; the United Nations Relief and Works Agency is an organ of the United Nations created for the purpose of aiding those displaced by the Arab–Israeli conflict, with an annual budget of $600 million.
It defines a "Palestine refugee" as a person "whose normal place of residence was Mandatory Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli conflict". UNRWA aids all "those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance" and those who first became refugees as a result of the Six-Day War, regardless whether they reside in areas designated as Palestine refugee camps or in other permanent communities. A Palestine refugee camp is "a plot of land placed at the disposal of UNRWA by the host government to accommodate Palestine refugees and to set up facilities to cater to their needs". Only around 1.4 million of registered Palestine refugees one-third, live in the 58 UNRWA-recognised refugee camps in Jordan, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The UNRWA definition does not cover final status. Registered descendants of UNRWA Palestine refugees, like "Nansen passport" and "Certificate of Eligibility" holders or like UNHCR refugees, inherit the same Palestine refugee status as their male parent.
The patrilineal descendants of the original Palestine refugees "are eligible for registration." In many cases UNHCR provides support for the children of Palestine refugees too. Palestinians make several distinctions relating to Palestinian refugees; the 1948 refugees and their descendants are broadly defined as "refugees". The Palestine Liberation Organization those who have returned and form part of the PNA, but Palestinian refugee camp residents in Lebanon, repudiate this term, since it implies being a passive victim, prefer the autonym of'returnees'; those who left since 1967, their descendants, are called nazihun or'displaced persons', though many may descend from the 1948 group. Most Palestinian refugees have retained their refugee status and continue to reside in refugee camps, including within the State of Palestine in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, their descendants form a sizable portion of the Palestinian diaspora. During the 1948 Palestine War, 711,000 out of around 900,000 Palestine Arabs fled or were expelled from the territories that became the State of Israel.
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
Lod is a city 15 km southeast of Tel Aviv in the Central District of Israel. In 2017 it had a population of 74,604; the name is derived from the Biblical city of Lod, it was a significant Judean town from the Maccabean Period to the early Christian period. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War most of the city's Arab inhabitants were expelled in the 1948 Palestinian exodus from Lydda and Ramle; the town was resettled by Jewish immigrants, most of them from Arab countries, alongside 1,056 Arabs who remained. Israel's main international airport, Ben Gurion Airport is located on the outskirts of the city; the Hebrew name Lod appears in the Bible as a town of Benjamin, founded by Shamer. In the New Testament, it appears at Lydda; the city finds reference in an Islamic Hadith, as the location of the battlefield where the antichrist will be slain before the Day of Judgment. The city is mentioned several times in the Bible: in Ezra 2:33, it is mentioned as one of the cities whose inhabitants returned after the Babylonian captivity, in the New Testament, it is the site of Peter's healing of a paralytic man in Acts 9:32-38.
Pottery finds have dated the initial settlement in the area now occupied by the town to 5600–5250 BCE. The earliest written record is in a list of Canaanite towns drawn up by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III at Karnak in 1465 BCE. From the fifth century BCE until the Roman conquest in 70 CE, the city was a centre of Jewish scholarship and commerce. According to Martin Gilbert, during the Hasmonean period, Jonathan Maccabee and his brother Simon Maccabaeus enlarged the area under Jewish control, which included conquering the city. In 43 BC, the Roman governor of Syria, sold the inhabitants of Lod into slavery, but they were set free two years by Mark Antony. During the First Jewish–Roman War, the Roman proconsul of Syria, Cestius Gallus, razed the town on his way to Jerusalem in 66 CE, it was occupied by Emperor Vespasian in 68 CE. In the period following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE, Rabbi Tarfon, who appears in many Tannaitic and Jewish legal discussions, served as a rabbinic authority in Lod.
During the Kitos War, 115-117 CE, the Roman army laid siege to Lod, where the rebel Jews had gathered under the leadership of Julian and Pappos. Torah study was outlawed by the Romans and pursued in the underground; the distress became so great, the patriarch Rabban Gamaliel II, shut up there and died soon afterwards, permitted fasting on Ḥanukkah. Other rabbis disagreed with this ruling. Lydda was next taken and many of the Jews were executed. In 200 CE, emperor Septimius Severus elevated the town to the status of a city, calling it Colonia Lucia Septimia Severa Diospolis; the name Diospolis may have been bestowed earlier by Hadrian. At that point, most of its inhabitants were Christian; the earliest known bishop is a friend of Arius. In December 415, the Council of Diospolis was held here to try Pelagius. In the sixth century, the city was renamed Georgiopolis after St. George, a soldier in the guard of the emperor Diocletian, born there between 256 and 285 CE; the Church of St. George is named for him.
The Madaba map shows Lydda as an unwalled city under a black inscription with a cluster of buildings. An isolated building with a columnated plaza in front of it might represent the St. George shrine. After the Muslim conquest of Palestine by Amr ibn al-'As in 636 CE, Lod, referred to as "al-Ludd" in Arabic served as the capital of Jund Filastin before the seat of power was moved to nearby Ramla during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abd al-Malik in 715-716; the population of al-Ludd was relocated to Ramla, as well. With the relocation of its inhabitants and the construction of the White Mosque in Ramla, al-Ludd lost its importance and fell into decay; the city was visited by the local Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi in 985, when it was under the Fatimid Caliphate, was noted for its Great Mosque which served the residents of al-Ludd and the nearby villages. He wrote of the city's "wonderful church at the gate of which Christ will slay the Antichrist." The Crusaders named it St. Jorge de Lidde.
It was conquered by Saladin, but retaken by the Crusaders in 1191. The Crusaders built a cathedral changed to become the Great Mosque of Ramla—one of Israel's best-preserved Crusader churches. For the English Crusaders, it was a place of great significance as the birthplace of Saint George; the Crusaders made it the seat of a Latin rite diocese, it remains a titular see. It owed the service of 10 knights and 20 sergeants, it had its own burgess court during this era. In 1226, Ayyubid Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi visited al-Ludd and stated it was part of the Jerusalem District during Ayyubid rule. Sultan Baybars brought Lydda again under Muslim control by 1267-8. According to Qalqashandi, Lydda was an administrative centre of a wilaya during the fourteenth and fifteenth century in the Mamluk empire. Mujir al-Din described it as a pleasant village with an active Friday mosque. During this time, Lydda was a station on the postal route between Damascus. In 1517, Lydda was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire as part of the Damascus Eyalet, in the 1550s, the revenues of Lydda were designated for the new waqf of Hasseki Sultan Imaret in Jerusalem, established by Hasseki Hurrem Sult
Palestinian Christians are Christian citizens of the State of Palestine. In the wider definition of Palestinian Christians, including the Palestinian refugees and people with full or partial Palestinian Christian ancestry this can be applied to an estimated 500,000 people worldwide as of the year 2000. Palestinian Christians belong to one of a number of Christian denominations, including Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, other branches of Protestantism and others, they number 6–7% of the 12 million Palestinians. 70 % live outside Israel. In both the local dialect of Palestinian Arabic and in Classical Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic, Christians are called Nasrani or Masihi. Hebrew-speakers call them Notzri; as of 2015, Palestinian Christians comprise 1–2.5% of the population of the West Bank, less than 1% in the Gaza Strip. According to official British Mandatory estimates, Palestine's Christian population in 1922 constituted 9.5% of the total Mandatory Palestine population, 7.9% in 1946.
A large number of Arab Christians fled or were expelled from the Jewish-controlled areas of Mandatory Palestine during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, a small number left during the period of Jordanian control of the West Bank for economic reasons. From 1967, during the Israeli military rule, the Palestinian Christian population has increased in excess of the continued emigration. There are many Palestinian Christians who are descendants of Palestinian refugees from the post-1948 era who fled to Christian-majority countries and formed large diasporan Christian communities. Worldwide, there are nearly one million Palestinian Christians in these territories as well as in the Palestinian diaspora, comprising around 6-7% of the world's total Palestinian population. Palestinian Christians live in Arab states surrounding historic Palestine and in the diaspora in Europe and the Americas. In the 1922 census of Palestine there were 73,000 Christian Palestinians: 46% Orthodox, 40% Catholic (20% Roman Catholic, 20% Eastern Catholic.
The census recorded over 200 localities with a Christian population. The totals by denomination for all of Mandatory Palestine were: Greek Orthodox 33,369, Syriac Orthodox 813, Roman Catholic 14,245, Greek Catholic 11,191, Syriac Catholic 323, Armenian Catholic 271, Maronite 2,382, Armenian Orthodox 2,939, Coptic Church 297, Abyssinian Church 85, Church of England 4,553, Presbyterian Church 361, Protestants 826, Lutheran Church 437, Templars Community 724, others 208. In 2009, there were an estimated 50,000 Christians in the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, with about 3,000 in the Gaza Strip. Of the total Christian population of 154,000 in Israel, about 80% are designated as Arabs, many of whom self-identify as Palestinian; the majority of Palestinian Christians live in the Palestinian diaspora. Around 50% of Palestinian Christians belong to the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, one of the 15 churches of Eastern Orthodoxy; this community has been known as the Arab Orthodox Christians.
There are Maronites, Melkite-Eastern Catholics, Chaldeans, Roman Catholics, Syriac Catholics, Orthodox Copts, Catholic Copts, Armenian Orthodox, Armenian Catholic, Methodists, Anglicans, Evangelicals, Nazarene, Assemblies of God and other Protestants. The Patriarch Theophilos III is the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem since 2005, he replaced Irenaios, deposed by the church synod after a term surrounded by controversy and scandal given that he sold Palestinian property to Israeli Orthodox Jews. The Israel government refused to recognize Theophilos's appointment but granted full recognition in December 2007, despite a legal challenge by his predecessor Irenaios.. Archbishop Theodosios of Sebastia the highest ranking Palestinian clergyman in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem; the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem is the leader of the Roman Catholics in Jerusalem, Jordan and Cyprus. The office is vacant since the 2016 resignation of PatriarchFouad Twal, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa acting as apostolic administrator.
George Bacouni, of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, is Archbishop of Akka, with jurisdiction over Haifa and the Galilee, replaced Elias Chacour, a Palestinian refugee, in 2014. Moussa El-Hage, of the Maronite Church, is since 2012 Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Haifa and the Holy Land and Patriarchal Exarch of Jerusalem and Palestine; the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem is Suheil Dawani. Bishop Dr. Munib Younan is the president of the Lutheran World Federation and the Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land; the first Christian communities in Roman Judea were Aramaic speaking Messianic Jews and Latin and Greek speaking Romans and Greeks, who were in part descendants from previous settlers of the regions, such as Syro-Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs such as Nabataeans. Contrary to other groups of oriental Christians such as the Assyrian Nestorians, the vast majority of Palestinian Christians went under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Pat
Nayef Hawatmeh is a Palestinian politician of Jordanian origin. His name can be transliterated from the Arabic in many ways. Hawatmeh is a Catholic Christian, he is the General Secretary of the Marxist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine since its formation in a 1969 split from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, of which he was a founder. He was active as a left-wing leader in the Arab Nationalist Movement, which preceded the PFLP, he presently resides in exile in Syria. The DFLP was responsible for the 1974 Ma'alot massacre in which 25 schoolchildren and teachers were killed. Hawatmeh opposed the 1993 Oslo Accords, calling them a "sell-out", but became more conciliatory in the late 1990s. In 1999 he agreed to meet with Yassir Arafat and shook hands with the Israeli President, Ezer Weizmann, at the funeral of King Hussein of Jordan, drawing strong criticism from his Palestinian and Arab peers. In 2004 he was active in a joint Palestinian-Israeli non-governmental attempt to start a coalition of Palestinian groups supporting a two-state solution, called for a cessation of hostilities in the al-Aqsa Intifada.
In 2007 Israel indicated it would allow him to travel to the West Bank for the first time since 1967, in order to participate in a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Jordanian Christians "Radical Palestinians bitter over Israel handshake". BBC News. February 14, 1999. "Arafat meets radical opponent". BBC News. August 22, 1999. "Key Palestinian exile may return". BBC News. July 15, 2007. "DFLP: Nayef Hawatmeh, General Secretary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine". DFLP website. October 13, 2012
The Arab world known as the Arab nation, the Arabsphere or the Arab states consists of the 22 Arab countries of the Arab League. These Arab states occupy West Asia; the contemporary Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants, over half of whom are under 25 years of age. In post-classical history, the Arab world was synonymous with the historic Arab empires and caliphates. 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 Arab people and to pursue the political unification of the Arab countries. The linguistic and political denotation inherent in the term Arab is dominant over genealogical considerations. In Arab states, Modern Standard Arabic is the only language used by the government; the language of an individual nation is called Darija, which means "everyday/colloquial language." Darija shares the majority of its vocabulary with standard Arabic, but it significantly borrows from Berber substrates, as well as extensively from French, the language of the historical colonial occupier of the Maghreb.
Darija is spoken and, to various extents, mutually understood in the Maghreb countries Morocco and Tunisia, but it is unintelligible to speakers of other Arabic dialects for those in Egypt and the Middle East. Although no globally accepted definition of the Arab world exists, all countries that are members of the Arab League are acknowledged as being part of the Arab world; the Arab League is a regional organisation that aims to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries and sets out the following definition of an Arab: An Arab is a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic country, and, in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic people. This standard territorial definition is sometimes seen to be inappropriate or problematic, may be supplemented with certain additional elements; as an alternative to, or in combination with, the standard territorial definition, the Arab world may be defined as consisting of peoples and states united to at least some degree by Arabic language, culture or geographic contiguity, or those states or territories in which the majority of the population speaks Arabic, thus may include populations of the Arab diaspora.
When an ancillary linguistic definition is used in combination with the standard territorial definition, various parameters may be applied to determine whether a state or territory should be included in this alternative definition of the Arab world. These parameters may be applied to the states and territories of the Arab League and to other states and territories. Typical parameters that may be applied include: whether Arabic is spoken. While Arabic dialects are spoken in a number of Arab League states, Literary Arabic is official in all of them. Several states have declared Arabic to be an official or national language, although Arabic is today not as spoken there; as members of the Arab League, they are considered part of the Arab world under the standard territorial definition. Somalia has two official languages today and Somali, both of which belong to the larger Afro-Asiatic language family. Although Arabic is spoken by many people in the north and urban areas in the south, Somali is the most used language, contains many Arabic loan words.
Djibouti has two official languages and French. It has several formally recognized national languages; the majority of the population speaks Somali and Afar, although Arabic is widely used for trade and other activities. Comoros has three official languages: Arabic and French. Comorian is the most spoken language, with Arabic having a religious significance, French being associated with the educational system. Chad and Israel all recognize Arabic as an official language, but none of them is a member-state of the Arab League, although both Chad and Eritrea are observer states of the League and have large populations of Arabic speakers. Israel is not part of the Arab world. By some definitions, Arab citizens of Israel may concurrently be considered a constituent part of the Arab world. Iran has about 1.5 million Arabic speakers. Iranian Arabs are found in Ahvaz, a southwestern region in the Khuzestan Province. Mali and Senegal recognize Hassaniya, the Arabic dialect of the Moorish ethnic minority, as a national language.
Greece and Cyprus recognize Cypriot Maronite Arabic under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Additionally, though not part of the Arab world, has as its official language Maltese; the language is grammatically akin to Maghrebi Arabic. In the Arab world, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic, serves as an official language in the Arab League states, Arabic dialects are used as lingua fr