Arab world is much larger than one might have imagined. Generally when we say “Arab world” we mean by it 22 Arabic speaking countries that stretch from Atlantic Ocean to Arabian sea and from Mediterranean sea to the Horn of Africa (or Somali Peninsula) and the Indian Ocean. The total population of Arabic speaking countries is over 350 million people- that’s a lot of people!
Despite being called “Arabs”, these people may look very differently and have very different life styles. From European-like looks to black African features with all shades in between. What brings these people together is their usage of Arabic language- one of the richest and most beautiful languages in the world!
There are significant differences in dialects though. A Moroccan would be better off using either classical Arabic language or French or English if he wished to talk to a Lebanese. That’s the reason why official television and radio in all Arabic speaking countries prefer to use classical Arabic language. Classical Arabic language sounds different from most dialects, has a beautiful structure and despite being so different from European languages, is very easy to learn provided you have a good teacher and proper tools.
Lifestyles of Arabic people are very different too. People in most Persian Gulf countries lead a traditional lifestyle, but their economic situation is generally the highest. Foreigners are often amazed at local people who wear traditional clothes while driving flashy sport cars!
Lebanese lead European-like lifestyle with its ups and downs. They are typically highly educated, career-focused people. The same is true for the emirate of Dubai (United Arab Emirates). But people who prefer a traditional way of life and traditional way of clothing are still able to practice it everywhere. That’s another thing many foreigners wonder about: why everyone is dressed so differently?
And then you have people who live in desert. Their lifestyle is pretty much like it was hundreds of years ago. A kind of lifestyle most Arabs these days have no idea about. But wait, isn’t that exactly what makes it so attractive and mysterious?
Here are the 22 Arabic speaking countries by territory size with the largest (Algeria) being 919,595 sq mi large and the smallest (Bahrain) being 293 sq mi large:
Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Libya, Mauritania, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Morocco, Iraq, Oman, Syria, Tunisia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Palestine, Comoros, and Bahrain.