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The Arab world (Arabic: العالم العربي al-ʿālam al-ʿarabī; formally: al-wațan al-ʿarabī), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربية al-ʾummah al-ʿarabīah) or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Arabic-speaking countries of the Arab League. These Arab states occupy an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast. The contemporary Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants, over half of whom are under 25 years of age.
In the Middle Ages, the Arab world was synonymous with the historic Arab empires and caliphates. Arab nationalism arose in the second half of the 19th century along with other nationalist movements within the Ottoman Empire. The Arab League was formed in 1945 to represent the interests of Arab people and especially to pursue the political unification of the Arab countries; a project known as Pan-Arabism. The term "Arab world" is controversial as it may imply that the entire region is Arab in its identity, population, and origin. Many people who live in the region do not consider themselves Arab or belonging to the Arab realm. The term Arab world is also rejected by numerous indigenous Christian Semitic minorities such as the Assyrians and many of the Maronites and Egyptian Christians, as these populations pre-date the Arab Islamic expansion into North Africa, Mesopotamia and the Eastern Mediterranean.
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