10 Unifying Factors Shared in the Arab World
By Noor Almohsin/ Arab America Contributing Writer
The Middle East, which is the region located in Southern East Asia and Northern Africa is known to be the Arab World. This area has common features that play role in unifying the people there. Historically and today the destiny of that region is interrelated and affects one another. This article explores some unifying factors that are shared in the Arab world.
The Middle East has a strategic location linking three continents Asia, Africa, and Europe. Its geography borders the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, and the Gulf of Aden towards the Indian Ocean. It also contains essential waterways including Strait of Hormuz, Mandeb Strait, Strait of Gibraltar, and Suez Canal that are the core of marine navigation worldwide
Arabic is a shared mother tongue of the people in the Middle East. It became the belonging factor to the Arab world. Regardless of people’s race, religion or statehood, Arabic is their native language. They all share the “Classical Arabic” which is a strong foundation that tied Arab people together, despite the fact of variety in dialects and accents of Arabic across the Arab region.
The holy lands of the three Abrahamic religions exist in the Arabian land. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were revealed to God’s prophets and other messengers in what became the Arabian region. Therefore, most Arab people appreciate religion and respect religious people. Hence it became a pride for Arabs to host holy lands, where people from all over the world pilgrim to every season.
Shared History is a major factor that defines the identity of Arab people. This includes common social, political and economic experiences that formulate collective memory about their role and place. Whether the ancient or recent history, the people in the Arab region have similar experiences that create common expectations and a destiny.
The vast area of Arabs contained a number of ancient civilizations that are essential to human development and modern life. These civilizations include Phoenicia, Ancient Egypt, Ḥimyar, Sheba, Babylonia, Sumer, Canaan, Arameans, Lihyan, and Kindah.Although these civilizations were at different time and place, they have influenced the people who lived in the region.
6-Art, Literature, and Poetry
The Arabic language is no doubt a major knitting factor that links Arabs. Therefore, Arabic literature and art in one area is relevant to the people in other Arab regions. Artwork and knowledge including visual, audio, and written products are associated with Arabs because they have similar primary taste, personality, and patterns despite multiplicity across the region. Of course, poetry and elocution, which is an art of speaking, are the core of Arabic language that all Arabs praise.
The Arab world is rich in its diversity. Although Arabs are known to be tribal, there are other factors that create subcultures like living patterns, social formation, social class, religions and sects, and ethnicities. For example, there are ethnic groups that assimilated to Arabs such as the Kurds, Berbers, and Armenians who lived in Arab regions and adapted to the Arab culture. The shared culture includes social heritage, reality, customs, norms, and traditions. Hence, subcultures exist within the bigger umbrella of Arab culture.
8-Morals & Values
The shared culture across Arab region created a mutual character that resembles Arab persona. Of these common characteristics of Arabs are generosity, jealousy, and pride. They are religious and appreciate privacy. Moreover, Arabs care a lot about the Genealogy of their ancestors and family history, they are also considerate about whom they marry Meriam Helal, Arab America Contributing Writer, Arab America contributing writer explored characters that make Arabs attractive.
9- Economics & Resources
The fertile nature of land in the Arab region made the vast majority of its people to work in agriculture. Therefore, the economy of the area was mutual for its similar nature. In fact, the Arab lands are rich in many resources such as minerals, fishery, livestock and lately oil and gas. This made the Arab region a target for western colonies to exploit the goodness of Arab lands and human capital.
Ever since the declaration of Israel in 1948, the Palestinian cause has been the core consideration of all Arabs. Different Arab states, groups, and people advocate for the basic rights of Palestinian people. After the turmoil of Arab Spring, Arab states, and people became overwhelmed with their own issues that the Palestinian case became marginalized. However, Trump’s announcement to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to become the capital of Israel revived the issue and ignited anger across the Arab world for Palestinian people and Jerusalem, as an Arab holy city.