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Arabic is a primary language in 24 different countries in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and much of the Middle East. It is spoken natively by over 300 million people worldwide. Additionally, as the liturgical language of Islam, Arabic is also the second language of millions of Muslims around the world. It is one of the six most commonly spoken languages worldwide, one of the six official languages of the United Nations, the official language of the Arab league, one of the three languages of the African Union, and is spoken worldwide as the official language by at least 22 of the United Nations countries, taking a major role in global communications and international affairs.
In addition to its role as a tool for communication, language is an ambassador of culture and a link between societies toward cross-cultural understanding. Arabic has been one of the largest stores of human cultures, science, religious studies and arts. The Arabic language has a rich artistic, intellectual, and religious history that dates back thousands of years in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as other locations worldwide. It is one of the most wide-spread languages spoken by millions of people, scientists, scholars who mostly live in the Middle East, Asia, North and east Africa, and other parts of the world.
Islam is the world's second largest and fastest growing religion. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, making up 23% of the world's population. Muslims are the majority in 50 countries. It is estimated that by 2050, the number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
Learn more about Arabic and Islamic Studies in our Resources section and ASU's academic offerings in Arabic and Islamic Studies.