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History of Arabic
Quick Reference
  ·  Official Language
Saudi Arabia, Yemen, S.Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco.
  ·  Number of Speakers
150 million
  ·  Origin
It is a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew
  ·  Alphabet & Scripts
Arabic written from right to left (good if you are left handed!). The alphabet contains 28 letters mainly consonants - vowel signs are indicated by marks above or below the letters. The same script is used for Persian, Pashto Urdu and Sindhi.
Arabic, the language of over 100 million Arabs, has existed without major change since the 7thCentury A.D. and the continuous literary output during this period is one of the greatest achievements of civilised man.

During the 7th Century A.D., the language we now call Arabic was a dialect spoken mainly by the nomadic Bedouin pastoralists in the North Arabian Desert. Filled with the zeal of their new faith, the Bedouins began to conquer the neighbouring lands, taking their language with them.

Between A.D. 622 and 1500 Arabic was spoken as far east as Indonesia and as far west as Portugal having already supplanted almost all of the previous languages of Iraq, Syria, Egypt and North Africa. By AD 750, the Islamic Empire included countries such as present day Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, The Yemen Republics, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

By AD 1500 Arabic, together with Islam, had penetrated areas as diverse as Portugal, Spain, Northern India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Persia, Turkey, the Balkans, Zanzibar, the East African Coast and Madagascar.

Today over 150 million people speak Arabic and it is one of the world's major languages. It is the official language of 18 countries and is the language of the sacred book of Islam, The Qur'an, and as such is known to millions of Muslims throughout the world.

In 1974, Arabic was made the 6th official language of the United Nations.

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Did you know?
ARABIC ranks sixth in the world's league table of languages, with an estimated 186 million native speakers. As the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, it is also widely used throughout the Muslim world.
Arabic History
Arabic Speaking
» Egypt
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