The Arabs have a rich culture and have a long history. They trace their ancestry to the Biblical character of Ishmael, Abraham’s son by Hagar whom Sarai sent away. Arabic culture started with the Bedouins of West Asia, who spent the early centuries wandering in the desert in search of a new home and greener pastures. They were nomads.
The rise of the Arabs occurred after this group converted to Islam and basically ruled the Medieval Period. When Europe was in the Dark Ages, the Arabs were responsible for saving many of Europe’s books and civilization – which helped bring forth the western Renaissance.
Arabs were also known to be very learned people. They were masterful craftsmen, dedicated scholars, and excellent architects and engineers. Of course, they could only spread their knowledge using one all-powerful tool – language.
Arabic is one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages. This list dishes to you the 10 nations with the highest number of Arabic speakers. Take a look and see for yourself if your country is part of the list!
10.Libya – 4.6 million Arabic speakers
Libya is a nation in North Africa that is proud of its Arabic heritage. Sadly, government instability and a disintegrating social order brought this once promising country to its knees. Today, Libya is officially considered as a failed state – and has become one of the hideouts of the infamous ISIS.
9.Jordan – 5.1 million Arabic speakers
Jordan is a small but very historic city that was once part of the Fertile Crescent. It is rich in ancient structures and is now part of a greater Arabic and Islamic world concentrated in West Asia. The nation is dry and humid but also has pockets of lush vegetation and water supply.
8.Tunisia – 10.9 million Arabic speakers
Tunisia is one of the showcase and touristy destinations for people who would like to experience Arabic culture and heritage. It is proud of its Islamic and Arabic heritage. However, Tunisian society and government is surprisingly secular and quite liberal compared to other Arabic and Islamic nations.
7.Yemen – 14.7 million Arabic speakers
Yemen is an arid and rocky country located on the south of the Arabian peninsula. Sadly, it is one of West Asia’s poorest nations, as the country does not have much natural resources, including the precious natural gas which has become the bread and butter of many nations in that region.
6.Syria – 21 million Arabic speakers
Syria was once a very beautiful country – the home of world religions and a true melting pot of cultures. Its capital, Damascus, is the oldest capital city in the world. Unfortunately, a bloody and protracted civil war has destroyed much of the country. It has presently become a stronghold of the radical group ISIS.
5.Iraq – 23 million Arabic speakers
Iraq stands in one of the world’s oldest regions as it was once the center of Mesopotamia – home of West Asia’s oldest cities and is said to be the birthplace of civilization. Today, Iraq is still presently rebuilding itself after the Saddam Hussein regime and the American occupation of the country.
4.Morocco – 25 million Arabic speakers
Morocco is the birthplace of the Moors – the feared Islamic invaders of Europe during the Medieval Period. The Moors established an Islamic enclave in the Iberian peninsula of what is now Portugal and Spain. It built very beautiful cities such as Granada and Cordoba. Morocco itself is also extremely lovely.
3.Sudan – 28.2 million Arabic speakers
This nation, although situated in Northeastern Africa, is actually more Arabic than it is African. This desert nation has a 28 million strong Arab population while Islam is the official state religion.
2.Saudi Arabia – 30 million Arabic speakers
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and is considered to be the center of Arabic culture. This absolute monarchy is also home to much of Asia’s natural gas reserves and is one of the region’s richest economies.
1.Egypt – 82.5 million Arabic speakers
Aside from its ancient culture and its great pyramids, Egypt is also the nation with the highest number of Arabic speakers in the world. It is also a major tourism hub albeit the nation is fairly secular.