descendants of the Semitic race. The original Arabs lived in the
Arabian Peninsula, either as town-dwellers or as nomads, Bedouins.
Brave and enterprising by nature, waves of them migrated and settled
a vast area stretching from the Nile to the Tigris and Euphrates
basin. When, in the seventh century, the Arab Empire began to grow
in size and strength, other peoples of these newly-conquered lands
Today, all of them are Arabs.
The Arabs form a multi-religious nation where individuals of
different creeds and sects live side by side. All sects
of Islam, Christianity and Judaism are represented in the Arab
Not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. An Arab can
be either Muslim, Christian or Jewish.
The best definition of an Arab is: he/she who considers
himself/herself a member of the Arab Nation, enjoying a common
heritage, language, culture and sharing a common destiny.
The Arab world is the cradle of the great monotheistic religions and
the birthplace of many ancient civilizations-among them the
Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Canaanite and Phoenician. The Arabs
are thus justifiably proud of their glorious past and their cultural
While the Arab world has come under the direct or indirect influence
of many peoples, including the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans and,
in recent decades, the British, French and Italians, they have
responded to these contacts by selecting the best and incorporating
them into their own distinctive culture.