The Religion and Languages in The Middle East

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About this sample


Words: 971 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

Words: 971|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

In the Middle East, religion and language are considered basic elements in their cultural identity. The three main ethnic groups (Arabs, Turks and Iranians) mark the language of the region. Arabic is the most widely used language, followed by Turkish and finally Persian or Farsi, the language used by the Iranians. Educated people throughout the Middle East speak English or French frequently.

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So the five top languages, in terms of numbers of speakers, are Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Kurdish, and Hebrew. Arabic and Hebrew represent the Afro-Asiatic language family. Persian and Kurdish belong to the Indo-European language family. Turkish belongs to Turkic language family. About 20 minority languages are also spoken in the Middle East.

Arabic, with all its dialects, are the most widely spoken languages in the Middle East, with Literary Arabic being official in all North African and in most West Asian countries. Arabic dialects are also spoken in some adjacent areas in neighbouring Middle Eastern non-Arab countries. It is a member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Several Modern South Arabian languages such as Mehri and Soqotri are also spoken Yemen and Oman. Another Semitic language such as Aramaic and its dialects are spoken mainly by Assyrians and Mandaeans. There is also a Oasis Berber-speaking community in Egypt where the language is also known as Siwa. It is a non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic language.

Persian is the second most spoken language. While it is primarily spoken in Iran and some border areas in neighbouring countries, the country is one of the region’s largest and most populous. It belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the family of Indo-European languages. Other Western Iranic languages spoken in the region include Achomi, Daylami, Kurdish dialects, Semmani, Lurish, amongst many others.

The third-most widely spoken language, Turkish, is largely confined to Turkey, which is also one of the region’s largest and most populous countries, but it is present in areas in neighboring countries. It is a member of the Turkic languages, which have their origins in Central Asia. Another Turkic language, Azerbaijani, is spoken by Azerbaijanis in Iran.

Hebrew is one of the two official languages of Israel, the other being Arabic. Hebrew is spoken and used by over 80% of Israel’s population, the other 20% using Arabic.

English is commonly taught and used as a second language, especially among the middle and upper classes, in countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. It is also a main language in some Emirates of the United Arab Emirates.

French is taught and used in many government facilities and media in Lebanon, and is taught in some primary and secondary schools of Egypt and Syria. Maltese, a Semitic language mainly spoken in Europe, is also used by the Franco-Maltese diaspora in Egypt.

Armenian and Greek speakers are also to be found in the region. Georgian is spoken by the Georgian diaspora. Russian is spoken by a large portion of the Israeli population, because of emigration in the late 1990s. Russian today is a popular unofficial language in use in Israel; news, radio and sign boards can be found in Russian around the country after Hebrew and Arabic. Circassian is also spoken by the diaspora in the region and by almost all Circassians in Israel who speak Hebrew and English as well. The largest Romanian-speaking community in the Middle East is found in Israel, where as of 1995 Romanian is spoken by 5% of the population.

Bengali, Hindi and Urdu is widely spoken by migrant communities in many Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia (where 20–25% of the population is South Asian), the United Arab Emirates (where 50–55% of the population is South Asian), and Qatar, which have large numbers of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian immigrants.

The religion of the Muslims is Islam, whose faith is the predominant one in the Middle East. It is divided into two main branches: the largest, which is Sunni Islam, and Shia Islam, which is found mainly in Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. Some Arabs practice Christianity, for example in Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt. While Judaism was the faith of ancient Israel and is the religion of the modern state of Israel. Islam developed as a religious-political movement where religion was part of the state and society. Muslims believe that Islam includes faith and politics is rooted in their divinely revealed book , the Koran, and the example (Sunna) of their founder / prophet, Muhammad, and is therefore reflected in their doctrine, history and politics. . The divine mandate of the Qur'an took shape and substance, to some extent under the guidance and direction of God's messenger the Prophet Muhammad.

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Religion has caused great conflict in the Middle East and the world. As much as the majority of the Islamist terrorist movements are born within a certain political context and their claims are political, their sources of inspiration and their moral justification are not based on political terms, but on Islamic sources of authority and religious principles. Using these principles, the leaders of these movements have succeeded in motivating the Islamic terrorist, creating a social environment that grants approval and a religious environment that provides moral and legal justification for his actions. Therefore treating Islamic terrorism as an exclusively political and socio-economic phenomenon does not do justice to the meaning of the religious culture in which this phenomenon is rooted. Groups like Al Qaeda, Jihad, Taliban and Hezbollah are some of the terrorist groups, which have caused great damage in the Middle East, and the world.

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The Top Languages in the Middle East. (2022, May 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 3, 2023, from
“The Top Languages in the Middle East.” GradesFixer, 31 May 2022,
The Top Languages in the Middle East. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Dec. 2023].
The Top Languages in the Middle East [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 31 [cited 2023 Dec 3]. Available from:
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