Tell us about the music, food, holidays, traditions, costumes, language and other qualities that make Arabs so special.
According to Wikipedia, "In the modern era, defining who is an Arab is done on the grounds of one or more of the following three criteria:
- Genealogical: someone who can trace his or her ancestry to the tribes of Arabia - the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula - and the Syrian Desert. This definition covers fewer self-identified Arabs than not, and was the definition used in medieval times, for example by Ibn Khaldun.
- Linguistic: someone whose first language, and by extension cultural expression, is Arabic, including any of its varieties. This definition covers more than 250 million people. Certain groups that fulfill this criterion reject this definition on the basis of genealogy, such an example may be seen in the identity of many Egyptians.
- Political: in the modern nationalist era, any person who is a citizen of a country where Arabic is either the national language or one of the official languages, and/or a citizen of a country which may simply be a member of the Arab League (thereby having Arabic as an official government language, even if not used by the majority of the population). This definition would cover over 300 million people.
It may be the most contested definition as it is the most simplistic one. It would exclude the entire Arab diaspora, but include not only those genealogically Arabs (Gulf Arabs and others, such as Bedouins, where they may exist) and those Arabized-Arab-identified, but would also include Arabized non-Arab-identified groups (including many Lebanese and many Egyptians, both Christians and Muslims) and even non-Arabized ethnic minorities which have remained non-Arabic-speaking (such as the Berbers in Morocco, Kurds in Iraq, or the Somali majority of Arab League member Somalia).
The relative importance of these three factors is estimated differently by different groups and frequently disputed.
Submit your Cleveland Arab cultural items.