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Arabic (al-'arabiyya, lisān al-'Arab—“the Arab tongue;” al-fusha, “purer Arabic”) is one of the world's leading languages, with an estimated 221 million speakers, and its use as the canonical language of Islam is often credited with helping to give unity to global Muslim culture.

Among spoken languages, it ranks fifth after Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, and Hindi. It is the official language of 21 modern countries in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Chad, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Sudan), the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen), the Levant (Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria,), and the Horn of Africa (Djibouti and Somalia). It is also spoken in Palestine and Israel, in the west Saharan territory, in Eritrea, in parts of southern ...

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