Arabic is a Semitic language originating from the Arabian peninsula. As the Muslim World expanded, Arabic spread into North Africa and Western Asia.
There are around 280 million Arabic native speakers worldwide. Arabic is an official language in 26 countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Israel (along with Hebrew), Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. In addition, it is also one of the United Nations’ six official languages.
Arabic has influenced a great number of languages, including most European languages as well as Asian and African languages. English has many Arabic loanwords such as alcohol, algebra, algorithm, average, candy, caravan, cotton, giraffe, guitar, jar, lemon, lilac, magazine, sugar and talisman.
There are about 11 words for “love”, each describing specific stages of the process of falling in love. For example, “hawa” describes the initial attraction towards someone, “huyum” the loss of reason that follows, and “ishq” a blind desire.
Both Arabic and Hebrew are Semitic languages and share distinctive features. This makes it easier for Arabic speakers to learn Hebrew, and vice versa.