Monday, March 18, 2013

Apollonius - Asabiyah

Apollonius (in Arabic, Balinus). Name used for both the mathematician Apollonius of Perge in Pamphylia (c. 200 B.C.T.) and for Apollonius of Tyana in Cappadocia (of the first century of the Christian calendar).

Apollonius of Perga [Pergaeus] (ca. 262 B.C.T. – ca. 190 B.C.T.) was a Greek geometer and astronomer noted for his writings on conic sections. His innovative methodology and terminology, especially in the field of conics, influenced many later scholars including Ptolemy, Francesco Maurolico, Isaac Newton, and René Descartes. It was Apollonius who gave the ellipse, the parabola, and the hyperbola the names by which we know them. The hypothesis of eccentric orbits, or equivalently, deferent and epicycles, to explain the apparent motion of the planets and the varying speed of the Moon, are also attributed to him. Apollonius' theorem demonstrates that the two models are equivalent given the right parameters. Ptolemy describes this theorem in the Almagest XII.1. Apollonius also researched the lunar theory, for which he is said to have been called Epsilon (ε). The crater Apollonius on the Moon is named in his honor.

Apollonius of Tyana (ca. 15? – ca. 100? C.C.) was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher and teacher. He hailed from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor.

Apollonius's dates are uncertain. His primary biographer, Philostratus the Elder (c.170–247 C.C.) places him c. 3 BC.T. to 97 C.C.. Others agree that he was roughly a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth. states that his date of birth was three years before Jesus, whose date of birth is also uncertain. Philostratus, in his Life of Apollonius of Tyana, places Apollonius as staying in the court of King Vardanes I of Parthia for a while, who ruled between c.40–47 C.C.. Apollonius began a five year silence at about the age of 20, and after the completion of this silence travelled to Mesopotamia and Iran. Philostratus also mentions emperors Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, and Nerva at various points throughout Apollonius’ life. Given this information, a timeline of roughly the years 15–98 C.C. can be established for his adult life..

By far the most detailed source is the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, a lengthy, novelistic biography written by the sophist Philostratus at the request of empress Julia Domna. She took her own life in 217 C.C., and he completed it after her death, between 217 and 238 C.C.. Philostratus’ account shaped the image of Apollonius for posterity and still dominates discussions about him in our times. To some extent it is a valuable source because it contains data from older writings which were available to Philostratus but disappeared later on. There are strong indications that Philostratus fabricated many of the stories and dialogues in his biography. On the other hand, some excerpts and letters are preserved which provide us with a more accurate picture of the historical Apollonius. Among these works are an excerpt (preserved by Eusebius) from On sacrifices, paraphrased selections from Moirogenes' and Maximus' works (preserved in Philostratus' work) and certain letters. Apollonius may really have written some of these works, along with the no-longer extant Biography of Pythagoras. Some modern scholars challenge the credibility of Philostratus' work. Some scholars dismiss most of it as pure invention (invented either by Philostratus or by his sources). Philostratus’ chronology, for instance, is often questioned. According to Philostratus, Apollonius lived from ca. 3 B.C.T. to about 97 C.C., while many contend that he was born more than four decades later and died more than two decades later, perhaps around 120 C.C.

One of the essential sources Philostratus claimed to know are the “memoirs” (or “diary”) of Damis, an acolyte and companion of Apollonius. Some scholars believe the notebooks of Damis were an invention of Philostratus, while others think it was a real book forged by someone else and used by Philostratus. It has been claimed to be a literary fake. Philostratus describes Apollonius as a wandering teacher of philosophy and miracle worker who was active in Italy, Spain and Ethiopia and even travelled to Mesopotamia, Arabia and India. In particular, he tells lengthy stories of Apollonius entering the city of Rome in disregard of emperor Nero’s ban on philosophers, and later on being summoned, as a defendant, to the court of emperor Domitian, where he defied the emperor in blunt terms. The latter charge had regarded the foretelling of a certain plague, to which Apollonius attributed to his prayer to Heracles and not to any sorcery on his part, arguing "[what wizard] would dedicate his personal achievement to a god?"

Apollonius may have never left the Greek East. Some contend that he never came to Western Europe and was virtually unknown there until the third century of the Christian calendar, when empress Julia Domna, who was herself an Easterner, decided to popularize him and his teachings in Rome. For that purpose she commissioned Philostratus to write the biography, where Apollonius is exalted as a fearless sage with supernatural powers, even greater than Pythagoras. Philostratus implies that upon his death, Apollonius of Tyana underwent heavenly assumption. Subsequently Apollonius was worshipped by Julia’s son emperor Caracalla and possibly also by her grand-nephew emperor Severus Alexander.

At least two biographical sources earlier than Philostratus are lost: a book by emperor Hadrian’s secretary Maximus of Aegaeae describing Apollonius’ activities in the city of Aegaeae in Cilicia, and a biography by a certain Moiragenes, as well as others.

Little can be derived from sources other than Philostratus. Hence if we dismiss Philostratus’ colorful stories as fiction, the figure of the historical Apollonius appears to be rather shadowy. Perhaps the most that can be said is that Apollonius appears to have been a wandering ascetic/philosopher/wonderworker of a type common to the eastern part of the early empire. What we can safely assume is that he was indeed a Pythagorean and as such, in conformity with the Pythagorean tradition, opposed animal sacrifice, and lived on a frugal, strictly vegetarian diet. He seems to have spent his entire life in the cities of his native Asia Minor and of northern Syria, in particular his home town of Tyana, Ephesus, Aegae, and Antioch. As for his philosophical convictions, we have an interesting, probably authentic fragment of one of his writings (On sacrifices) where he expresses his view that God, who is the most beautiful being, cannot be influenced by prayers or sacrifices and has no wish to be worshipped by humans, but can be reached by a spiritual procedure involving nous, because he himself is pure nous and nous is also the greatest faculty of mankind. The life of Apollonius of Tyana is often compared to that of Jesus of Nazareth.

Philostratus implies on one occasion that Apollonius had extra-sensory perception (Book VIII, Chapter XXVI). When emperor Domitian was murdered on September 18, 96 C.C., Apollonius was said to have witnessed the event in Ephesus "about midday" on the day it happened in Rome, and told those present "Take heart, gentlemen, for the tyrant has been slain this day...". The words that Philostratus attributes to him would make equal sense, however, if Apollonius had been informed that the emperor would be killed at noon on September 18th. Both Philostratus and renowned historian Cassius Dio report this incident, probably on the basis of an oral tradition. Both state that the philosopher welcomed the deed as a praiseworthy tyrannicide.

Philostratus devoted two and a half of the eight books of his Life of Apollonius (1.19–3.58) to the description of a journey of his hero to India. According to Philostratus' Life, en route to the Far East, Apollonius reached Hierapolis Bambyce (Manbij) in Syria (not Nineveh, as some scholars believed), where he met Damis, a native of that city who became his lifelong companion. Pythagoras, whom the Neo-Pythagoreans regarded as an exemplary sage, was believed to have travelled to India. Hence such a feat made Apollonius look like a good Pythagorean who spared no pains in his efforts to discover the sources of oriental piety and wisdom. As some details in Philostratus’ account of the Indian adventure seem incompatible with known facts, modern scholars are inclined to dismiss the whole story as a fanciful fabrication, but not all of them rule out the possibility that the Tyanean actually did visit India.

On the other hand, there seemed to be independent evidence showing that Apollonius was known in India. In two Sanskrit texts quoted by Sanskritist Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya in 1943 he appears as "Apalūnya", in one of them together with Damis (called "Damīśa"). There it is claimed that Apollonius and Damis were Western yogis who held wrong Buddhist views, but later on were converted to the correct Advaita philosophy. Classical philologists believed that these Indian sources derived their information from a Sanskrit translation of Philostratus’ work (which would have been a most uncommon and amazing occurrence), or even considered the possibility that it was really an independent confirmation of the historicity of the journey to India. Only in 1995 were the passages in the Sanskrit texts proven to be interpolations by a modern (late 19th century) forger.

Several writings and many letters have been ascribed to Apollonius, but some of them are lost; others have only been preserved in parts or fragments of disputed authenticity. Porphyry and Iamblichus refer to a biography of Pythagoras by Apollonius, which has not survived; it is also mentioned in the Suda. Apollonius wrote a treatise On sacrifices, of which only a short, probably authentic fragment has come down to us.

Philostratus’ Life and the anthology assembled by John Stobaeus contain purported letters of Apollonius. Some of them are cited in full, others only partially. There is also an independently transmitted collection of letters preserved in medieval manuscripts. It is difficult to determine what is authentic and what not. Some of the letters may have been forgeries or literary exercises assembled in collections which were already circulated in the 2nd century of the Christian calendar. It has been asserted that Philostratus himself forged a considerable part of the letters he inserted into his work, others were older forgeries available to him.

In the second century the satirist Lucian of Samosata was a sharp critic of Neo-Pythagoreanism. After 180 C.C. he wrote a pamphlet where he attacked Alexander of Abonoteichus, a student of one of Apollonius’ students, as a charlatan, and suggested that the whole school was based on fraud. From this we can infer that Apollonius really had students and that his school survived at least till Lucian’s time. One of Philostratus’ foremost aims was to oppose this view; although he related various miraculous feats of Apollonius, he emphasized at the same time that his hero was not a magician, but a serious philosopher and a champion of traditional Greek values.

When emperor Aurelian conducted his military campaign against the Palmyrene Empire, he captured Tyana in 272 C.C.. According to the Historia Augusta he abstained from destroying the city after having a vision of Apollonius admonishing him to spare the innocent citizens.

In Philostratus’ description of Apollonius’ life and deeds there are a number of similarities with the life and especially the claimed miracles of Jesus. Perhaps this parallel was intentional, but the original aim was hardly to present Apollonius as a rival of Jesus. However, in the late third century Porphyry, an anti-Christian Neoplatonic philosopher, claimed in his treatise Against the Christians that the miracles of Jesus were not unique, and mentioned Apollonius as a non-Christian who had accomplished similar achievements. Around 300, Roman authorities used the fame of Apollonius in their struggle to wipe out Christianity. Hierocles, one of the main instigators of the persecution of Christians in 303, wrote a pamphlet where he argued that Apollonius exceeded Christ as a wonder-worker and yet was not worshipped as a god, and that the cultured biographers of Apollonius were more trustworthy than the uneducated apostles. This attempt to make Apollonius a hero of the anti-Christian movement provoked sharp replies from bishop Eusebius of Caesarea and from Lactantius. Eusebius wrote an extant reply to the pamphlet of Hierocles, where he claimed that Philostratus was a fabulist and that Apollonius was a sorcerer in league with demons. This started a debate on the relative merits of Jesus and Apollonius that has gone on in different forms into modern times.

In Late Antiquity talismans made by Apollonius appeared in several cities of the Eastern Roman Empire, as if they were sent from heaven. They were magical figures and columns erected in public places, meant to protect the cities from afflictions. The great popularity of these talismans was a challenge to the Christians. Some Byzantine authors condemned them as sorcery and the work of demons, others admitted that such magic was beneficial; none of them claimed that it did not work.

In the Western Roman Empire, Sidonius Apollinaris was a Christian admirer of Apollonius in the 5th century. He produced a Latin translation of Philostratus’ Life, which is lost.

Apollonius was a known figure in the medieval Islamic world. In the Arabic literature he appears as Balīnūs (or Balīnās or Abūlūniyūs). Arabic-speaking occultists dubbed him "Lord of the talismans" (Ṣᾱḥib aṭ-ṭilasmᾱt) and related stories about his achievements as a talisman-maker. They appreciated him as a master of alchemy and a transmitter of Hermetic knowledge. Some occult writings were circulated under his name; among them were:

the Kitᾱb Sirr al-ḫalīqa (Book on the Secret of Creation), also named Kitᾱb al-῾ilal (Book of the Causes)
the Risᾱla fī ta ṯīr ar-rūḥᾱnīyᾱt fī l-murakkabᾱt (Treatise on the influence of the spiritual beings on the composite things)
al-Mudḫal al-kabīr ilᾱ risᾱlati aṭ-ṭalᾱsim (Great introduction to the treatise on the talismans)
the Kitᾱb ṭalᾱsim Balīnᾱs al-akbar (Great book of Balinas’ talismans)
the Kitᾱb Ablūs al-ḥakīm (Book of the sage Ablus)
Medieval alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan's Book of Stones According to the Opinion of Balīnās contains an exposition and analysis of views expressed in Arabic occult works attributed to Apollonius.

There were also medieval Latin and vernacular translations of Arabic books attributed to “Balinus”.

The Tablet of Wisdom written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, names "Balinus" (Apollonius) as a great philosopher, who "surpassed everyone else in the diffusion of arts and sciences and soared unto the loftiest heights of humility and supplication."

In Europe, there has been great interest in Apollonius since the beginning of the 16th century, but the traditional ecclesiastical viewpoint still prevailed. Until the Age of Enlightenment, the Tyanean was usually treated as a demonic magician and a great enemy of the Church who collaborated with the devil and tried to overthrow Christianity. On the other hand, several advocates of Enlightenment, deism and anti-Church positions saw him as an early forerunner of their own ethical and religious ideas, a proponent of a universal, non-denominational religion compatible with Reason. In 1680, Charles Blount, a radical English deist, published the first English translation of the first two books of Philostratus' Life with an anti-Church introduction. Voltaire praised Apollonius.

As in Late Antiquity, comparisons between Apollonius and Christ became commonplace in the 17th and 18th centuries in the context of polemic about Christianity. In the Marquis de Sade's "Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man", the Dying Man compares Jesus to Apollonius as a false prophet. Some Theosophists, notably C.W. Leadbeater, Alice A. Bailey, and Benjamin Creme, have maintained that Apollonius of Tyana was the reincarnation of the being they call the Master Jesus. In the 20th century, Ezra Pound evoked Apollonius in his later Cantos as a figure associated with sun-worship and a messianic rival to Christ. Pound identifies him as Aryan within an anti-semitic mythology, and celebrates his solar worship and aversion to ancient Jewish animal sacrifice. In the Gerald Messadié's "The man who became god", Apollonius appears as a wandering philosopher and magician of about the same age as Jesus. The two of them supposedly met.

Balinus see Apollonius

Aprigio.  Black slave leader who organized an unsuccessful revolt of Hausa Muslim slaves in Bahia, Brazil, in 1835. 

Aqa Khan Kirmani
Aqa Khan Kirmani (Bardasiri) (1853-1896).  Modernist thinker of Iran.  He was a Pan-Islamic activist, but was nevertheless anti-religious and quite hostile to many traditional practices.
Bardasiri see Aqa Khan Kirmani
Kirmani, Aqa Khan see Aqa Khan Kirmani

Aqa Najafi
Aqa Najafi (1845-1931).   Member of an important clerical family of Isfahan and himself an influential and wealthy religious authority.

Aqasi, Mirza
Aqasi, Mirza (1783-1849). Chief minister to Muhammad Qajar Shah, ruler of Iran, from June 1835 to September 1848.  His tenure in office was marked by encouragement of the shah’s Sufi proclivities, which led to the total alienation of the 'ulama' (clerics); maladministration of state finances; and a series of foreign policy disasters, including the loss of Herat and the granting to Russia of a seafaring monopoly on the Caspian Sea.  He is nonetheless affectionately remembered for his witticisms and for his eccentric enterprises, such as the shoeing of camels like horses. 
Mirza Aqasi see Aqasi, Mirza

‘Aqqad, ‘Abbas Mahmud al-
‘Aqqad, ‘Abbas Mahmud al-.  See ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad.

Aq Qoyunlu
Aq Qoyunlu (Akkoyunlu) (“those of the White Sheep”).  Turkoman federation of the “Tribes of the White Sheep” rulers of eastern Anatolia, Azerbaijan, Persia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Turkestan which lasted from 1467 to 1502.   Their main capitals were Amid, and, from 1468, Tabriz.  Named after their original totem animal, a white sheep, they were Oghuz Turks.  The Aq Qoyunlu are usually regarded as a Sunni dynasty, although they had close links with the Shi‘ite Safavid family.
Around 1340, the Aq Qoyunlu began to carry out raids against Byzantium, Mesopotamia, and Syria, took control shortly thereafter of Diyarbakr with its center at Amid, and intermarried with the Christian Comnenes of Trabezond (later emperors of Byzantium).  Their first advance came under Qara Yuluk 'Uthman (Kara Usman) (1389-1435), who as an ally of Timur was appointed emir of Diyarbakr in 1402 and expanded its territory.  Qara Yuluk Uthman ruled for thirty-two years and transformed the Aq Qoyunlu from a tribal clan of little significance to a large principality impinging on the domains of its neighbors, the Qara Qoyunlu, or “Black Sheep,” as well as the major powers of the day, the Ottomans, the Mamelukes, and the Timurids. 

After 1435, the Aq Qoyunlus found themselves squeezed (due to territorial losses) by the rival Qara Qoyunlu.  The empire experienced its political zenith under Uzun Hasan (1453-1478), the grandson of Qara Yuluk 'Uthman.  Uzun Hasan transformed the Aq Qoyunlus into a major Islamic power, extending from Anatolia to Khurasan, Fars, Kerman, and the Persian Gulf.  He defeated his chief rival Jahanshah and annihilated the Qara Qoyunlu in 1467 and, by 1469, had seized the Qara Qoyunlu territories.  In 1469, he achieved a convincing victory over the Timurids, defeating Abu Sa'id.  After 1459, he conducted campaigns in Georgia, and conquered Hasankeyf (1462), and Harput (1465).  In 1471, he advanced into Karman (Anatolia) and fought against the Ottomans in an alliance with European powers in1473. 

Uzun Hasan was active in international diplomacy, allying with Venice against the Ottomans, his enemy in the west.  The Aq Qoyunlu had longstanding marriage ties with the Byzantine kings at Trebizond. There were also marriage ties to the Safavids.  Uzun Hasan was decisively defeated by the Ottomans at Bashkent in 1473.

The Turkoman culture flourished under Uzun Hasan and his son Ya'qub (1478-1490).  Ya'qub promoted high Islamic culture and carried on an ostentatious court life at his capital, Tabriz, but the fortunes of the dynasty never recovered. 

1490 marked the start of the struggle against the up-and-coming Safavids.  The succession crises arising from the death of Ya'qub was typical of Turkish dynasties which sapped the strength of the Aq Qoyunlu and facilitated the Safavid rise to power.  The last ruler, Sultan Murad, was defeated by the Kizilbash supporters of Shah Isma‘il and relinquished Azerbaijan to the Safavids in 1501.  Sultan Murad did, however, manage to hold on to some land in Iraq and Diyarbakr until 1508.  While the power of the Safavids, like that of the Aq Qoyunlu, was based at first on Turkic tribesmen, and continuity between the two dynasties was ensured by the Tajik bureaucracy, the Safavids were able to unify Iran in a way the Aq Qoyunlu could not. 

Akkoyunlu see Aq Qoyunlu
“those of the White Sheep” see Aq Qoyunlu
“Tribes of the White Sheep”  see Aq Qoyunlu
"White Sheep" see Aq Qoyunlu
Akgoyunly see Aq Qoyunlu

Arabi.  African slave, probably a Muslim, who in 1757 and 1761 led several insurrections against colonists in Dutch Guiana.  By the Treaty of Auca, he was granted the right to found a republic on the condition that he give no further asylum to African fugitives.

Arab League
Arab League.  Organization of independent Arab countries, together with Palestine.  All these states have Arabic as their dominating language, a prerequisite for membership.  The full name of the organization is League of Arab States, and it aims at strengthening each country as well as all Arab countries together.

The Arab League (Arabic: al-Jāmiʻa al-ʻArabiyya), officially called the League of Arab States (Arabic: Jāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabiyya), is a regional organization of Arab states in Southwest Asia, and North and Northeast Africa. It was formed in Cairo on March 22, 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan after 1946), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a member on May 5, 1945. The Arab League currently has 22 members. The main goal of the league is to "draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries."

Until the mid-twentieth century, the Arabs of modern times were under foreign domination, mainly Ottoman, British, and French.  Their first opportunity to regain their independence and unity came when the Hashemite sharif, Husayn ibn ‘Ali, ruler of the Hijaz (d. 1931) launched the famous Arab revolt in 1916 against the Ottoman Empire, which at the time dominated most of the Arab East.  Although Britain promised Husayn its support in his quest for Arab unity, the British had secretly signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement a month earlier with France, dividing the Arab East between the two countries.

The Arab revolt accelerated Arab demands for independence and unity.  Sharif Husayn’s sons, particularly Emir Faysal of Iraq (d. 1933) and Emir ‘Abd Allah (Abdullah) of Jordan (d. 1951), joined several Arab Muslim groups in pressuring London for Arab independence and unity.  The British foreign minister, Anthony Eden, responded to Arab pressure by declaring to the House of Commons in May 1941 Britain’s support for the Arabs in achieving their unity through an institution that looked after their interests and tightened their ties.  Emir ‘Abd Allah, who opposed the partitioning of Syria in the Sykes-Picot Agreement, was the first Arab leader to endorse Eden’s statement.  Iraq envisaged an “Arab League” that would include Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq, but owing to Egyptian, Saudi, and Syrian opposition and British hesitation, the Hashemite endeavors were unsuccessful.

Britain tilted toward Egypt, the center for British activities in the region.  Egypt was also viewed as a bridge between Christian Western Europe and the Arab Muslims.  Throughout 1943 and 1944, Egyptian leaders discussed with officials and representatives from Iraq, Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine the Arab proposals for some form of union.  These officials consented to an Egyptian proposal for the establishment of an Arab League.  Representatives of the Arab states met in September 1944 in Alexandria, Egypt, and eventually agreed on a structure in which member states would retain their sovereignty, and resolutions would be binding on all member states only when voting was unanimous.  Majority decisions would be binding only on those states that accepted them.  The league would strive to achieve cooperation among the Arab states and to maintain their independence and sovereignty.

Arab representatives met in Cairo and signed the Pact of the League of Arab States on March 22, 1945.  This day is considered to be the birthdate of the Arab League.  The founding members were Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Transjordan. 

The Arab League comprises six major bodies: the League Council, the supreme body of the organization composed of the representatives of the member states; Permanent Commissions, which include the important Political Committee; the General-Secretariat, comprising the Secretary-General, assistants, and other officials; the Common Defense Council; the Social and Economic Council; and the Specialized Arab Organizations.  The goals of these bodies have been extensive, including encouraging close cooperation of the member states in political, security, economic, communications, cultural, social and financial matters.

The provisions of the pact outlawed the use of force for the settlement of disputes between member states, and the league is responsible for dealing with any dispute that may arise between members.  Any threatened state has the right to request the league’s council to take the necessary steps to repel aggression.

There have been a number of achievements, particularly through the specialized organs of the league.  In the area of social and economic welfare numerous agreements have been signed between member states, including joint ventures like the Arab Potash Company, the Arab Maritime Companies, the Arab Satellite Communications Organization, the Arab Monetary Fund, and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.   The last two institutions have extended considerable financial assistance for social and economic development in the Arab world, especially in the poorer states.  Other specialized organizations prepare studies and present recommendations to help member states in solving their social and economic problems.  The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa extends financial assistance to several African Muslim states.  In the area of cultural cooperation, the specialized Arab Organization for Science, Culture, and Education has organized numerous educational conferences and publishes extensive studies on science and education. 

The league has also played an important role in political issues at the regional and international levels, as in championing the Palestinian cause.  It continuously raises Arab and Islamic issues in international conferences such as the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Conference, and summits of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.  The league has contributed to solving inter-Arab conflicts and helps in strengthening Arab relations with foreign states such as those of Europe, Africa, and Latin America.  To facilitate its work outside the Arab countries, the league has opened more than twenty offices around the world.

Nevertheless, the league has been viewed by several Arab states as an instrument of Egyptian foreign policy.  To counter Egypt’s domination of the league, Saudi Arabia, supported by other Arab and Muslim states, founded the Muslim World League (1962), followed by the Islamic Pact (1965) and the OIC.  In 1979, when Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel, Arab leaders met in March in Baghdad, expelled Egypt from the league, moved the league’s headquarters to Tunis, and appointed a Tunisian as the new secretary-general.

Soon after the Baghdad summit Iraq found itself at war with Iran (1980-1988), which contributed more to Arab divisions and rivalries and further weakened the league.  Several Arab leaders, notably King Hussein of Jordan and King Hasan of Morocco, attempted to “re-establish” Arab solidarity.  King Hussein was instrumental in the return of Egypt to the Arab League during the Arab summit of 1987 in Amman.  Several Arab summits were organized by the league between 1988 and 1990, resulting in the return of the league to Cairo, although a “second center” remains in Tunis.  The newfound solidarity was shattered by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990.  The league was divided as never before; the Tunisian secretary-general resigned his post, and an Egyptian was appointed in his place.

It is often said that the league is a mirror of Arab politics.  Today more than ever, wataniyah and iqlimiyah (local and regional nationalism) rather than qawmiyah ‘arabiyah (Pan-Arabism) are the main driving forces in Arab politics.  This portends a negative impact on the effectiveness of the Arab League in the near future.

The original goals of the Arab League were to gain independence for Arab states, as well as to stop Jewish immigration to Palestine, and hinder the establishment of a Jewish state.  The notion of an Arab League began in 1942 when the British began promoting the idea of unity of the Arab world, in an attempt to make the Arabs allies during the war against Germany.    A brief history of the Arab League reads as follows:

From September 1944 to October 1944, official representatives from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, North Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan and Palestine met in Alexandria, Egypt, and agreed to form the League of Arab States.

On March 22, 1945, a new meeting in Cairo ratified the Pact of the League of Arab States, thereby giving birth to the Arab League. 

In 1950, the Joint Defence and Economic Cooperation Treaty (JDECT) was signed.  The JDECT attempted to protect the member states from Israel.

In 1953, Libya became a member, followed by Sudan (in 1956); Morocco and Tunisia (in 1958); Kuwait (in 1961); Algeria (in 1962); South Yemen (in 1967); Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (in 1971); Mauritania (in 1973); Somalia and Palestine (in 1974); Djibouti (1977); the united Yemen (in 1990); and the Comoros (in 1993). 

In 1958, the Arab League was recognized by the United Nations, and became the United Nations’ organization for education, science and culture in the Arab region.

In 1964, the first Arab League summit took place in Cairo, and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) was established.

In 1976, at the 8th Summit in Cairo, the Arab League dispatched an Arab peacekeeping force to Lebanon.

In 1979, Egypt was suspended from the League, following its peace agreement with Israel. Additionally, the headquarters were moved from Egypt to Tunis, Tunisia.

In 1989, Egypt was readmitted into the League, and the headquarters were relocated back to Cairo.

In 1990, 12 out of the then 20 Arab League states condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The headquarters of the Arab League are in Cairo, Egypt.  Its supreme organ is the council, where all member states are represented, and they each have one vote, independent of their respective number of inhabitants.  Decisions in the council are binding only for those countries voting in favor of it.  The council meets twice a year, in March and September, where the heads of state participate.  The council can meet for special sessions if two or more member states request it.  The organization is led by a secretary general who is elected by at least two-thirds of the votes in the council.  The entire organization is divided into 14 departments.  The Arab League is also the headquarters of 17 Arab trade unions.

The Arab League launched several programs to promote politics, economy, culture and social safety in the Arab world.  Among other things, this involved structuring of the school curricula in schools in the Arab countries as well as preserving Arabic manuscripts.  However, there was also much translation into Arabic and reproduction of foreign works.  The Arab League helped fight crime in Arab countries, like drug trafficking.  It also worked on improving the work situation for laborers, as well as the social situation for women, alongside promoting welfare of children.  The Arab League was instrumental in creating an Arab postal union and a union for wireless communication and telecommunication.  The League was also active in settling some disputes between Arab states, as well as limiting conflicts, especially in Lebanon.  Since 1950, the League has had a joint defense program.  

Through institutions such as the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) and the Economic and Social Council of the Arab League's Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU), the Arab League facilitates political, economic, cultural, scientific and social programs designed to promote the interests of the Arab world. It has served as a forum for the member states to coordinate their policy positions, to deliberate on matters of common concern, to settle some Arab disputes, and to limit conflicts such as the 1958 Lebanon crisis. The League has served as a platform for the drafting and conclusion of many landmark documents promoting economic integration. One example is the Joint Arab Economic Action Charter which sets out the principles for economic activities in the region.

Each member state has one vote in the League Council, while decisions are binding only for those states that have voted for them. The aims of the league in 1945 were to strengthen and coordinate the political, cultural, economic, and social programs of its members, and to mediate disputes among them or between them and third parties. Furthermore, the signing of an agreement on Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation on April 13, 1950 committed the signatories to coordination of military defense measures.

The Arab league has played an important role in shaping school curricula, advancing the role of women in the Arab societies, promoting child welfare, encouraging youth and sports programs, preserving Arab cultural heritage, and fostering cultural exchanges between the member states.[citation needed] Literacy campaigns have been launched, intellectual works reproduced, and modern technical terminology is translated for the use within member states. The league encourages measures against crime and drug abuse, and deals with labor issues—particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce.

The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946), and Yemen. There was a continual increase in membership during the second half of the 20th century, with additional 15 Arab states and 4 observers being admitted.

Egypt's membership was suspended in 1979 after it signed the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, and the League's headquarters were moved from Cairo to Tunis. In 1987, Arab countries restored diplomatic relations with Egypt and the country was readmitted to the league in 1989 while the league's headquarters moved back to Cairo. In September 2006, Venezuela was accepted as an observer, and India in 2007.

Four countries are observer states — a status that entitles them to express their opinion and give advice but denies them voting rights.

The current members and observers of the Arab League are listed below along with their admission dates.
 Egypt, March 22, 1945
 Iraq, March 22, 1945
 Jordan, March 22, 1945
 Lebanon, March 22, 1945
 Saudi Arabia, March 22, 1945
 Syria, March 22, 1945
 Yemen, May 5, 1945
 Sudan, January 19, 1956
 Libya, March 28, 1956
 Moroccod, October 1, 1958
 Tunisia, October 1, 1958
 Kuwait, July 20, 1961
 Algeria, August 16, 1962 
 Bahrain, September 11, 1971
 Qatar, September 11, 1971
 Oman, September 29, 1971
 United Arab Emirates, December 6, 1971
 Mauritania, November 26, 1973
 Somalia, February 14, 1974
 Palestinee, September 9, 1976
 Djibouti, September 4, 1977
 Comoros, November 20, 1993
 Eritrea, observer since 2003
 Brazil, observer since 2003
 Venezuela, observer since 2006
 India, observer since 2007

The area of the voting members of the Arab League covers around 14 million km2 and straddles two continents: Western Asia as well as Northern and Northeastern Africa. The area consists of large arid deserts, namely the Sahara. Nevertheless, it also contains several very fertile lands, such as the Nile Valley, the High Atlas Mountains, and the Fertile Crescent which stretches from Iraq over Syria and Lebanon to Palestine. The area comprises also deep forests in southern Arabia and southern Sudan as well as the major parts of the world's longest river—the Nile.
The Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland while respecting the sovereignty of the individual member states. The internal regulations of the Council of the League and the committees were agreed in October 1951. Those of the Secretariat-General were agreed in May 1953.

Since then, governance of the Arab League has been based on the duality of supra-national institutions and the sovereignty of the member states. Preservation of individual statehood derived its strengths from the natural preference of ruling elites to maintain their power and independence in decision making. Moreover, the fear of the richer that the poorer may share their wealth in the name of Arab nationalism, the feuds among Arab rulers, and the influence of external powers that might oppose Arab unity can be seen as obstacles towards a deeper integration of the league.
Mindful of their previous announcements in support of the Arabs of Palestine the framers of the Pact were determined to include them within the league from its inauguration. This was done by means of an annex that declared:

“ Even though Palestine was not able to control her own destiny, it was on the basis of the recognition of her independence that the Covenant of the League of Nations determined a system of government for her. Her existence and her independence among the nations can, therefore, no more be questioned de jure than the independence of any of the other Arab States. [...] Therefore, the States signatory to the Pact of the Arab League consider that in view of Palestine's special circumstances, the Council of the League should designate an Arab delegate from Palestine to participate in its work until this country enjoys actual independence ”

At the Cairo Summit of 1964, the Arab League initiated the creation of an organization representing the Palestinian people. The first Palestinian National Council convened in East Jerusalem on May 29, 1964. The Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded during this meeting on June 2, 1964.

At the Beirut Summit on March 28, 2002 the league adopted the Arab Peace Initiative, a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalization of the relations with Israel. In exchange, Israel was demanded to withdraw from all occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees.

The Peace Initiative was again endorsed at 2007 in the Riyadh Summit. In July 2007, the Arab League sent a mission, consisting of the Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers, to Israel to promote the initiative. The mission was lukewarmly received by Israel.
The Arab League is a culturally and ethnically diverse association of 22 member states, although a vast majority of the league consist of Arab people. As of January 1, 2007, about 314,000,000 people live in the states of the Arab League.
The Arab League resembles the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, and the African Union, in that it has primarily political aims. However, membership in the league is based on culture rather than geographical location. In this respect, the Arab League resembles organizations such as the Latin Union or the Caribbean Community.

The Arab League differs notably from the European Union, in that it has not achieved a significant degree of regional integration and the organization itself has no direct relations with the citizens of its member states. However, the Arab League is based on principles that support and promote a unified Arab nationalism and a common position among Arabic states on various issues.

Secretaries General of the Arab League have been:

 Abdul Rahman Azzam 1945 to 1952
 Abdul Khalek Hassouna 1952 to 1972
 Mahmoud Riad 1972 to 1979
 Chedli Klibi 1979 to 1990
 Assad al-Assad 1990 to 1991
 Ahmad Esmat Abd al Meguid 1991 to 2001
 Amr Moussa 2001 to date

League of Arab States see Arab League.
al-Jāmiʻa al-ʻArabiyya see Arab League.
Jāmiʻat ad-Duwal al-ʻArabiyya see Arab League.

Arab Nationalists
Arab Nationalists.  Advocates of Arab nationalism.  Like other strands of third-world nationalism, qawmiyah ‘arabiyah or Arab nationalism cannot be understood apart from its anti-colonial ethos and its glorification of the collectivity’s origins and history in the face of Western dominance.  These general components of nationalist doctrine raise, however, important issues in the case of Arab nationalism.  For instance, can anti-colonial movements based on Islamic reformism (like those of al-Afghani or 'Abduh) or regional empire builders (Egypt’s nineteenth century ruler Muhammad ‘Ali and his son Ibrahim) be considered precursors of the doctrine?  Some have looked even further back to emphasize the role of eighteenth century Salafiyah Islamic movements, such as Wahhabism that preached a pure, “uncontaminated” Islam.

Arab nationalism (Arabic: al-qawmiyya al-`arabiyya) is a nationalist ideology which rose to prominence amongst Arabs from the early 20th century onwards.[1] Its central premise is that the peoples and countries of the Arab World, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea, constitute one nation and are bound together by their common linguistic, cultural, and historical heritage.[2] One of the primary goals of Arab nationalism is the end, or at least the minimization, of direct Western influence in the Arab World, and the removal of those Arab governments considered to be dependent upon acquiescence to Western interests to the detriment of their people. Pan-Arabism is a related concept, which not only asserts the singularity of the "Arab Nation", but calls for the creation of a single Arab state. Thus, whilst all Pan-Arabists are Arab nationalists, not all Arab nationalists are Pan-Arabists.

Arab nationalism as a political movement is essentially a twentieth century product.  Its bases and components may, however, originate with the presence of the Arabic language itself or with the Arabs’ social, intellectual, and political culture.  Arab nationalism has been centered on “Arabness” and hence on the important question “Who is an Arab?” At present, there is consensus around the view of Sati‘ al-Husri (1882-1962) that Arabs are identified by their language, having Arabic as their mother tongue and consciously identifying with it.  Indeed, al-Husri defined nationalism as love of the nation and organic identification with it, and the bases of such a national collectivity are language and common history.  To these bases, some have added common traditions and interests as well as common culture shaped by the same environment.  In its most modern form (with Nasser, the Ba‘th, or Mu‘ammar al-Qaddafi), Arab nationalism aims at the political reunification of all Arabic speaking states from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean, and their transformation from a Kulturnation into a Staatnation -- from a cultural entity into a political one.

The interplay between the doctrine’s cultural and political phases attracts attention to the sequences in its evolution, for the movement acquired its present form only gradually.  Its vicissitudes were a function of various factors:  intervention of external powers in the region; defining events or political upheavals that shook the area; the type of leadership at the head of the movement; and its competition with two other foci of people’s loyalty – the territorial state and Pan-Islamism.  The movement’s evolution may be divided into four phases.

Ottomanism and Islamic solidarity were challenged by modernizing forces at the empire’s center and by the province’s demand for Arab distinctiveness.  Though interest in Western science and technology united the Young Turks and many Arabs, the drive of the Committee of Union and Progress for turkification alienated the Arabs and accelerated their demand for autonomy.  Cultural clubs – organized by Lebanese Christians in collaboration with American missionaries – proliferated (al-Yaziji, 1819-1871; al-Shidyaq, 1805-1887).  When the Syrian Butrus al-Bustani (1819-1883) pleaded for girls’ education or the Egyptian Rifa‘ah Rafi‘ al-Tahtawi (1801-1873) emphasized watan (fatherland), they constituted secularist challenges to the Islamic establishment of the Turkish caliph.  ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi (1848-1902) tried to find a compromise and suggested in his Umm al-Qura the return of the caliphate to its originators, the Arabs.  The first Arab nationalist conference, limited to Asian Arabs, was held in Paris in 1913.  World War I marked the beginning of an explicitly political phase.  Sharif Husayn and his sons, in collaboration with Britain and France and with the active help of T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), revolted against the empire to establish a single Arab kingdom in its Arab provinces.

Rather than forming a unified Arab kingdom, however, the Arab provinces were divided between France and Britain according to the secret 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement.  In November 1917, as well, Lord Balfour promised Palestine as a national home for the Jews.  Directed against European domination (rather than as before against Muslim authority), the basic We/They dichotomy of nationalism facilitated the movement’s politicization.  African Arabs were still excluded.  Given the predominantly hereditary leadership at the time and the increasing imposition of European type administrative divisions, Arab nationalism was locally rather than regionally oriented.  Pan-Arab writings such as al-Husri’s, with their secularist orientation and objective of a unified Arab state, compensated for this localism.

Increasingly dominated by a new middle class (military or otherwise), this period was dense with major political events including the establishment of the Arab League in 1945, which, with its exclusive Arab membership, institutionalized the Arab/non-Arab distinction in the region.  In addition, the disastrous end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war made Palestine a core issue in inter-Arab politics and in the Arabs’ relations with outside powers.  Moreover, disillusioned young officers soon toppled corrupt civilian regimes (three coups in Syria alone in 1949) and came to be the region’s new leaders as Gamal Abdel Nasser did after the 1952 Egyptian coup.  Nasserist charisma, whether or not in alliance with the Ba ‘th, aimed at the establishment of a unified Arab state, non-aligned and with its own development model of Arab socialism.  This “third road” policy represented a consensus among different nationalist forces, from revolutionary Algeria to opposition forces in the Gulf.

Another, more activist conceptualization, distinct from that of Michel ‘Aflaq and the Ba‘th establishment, was also in the making.  Its reading of unification experiences in history resulted in the distinction between secondary and primary determinants.  Secondary determinants such as language and history are necessary but not sufficient, whereas primary determinants are both necessary and sufficient.  The latter include a base-region or pole of attraction (e.g., Egypt), and a transnational charismatic leadership (e.g., Nasser), and an external threat (e.g., Israel and Western encroachment.).  Unity between Egypt and Syria, which produced the United Arab Republic between 1958 and 1961, seemed to confirm this theory.   However, its dissolution of the union and the failure of unity negotiations in 1963, which also included the Ba‘thist Iraqis, cast doubt on the theory’s immediate applicability.  A protracted civil war in Yemen following Imam Badr’s overthrow, with Egypt and Saudi Arabia championing opposite camps, deepened Arab divisions.  Regionally, opposition intensified between radical Arab nationalism and a conservative Pan-Islamic strategy that emphasized the convening of Islamic conferences promoted by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Morocco.   In this context, the region was shaken to its roots in 1967 by the third Arab-Israeli war.  The magnitude of the Arab defeat restructured regional leadership, culminating in the decline of revisionist forces and the rise of the oil-producing powers.  The Khartoum Arab Summit of August 1967 sealed the withdrawal of Egyptian forces from Yemen and resulted in Egyptian dependency on oil-state subsidies.

Influential leadership bases shifted from thawrah (revolution) to tharwah (wealth), from ideologists and officers to rich royalty and “wealthy merchants who flitted between East and West, between royal palaces and the offices of oil companies (examples are Kamal Adham, Mahdi al-Tajir, and Adnan Khashoggi).”  The public was more tempted by the riches of the oil fields than by the hardships of the battlefields.

Neither the 1969 coup of the young and fiery al-Qaddafi nor the revolutionary but stateless Palestinians could stop the decline of the radical pole.  Quantitative indicators confirm this.  By 1979, fifty-five percent of the capital of inter-Arab economic joint ventures was contributed by oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Libya.  The country that contributes the most capital is usually the host country for the project’s headquarters; thus the oil states were becoming the locale of an increasing number of new Arab organizations.  In 1970, Cairo was host to twenty-nine, or sixty-five percent, of these organizations, Iraq hosted none, and Saudi Arabia only one.  Eight years later, Baghdad had become the locale for twelve organizations, thereby occupying the second place after Egypt.  Saudi Arabia was in third place with eight organizations.  In addition, fewer Arab League meetings were held in Egypt and more in the oil states.  The proportion of meetings held in Cairo decreased from 70.5 percent in 1977 to 42.2 percent in 1978.  Egypt’s share in the Arab League budget also dropped; it was above 40 percent until the late 1950s but declined until 1978 – the year the Arab League moved to Tunis – when it was only 13.7 percent, equivalent to that of Kuwait.

It might be supposed that the movement of migrant labor from densely populated Egypt or the West Bank to the Gulf, and the transfer of capital in the form of remittances and investments in the opposite direction, would promote Arab integration.  Economic activities, however, are usually pragmatic and hence may serve to dampen and subordinate the revolutionary ethos, promoting stability rather than revolutionary change.  Nasser’s death in 1970 amid the ashes of the Jordanian-Palestinian civil war concretized the change by eliminating one of the postulated primary determinants of political unification – charismatic leadership.  Egyptian rapprochement with Israel, culminating in the 1978 Camp David Accords, seemed to take away the second primary determinant, the existence of a threat.  This rise of independent diplomacy concerning one of the most sacred causes of the Pan-Arab ideal confirmed – if the need existed – the primacy of raison d’etat over raison de la nation.  Moreover, hindsight tells us, it presaged the integration of Israel as a member of the regional system.  This diluted Arab regional exclusiveness and promoted an enlarged Middle East.  Ironically, the radical pole was engaged from quite a different direction in an equally diluting process when, in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), Syria, Libya, and Algeria sided with non-Arab revolutionary Islamic Iran against Arab Iraq.  Harassed on two fronts by territorial raison d’etat and revolutionary Islamism, Arab nationalism was wounded but not dead.  Its troubles reflected both its own weakness as a political program and the disappearance of the simple world of heroic politics and categorical formulas.

To acquire control over a complex situation, Arabs tried subregional groupings:  the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman in the early 1980s; the Union du Maghreb Arabe (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania); and the Arab Cooperation Council (Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Yemen) in the late 1980s.  This was a way of escaping the double bind of nation versus state and replacing it with a sequential logic.  But this strategy (with the exception of the GCC) did not survive the political upheaval of the second Gulf War following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.  In its discourse, Iraq appealed to the opposition of many Arabs to artificial colonial frontiers and the division of the Arab nation, and to their demand for a fairer re-distribution of Arab wealth between haves and have nots.  Though tempted, many Arabs also mistrusted Saddam Hussein’s cynical exploitation of Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islamism.  Arabs both at the state level and in the transnational civil society were seriously divided and traumatized, with the Arab League (now back in Cairo) paralyzed and foreign troops stationed around their holy places in Saudi Arabia poised to decide the issue for them.

By invoking a jihad against the presence of foreign troops in the area of the Muslim holy places, Iraqi strategy was to show that Arab nationalism and revolutionary Islam could be united in their opposition to the status quo and to outside powers.  In fact, the two movements are overlapping rather than identical, hence their occasional mutual tension.  Nevertheless, increased dialogue between the representatives of the two is an increasingly problematic proposition with implications not just in a regional context but now on a global scale. 

Arab nationalist thinkers

Gamal Abdel Nasser
Michel Aflaq
George Antonius
Shakib Arslan
Zaki al-Arsuzi
Ma'an Bashour
George Habash
Sati' al-Husri
Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi
Amin al-Rihani
Constantin Zureiq

Prominent Arab nationalist heads of state

Hafiz al-Assad
Ahmed Ben Bella
Saddam Hussein
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Muammar al-Gaddafi
Shukri al-Quwatli

Arabs.  The term "Arab" is applied to those people who are of Arab origin, regardless whether they are/were Muslims or non-Muslims.  "Muslim" is used to refer to the people who adhere to the Muslim religion, which includes Arabs and non-Arabs, such as those people from Iran, Pakistan or Indonesia for example.

Forming the majority population of fifteen nations, Arabs represent the largest, most diverse and most politically influential Muslim ethnic group in the world.  Their involvement with the non-Muslim world, whether through oil or politics, is profound.  Their influence within the Muslim world is deep and broad.  Arabic is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world as a mother tongue, but it is spoken by more than three-quarters of a billion people as a religious language.  The Prophet Muhammad, who established Islam, was an Arab.

An Arab (Arabic: ʿarabi) is a person who identifies as such on ethnic, linguistic or cultural grounds. The plural form, Arabs (al-ʿarab), refers to the ethnocultural group at large. Though the Arabic language is older, Arabic culture was first spread in the Middle East beginning in the 2nd century as culturally Arab Christians such as the Ghassanids, Lakhmids and Banu Judham began migrating into the Syrian Desert and the Levant. The Arabic language gained greater prominence with the rise of Islam in the 7th century CE as the language of the Qur'an, and Arabic language and culture were more widely disseminated as a result of early Islamic expansion.

"Arabs" is the name given to the ancient and present-day inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula and often applied to the peoples closely allied to them in ancestry, language, religion, and culture.    At the beginning of the twenty-first century of the Christian calendar, there were about 250 million Arabs living mainly in 22 countries.  They constitute the overwhelming majority of the population in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, Egypt, and the nations of North Africa.  At the beginning of the twenty-first century, about 4 million Arabs lived in Europe while 2 million lived in the Americas.

The Arabic heartland is Hijaz (now western Saudi Arabia) and also Yemen.  The people living here around 620 were living in an area of major movements of people, with trade performed along the caravan routes, which had Mecca in Hijaz as one of the central towns.  People were coming from Africa, from Mesopotamia, from Phoenicia, from Egypt, and there is notable that even before Muhammad the Arabs were a multi-racial people, primarily because of intermarriages and indiscriminate relationships. 

Up through history, wherever Arab culture has taken hold, a mixture of people, and the domination of the Arabic language and culture, has made the number of people calling themselves Arabs increase dramatically.  Often the indigenous population seems to have disappeared.  When reading historical works, one is compelled to ask, where did the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Mesopotamians go?  The answer is they started to speak Arabic, and began calling themselves Arabs.  The whole process took centuries in most regions, but in areas close to Hijaz, more of the “original” Arabs seem to have immigrated, and this has speeded up the Arabization process.

The Arabic language is the main symbol of cultural unity among these people, but the religion of Islam provides another common bond for the majority of Arabs.  Language and religion are united in the Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam. 

Arabia was the site of a flourishing civilization long before the Christian era and long before the advent of Muhammad.  The Arabs themselves first appear in the light of history in 854 B.C.T., during the reign of the Assyrian king Salmanassar III as camel breeders and traders.  Numerous Persian rulers relied on Arab vassals to provide buffer states on their western borders or encouraged the settlement of Arab tribesmen in frontier areas as a counterbalance to other troublesome tribal groups.  The heyday of Arab political and cultural influence in Persia and Central Asia, however, was undoubtedly the early Islamic period (seventh to ninth century of the Christian calendar).

In the centuries following the death (632) of the prophet Muhammad, Arab influence spread throughout Southwest Asia, to parts of Europe (particularly Sicily and Spain), to Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa, to the sub-continent of India, and to Madagascar and the Malay Archipelago.  The cultural and scientific contributions of the Arabs to Western civilization during the Middle Ages was highly significant, especially in astronomy, mathematics, medicine, and philosophy.

Arab unity has been a central motive in Arab politics from the first days of Islam.  This unity has only been fulfilled in the first century, before the world of Islam was divided into kingdoms and states.

During the past two centuries of rapid world change, hundreds of years of cultural unity have been disrupted, and the Arabs, led by the people of Egypt and Morocco, have moved more and more into separate national traditions.  In some countries, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Indonesia, minority communities of Arabs retain only language, religion and histories of their migrations to their present locations.

In modern times, Arab unity was a central political inducement in the time following independence of the different Arab states, that is in the 1950s and the 1960s.  The only viable example of Arab unity was the United Arab Republic, consisting of Egypt, Syria and Yemen, from 1958 to 1961.  In this union Egypt was too dominant, and the two other countries felt they had to leave.  Today, the concept of Arab unity on the level of political leaders has lost its credibility, as the leaders will rarely agree upon who should give up his position as president or king.  However, in the Arabs' hearts, Arab unity is strongly felt.

Islamism has many elements of Arab unity, through its emphasis on the Arab language (through the Qur’an) as a response to the dominance of Western cultures and Western political systems.  Islamism has been deemed by non-Arabs as another way of imposing Arab language and culture on them, and Islamism has had to change its shape to catch on in these societies (Iran’s Islamism has major differences from the Arab Islamism, since almost all Iranians are not Arabs).  

The Islamic religion, which originated in the western Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century, predominates in most Arab nations.  Forms of both major divisions of Islam -- the Sunni and the various Shi‘ite sects -- can be found in the Arab countries.  Almost everywhere nationalism, which emerged in the late 19th century, is an important force that sometimes uses the Islamic religious tradition as an ideological tool to justify the power of the ruling class.

Dozens of large cities and hundreds of towns reflect the pronounced urban character of the Arab world.  In most of the countries, about forty percent of the people are urban dwellers.  All Arab nations suffer from conspicuous economic inequalities, especially the concentration of wealth and power in a ruling elite.  Most are also undergoing severe urbanization stresses as the failing rural economies drive poverty-stricken landless peasants to the cities.  The growth of modern cities through rural migration has caused serious problems in these urban centers, including employment, housing shortages, and the proliferation of vast slums.

Most Arab countries have substantial agricultural, village-based populations.  In the villages, the land, the family, and religion are still the main influences on attitudes and behavior.  The traditional prosperous village cultures were altered and largely destroyed throughout the region during the late 18th and 19th centuries of the Christian calendar by European penetration and colonization.  In most countries, peasant farming on a subsistence level is pervasive.

Until the mid-19th century, vast semi-desert areas in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula were exploited by nomadic tribes.  The camel-breeding Bedouins were well known as warriors and controllers of the caravan routes.  Other pastoral tribes specialized in sheep and goat husbandry.  In present-day Sudan, the Somali Republic, and Djibouti, pastoral economies operating on subsistence levels remain the only means of survival for many poverty-stricken Arab groups.  {See also Bedouin; Muhammad; Shi'a; Sunni.}

"Arab" is defined independently of religious identity, and pre-dates the rise of Islam, with historically attested Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jews. The earliest documented use of the word "Arab" as defining a group of people dates from the 9th century B.C.T. Islamized but non-Arabized peoples, and therefore the majority of the world's Muslims, do not form part of the Arab World but comprise what is the geographically larger and diverse Muslim World.

The Arab League at its formation in 1946 defined Arab as "a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic speaking country, who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic speaking peoples".

During the Muslim conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries, the Arabs forged an Arab Empire (under the Rashidun and Umayyads, and later the Abbasids) whose borders touched southern France in the west, China in the east, Asia Minor in the north, and the Sudan in the south. This was one of the largest land empires in history. In much of this area, the Arabs spread Islam and the Arabic language (the language of the Qur'an) through conversion and cultural assimilation. Many groups became known as "Arabs" through this process of Arabization rather than through descent. Thus, over time, the term Arab came to carry a broader meaning than the original ethnic term: cultural Arab vs. ethnic Arab. Arab nationalism declares that Arabs are united in a shared history, culture and language. A related ideology, Pan-Arabism, calls for all Arab lands to be united as one state. Arab nationalism has often competed for existence with regional nationalism in the Middle East.

Early Semitic peoples from the Ancient Near East, such as the Arameans, Akkadians and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia and the Levant; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed. Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of the Middle East to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language remained the lingua franca of Mesopotamia and the Levant. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as the Middle East's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander the Great.

The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyrian inscription of 853 B.C.T, where Shalmaneser III lists a King Gindibu of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Proto-Arabic dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. The Hebrew Bible occasionally refers to Arvi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic tribes in the Syrian Desert and Arabia.

Proto-Arabic, or Ancient North Arabian, texts give a clearer picture of the Arabs' emergence. The earliest are written in variants of epigraphic south Arabian musnad script, including the 8th century B.C.T. Hasaean inscriptions of eastern Saudi Arabia, the 6th century B.C.Et. Lihyanite texts of southeastern Saudi Arabia and the Thamudic texts found throughout Arabia and the Sinai (not in reality connected with Thamud).

The Nabataeans were nomadic newcomers who moved into territory vacated by the Edomites -- Semites who settled the region centuries before them. Their early inscriptions were in Aramaic, but gradually switched to Arabic, and since they had writing, it was they who made the first inscriptions in Arabic. The Nabataean Alphabet was adopted by Arabs to the south, and evolved into modern Arabic script around the 4th century. This is attested by Safaitic inscriptions (beginning in the 1st century B.C,T.) and the many Arabic personal names in Nabataean inscriptions. From about the 2nd century B.C.T., a few inscriptions from Qaryat al-Faw (near Sulayyil) reveal a dialect which is no longer considered "proto-Arabic", but pre-classical Arabic.

Greeks and Romans referred to all the nomadic population of the desert in the Near East as Arabi. The Romans called Yemen "Arabia Felix". The Romans called the vassal nomadic states within the Roman Empire "Arabia Petraea" after the city of Petra, and called unconquered deserts bordering the empire to the south and east Arabia Magna.

The Lakhmids settled the mid Tigris region around their capital Al-hira they ended up allying with the Sassanid against the Ghassanids and the Byzantine Empire. The Lakhmids contested control of the Central Arabian tribes with the Kindites with the Lakhmids eventually destroying Kinda in 540 C.C. after the fall of their main ally Himyar. The Sassanids dissolved the Lakhmid kingdom in 602 C.C.

The Kindites migrated from Yemen along with the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, but were turned back in Bahrain by the Abdul Qais Rabi'a tribe. They returned to Yemen and allied themselves with the Himyarites who installed them as a vassal kingdom that ruled Central Arbia from Qaryah dhat Kahl (the present-day Qaryat al-Faw) in Central Arabia. They ruled much of the Northern/Central Arabian peninsula until the fall of the Himyarites in 525 C.C..

Muslims of Medina referred to the nomadic tribes of the deserts as the A'raab, and considered themselves sedentary, but were aware of their close racial bonds. The term "A'raab' mirrors the term Assyrians used to describe the closely related nomads they defeated in Syria.

The Qur'an does not use the word ʿarab, only the nisba adjective ʿarabiy. The Qur'an calls itself ʿarabiy, "Arabic", and Mubin, "clear". The two qualities are connected for example in ayat 43.2-3, "By the clear Book: We have made it an Arabic recitation in order that you may understand". The Qur'an became regarded as the prime example of the al-ʿarabiyya, the language of the Arabs. The term ʾiʿrāb has the same root and refers to a particularly clear and correct mode of speech. The plural noun ʾaʿrāb refers to the Bedouin tribes of the desert who resisted Muhammad, for example in ayat 9.97, alʾaʿrābu ʾašaddu kufrān wa nifāqān "the Bedouin are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy".

Based on this, in early Islamic terminology, ʿarabiy referred to the language, and ʾaʿrāb to the Arab Bedouins, carrying a negative connotation due to the Qur'anic verdict just cited. But after the Islamic conquest of the 8th century, the language of the nomadic Arabs became regarded as the most pure by the grammarians following Abi Ishaq, and the term kalam al-ʿArab, "language of the Arabs", denoted the uncontaminated language of the Bedouins.

The arrival of Islam united many tribes in Arabia, who then moved northwards to conquer the Levant and Iraq. In 661, and throughout the Caliphate's rule by the Ummayad dynasty, Damascus was established as the Muslim capital. In these newly acquired territories, Arabs comprised the ruling military elite and as such, enjoyed special privileges. They were proud of their Arab ancestry and sponsored the poetry and culture of pre-Islamic Arabia whilst diffusing with Levantine and Iraqi culture. They established garrison towns at Ramla, ar-Raqqah, Basra, Kufa, Mosul and Samarra, all of which developed into major cities.

Caliph Abd al-Malik established Arabic as the Caliphate's official language in 686. This reform greatly influenced the conquered non-Arab peoples and fueled the Arabization of the region. However, the Arabs' higher status among non-Arab Muslim converts and the latter's obligation to pay heavy taxes caused resentment. Caliph Umar II strove to resolve the conflict when he came to power in 717. He rectified the situation, demanding that all Muslims be treated as equals, but his intended reforms did not take effect as he died after only three years of rule. At that time, discontent with the Umayyads swept the region and an uprising occurred in which the Abbasids came to power and moved the capital to Baghdad. The Abbasids were also Arabs (descendants of Muhammad's uncle Abbas), but unlike the Ummayads, they had the support of non-Arab Islamic groups. Through the adoption of the Arabic language and Islam, the Levantine and Iraqi populations became Arabized.

The Phoenicians and later the Carthaginians dominated North African and Iberian shores for more than eight centuries until they were suppressed by the Romans and the later Vandal invasion. Inland, the nomadic Berbers allied with Arab Muslims in invading Spain. The Arabs mainly settled the old Phoenician and Carthagenian towns, while the Berbers remained dominant inland. Inland north Africa remained partly Arab until the 11th century, whereas the Iberian Peninsula, particularly its southern part, remained heavily Arab, until the expulsion of the Moriscos in the 17th century.

Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddima distinguishes between sedentary Muslims who used to be nomadic Arabs and the Bedouin nomadic Arabs of the desert. He used the term "formerly-nomadic" Arabs and refers to sedentary Muslims by the region or city they lived in, as in Egyptians, Spaniards and Yemenis.  The Christians of Italy and the Crusaders preferred the term Saracens for all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.  The Christians of Iberia used the term Moor to describe all the Arabs and Muslims of that time.

In 1728, a Russian officer described a group of Sunni Arab nomads who populated the Caspian shores of Mughan (in present-day Azerbaijan) and spoke a mixed Turkic-Arabic language. It is believed that these groups migrated to the Caucasus in the 16th century. The 1888 edition of Encyclopædia Britannica also mentioned a certain number of Arabs populating the Baku Governorate of the Russian Empire. They retained an Arabic dialect at least into the mid-19th century, but since then have assimilated with the neighbouring Azeris and Tats. Today in Azerbaijan alone, there are nearly 30 settlements still holding the name Arab (e.g. Arabgadim, Arabojaghy, Arab-Yengija, etc.).

From the time of the Arab conquest of the Caucasus, continuous small-scale Arab migration from various parts of the Arabic-speaking world was observed in Dagestan influencing and shaping the culture of the local peoples. Up until the mid-20th century, there were still individuals in Dagestan who claimed Arabic to be their native language, with the majority of them living in the village of Darvag to the north-west of Derbent. The latest of these accounts dates to the 1930s. Most Arab communities in southern Dagestan underwent linguistic Turkicisation, thus nowadays Darvag is a majority-Azeri village.

Today many people in Central Asia identify as Arabs. Most Arabs of Central Asia are fully integrated into local populations, and sometimes call themselves the same as locals (e.g. Tajiks, Uzbeks) but they use special titles to show their Arabic origin such as Sayyid, Khoja or Siddiqui.

Arab Muslims are generally Sunni, Shia, Ismaili and Druze. The self-identified Arab Christians generally follow Eastern Churches such as the Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic churches and the Maronite church. The Greek Catholic churches and Maronite church are under the Pope of Rome, and a part of the larger worldwide Catholic Church.

Before the coming of Islam, most Arabs followed a religion with a number of deities, including Hubal, Wadd, Allāt, Manat, and Uzza. A few individuals, the hanifs, had apparently rejected polytheism in favor of monotheism unaffiliated with any particular religion. Some tribes had converted to Christianity or Judaism. The most prominent Arab Christian kingdoms were the Ghassanid and Lakhmid kingdoms. When the Himyarite king converted to Judaism in the late 4th century, the elites of the other prominent Arab kingdom, the Kindites, being Himyirite vassals, apparently also converted (at least partly). With the expansion of Islam, polytheistic Arabs were rapidly Islamized, and polytheistic traditions gradually disappeared.

Today, Sunni Islam dominates in most areas, overwhelmingly so in North Africa. Shia Islam is dominant in southern Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. Substantial Shi'a populations exist in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, northern Syria, the al-Batinah region in Oman, and in northern Yemen. The Druze community, concentrated in the Levant, follow a faith that was originally an offshoot of Ismaili Shia Islam, and are also Arab.

Christians make up 5.5% of the population of the Near East. In Lebanon they number about 39% of the population although not all Lebanese Christians identify as Arabs. In Syria, Christians make up 16% of the population. In Palestine, before the creation of Israel estimates ranged as high as 25%, but is now 3.8% due largely to the 1948 Palestinian exodus. In the West Bank and in Gaza, Arab Christians make up 8% and 0.8% of the populations, respectively. In Israel, Arab Christians constitute 1.7% (roughly 9% of the Palestinian Arab population). Arab Christians make up 6% of the population of Jordan. Most North and South American Arabs are Christian, as are about half of Arabs in Australia who come particularly from Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian territories.

Jews from Arab countries – mainly Mizrahi Jews and Yemenite Jews – are today usually not categorised as Arab. However, before the anti-Jewish actions of the 1930s and 1940s, overall Iraqi Jews viewed themselves as Arabs of the Jewish faith, rather than as a separate race or nationality. Prior to the emergence of the term Mizrahi, the term "Arab Jews" was sometimes used to describe Jews of the Arab world. The term is rarely used today. The few remaining Jews in the Arab countries reside mostly in Morocco and Tunisia. From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, following the creation of the state of Israel, most of these Jews left or were expelled from their countries of birth and are now mostly concentrated in Israel. Some immigrated to France, where they form the largest Jewish community, outnumbering European Jews, but relatively few to the United States.

Arabs, Chadian
Arabs, Chadian.  The centuries long movement of Arabs westward across Africa brought them into contact with innumerable ethnic groups, nearly all of whom they converted to Islam.  Some were absorbed and “became” Arab, such as the Egyptians.  Others resisted “Arabization,” such as the Berbers.  A dynamic confrontation occurred -- and continues to occur -- among the dozens of small ethnic groups along the southern reaches of the Sahel, where central Africa begins.  In western Sudan, southern Chad, northern Cameroon and northern Nigeria, Arab influence is considerable. 
Chadian Arabs see Arabs, Chadian.

Arab Socialists
Arab Socialists.  Advocates of Arab socialism.  The notion of Arab socialism was never articulated precisely, but it can be taken as representing the economic and social aspirations of Nasserism and Ba‘thism, the state ideologies of Egypt in the late 1950s and 1960s and of Iraq and Syria from the 1960s until the early or mid-1980s.  During the years following World War II, a widespread consensus developed among the educated middle classes and among the largely unofficial opposition in each of these states to the effect that the country’s most urgent needs were national independence and economic development, and that the state was the natural vehicle to carry out the necessary transformations.  After the revolutions of the 1950s and 1960s, this notion became an important part of the political discourse of the various successor regimes.

In practice, the word socialism is something of a misnomer in the sense that neither a socialist revolution nor exclusive state ownership of the means of production was envisaged.  The post-revolutionary economies of Egypt, Iraq, and Syria might have had some superficial similarities with the command economies of the contemporary eastern European states, but it was no accident that all three countries continued to maintain substantial and indeed often buoyant private sectors.  Thus the “socialism” in Arab socialism  is best understood as state-sponsored economic development.

Apart from the various land reforms of the 1950s (1952 in Egypt, 1958 in Iraq and Syria) and the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956, it was not until the early 1960s that the nationalization of large private and foreign owned companies took place, and the governments of all three states began to act more determinedly to bring the various sectors of the economy under state control.  More stringent land reforms were introduced, and banking, insurance, foreign trade, and large industrial enterprises were all nationalized.  This took place in Iraq under ‘Abd al-Salam ‘Arif in 1964.  In spite of its socialist rhetoric, the Ba‘th’s only further step in this direction after 1968 – admittedly a particularly crucial one – was the nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company and its various subsidiaries in 1972.  In fact, the considerable enhancement of Iraqi state power which the oil nationalization facilitated was only the most extreme example of what would turn out to be one of the salient features of Arab socialism, namely, that the concentration of economic power in the hands of a largely unaccountable political authority facilitated the emergence of increasingly repressive and dictatorial state structures. 

Alongside this economic dirigisme came a very considerable expansion in social, welfare, health, and educational services.  Naturally, the quality of provision varied considerably both between and within states and was generally much better and more comprehensive in the larger cities than in the countryside, but, at least in theory, free education, for example, was available from primary school through university for every child.  At the same time, most basic foodstuffs were either or both subsidized or made available in exchange for coupons from special government establishments, and there were also government stores selling such items as clothing, footwear, and furniture at subsidized prices.

Insofar as it had ideological underpinnings, the notion of Arab socialism was probably most clearly articulated in some of the writings of Michel ‘Aflaq, one of the founders and principal ideologues of Ba‘thism.  It is important to stress, however, that ‘Aflaq formulated his ideas in the 1950s and did not significantly modify them when Ba‘th parties came to power in Syria and Iraq in the 1960s.  It is also important to note that, although socialism is the third member of the Ba‘thist trinity (unity, freedom, socialism), it was far less important to ‘Aflaq, and the object of much less of his attention, than either (Arab) unity or (Arab) nationalism.  Article 26 of the party constitution says:  “The Party of the Arab Ba‘th is a socialist party.  It believes that the economic wealth of the fatherland belongs to the nation.”  Article 34 reads:  “Property and inheritance are two natural rights.  They are protected within the limits of national interest.”  The only other reference to socialism in the Ba‘th Party constitution is the expression of the belief that “socialism is a necessity which emanates from the depth of Arab nationalism itself,” and that it “constitutes the ideal social order which will allow the Arab people to realize its possibilities.”  There is no exposition of the meaning of these assertions, although it is clear from ‘Aflaq’s other writings, and also from the Nasserist version of Arab nationalism, that socialism is essentially non-Marxist and in fact anti-Marxist, in that it stresses the primacy of ethnic and national identity and rejects the notion of antagonistic social classes. Once the Arabs are liberated and united, it is asserted, class conflict will somehow melt away.

In general, some of the vogue enjoyed by Arab socialism and Islamic socialism probably reflected a need to incorporate some of the more unexceptionable aspects of socialist ideology (the extension of state power as an expression of the transfer of power to the people, the introduction of comprehensive social reform and welfare measures) into the nationalist and Islamic religious discourse of the time.  Naturally, such a synthesis produces its own contradictions, such as the co-existence of the notion of the sanctity of private property with the notion of equality and equality of opportunity.  It is clear, however, from the writings and speeches of Arab nationalists and the Muslim Brothers in the 1950s that invocations of socialism were necessary for both groups to assert their progressive credentials and intentions; the aspiration of social justice, together with the sense that the state was the appropriate vehicle to spearhead social and economic development, was almost universally shared at the time.  It was also the case that the Arab communists had their own much more precise and elaborate version of socialism.  Arab socialism and Islamic socialism, because of their allegedly “home-grown” nature, could thus be useful weapons in blunting or deflecting the appeal of communism at the time of its greatest popularity in the Middle East, which coincided with the height of the Cold War.

Arafat, Yasir
Arafat, Yasir (Yasir Arafat) (Yassir Arafat) (August 24, 1929-November 11, 2004).  Palestinian Arab nationalist who became the President of Palestine.

Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini, popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar, was a Palestinian leader. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, President of the Palestinian National Authority, and leader of the Fatah political party, which he founded in 1959. Arafat spent much of his life fighting against Israel in the name of Palestinian self-determination. Originally opposed to Israel's existence, he modified his position in 1988 when he accepted UN Security Council Resolution 242.

Born in Jerusalem (other sources say Cairo, Egypt or Gaza).  After his mother's death, when Arafat was four years old, Arafat shuttled back and forth among relatives in Cairo, Gaza, and Jerusalem throughout his childhood.  In 1947, during the wars with the Jews, Arafat fought on the side of the grand mufti of Jerusalem.  He fled after the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948, settling in Cairo.  He later studied engineering in Cairo (at the University of Cairo), and also trained as a fedayeen (commando). 

In 1952, Arafat joined the Muslim Brotherhood and the Union of Palestinian Students, of which he became president.  In 1956, he participated in the Suez campaign as a member of the Egyptian Army.

In 1956, Arafat founded the commando group known as al-Fatah ("the Conquest") and for the next few years, while working as an engineer with a construction firm in Kuwait, repeatedly led fedayeen raids deep into Israeli territory.  As the leader of al-Fatah, Arafat launched a series of high-profile acts of anti-Israel terrorism.  According to Middle East experts, it was Arafat who was the mastermind behind the kidnapping that resulted in the deaths of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

In 1964, Arafat linked al-Fatah with similar groups in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).  In 1967, Israel defeated Arab countries in a war and occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, lands where many Palestinians had lived since 1948.  The Palestinians had moved into these regions after Israel officially came into being and was immediately attacked by surrounding Arab countries. 

Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank after 1967 further inflamed Arab-Israeli tensions, causing Palestinian nationalism to become more radical.  After the war, al-Fatah and guerrilla groups gained control of the PLO, which Arab leaders had established to represent the Palestinians.  In 1969, Arafat was elected chairman of the PLO, which he controlled for the rest of his life.

After becoming the leader of the PLO, Arafat worked on bringing the PLO from an ideology of Pan-Arabism to Palestinian nationalism.  After the Arab League recognized the PLO as the sole representative of Palestinian Arabs in 1974, Arafat worked ceaselessly, and with some success, to win the organization international recognition.  At the same time, Arafat made a strong effort to shed his terrorist image for that of the moderate statesman.

Arafat's self-reinvention from guerrilla fighter to statesman began in 1974, when he became the first person to address the United Nations as a leader of a liberation movement rather than a United Nations member state.  After his appearance before the General Assembly, the United Nations recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.

In 1982, the PLO was forced to move from Lebanon, the site of the organization's headquarters, after Israel attacked the country.  The headquarters of the PLO were re-located to Borj Cedria in the Gulf of Tunis, Tunisia. 

On November 15, 1988, the State of Palestine was proclaimed at a meeting in Algiers, Algeria.   Subsequently, in 1989, Arafat was elected president of the State of Palestine by the Central Council of the Palestine National Council.

In 1991, United States led talks began in Madrid, but were unproductive. 

In 1993, the Oslo Agreement (the Oslo Accords) brought the peace process significantly forward.  The basis for the prospective peace was to be a “land for peace” principle.  Based upon this agreement, Arafat recognized Israel’s right to exist. By signing the Oslo Agreement, Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin established a framework and timetable for the Middle East peace process.  The process included the gradual transfer of control of parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority, which Arafat headed.  That year, both men shared the Nobel Peace Prize along with Israeli leader Shimon Peres.

In May 1994, Israeli forces withdrew from the town of Jericho in order to relinquish control to the Palestinians.  In July of 1994, Arafat returned to Palestine.

On January 20, 1996, Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in public elections with 88% of the vote. 

In the year 2000, Arafat turned down a peace proposal from the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, which would have given Palestine control over more than 90% of the territory of the West Bank.  This peace proposal was the biggest compromise Israel had ever offered.

Later that year, Palestine entered a situation of civil unrest, where Palestinians threw stones at soldiers, who retaliated with bullets.  Hundreds of Palestinians were killed.

In December 2000, reports of new negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were announced.

In 2001, the dialogue between Israel and Palestine disintegrated following numerous terrorist attacks from Palestinian groups on Israeli civilians followed by Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants, their leaders and many Palestinian civilians.  By Christmas, Arafat had been stripped of much of his power by Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and had been placed under virtual house arrest.

Arafat’s international profile changed during his more than 40 year career.  During the 1960s, he was looked upon as leader and conductor of several terrorist attacks into Israel.  In the 1970s, the international society came to regard him as being a politician without country, but still associated with the activities performed in the 1960s.  In the 1980s, Arafat started to gain more important support in the West, mainly because of increasingly questionable Israeli military actions (e.g., attacks in Lebanon, massacres in Sabra and Chatila).

In the 1990s, Arafat came to be considered a pragmatic moderate, and by many foreign observers as a wiser politician than his Israeli opponents. 

By 2001, Arafat’s position had weakened, as well as his popularity.  There were several reasons for this.  Other more radical groups became far more active as well as representative of public opinion.  Israeli actions against the Palestinian infrastructure, like the police, made it virtually impossible for Arafat to exercise much power, hence creating an image of him as weak and ineffective among his own supporters.  There were also indications that Arafat himself was sympathetic with certain radical groups, and gave said groups sufficient room for their uprising -- their intifada --  and their terrorist attacks on Israeli soil. 

Arafat’s rule over the small territories that had been given autonomy was not very successful.  There were many violations of human rights and economic growth was stunted.  Much of this was ascribed to Arafat, who was accused of being too weak to prevent corruption and nepotism amongst the new leadership of Palestine.

During the same period, Israel made it more difficult for Palestinians living in occupied territories who worked in Israel to keep their positions.  The result was that living conditions became worse for most of the Palestinians. 

Ultimately, Arafat's legacy is ambiguous at best.  He died without achieving any of the goals he had championed at various times in his life -- the destruction of Israel; then peace with Israel, which he backed after 1988; and an independent Palestinian nation with Jerusalem as its capital.  He did, however, succeed in forging a nationalist movement among Palestinians, and he placed his people and their situation at the absolute center of world politics.

Yasir Arafat see Arafat, Yasir
Yassir Arafat see Arafat, Yasir

Argobba.  Muslim people of Ethiopia.  The cryptic Argobba, a Muslim people in Ethiopia are divided into two groups (the Northern and the Southern).  They pose some of the major historical and ethnological problems remaining among Ethiopia’s Semitic speaking peoples.  Questions exist as to the very survival of the Argobba language, and no ethnography of the group has ever been carried out.

There are three explanations for Argobba distribution.  The first is that, in accord with the origin tradition of a migration of the Beni Umayya from Arabia, a very early Argobba presence, around 750, was established in Ethiopia, probably in the northern region.  A further development of this possibility would allow for a continuous population of Argobba, encompassing the present locations and intermediate points.  There is evidence that the Argobba were more widespread than at present.

A second explanation connects the migration of the Argobba to their southern range with the fortunes of the sultanates which developed in the northern area. This hypothesis has strong circumstantial evidence in its favor, particularly if one connects the Argobba to the Walashima’ dynasty.  In 1277, Wali Asma’ began the conquest of the Muslim state of Shawa, completing his task in 1285 and establishing ‘Ifat as the dominant state of the region.  ‘Ifat itself was conquered by the armies of Christian Ethiopian kings Dawit I and Yeshaq in 1415, and the Walashima’ were driven towards the Red Sea, finally establishing Adal, which was to become the most powerful of this succession of Muslim polities.  This explanation of the origin of the Southern Argobba notes that the capital of Adal was near the site of Harar and the present Argobba villages.  Although there is no direct evidence, this hypothesis suggests that the Southern Argobba accompanied the Walashima’ leaders on their flight from ‘Ifat in the early 1400s.  There is evidence to suggest that the Northern Argobba were the remaining population of ‘Ifat after the conquest. 

The third hypothesis for explaining the links between the Northern and Southern Argobba suggests relatively recent migration to the Harar region.  Two major events in Ethiopian history affected the Adal kingdom.  In 1529 Imam Ahmed Ibrahim al-Ghazi of Adal mounted a jihad from Harar which swept throughout highland Ethiopia, where the Imam is still remembered with trepidation as Ahmed Gragn, “the left-handed.”  He was finally killed in 1549 by the Portuguese troops of Christopher de Gama, who had come to aid the Ethiopian king.  In reaction to the jihad, the Christian Ethiopians counterattacked, crushing the Adal kingdom.  At this point, Adal retreated to an oasis in the Danakil desert, leaving the city of Harar as the last remnant of the once powerful Muslim principalities of Ethiopia.  Immediately following the collapse of the jihad, a major population movement took place which permanently altered the demographic and political balance of Ethiopia.  This was the expansion of the Oromo from their homelands in southwestern Ethiopia northward until they occupied most of the Rift region, thus surrounding the Northern Argobba villages, and eastward until they isolated the city of Harar and occupied the environs of the Southern Argobba.  The present Argobba villages in this region are, for the most part, situated on hilltops.  The inhabitants explain that the sites were chosen to defend against the Oromo invaders. 

The Argobba are a Muslim people group that is spread out through isolated village networks and towns in the northeast and east of Ethiopia. The Argobba have typically been astute traders and merchants, and have adjusted to the economic trends in their area. These factors have led to the decline of the Argobba language.

Argobba communities can be found in the Afar, Amhara, and Oromia Regions, in and along the Rift Valley. They include Yimlawo, Gusa, Shonke, Berehet, Khayr Amba, Melkajillo, Metehara, Shewa Robit, and the surrounding rural villages.

In some places the Argobba language has homogenized with Amharic. In other places the people have shifted to neighboring languages for economic reasons. At this time there are only a few areas left where the Argobba are not at least bilingual in Amharic, Oromiffa or Afar. All of these languages have a literature that can be used to serve the Argobba, even though their current literacy rate in any language is low; the Argobba reportedly do not like to send their children to school because they will be influenced by the non-Muslim world. This is the same reason that the Argobba do not go to court.

‘Arif, 'Abd al-Salam
‘Arif, 'Abd al-Salam.  See 'Abd al-Salam 'Arif.

‘Arif, Mirza Abu ’l-Qasim
‘Arif, Mirza Abu ’l-Qasim.  See Mirza Abu ’l-Qasim ‘Arif.

Aristotle (in Arabic, Aristu(talis)).  Greek philosopher whose writings, with a very few exceptions, became known to the Arabs in translation.  Most Arab philosophers regard him as the outstanding and unique representative of philosophy.  Ibn Rushd called him “the example of what nature invented to show final human perfection.”

Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs) (384 B.C.T. – 322 B.C.T.) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He wrote on many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.

Together with Plato and Socrates (Plato's teacher), Aristotle is one of the most important founding figures in Western philosophy. He was the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality and aesthetics, logic and science, politics and metaphysics. Aristotle's views on the physical sciences profoundly shaped medieval scholarship, and their influence extended well into the Renaissance, although they were ultimately replaced by Newtonian Physics. In the biological sciences, some of his observations were confirmed to be accurate only in the nineteenth century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late nineteenth century into modern formal logic. In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially Eastern Orthodox theology, and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. All aspects of Aristotle's philosophy continue to be the object of active academic study today.

Though Aristotle wrote many elegant treatises and dialogues (Cicero described his literary style as "a river of gold"), it is thought that the majority of his writings are now lost and only about one-third of the original works have survived.

Aristu see Aristotle
Aristutalis see Aristotle

Arkam.  An early Meccan convert to Islam.

Arkoun, Mohammed
Arkoun, Mohammed (b. February 1, 1928).  Algerian Islamic scholar and writer.  One of the leading Arab Muslim intellectuals of his time, Arkoun was involved in the sensitive task of re-interpreting and recasting the classical religious, legal, and philosophical traditions through a sophisticated hermeneutical system inspired by contemporary Western critical methodologies, a task that made him a controversial participant in the creation of a modern Arabo-Islamic critical discourse.

Arkoun was born on January 2, 1928, in the Berber village of Taourirt-Mimoun in Kabylia.  From his modest beginnings as the son of a spice merchant, Arkoun went on to become a highly successful international scholar and thinker.  He began Arabic studies in his native country and completed them in Paris.  He was associated with the Sorbonne where he was the Professor of the History of Islamic Thought and was formerly Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies there.  He was also the editor in chief of the French scholarly journal Arabica for many years.  Arkoun’s international visibility has brought lectures and visiting appointments at academic institutions worldwide, including the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  His adopted homeland appointed Arkoun Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur and Officier des Palmes Academiques.

What distinguished Arkoun from many other contemporary Arab and Muslim intellectuals was precisely what qualified him to be editor of Arabica – his serious training as a medievalist.  Arkoun established himself as a foremost student of medieval Islamic thought with his work on the philosopher and thinker Miskawayh (d. 1030).  He edited two treatises by Miskawayh and translated his Tahdhib al-akhlaq, a work whose close relationship to Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics compels anyone attempting to deal with the Arabic text to also grapple with Greek philosophy.

With this philosophical background combined with the resources of French criticism, Arkoun began his own intellectual crusade.  His re-readings of the rich Islamic religious and legal traditions are an extension of this dual intellectual allegiance to the modern humanities and social sciences and to medieval studies.  Arkoun also wrote widely on topics ranging from the twelfth-century Andalusian philosopher and physician Ibn Tufayl to Orientalism. 

Arkoun’s Lectures du Coran was perhaps his most challenging and important work.  The author pled eloquently and passionately for clear analytical distinctions in dealing with the Muslim holy book.  According to Arkoun, too many levels of production of the sacred text are amalgated under the title of the Qur’an.  There is the word of God, the Logos, of which the revelations of the three monotheistic religions are but fragments.  There are also the Qur’anic discourse, the actual written text of the Qur’an, and the commentaries on this text.  These distinctions permit a much more sophisticated reading of the scriptures. 

Arkoun’s ideas did not go unchallenged by the intellectual leaders of the contemporary Islamist movement.  An impassioned debate occurred between Arkoun and the Egyptian Shaykh Muhammad al-Ghazali in Algeria.  Almost as quickly as the works of al-Ghazali became available to an international audience, so Arkoun’s works were re-edited in French in North Africa, translated into Arabic, and published in London.  Arkoun’s impact on the contemporary Arab Muslim intellectual scene became increasingly important as the Islamist movement grew in strength.  Arkoun defined the Islamic concept of the jihad al-nafs (personal jihad) as the work of the intellectual who feels a sense of solidarity with the society to which he belongs.  This jihad al-nafs was Arkoun’s mission. 

Arkoun was decorated as an Officer of the French Légion d'honneur in July 1996. In 2001, Professor Arkoun was asked to deliver the Gifford Lectures, which enable a notable scholar to contribute to the advancement of theological and philosophical thought and was announced as the recipient of the Seventeenth Georgio Levi Della Vida Award for his lifelong contribution to the field of Islamic Studies.

Mohammed Arkoun see Arkoun, Mohammed

Armed Islamic Group
Armed Islamic Group (Groupe Islamique Arme) (GIA).  Having initiated terrorist activities in 1992 following Algiers’ refusal to accept a democratically elected Islamist government, the GIA has conducted multiple mass killings of civilians and assassinations of Algerian leaders.  While present in areas such as Yemen, the GIA reportedly does not target the United States directly.  However, it is possible that GIA splinter movements or personnel may become involved in anti-United States action. 

The Armed Islamic Group (GIA, al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah al-Musallaha, from French Groupe Islamique Armé) was a Muslim organization that sought to overthrow the Algerian government and replace it with an Islamic state. The GIA adopted violent tactics in 1992 after the military government voided the victory of the Islamic Salvation Front, the largest Islamic opposition party, in the first round of legislative elections held in December 1991. During their 1994 hijack of Air France Flight 8969 the GIA announced "We are the Soldiers of Mercy".

Between 1992 and 1998 the GIA conducted a violent campaign of civilian massacres, sometimes wiping out entire villages in its area of operation. After announcing its campaign against foreigners living in Algeria in 1993, the GIA killed more than 100 expatriate men and women in the country. The group used assassinations and bombings, including car bombs, and it was known to favor kidnapping victims and slitting their throats. The GIA was considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Algeria, France and the United States. Outside of Algeria, the GIA established a presence in France, Belgium, Britain, Italy and the United States.

Early in 1992, Mansour Meliani, with many "Afghans", broke with his former friend Abdelkader Heresay and left the MIA (Islamic Armed Movement), founding the first Armed Islamic Group (GIA) around July 1992. This group dispersed after his arrest that month, but the idea was revived in January 1993 by Abdelhak Layada, who declared his group independent of Heresay and not obedient to his orders. This group became particularly prominent around Algiers and its suburbs, in urban environments. It adopted the radical Omar El-Eulmi as a spiritual guide, affirming that "political pluralism is equivalent to sedition" It was far less selective than the MIA, which insisted on ideological training; as a result, it was regularly infiltrated by the security forces, resulting in a rapid leadership turnover as successive heads were killed. It explicitly affirmed that it "did not represent the armed wing of the FIS", and issued death threats against several FIS and MIA members, including MIA's Heresay and FIS's Kebir and Redjam.

From its inception on, the GIA called for and implemented the killing of anyone collaborating with or supporting the authorities, including government employees such as teachers and civil servants. It named and assassinated specific journalists and intellectuals (such as Tahar Djaout), saying that "The journalists who fight against Islamism through the pen will perish by the sword.". It soon broadened its attacks to civilians who refused to live by their prohibitions, and in later 1993 began killing foreigners.

Under Cherif Gousmi (its leader since March), the GIA became the most high-profile guerrilla army in 1994. In May, FIS suffered an apparent blow as Abderrezak Redjam, Mohammed Said, the exiled Anwar Haddam, and the MEI's Said Makhloufi joined the GIA; since the GIA had been issuing death threats against them since November 1993, this came as a surprise to many observers, who interpreted it either as the result of intra-FIS competition or as an attempt to change the GIA's course from within. On August 26, it declared a "Caliphate", or Islamic government for Algeria, with Gousmi as Commander of the Faithful, Mohammed Said as head of government, the US-based Haddam as foreign minister, and Mekhloufi as provisional interior minister. However, the very next day Said Mekhloufi announced his withdrawal from the GIA, claiming that the GIA had deviated from Islam and that this "Caliphate" was an effort by Mohammed Said to take over the GIA, and Haddam soon afterwards denied ever having joined it, asserting that this Caliphate was an invention of the security services. The GIA continued attacking its usual targets, notably assassinating artists, such as Cheb Hasni, and in late August added a new one to its list, threatening schools which allowed mixed classes, music, gym for girls, or not wearing hijab with arson.

Cherif Gousmi was eventually succeeded by Djamel Zitouni as GIA head. Zitouni extended the GIA's attacks on civilians to French soil, beginning with the hijacking of Air France Flight 8969 at the end of December 1994 and continuing with several bombings and attempted bombings throughout 1995. In Algeria itself, he continued likewise, with car bombs, assassinations of musicians, sportsmen, and unveiled women as well as the usual victims. Even at this stage, the seemingly counterproductive nature of many of its attacks led to speculation (encouraged by FIS members abroad) that the group had been infiltrated by Algerian secret services. The region south of Algiers, in particular, came to be virtually dominated by the GIA. The area was initially called the "liberated zone" but later it would be known as the "triangle of death". During this period, the GIA worked out ever broader ideological justifications for killing civilians, with the help of fatwas from such figures as Abu Qatada.

Reports of battles between the AIS and GIA increased (resulting in an estimated 60 deaths in March 1995 alone), and the GIA reiterated its death threats against FIS and AIS leaders, claiming to be the "sole prosecutor of jihad" and angered by their negotiation attempts. On July 11, a co-founder of FIS, Abdelbaki Sahraoui, was assassinated in Paris.

During the 1995 election, the GIA threatened to kill anyone who voted (using the slogan "one vote, one bullet".) Soon afterwards, the GIA was shaken by internal dissension. Shortly after the election, its leadership killed the FIS leaders who had joined the GIA - Mohammed Saïd, Abderrezak Redjam, and their supporters, accusing them of attempting a takeover. Other Islamists suggested that they had objected to the GIA's indiscriminate violence. This purge accelerated the disintegration of the GIA, leading to suspicion of Zitouni's leadership: Mustapha Kartali, Ali Benhadjar, and Hassan Hattab's factions all refused to recognize Zitouni's leadership starting around late 1995, although they would not formally break away until somewhat later. The GIA killed the AIS leader for central Algeria, Azzedine Baa, in December, and in January pledged to fight the AIS as an enemy; particularly in the west.

In July 1996, GIA leader Djamel Zitouni was killed by one of the breakaway factions - Ali Benhadjar's Medea brigade, later to become the AIS-aligned Islamic League for Da'wa and Jihad - and was succeeded by Antar Zouabri. Djamel Zitouni had earned notoriety for such acts as the killing of the seven Monks of Tibhirine in March, but his successor would prove to be far bloodier.

In Algeria, the GIA's repeated massacres of civilians had drained popular support (although rumors persist that security forces were involved in some of the massacres, or even controlled the group). Meanwhile, a 1999 amnesty law that was officially rejected by the GIA was accepted by many rank-and-file Islamist fighters; an estimated 85 percent surrendered their arms and returned to civilian life.

Under the leadership of Antar Zouabri, its longest serving "emir" (1996-2002), the GIA became a "takfiri" group, considering Algerian society to be in violation of Islamic precepts, therefore justifying the killing of members of that society as a form of purification of heretical elements. Like some of his predecessors, Zouabri was himself killed in a gun battle with security forces, in February 2002. The group's leadership next passed on to Rachid Abou Tourab, who was allegedly killed by close aides in July 2004. Next, Boulenouar Oukil was designated leader of the group. On April 7, the GIA killed 14 civilians at a fake road block. On April 29, Oukil was arrested. Nourredine Boudiafi was the last known leader of the GIA. He was arrested sometime in November of 2004 and the Algerian government announced his arrest in early January 2005. According to the Algerian government, "almost all" of the GIA is now "broken up."

GIA see Armed Islamic Group
Groupe Islamique Arme see Armed Islamic Group

Arme Islamique du Salut
Arme Islamique du Salut (AIS). An Algerian political group.  AIS was a militant subdivision of the Front Islamique du Salut (FIS).  However, it should not be confused with the far more active and brutal Armed Islamic Group (Groupe Islamique Arme -- GIA).  The AIS was organized in 1993 because of a conflict between the FIS and the GIA.  After the formation of the AIS, the GIA escalated its terrorist activities.  In 1995, both the AIS and the FIS claimed that they did not participate in any killings of innocent foreigners or Algerian civilians.  Thus, officially, the AIS took no credit for killing foreigners, innocent civilians, journalists, women and children.  It, theoretically, limited its killing to representatives of the Algerian government.

AIS see Arme Islamique du Salut

Armenian Catholics
Armenian Catholics.  Members of the Armenian Catholic Church, a semi-independent Christian church that is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church through the Eastern Rite Church.  The Armenian Catholic Church has members in Southwest Asia and adherents scattered throughout the world, but mainly living in Armenia, the United States and France.

In Lebanon, the center for the Armenian Catholics is in Beirut, but the church is spread all over the central parts of the country.  In Syria, the majority lives in Aleppo.  In Iraq, they are centered in Baghdad.  The Iranian center is in Esfahan. 

The Armenian Catholic Church has retained its identity.  This identity is distinct from the Roman Catholic Church, and the liturgy is performed in Classical Armenian.  Today, the leader of the church, the Patriarch of the Catholic Armenians and Katholikos of Cilicia resides in Beirut, Lebanon.  There are three archdioceses: Aleppo (Syria), Baghdad (Iraq) and Istanbul (Turkey).  There are also three dioceses: Alexandria (Egypt), Esfahan (Iran) and Qamishle (Syria).
The early history of the Armenian Catholic Church is linked with that of the Armenian Orthodox Church.  However, beginning in the twelfth century of the Christian calendar the histories began to diverge. 

In the twelfth century, some of the Armenians were reported to be Catholics.  They formed the kingdom of Little Armenia in Cilicia.  In 1375, Little Armenia collapsed, and for about 350 years there were few if any Armenian Catholics.

In 1742, Abraham Artzivian, who was a Catholic, was elected patriarch of Sis.  He formed the Armenian Catholic Church and became the Bishop of Aleppo. 

In 1911, the Armenian Catholic Church was divided into nineteen dioceses.

From 1915 to 1918, the Armenian people suffered from the heavy persecution (some say genocide) which was perpetrated against them by the Ottoman Empire.  Some one million Armenians died.  During these times, many dioceses disappeared.  Many adherents left for Europe and the United States.

In 1932, the head of the Catholic Church, now called the Patriarch of the Catholic Armenians and Katholikos of Cilicia, moved to Beirut.

After the Armenian Apostolic Church, along with the rest of Oriental Orthodoxy, formally broke off communion from the Chalcedonian churches, numerous Armenian bishops made attempts to restore communion with the Catholic Church (Rome). In 1195 during the Crusades, the church of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia entered into a union with the Catholic Church which lasted until Cilicia was conquered by the Mamluks in 1375. The union was later re-established during the Council of Florence in 1439, but did not have any real effects for centuries.
In 1740, Abraham-Pierre I Ardzivian, who had earlier become a Catholic, was elected as the patriarch of Sis. Two years later Pope Benedict XIV formally established the Armenian Catholic Church. The headquarters of the patriarchate was later moved to Antelias, north of Beirut. In 1749, the Armenian Catholic Church built a convent in Bzoummar, Lebanon. During the horrific Armenian genocide in 1915–1918 the Church scattered among neighboring countries, mainly Lebanon and Syria.

The Armenian Catholic Church can also refer to the church formed by Armenians living in Poland in 1620 after the union of Leopolis by Mikołaj (Nicholas) Torosowicz, which has since established bonds with the older Armenian Catholic Church. The church which had been historically centered in Galicia as well as in the pre-1939 Polish borderlands in the east, now has two primary centers; one in Gdansk, and the other in Gliwice. A number of its members migrated to Sweden, which holds its own chapter.

Armenian Catholic Church see Armenian Catholics.

Armenian Christians
Armenian Christians.  Members of the Armenian Orthodox Church, a Christian sect with members in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait.  However, approximately sixty-five percent live in Western countries like the United States.

In Lebanon, Armenian Orthodox Christians live in central parts of the country.  In Iraq, they mainly live in Baghdad.  In Israel, most live in Jerusalem.  In Palestine, the Armenian Orthodox adherents live in Bethlehem and Ramallah.   The Armenian Orthodox Church is also called the Armenian Apostolic Church.  This name is based upon the belief that Armenia was Christianized by the two Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus.

The Armenian Orthodox Church has one of the oldest traditions in the Christian world.  But it has not developed in a vacuum, there have been close contacts with the Syrian church, from which the Armenian Church has received scriptures, liturgy and much of its theology.   The organization of the Armenian Orthodox Church is unusually complex.  This is the result of much internal tension, where opposing groups often founded new institutions and positions. 

Today, the highest position is the Katholikos, a sort of archbishop.  There are two Katholikos, the supreme in Echmiadzin, Armenia, and the Katholikos of the Middle East, located in Antelias, Lebanon.  Then there are two patriarchs, one in Istanbul, Turkey and one in Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine.  While the Katholikos of Echmiadzin is officially the head of the church, many believers support the Katholikos in Antelias.

A brief history of the Armenian Orthodox Church reads as follows:

Around 300 of the Christian calendar, Christianity became the state religion of Armenia, when the King of Armenia was converted by Gregory the Illuminator.  Gregory had his headquarters in Echmiadzin (in modern day Armenia).

In the fourth century of the Christian calendar, the Armenian Orthodox Church broke from the Eastern Orthodox Church.  At this time, the Armenian Church maintained close ties with the Syrian church. The Armenian church even used the Syriac alphabet.

In the fifth century, an Armenian alphabet was invented.  During this time, many scriptures were translated into Armenian.  In 485, the headquarters of the Armenian Orthodox Church were moved to Dvin.

Around 500 of the Christian calendar, the Armenian Church rejected the conclusion of the Council of Chalcedon (arrived at in 451) which defined Jesus as having two natures, divine and human, co-existing in one body.   However, in 506, the Church did finally adopt the Monophysite doctrine.

During the seventh century, the Georgian branch of the Armenian Orthodox Church broke away from the Armenian Church and joined the Greek Orthodox Church.  The Armenian Church continued to cooperate with the Coptic Church and the Syrian Jacobite churches. 

In 1293, the headquarters of the Armenian Orthodox Church were moved to Sis (now Kozan, Turkey).

In the fourteenth century, the patriarchate of Jerusalem was founded by local Christians.  In 1441, the headquarters of the church moved to Echmiadzin.  There a new institution was established, the “Katholicos of all Armenians.”

In 1461, the patriarchate of Constantinople (now Istanbul) was created by sultan Mehmed II, in order to have a leader of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire, so that it would be easier to govern his Armenian subjects.

In 1742, a part of the Armenian Orthodox Church broke away to form the Armenian Catholic Church.

From 1915 to 1918, the Armenians suffered from heavy persecution from the Ottoman regime, where about 1 million were killed.

In 1930, the Katholikos of Sis moved to Antelias in Lebanon, as a way of seeking refuge from possible future oppression from Muslim rulers.

The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 C.C., in establishing this church. The Armenian Apostolic Church traces its origins to the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century.

The official name of the Church is the One Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church. It is sometimes referred to as the Gregorian Church, but the latter name is not preferred by the Church, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as the founders, and St. Gregory the Illuminator as merely the first official head of the Church.

Various legends tie the origin of the Armenian Church to the Apostles. Though these stories are considered historically questionable by modern scholars, Christianity must have reached Armenia at an early date as persecutions against Christians in 110, 230, and 287 were recorded by outside writers Eusebius and Tertullian.

The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion when St. Gregory the Illuminator converted King Tiridates III and members of his court, an event traditionally dated to 301, though now believed by most scholars to have occurred somewhat later, but by 314. Gregory, trained and ordained in Christianity at Caesarea returned to his native land to preach about 287, the same time that Tiridates III took the throne. Tiridates owed his position to the Roman Emperor Diocletian, a noted persecutor of Christianity. In addition, he became aware that Gregory was a son of Anak, the man who assassinated his father. Consequently Tiridates imprisoned Gregory in an underground pit, called Khor Virap, for 13 years. In 301, 37 Christian virgins, fleeing Roman persecution, came to Armenia. Tiridates desired one of them, Rhipsime, to be his wife, but she turned him down. In a rage, he martyred the whole group of them. Soon afterward, according to legend, God struck him with an illness that left him crawling around like a beast. (The story is reminiscent of Nebudchadnezzar in Daniel 4.) Xosroviduxt, the king’s sister, had a dream in which she was told that the persecution of Christians must stop. She related this to Tiridates, who released Gregory from prison. Gregory then healed Tiridates and converted him to Christianity. Tiridates immediately declared Armenia to be a Christian nation, becoming the first official Christian state.

Tiridates declared Gregory to be the first Catholicos of the church and sent him to Caesarea to be consecrated. Upon his return, Gregory tore down idol centers, built churches and monasteries, and ordained hundreds of priests and bishops. While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat, Gregory had a vision of Christ coming down to the earth to strike it with a hammer. From the spot rose a great Christian temple with a huge cross. He was convinced that God wanted him to build the main Armenian church there. With the king's help, he did so, along the lines of what he saw in the vision at the spot he saw the hammer strike. He renamed the city Etchmiadzin which means "the place of the descent of the only-begotten".

Initially the Armenian church participated in the larger church world. Its Catholicos was represented at the First Council of Nicea and the First Council of Constantinople. Although he could not attend the Council of Ephesus, the Catholicos Isaac Parthiev sent a message agreeing with its decisions. The Armenian Church began to retreat from the larger church world in 373 when King Pap appointed Catholicos Yusik without first sending him to Caesarea for commissioning.

Christianity was strengthened in Armenia by the translation of the Bible into the Armenian language by the Armenian theologian, monk, and scholar St. Mesrob Mashtots. Prior to the fifth century, Armenians had their own spoken language, but it was not written. The Bible and liturgy were in Greek. The Catholicos Sahak commissioned Mesrob to create an Armenian alphabet, which he completed in 406. Subsequently the Bible and liturgy were translated into Armenian and written down in its new script. The translation of the Bible, along with the translation of other works of history, literature and philosophy, caused a flowering of Armenian literature and a broader cultural renaissance.

Unlike the Bible used in other Eastern Churches, the Armenian Bible originally had 39 books in the Old Testament. What are commonly called the Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books were not translated until the 8th century and not read in the churches until the 12th century.

Historically, the Armenian Church has been referred to as monophysite by both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theologians because it (as well as all Oriental Orthodox Churches) rejected the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon, which condemned the belief of one incarnate nature of Christ (monophysis). The Armenian Church officially severed ties with Rome and Constantinople in 554, during the second Council of Dvin where the dyophysite formula of the Council of Chalcedon was rejected due to its acceptance by Nestorians.

However, the Armenian Orthodox Church argues that this is an incorrect description of its position[citation needed], as it considers Monophysitism, as taught by Eutyches and condemned at Chalcedon, a heresy and only disagrees with the formula defined by the Council of Chalcedon. The Armenian Church instead adheres to the doctrine defined by Cyril of Alexandria, considered as a saint by the Chalcedonian Churches as well, who described Christ as being of one incarnate nature, where both divine and human nature are united (miaphysis). To distinguish this from Eutychian and other versions of Monophysitism this position is called miaphysitism. Whereas the prefix "mono" refers to a singular one, the prefix "mia" refers to a compound one.

In recent times, both Chalcedonian and anti-Chalcedonian churches have developed a deeper understanding for each other's positions, recognizing their substantial agreement while maintaining their respective theological language. Hence, the "Monophysite" label is avoided when describing the Oriental Orthodox belief of the Armenian Church regarding the Nature of Christ.

Armenian Orthodox Church see Armenian Christians.
Armenian Apostolic Church see Armenian Christians.
One Holy Universal Apostolic Orthodox Armenian Church see Armenian Christians.
Gregorian Church see Armenian Christians.

Arruma.  Afro-Brazilian leader of the revolts of the Muslim Hausa slaves from 1807 to 1816.  The revolts were centered around Bahia. 

Arsuzi, Zaki
Arsuzi, Zaki (Zaki Arsuzi) (Zaki Arsuzi) (June 1899 - July 1968).  Syrian politician, thinker and counsellor.  He was born in Antioch (now part of Turkey) into a lower middle class family.  In the late 1920s, he was educated at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, France. In 1931, he received a degree in philosophy.  In 1932, Arsuzi established himself in Antioch, where he became a school teacher. During the 1930s, slowly, Arsuzi turned his attention towards nationalistic politics.  In 1939, after the annexation of Antioch by Turkey, Arsuzi moved to Damascus.  There he soon started his own political groups, aiming at a renaissance in the Arab world.  The reaction of the French authorities was to terminate him from his job.  In 1947, following talks that started the preceding year, Arsuzi joined forces with the Ba‘th movement led by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din Bitar.  Together they founded the Arab Ba‘th Party.  In 1963, Arsuzi became the counsellor to the commander of the air force, Hafez al-Assad, who set out to impregnate the Syrian military with the ideology of the Ba‘th Party.  Arsuzi died in Damascus in 1968.

Zakī al-Arsūzī was born to an Alawi family in Lattakia on the Syrian coast of the Ottoman Empire, but moved soon afterwards to Iskandarun province in the Sanjak of Alexandretta (now Hatay). He was educated in a religious school and a primary school in Antakya and then received his secondary education in Konya. After completing his education he was appointed a secondary school teacher in Antakya and later became director of education in Arsuz province.

In 1927, al-Arsuzi traveled to Paris to study in the Department of Philosophy in the Sorbonne. During this period, he came under the intellectual influence of French thinkers such as Henri Bergson and of the German idealists. He was also impressed by the works of Ibn Arabi and Ibn Khaldun.

Al-Arsuzi returned to Syria in 1930 and worked as a teacher in Antakya, Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor. In this period, he began his career of political militancy. In 1934, he was dismissed from his teaching post by the French authorities and returned to Iskandarun province. At the time, there was considerable agitation over demands from the province's sizable Turkish minority that it be handed over to Turkey. Al-Arsuzi established his first political organization, the National Action League, in opposition to these demands, and was intensely active from 1936 to 1938 when the French authorities granted the province to Turkey.

In 1938, the League was dissolved, and al-Arsuzi founded the Arabism Club and opened a bookshop with the name "Al-Ba'th al-Arabi" ("The Arab Renaissance"). This appears to have been the first use of the term ba'th in Arab nationalist circles.

In 1940, al-Arsuzi travelled to Baghdad where he took up a new job, but he was dismissed before the end of the year and returned to Damascus, where in November he decided to establish a group under the name of the Arab Renaissance (al-ba'th al-'arabi).  In 1944, some of al-Arsuzi's followers deserted him, and later, in June 1945, they joined the Arab Resurrection (al-ihya al-'arabi) group led by Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar. Thus, Arsuzi's part in the foundation of the Ba'th Party was of two kinds: his intellectual contribution in itself, and his role in mobilising an active group of young men, many of them refugees from Iskandarun like himself, who would form one of the nuclei of the new party. It is suggested that al-Arsuzi played a direct role in the formation of the Ba'th organisation itself. When the Ba'th Party was formally established by 'Aflaq and Bitar in Damascus in 1947, Arsuzi was not a member.

Al-Arsuzi paid considerable attention to cultural matters, and the only condition of membership in his organization was to write or translate a book contributing to the resurrection (ba'th) of Arab heritage. He was described as a proponent of the linguistic image of Arab nationalism, and, in 1942, published one of his most important works, Abqariyyat al-'arabiyya fi lisaniha (The Genius of Arabic in its Tongue). His approach was distinguished by its emphasis on philology, but he did also pay attention to problems of the modern state and to questions of democracy and the locus of power. Al-Arsuzi was also described as having a racialist outlook which proved in the end intellectually sterile and unsatisfactory to his followers, and as having been deeply influenced in his thought by the tenets of his Alawi religious background. However, others have been more positive in their assessment of al-Arsuzi's contribution to the ideology of Arab nationalism.

After his return from Baghdad in 1940 al-Arsuzi gained a position teaching philosophy but he was soon dismissed from it. From 1945 until 1952, he worked again as a secondary teacher, first in Hama and then in Aleppo, and from 1952 until his retirement in 1959 he taught in a teacher training college. In 1963, in the wake of the Sixth National Congress of the Ba'th Party and the party's gradual alienation from its founders Aflaq and Bitar, Hafiz al-Asad arranged for Arsuzi to help with Ba'thist ideological formation in the army, and later ensured that he was granted a state pension.

Zaki al-Arsuzi died in Damascus in July 1968.

Zaki Arsuzi see Arsuzi, Zaki
Zaki al-Arsuzi see Arsuzi, Zaki

Artuqids. Turkish dynasty in southeast Anatolia and northern Mesopotamia (Diyarbakr province) who ruled from 1098 to 1408.  Following the victory at Malazgirt (1071) as a consequence of the Seljuks’ drive westward, the founder of the dynasty, Artuq ibn Ekseb, became the Seljuk governor of Jerusalem and Palestine in 1086.  His sons, who succeeded him in 1091, were driven from Jerusalem by the Fatimids in 1098, and set up dominions in northern Mesopotamia.  Sokman I (r. 1098-1104) established the branch of Diyarbakr and Hasankeyf (Hisn Kayfa) (r. 1098-1232), and his brother al-Ghazi I (r. 1104-1122), prefect of Baghdad from 1101, established the branch of Mardin and Maiyafariqin (r. 1104-1408).  Another branch ruled in Harput (r. 1185-1233).  Initially under the Seljuks, then the Zangids and the Khwarazm Shahs, the Artuqids achieved large scale autonomy during the Crusades.  Under Nasir al-Din Mahmud (1201-1222) there was an active building program in Diyarbakr which reached its cultural zenith.  The Diyarbakr and Harput branches of the dynasty were removed by the Ayyubids in 1232/33 and the Mardin branch by the Qara Qoyunlu in 1408. 

The Artuqid dynasty (Artuklu in Turkish, sometimes also spelled as Artukid, Ortoqid or Ortokid; Turkish plural: Artukoğulları) was an Oghuz Turkish dynasty that ruled in Eastern Anatolia, Northern Syria and Northern Iraq in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Two main branches of the dynasty ruled from Hasankeyf (Hısn-ı Keyf, Hısnkeyfa) between 1102–1231 and Mardin between 1106–1186 (and until 1409 as vassals). There was also a third branch that acquired Harput in 1112 and was independent between 1185–1233.

The dynasty was founded by Artuq, son of Eksük, a general originally under Malik Shah I and then under the Seljuk emir of Damascus, Tutush I. Tutush appointed Artuq governor of Jerusalem in 1086. Artuq died in 1091, and his sons Sokman and Ilghazi were expelled from Jerusalem by the Fatimid vizier al-Afdal Shahanshah in 1098. The Fatimids lost the city to the crusaders the following year.

Sokman and Ilghazi set themselves up in Diyarbakır, Mardin, and Hasankeyf in the Jezirah, where they came into conflict with the sultanate of Great Seljuk. Sokman, bey of Mardin, defeated the crusaders at the Battle of Harran in 1104. Ilghazi succeeded Sokman in Mardin and imposed his control over Aleppo at the request of the qadi Ibn al-Khashshab in 1118. In 1119, Ilgazi defeated the crusader Principality of Antioch at the Battle of Ager Sanguinis.

In 1121, a Seljuk-Artuqid alliance, commanded by Mehmed I of Great Seljuk and Ilghazi, was defeated by Georgia at the Battle of Didgori. Ilghazi died in 1122, and although his nephew Balak nominally controlled Aleppo, the city was really controlled by Ibn al-Khashshab. Al-Kashshab was assassinated in 1125, and Aleppo fell under the control of Zengi of Mosul. After the death of Balak, the Artuqids were split between Diyarbakır, Hasankeyf and Mardin. Sokman's son Davud, bey of Hasankeyf, died in 1144, and was succeeded by his son Kara Aslan. Kara Aslan allied with Joscelin II of Edessa against the Zengids, and while Joscelin was away in 1144, Zengi recaptured Edessa, the first of the Crusader states to fall. Hasankeyf became a vassal of Zengi as well.

Kara Aslan's son Nur ad-Din Muhammad allied with the Ayyubid sultan Saladin against the Sultan of Rum Kilij Arslan II, whose daughter had married Nur ad-Din Muhammad. In a peace settlement with Kilij Arslan, Saladin gained control of Artuqid territory, although the Artuqids were still technically vassals of Mosul, which Saladin did not yet control. With Artuqid support Saladin eventually took control of Mosul as well.

The Artuklu dynasty still nominally controlled the upper Mesopotamia but their power declined under Ayyubid rule. The Hasankeyf branch conquered Diyarbakır in 1198. This branch was demolished by the Ayyubids in 1231 due to the branch's seeking of an alliance with the Seljuks. The Harput branch was ended by the Sultanate of Rum due to friction between Ayyubids and Seljuks. The Mardin branch was vassal of Ayyubids, the Sultanate of Rum, the Il-Khanate and the Timurids. Finally, the Karakoyunlu captured Mardin and ended Artuklu rule in 1409.

Artuklu see Artuqids.
Artukids see Artuqids.
Ortoqids see Artuqids.
Ortokids see Artuqids.
Artukogullan see Artuqids.

‘Aruj (c.1474-1518).   Turkish corsair who, together with his brother Khayr al-Din Barbarossa, seized possession of Algiers at the beginning of the sixteenth century. 

'Aruj (also called Barbarossa or Redbeard) (Turkish: 'Aruj or Oruç Reis, Spanish: Arrudye; c. 1474 – 1518) was a Turkish privateer and Ottoman Bey (Governor) of Algiers and Beylerbey (Chief Governor) of the West Mediterranean. He was born on the island of Midilli (Lesbos) in today's Greece and was killed in a battle with the Spaniards in Algeria. He became known as Baba 'Aruj or Baba Oruç (Father 'Aruj) when he transported large numbers of Mudejar refugees from Spain to North Africa. He was known through folk etymology in Europe as Barbarossa (which meant "redbeard" in Italian).

He was the older brother of the famous Turkish privateer and Ottoman admiral Khayr al-Din (Hayreddin) Barbarossa.

"Aruj was one of four brothers who were born in the 1470s on the island of Lesbos to their Muslim Turkish father, Yakup Ağa, and his Christian Greek wife, Katerina. Yakup Ağa was a Tımarlı Sipahi, i.e. a Turkish feudal cavalry knight, whose family had its origins in Eceabat and Balıkesir, and later moved to the Ottoman city of Vardar Yenice, now Giannitsa, near Thessaloniki. Yakup Ağa was among those appointed by Sultan Mehmed II to capture Lesbos from the Genoese in 1462, and he was granted the fief of Bonova village as a reward for fighting for the cause. He married a local Greek girl from Mytilene named Katerina, and they had two daughters and four sons: Ishak, 'Aruj (Oruç), Hızır and Ilyas. Yakup became an established potter and purchased a boat of his own to trade his products. The brothers helped their father with his business, but not much is known about the sisters.

All four brothers became seamen, engaged in marine affairs and international sea trade. 'Aruj was the first brother to be involved in seamanship, soon joined by the youngest brother Ilyas. Hızır initially helped their father in the pottery business, but later obtained a ship of his own and also began a career at sea. Ishak, the eldest, remained on Mytilene and was involved with the financial affairs of the family business. The other three brothers initially worked as sailors, but then turned privateers in the Mediterranean, counteracting the privateering of the Knights of St. John of the Island of Rhodes. "Aruj and Ilyas operated in the Levant, between Anatolia, Syria and Egypt, while Hızır operated in the Aegean Sea and based his operations mostly in Thessaloniki.

"Aruj was a very successful seaman. He also learned to speak Italian, Spanish, French, Greek and Arabic in the early years of his career. While returning from a trading expedition in Tripoli, Lebanon, he and Ilyas were attacked by a galley of the Knights of St. John. Ilyas was killed in the fight, and 'Aruj was wounded. Their father's boat was captured, and "Aruj was taken prisoner and detained in the Knights' Bodrum Castle for nearly three years. Upon learning the location of his brother, Hızır went to Bodrum and managed to help "Aruj escape.
'Aruj later went to Antalya, where he was given 18 galleys by Shehzade Korkud, an Ottoman prince and governor of the city, and charged with fighting against the Knights of St. John who inflicted serious damage on Ottoman shipping and trade. In the following years, when Shehzade Korkud became governor of Manisa, he gave "Aruj a larger fleet of 24 galleys at the port of İzmir and ordered him to participate in the Ottoman naval expedition to Puglia in Italy, where "Aruj bombarded several coastal forts and captured two ships. On his way back to Lesbos, he stopped at Euboea and captured three galleons and another ship. Reaching Mytilene with these captured vessels, "Aruj learned that Shehzade Korkud, brother of the new Ottoman sultan, had fled to Egypt in order to avoid being killed because of succession disputes -- a common practice at that time in the House of Osman. Fearing trouble due to his well-known association with the Ottoman prince in exile, 'Aruj sailed to Egypt where he met Shehzade Korkud in Cairo and managed to get an audience with the Mamluk Sultan Qansuh al-Ghawri, who gave him another ship and charged him to raid the coasts of Italy and the islands of the Mediterranean that were controlled by Christian powers. After passing the winter in Cairo, he set sail from Alexandria and operated along the coasts of Liguria and Sicily.

In 1503, 'Aruj managed to seize three more ships and made the island of Djerba his new base, thus moving his operations to the Western Mediterranean. Hızır joined "Aruj at Djerba. In 1504, the two brothers asked Abu Abdullah Mohammed Hamis, sultan of Tunisia from the Beni Hafs dynasty, for permission to use the strategically located port of La Goulette for their operations. They were granted this right, with the condition of leaving one third of their booty to the sultan. "Aruj, in command of small galliots, captured two much larger Papal galleys near the island of Elba. Later, near Lipari, the two brothers captured a Sicilian warship, the Cavalleria, with 380 Spanish soldiers and 60 Spanish knights from Aragon on board, who were on their way from Spain to Naples. In 1505, they raided the coasts of Calabria. These accomplishments increased their fame and they were joined by a number of other well-known Muslim corsairs, including Kurtoğlu (known in the West as Curtogoli). In 1508, they raided the coasts of Liguria, particularly Diano Marina.

In 1509, Ishak also left Mytilene and joined his brothers at La Goulette. The fame of "Aruj increased when between 1504 and 1510 he transported Muslim Mudejars from Christian Spain to North Africa. His efforts of helping the Muslims of Spain in need and transporting them to safer lands earned him the honorific name Baba 'Aruj (Father 'Aruj), which eventually— due to the similarity in sound— evolved in Spain, Italy and France into Barbarossa (Redbeard in Italian).

In 1510, the three brothers raided Cape Passero in Sicily and repulsed a Spanish attack on Bougie, Oran and Algiers. In August 1511, they raided the areas around Reggio Calabria in southern Italy. In August 1512, the exiled ruler of Bougie invited the brothers to drive out the Spaniards, and during the battle 'Aruj lost his left arm. This incident earned him the nickname Gümüş Kol (Silver Arm in Turkish), in reference to the silver prosthetic device which he used in place of his missing limb. Later that year, the three brothers raided the coasts of Andalusia in Spain, capturing a galliot of the Lomellini family of Genoa who owned the Tabarca island in that area. They subsequently landed on Minorca and captured a coastal castle, and then headed towards Liguria and captured four Genoese galleys near Genoa. The Genoese sent a fleet to liberate their ships, but the brothers captured their flagship as well. After capturing a total of 23 ships in less than a month, the brothers sailed back to La Goulette.

There the brothers built three more galliots and a gunpowder production facility. In 1513, they captured four English ships on their way to France, raided Valencia where they captured four more ships, and then headed for Alicante and captured a Spanish galley near Málaga. In 1513 and 1514, the three brothers engaged Spanish squadrons on several other occasions and moved to their new base in Cherchell, east of Algiers. In 1514, with 12 galliots and 1,000 Turks, they destroyed two Spanish fortresses at Bougie, and when a Spanish fleet under the command of Miguel de Gurrea, viceroy of Majorca, arrived for assistance, they headed towards Ceuta and raided that city before capturing Jijel in Algeria, which was under Genoese control. They later captured Mahdiya in Tunisia. Afterwards they raided the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia, the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland, capturing three large ships there. In 1515, they captured several galleons, a galley and three barques at Majorca. Still in 1515, "Aruj sent precious gifts to the Ottoman Sultan Selim I who, in return, sent him two galleys and two swords embellished with diamonds. In 1516, joined by Kurtoğlu, the brothers besieged the Castle of Elba, before heading once more towards Liguria where they captured 12 ships and damaged 28 others.

In 1516, the three brothers succeeded in liberating Jijel and Algiers from the Spaniards, but eventually assumed control over the cities and surrounding region, forcing the previous ruler, Abu Hamo Musa III of the Beni Ziyad dynasty, to flee. The local Spaniards in Algiers sought refuge in the island of Peñón near Algiers and asked Emperor Charles V, King of Spain, to intervene, but the Spanish fleet failed to force the brothers out of Algiers.

After consolidating his power and declaring himself the new Sultan of Algiers, 'Aruj sought to enhance his territory inlands and took Miliana, Medea and Ténès. He became known for attaching sails to cannons for transport through the deserts of North Africa. In 1517 the brothers raided Capo Limiti and later the Island of Capo Rizzuto in Calabria.

For 'Aruj, the best protection against Spain was to join the Ottoman Empire, his homeland and Spain's main rival. For this he had to relinquish his title of Sultan of Algiers to the Ottomans. He did this in 1517 and offered Algiers to the Ottoman Sultan. The Sultan accepted Algiers as an Ottoman Sanjak (province), appointed 'Aruj as the Bey (Governor) of Algiers and Beylerbey (Chief Governor) of West Mediterranean, and promised to support him with janissaries, galleys and cannons.

The Spaniards ordered Abu Zayan, whom they had appointed as the new ruler of Tlemcen and Oran, to attack 'Aruj by land, but 'Aruj learned of the plan and pre-emptively struck against Tlemcen, capturing the city and executing Abu Zayan. The only survivor of Abu Zayan's dynasty was Sheikh Buhammud, who escaped to Oran and called for Spain's assistance.

In May 1518, Emperor Charles V arrived at Oran and was received there by Sheikh Buhammud and the Spanish governor of the city, Diego de Cordoba, marquess of Comares, who commanded a force of 10,000 Spanish soldiers. Joined by thousands of Bedouins, the Spaniards marched overland on Tlemcen where 'Aruj and Ishak awaited them with 1,500 Turkish and 5,000 Moorish soldiers. They defended Tlemcen for 20 days, but were eventually killed in combat by the forces of Garcia de Tineo.

The last remaining brother, Hızır Reis, inherited his brother's place, his name (Barbarossa) and his mission.

'Aruj established a Turkish presence in North Africa that lasted for four centuries until the loss of Algeria to France in 1830, of Tunisia to France in 1881, of Libya to Italy in 1912 and until the official loss of Egypt and Sudan to the United Kingdom in 1914, after the Ottoman Empire joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. The Republic of Turkey officially renounced the remaining disputed Turkish rights in some territories of Egypt and Sudan with the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

Several submarines of the Turkish Navy have been named after 'Aruj (Oruç Reis).

Barbarossa was the influence behind the character, Captain Hector Barbossa from the movie Pirates of the Carribean. It was revealed that costar Johnny Depp played a decisive part in providing the name. His last name is both a pun on the surname of Portuguese origin "Barbosa" and is based on Barbarossa, the Ottoman privateer. The word is a combination of the Italian words barba (beard) and ossa (bones) which is very consistent with his skeletal look shown in the first movie.

'Aruj Reis see ‘Aruj
Oruc Reis see ‘Aruj
Arrudye see ‘Aruj
Barbarossa see ‘Aruj
Redbeard see ‘Aruj
Baba 'Aruj see ‘Aruj

Asabiyah is an Arabic word which can mean "solidarity" or "group consciousness" but is usually translated as "group feeling".  At the most basic level, asabiyah is something that a person feels for this family, a kind of "brotherhood."  According to Ibn Khaldun, the successful ruler is he who manages to spread and maintain the asabiyah to all members of the society, so that all think of one another as they would think of their own brothers.

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