Which are the Arab countries?

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by andersxman, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. andersxman Senior Member

    I've just found this

    "The Arab countries include Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt."

    on an online dictionary, ie this is supposedly one of the meanings that the word "arab" might have.
    But how about Jordan? Libanon? Iran? Are there only 4 arab countries in the world?

    My original question in the italian-english language forum was what the near, middle and far east are called in italian. It appears that there is some ambiguity on the issue, and now I find on a dictionary that only the 4 above countries are to be considered Arab. I thought many more countries were "Arab", even if I don't have anything like a good idea as to a number.
  2. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    First, there is an issue with the word include. It does not necessarily mean that the list which follows is complete. I could say "the countries of Europe include France and Germany." This is meant to orient the reader, not to give a complete list, and it does not mean I can't find Denmark on a map.

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=82176&highlight=arab+countries This is in the Arabic forum, but much of it is in English.
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Agreed. Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt are some of the Arab countries.

    Jordan and Lebanon are others. Iran is not.

    Some others include Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Qatar, Bahrain, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

    Palestine (that is the Palestinian Territories) also counts - the Arab League considers it a state.

    We also have Djibouti, Somalia, Mauritania, and Comoros. These are countries in which Arabic is an official language and which are members of the Arab League; however, for some reason I don't think of them when I think of "Arab countries" (which doesn't necessarily make them any less legitimate as Arab countries).

    Chad is a country that has Arabic as an official language but for some reason is not a member of the Arab League.

    More information on the Arab League.
  4. andersxman Senior Member

    Iran is not an Arab country? How would that be explained? They speak arabic? Up until now I wouldn't have hesitated a second in saying that Iran is an arab country.
  5. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    Actually, the official language of Iran is Farsi, aka Persian.
  6. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    I find the term "Arab" so "useful" as "Latin" or others. Arab can mean:

    1) Most of people (in the West) that say "Arab" standing for "Muslim", from N Nigeria to Indonesia.

    2) Arab as an ethnicity (maybe). So, it would spread through Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine Ter., Lebanon(?) and Arabic Peninsule.

    3) Arab as an Arabic speaker. So, it would include (roughly) the Muslim countries except Turkey and all countries East of Iran (Parsi, Urdu or Javanese are spoken).

    Of course in Maghreb bereber and French are spoken for some parts of the population.

    4) Unhabitants of the Arabic Peninsule. The most proper meaning (to me).

    5) Unhabitants of Saudi Arabia.
  7. cubaMania Senior Member

    andersxman, here's a quote from a website run by Iranians in North Carolina:
    However, I can also say that this is a highly politicized subject, and you will find other opinons at other websites. My personal experience is that many Iranians are very sensitive about not wanting to be considered to be Arabs.
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
  9. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    My opinion is that the dictionary said "include" not "are" which can be understood as : these are some but not all.
    What do you think ?

    Also, I agree with the link given by CubaMania : Iran speaks Iranian (Farsi) which is a totally different language from Arabic. So : they don't speak Arabic, they're not ethnically Arabs; hence there's no reason to consider them Arabs. They are Muslims though, but there's a big difference between Arabs and Muslims (this has been said many times in many threads, but allow me to repeat it :) ) :
    Muslims are those whose religion is Islam (simple, hein :) ) they can speak any language, live anywhere, including America, Europe, Asia, Africa.... They don't necessary speak Arabic, so they can't be called Arabs per se. (examples: the muslims of Iran, Turky, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan)
    Arabs -for me- are those who speak Arabic as a mother tongue. This is the simplest definition. If we think ethnography, then Arabs would only be those living in the Arabic Peninsula (Also known as Gulf countries+Yemen which is not on the Gulf but in the Peninsula) and this would leave out many Arabic speaking countries like all the countries of North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, the African countries where Arabic is a major language like Somalia, Djibouti, Moritania...

    This is only my opinion as an Egyptian-Arab-African-Muslim (in whichever order you like, but I'm all these) :)
  10. maxiogee Banned

    Surely speaking a mother-tongue is an unsafe way to classify anyone in this age of refugees, migration across huge distances and educational policies in many countries which see only the State language being taught with any degree of diligence?

    What would that make a child of Arab parents who is born in Ireland. He or she is going to have no Arabic lessons when they begin school. Will probably know no other children who speak Arabic and by six or seven
    would be an English-speaker with a smattering of Arabic.

    I think Arabic as an ethnicity covers any of the Semitic people of the 'Arabian' region, I would probably modify the dictionary definition of 'speaking any of the Semitic languages' to take account of the modern world and stretch it to "born of parents who speak any of the Semitic languages." (Of course the Jewish 'opt-out' clause needs to be retained.:D)
  11. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    You do have a point maxiogee, but remember that we're speaking of countries not individuals.
    Besides, the refugees take new nationalites and they gradually stop considering themselves as Arabs or any other thing but their new identity (see a thread about many persons-mainly second and third generations of immigrants- who only speak English in America, for example, and almost deny their roots).

    The problem with ethnicity as a criteria is that it rules out many Arabic speaking countries -as I said in my previous post- including my own country :) and all the other African countries where Arabic is the main language, as well as Lebanon and Syria (I'm not well versed into ethnology, but I don't think they're classified as Arabic ethnicity).

    P.S. Lebanon is an Arabic country, but it's not a Muslim country. It's Christian. So you can see, Arabic is not necessarily equivalent to Muslim.
  12. maxiogee Banned

    My point was that Arabic is both an ethnicity and the name of a language.

    The people who live in Spain are the only ones who can rightly be called Spanish - but the speakers of Spanish outnumber that population many times over. The same is true of Enland and English.

    Why therefore do people assume that there is a congruence about Arabs and Arabic?

    Similarly with religion - Not all Britons are Christians, but it would see itself as a Christian country. The United States strives furiously to keep God and the State as separate as possible and yet it would be extremely difficult for a non-Christian to seek the office of President.

    We must be careful when speaking of what divides us to be sure that we define which boundaries we mean when we use words which can have multiple constituencies.
    My last job was as manager of a video shop in anm area of Dublin much favoured by immigrants. Many of them were what the untrained eye would call "Arabs" - I was one of those untrained eyes. I don't know how to identify a Frenchman from a German or an Austrian from an Italian - but if I can hear them speak I can make a pretty good guess.
    We in Ireland are so unused to "Arabs" that we don't know how to distinguish them, by either sight or sound, into nationalities. As to their religion - well if I cioudn't tell a German Protestant from an Austrian Catholic from a French athiest, what chance had I got with nationalities and faiths I know nothing about?

    Oh what a tangled web we stumble into when we try to pigeon hole people.

    Countries are probably a little bit easier - a country is what the majority of its citizens are - France is French-speaking and white; Ireland is English speaking and Catholic; Saudi-Arabia is Arabic and semitic.
  13. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Many people feel that English speaking countries, such as the U.K., the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, have common cultural traits...

    Does each country have one nose and two ears, too? :p
  14. maxiogee Banned

  15. andersxman Senior Member

    I was trying to figure out where the Iranians come from, it was stated in this thread that they are of "Aryan" origin - and on the fictionary I find:
    1. Nazi ideal: in Nazi ideology, a white person of non-Semitic descent regarded as racially superior2. language Indo-European language: the hypothetical parent language of the Indo-European languages ( dated ) 3. peoples Indo-European ancestor: somebody who spoke the hypothetical parent language of Indo-European languages ( dated )
    [Mid-19th century. < Sanskrit ārya "noble, of good family"][​IMG][​IMG]Ar·y·anadj

    I don't really know, but my conception is that there is quite a divergence between what the madman Hitler saw as an ideal race and the aspect of a typical, iranian person.
    So when it is being stated that iranians are of Aryan origin, is there something I am misunderstanding? From whom do they descend?
  16. maxiogee Banned

    The first thing to do when seeking information on the word "aryan" is to disregard anything to do with Hilter. The Nazi view of Ayran-ness was totally discredited and shot full of holes.
    Approach with extreme caution.
  17. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Sure, but you could say the same about Arabs: many of them also share a long history of common ancestry, common language, and similar legal systems.


    In short, it started out as a linguistic term, but was hijacked into racism during the 19th century by people who mistakenly believed that language=blood.
  18. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I hope these would help :

    Aryan: «(from Sanskrit arya, “noble”), a people who, in prehistoric times, settled in Iran and northern India. From their language, also called Aryan, the Indo-European languages of South Asia are descended. In the 19th century the term was used as a synonym for “Indo-European” ... »
    Source : "Aryan." Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Online. <http://www.search.eb.com/eb/article-9009750>

    Iran : «The state was popularly known as Persia, a name first used by the ancient Greeks, after the ancient province of Parsa. The people of this land, however, always called their country Iran, or the land of the Aryans.»
    source : "Iran." Britannica Student Encyclopedia from Encyclopædia Britannica Online. <http://www.search.eb.com/ebi/article-9275086>
  19. maxiogee Banned

    But you don't tell me what way you are using the word "Arabs" there, and that is what this thread is about. What makes a people or a country "Arab"

    I said that the US, Canada and other places shared a lot in common with the UK, but that doesn't make them British.
    You seem to be saying that because many people "in Arab Nations" or "of Arab stock" share similar commonalities it makes XYZ Arab - but you don't say what the XYZ is.
  20. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Your analogy is flawed. Claiming that Arabs share a common culture is not the same as claiming that they share the same nationality.
  21. maxiogee Banned

    You appear to be misreading me. and I'm definitely unsure of what point you are making.

    I am saying that sharing a culture in no way implies sharing a nationality!
    The diametrically opposed religious/political/social elements in Northern Ireland share but the English language and a geographical location and yet they are all Northern Irish.
    Arabs are people who, for me, speak Arabic and live in countries which are predominantly populated by Arabs. There will be those who were born in Arabic countries but no longer live there, such as Arabic migrants to Ireland. They, unless they chose otherwise, will be Arabs to the day they die. Any children they have here will be Irish, even if they speak Arabic - just as children born to a Spanish family which is resident in Ireland will be Irish annd not Spanish.

    I don't see what point you wish to make which is different from that.
  22. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    When you wrote:

    ...it seemed to me that you were challenging Cherine's definition of 'Arab'.

    Perhaps I did misunderstand you. Do you accept Cherine's definition?
  23. maxiogee Banned

    My posts on this thread have all explicitly backed Cherine's definition.
    However, I have pointed out that "Arabic" is a word that covers a language and an ethnicity, and several political entities also.
    We need, when using the word, to be very specific about how we are using it.
  24. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Thanks for accepting my definition :)
    I also agree with you. Yes, Arabic is a language, an ethnicity and a culture. But I think that to determine a country's being Arab or not we can rule out the ethnicity criteria, otherwise many countries won't be considered Arab -as I said before.
    So again, I still believe that language should be the main, if not the sole, criteria to classify (French "classer") a country as Arab.

    As for politics, I don't think it can apply either, for not all Arab countries adopt the same political systems.
  25. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    To me, only #2 applies. "Arab" is first and foremost an ethnicity.
  26. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Sorry to contradict you Elroy,
    But if you speak ethnicity, then countries like Morroco, for example, won't be considered Arab because of the huge number of berbers there, Somalia is not Arab either; it's African (don't know how they're classified exactly from an ethnicity point of view).....

    And I'd also like to add to your corrections for what Fernando said: #4 & #5 are almost the same : Saudi Arabia is part of the Arabic Peninsula.
  27. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    That's why I said "most North Africans."
  28. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Ok. I hate to argue but have to do this :D
    1- if we speak of North Africans, then we're speaking of individuals not countries. Which is not the topic.
    2- Even between North Africans, it's a bit difficult to determine who is Arab and who is not. I -for example- am one of millions who don't know for sure who my ancesters are : are they Muslim Arabs ? Christian Copts ? Egyptian Jews ? Romans ? Greek ?.... To name but few possibilities.
    3- Same goes for people in Morroco, Tunisia, Algeria and Lybia : to speak of North Africa.
    4- If we move to Lebanon, I know there are many Lebanese who claim to be Phoneician !!
  29. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    The North African countries we've listed above are officially considered Arab countries (you are from الجمهورية العربية المصرية, right?), which does not mean that every single person inhabiting them is Arab (Israel is a Jewish country, but 20% of its citizens - me included - are not Jewish).

    That's why I said that I considered most North Africans Arab. I would consider Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya Arab countries because the majority of their citizens are Arab (I think). My hunch is that the majority of the citizens of Somalia, Mauritania, Comoros, and Chad are not Arab, which is why I hesitate to consider those countries Arab despite their affiliation (with the exception of Chad) with the Arab League.

    The Lebanese claim to Phoenecian and not Arab roots is one I am hugely skeptical about - to say the least.
  30. mansio Senior Member

    Strictly speaking I do not consider North-Africans as Arabs. To me they are arabized Berbers. But in France we just consider them as Arabs.
  31. tvdxer Senior Member

    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Minnesota, U.S.A. - English
    Off the top of my head:

    Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. The last few are somewhat dubious do to the Berber nature of the cultures.
  32. mansio Senior Member


    I agree with you except that you forgot Tunisia. What about Sudan ?
  33. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Actually it's جمهورية مصر العربية :) (Arab Republic of Egypt).
    Just a slight correction :)

    This is the problem I think : we're trying to follow our hunch, our feeling. But this will make us rule out many countries that are Arab, because their citizens are not ethnically Arabs. This is why I still believe that the easiest or more sure way is to depend on language as criteria.

    I agree with you. But the fact is that some of them do say so. A friend of mine told me of a colleague he had at school, who used to claim he's phoenecian.
    Another similar ridicule claim is sometimes heard by some Egyptians who claim they're Pharaos !!!

    * * *
    To TVDXER and Mansio, here's a list of the state members of the Arab League :
    Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Libanon, Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morroco, Mauritania, Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Comoros
    I tried to put them in a way as close to their position on the map as much as possible, starting from Saudi Arabic, going south west to Yemen, than going arround the Gulf towards North, then East....
    As we can all see, the Arabic language is the main factor between all these countries so ethnically different..
  34. mansio Senior Member


    I don't think the last three of the Arab League members are Arabic speaking countries.
    Sudan has Arabic as official language but Southerners are black people who speak other languages.
    Ethnically speaking it is difficult to see Sudanese (from the Black country) as Arabs. The infamous Janjawids call themselves Arabs, but to me they are just black people who cannot be differentiated from the black peasants they assail.
    I would not mind a friend from Lebanon call himself a descendant of Phoenicians but to be an actual Phoenician he must learn and speak the Phoenician language, which btw is close to Hebrew.
  35. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Being black doesn't mean speaking or not speaking any given language, no ? :)
    It is tru that the Southernes don't speak Arabic, but Sudan -as a whole country- is actually an Arab country. Just as Morroco is an Arab country with many Berbers who don't speak/know Arabic.

    Watch out Mansio, three "Black(s)" in two sentences, can get you accused of racism ;)

    Sorry if I repeat myself : Arab countries are those where Arabic is the language, it doesn't have much to do -not necessarily- with the ethnicities, otherwise we'd only count the Gulf countries as Arab, and rule out all the rest.

    Such people don't say I'm a descendant of Phoenicians, they say : I am Phonecians. :)
  36. mansio Senior Member

    OK Cherine I agree with you. Arab is anyone whose mother language is Arabic. That excludes the South-Sudanese but includes the North-Africans.
    Who gave the name "balad as-sûdân" by the way, me ?
  37. rubes1 Senior Member

    United States, English
    I remember reading an interview with an Arabic magazine editor. He was discussing the singles ads in the Arabic press and explained if a woman says she is looking to meet an "Arab" man, they are referring to the Gulf countries, as there is some prejudice in the against the poorer Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

    PS- I don't agree with this. I would say any Arabic-speaking country is Arab. Pakistan and Iran are not Arab, for example. I suppose North Africa is questionable, but I would consider those countries Arab as well.
  38. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Of course, it excludes the individuals who don't speak Arabic, in Sudan or any other Arab country. But I think this thread is about countries not individuals, no ?
    Actually, to determine if a country is Arab or not is easier -in my opinion- than when speaking of individuals : an Arab country is the one where Arabic is the major language, while to determine if a person is Arab or not we can go from ethnicity to language to georgraphic location or maybe other criterias.
    Just my opinion.

    Maybe I did ? :D
    They were called so by Arabs, when the notion of racism wasn't in people's mind (at least not as it is these days)
    N.B. I hope you didn't think I was calling you so, I was just kidding :)

  39. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    This discussion reminds me of the one over who is Latin. In Europe (as far as I've heard), Spain, France, Italy and Portugal are considered the Latin countries/ethnicities, because their official languages are derived from Latin. However, there are also other kinds of languages in some of these countries: Basque, Breton, Strasbourgian... And then there's the case of Romania, which leaves many people scratching their heads. They do speak a language derived from Latin, but they are so far away, and they've been so influenced by Slavic cultures...!
    And what should we call 'mixed' countries like Belgium and Switzerland?... :confused:
    In the end, these cultural divisions always have some arbitrariness.

    Or geography. Strictly speaking, only the people of the Arabian Peninsula would be called "Arab".
  40. mansio Senior Member


    I like my mother-language Alsatian being called Strasbourgian! Why not, my mother speaks it in the Strasbourg way.
  41. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Sorry! It was a momentary lapse of memory. I should have known better. :D
  42. mansio Senior Member


    You are not wrong. Alsatian is a Germanic (not German) dialect which subdivises into closely related sub-dialects, so there is such a thing as Strasbourgian.
  43. reaLest New Member

    Not to put a damper on things...(because I love opinions...and discussions are good)....but this must be said.....perhaps the only way to arrive at a conclusion for is to poll the world? Then perhaps we'll agree since generally....people side with the majority...although they are not always right. eg. majority of the world population are religious or at least claim to be....and religion....well that's for another thread i guess....but...

    *I BELIEVE*..the only way to arrive at a logical answer for this question...and most questions of this nature for that matter...is to consider among other things... (1)who is asking the question. (2)who is being asked the question.

    These other things include...clearly defining anything ambiguous or subjective in the question. Which are the Arab countries...you ask? Well...it is apparent that most of us, if not all agree what countries are...although it can mean many things....but from what i have read...i believe that (you) define country as a soveriegn nation or state, with a populace. So we more or less agree on the definition of a country.

    Now...how do you define "Arab?" This is where the problem lies. We do not and cannot agree on a single definition for "Arab." A person who may view his/herself as Arab...will have a different description of this word than that of a person who view theirself otherwise. Like quality or beauty...it is in the eyes of the beholder.

    eg. Country A and citizens of Country A may view Country B and its citizens as terrorists, however Country B and its citizens view Country A as the terrorists. Country C views both as terrorists, whereas country D views only Country B as the terrorist.... it goes on. It's subjective...

    So how do we arrive at conclusions...? I don't think we can...however it helps to talk about these things....it stimulates the mind...may generate understanding...and of course can be entertaining...

    dont take my word for it....like a wise man once said.... I would never die for my *BELIEFS* because I might be wrong...

  44. Heba

    Heba Senior Member

    Coventry, England
    Egypt, Arabic
    I believe that it is a matter of language, not of ethnicity.
    I , for example, belong to the camp that believes that Egypt is not actually an Arabic country and that we are Arabs because we speak Arabic.

    During high-school years which I spent in Saudi Arabia, I learned that original Arabs are those who lived in the Arabian Peninsula and were Arabs even before the advent of Islam and before the expansion of the trade relations. Accordingly, people who are originally Arabs are the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, kwait, Yemen, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain). While other countries like Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Morroco became Arabs when the majority of the population became Muslims and started to speak Arabic.

    I do believe that Egyptians started to be regared as Arabs when they started to speak Arabic. I believe that they started to speak Arabic when the majority of the population embraced Islam and when they started to have trade relationws with the Arabian Peninsula, thus, we are Arabs because we speak Arabic (or our own version of Arabic). The Arabic language brought with it the Arabic culture.

    I guess that people of the same race look alike, and that is a second reason why I believe that Egyptians and Arabs from outside the Arabian Peninsula are not Arabs. The Arabs of today can be divided into four or even more groups according to how they look:
    1. Inhabitants of Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon
    2. Inhabitants of Egypt (the majority of Egyptians still look like the pharaohs whose pictures are engraved on temple walls)
    3-Other inhabitants of North Africa (Tunisia, Lybia, Algeria and Morrocco)
    4- Inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula

    Those four groups do not look alike. Actually, they were different civilizations, they had different cultures and histories. They became regared of the same race when they all adopted Arabic as the main language. Even when they started to speak Arabic, they developed new vernacular versions that gradually became different from standard Arabic. Each group developed its own different version of Arabic which is still spoken is and is completely different from the Standard Arabic which was spoken by the Original Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula. Standard Arabic could be only read in the newspapers and books. Perhaps the closest version to Standard Arabic is the one spoken in the Arabian Peninsula today.
  45. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    The late Egyptian president Gamal abdel Nasser is credited as the first person to” officially" define and Arab as anyone who considers Arabic as his/her native language. That would especially at that time include Muslims, Christians and Jews. Many of the last two have left Arab countries as well as many Muslims but today most Arab countries have fewer non-Muslims. Even Lebanon no longer has a Christian minority. Making Malta the only majority Christian Arabic country. Malta recently has added its name as an Arabic country although this may not be agreed upon by all Most Arab countries have non Arabic speaking minorities or had them. From a genetic stand point most if not all; including Arabia have diverse populations with many types of physical features. I have met many people from Arabic countries who speak Arabic plus another languages who will alternately consider themselves Arabs and non-Arabs.
    Many descendants of Arabs still consider themselves to be Arab even if they do not speak the language. We can conclude that many people do not know the definition of an Arab, but the Nasser one is the most widely excepted.

    Muslim as mentioned is a member of Islam a religion not an ethnic group just as Christian and others can be anyone including converts.
    It is generally accepted that the Nazi use of Aryan and swastika were incorrect since the Iranians (Iran the modern country name dates to 1934) and northern Indians are the origin of the Aryan name and symbol. The symbol can be found on Hindu shrines built centuries ago. It is true that Semites are not classified as Aryans.
  46. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    That's not true.

    Really? Malta is not listed in the Wikipedia page for the Arab League...
  47. mansio Senior Member

    As of the religions in Lebanon, it is not possible to count the Druze and the Alawites as Muslims. They belong to different religions.
  48. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    This gets interesting. In the US, there are a great many immigrants and children of immigrants who are or were Arabic speakers, although not all of these are people from or descending from inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. According to the Nasser definition, they would cease to be Arabs after a generation or two. And then what? Revert to the ethnicity of their forebears?

    By this scenario, an Egyptian could emigrate to Michigan, and his children, born in the US, and having only American English as a native language, would not be Arab, while their parents are Arab. These children might then consider themselves to be Americans of Egyptian heritage/background, but not Arab.
    Hmmmmm. Dubious.
  49. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Are Americans of Irish, or German, or Norwegian heritage still considered Irishmen, Germans, or Norwegians in Ireland, Germany, and Norway?
  50. maxiogee Banned

    We Irish don't see the American-born children of Irish emigrants as Irish. In fact the more remote the connection to Ireland, the more of an embarrassment many of them become. I quote from a letter to an Irish newspaper published today...

    For several months I have watched from across the sea
    as the fate of my ancestral homeland has been decided
    on the pages of newspapers, in public hearings, and in
    the High Court. And though it pains me to write it, it
    pains me even more deeply to see it: the Irelanf of my
    dreams is gripped in the blind frenzy of what the
    television calls "progress", and the Hill of Tara, the heart
    of Ireland, is slated to suffer for it.
    Please, people of Ireland, tell your government that you
    don't need another road. Not there. Tell them you see
    beyond the allure of the global economy, and the trinkets
    money can buy. Tell them Ireland is yours, not theirs. And
    please treat her well.

    He writes because a road is proposed to pass near a very historic site. But due to our ancient history much of Ireland is 'historic'. Guys like this would have us all live in picturesque cottages and travel by horse and cart. The Ireland of his dreams is not the same on I live in, and it has never been. If he wants to go and save historic sites I'm sure there are plenty of places in America with history pre-dating Columbus which he could devote his attention to.

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