Hey everyone! So as you know, we are working on the next few country episodes which means this is gonna have to be a filler week! This week, I was given a topic by you guys that I thought was pretty interesting. What are the differences between Arab countries? A lot of people think all Arabs are the same (nah they’re not). Before we get into this though, just want to give a huge shout out to Squarespace for being our sponsor for this episode. A lot of you have probably heard about them, You know exactly what they are and we are really thankful that they’re sponsoring Geography Now. We’ll talk more about them later. So anyway, I am not Arab and I feel like the best way to go about this tricky topic would probably to have an Arab with me in this episode. So you guys remember my Arab friend from Egypt and the Egypt episode, Mohab? – Hello! Nice.
– Good to be here. Now, there are a lot of countries that either speak Arabic or have Arabic as a national or recognized language. However, in this episode we’re gonna do the twenty two nations of the Arab League. These are the countries that actually get to call the shots for the most part in the Arabic area. Before we start, little disclaimer: Yes, everything we’re gonna be discussing in this episode might be a little bit touchy-feely. There’s no universal agreement. A lot of this stuff we’re about to say is also kind of based off of what you guys the Arab Geograpeeps have said to me. – All right, cool?
– I say, let’s begin! *Algeria* Algeria is a ma-ha-REB country not Ma-GREB [demostrating Arabic rolled r sounds] You can’t really mention Algeria without talking about soccer(or football), to the point where when these countries play soccer(football) together, things get heated up- and that’s an understatement
– Huge rivalry. Size-wise, they are the largest country in all of Africa and they are the largest Francophone nation in the Arab world. They were under the French at one point and they speak just like French people like. 100%, almost. Culture-wise, Algeria is the home of what we know as Rai music. Algerian folk music that became a phenomenon with people like Cheb Khaled, Cheb Mami… *Bahrain* Now I have been here and the impression I got is that Bahrain is kind of like the secret Dubai of the Middle East and it’s also kind of like Saudi Arabia’s girlfriend. They don’t have any rivalry with any other countries. They are very stable economically very open-minded and liberal. They even appointed a Jewish female ambassador to their government, which is pretty much unheard of for pretty much any Arab country They have the money but they’re not really being *demonetized* about it. but they do know that they have the money so they conduct themselves in that way. Mohab, what do you know about the *Comoros*? *crickets – Yeah…
– Yeah very few people in the Arab world know anything about the Comoros Islands. They are the smallest nation in the Arab League with only about 800,000 people. They actually speak three languages, Comorian, French and Arabic. They do have a little bit more of like a Black East African culture applied to them. They would be like this strange extended family kind of cousin that you never met growing up. *Djibouti* Uh, yeah, the Arabs don’t really pay too much attention to Djibouti either partially because only about 5% of the country identifies as Arab even though they speak Arabic. Basically, they’re known as being Ethiopia’s only access to the sea. Djibouti would be the country that shows up to the party, sits quietly, sips his drink, leaves early because he has work in the morning he’s like the Wallflower of the Arab party. and now we reach *E G Y P T*
– Oh, yeah. Egypt is basically the hub, the godfather of the Arab world, the most populated one with over a hundred million people That’s the problem. A hundred million of Egyptians live in a little under 5% of the land. – Heavily concentrated.
– Very much so. So this is the thing about Egyptians, when the revolution started in 2011 and people were dying in the streets, Guess what, you find that people are just making (dank)memes and jokes about it because this has been always the way Egyptians cope with sadness and tragedy, through dark comedy. You can imagine soccer in Egypt exactly the same way you would imagine soccer in Brazil. We might not have a soccer(football) on the flag like in Brazil, but it’s like people religiously follow their teams. if the Arab world was a high school, Egypt would kind of be like the really popular kid maybe not the smartest or richest but the most popular Everybody’s paying attention *Iraq* Probably won’t find too many Iraqi people outside of Iraq They kind of generally stay in their country except for the ones that are not Arab like Kurdish people or Assyrians, right? Yes Yeah, the country is known for having the heaviest population of Shia[s] in the Arab world in the Arab world. I would say that most Arabs we we don’t have a whole lot of intake from that country, which is very unfortunate. They know Iraq. It’s not a small country, but and meet a recent controversy just kind of like it’s just like that’s all they’re known for I guess you could kind of say Iraq is kind of like the goth kid of the Arab world (it’s very accurate depiction) Jordan the one everybody kind of wants to be friends with right? Yeah. Yeah pretty much every Arab country can be friends with them. They’re kind of like the Wisconsin of the Arab world. So when it comes to Jordan and Lebanon, there is no way earth You’re gonna be able to differentiate between the different dialects. Both countries would be kind of offended when you say this because they tell you. Oh, no, we do not sound the same. It’s like when you say the Australians and the New Zealand Kiwis sound the same they would be like no we don’t we don’t. (yeah) *Kuwait* they kind of went on like a bad blind-date with Iraq and they just really don’t want to talk about it anymore. So Kuwait is kind of like the rich older sister who is part of like a very exclusive Country Club really hard to be a Kuwaiti citizen. Even if you’re born there and even if you are born it only applies if your dad is Kuwaiti. And then you have 20 years to be staying in the country And I guess yeah, you have to prove that you’ve rendered service and what else you have to speak Arabic? Muslim most likely Muslim it would be that. Fancy-schmancy Country Club and Bel Air, exclusive Country Club of the Arab world very much. Yeah, next one Lebanon P A R T Y ! Lebanon is the party capital of the Arab world. it really is! Yes, they are the most religiously diverse nation in all of the Arab world! There’s like 18 recognized religious communities and their government system even requires leaders from each community to represent them. I’m not trying to be offensive but Lebanese people I’ve met so many Lebanese people and they are delightful. But they have a little bit of ‘tude – – attitude yes, they do. (laughing) They provide some of the finest most prolific singers of any Arabic country. Arabic, French, English It’s all mixed up. baba ganoush Fatuous Lebneh. Oh my gosh that Manakish stuff Manakish Manakish Yes. Oh my god I love that,it’s like Arab pizza. Okay, here’s a funny fact I have yet to see on ask it from one to ten a seven Lebanese person I have not they’re all nines intensity, but they’re just really really attractive. Good-looking people *Libya*. Yeah As mentioned in the episode the only Arab that kind of speaks Italian-ish because they were under the Italians at one point So, I don’t know I mean, what do you think about Libyan people really kind really understanding they love to laugh and leave it or not Just much like a difference. They like to learn the Egyptian dialect. Some of them actually nailed it and they’re just good people It’s just unfortunate kind of like Iraq just unfortunate circumstances have kind of put this title on them that didn’t ask for but correct, *Mauritania* It’s not talked about too much either. They aren’t a super popular one But one thing that they’re known for is that they take Islam very seriously, they’re pretty conservative They are deemed also to be one of the most countries that would be memorizing like the whole qur’an I have huge fortune Quran memorizers and Islamic poets as well intellectuals that live in the sparsely populated Sandy areas with lots of wind. That’s probably how they get inspired to write poetry. I don’t know. You know that that, Shaolin monk just sitting on the rocking chair and just Writing. That’s that’s really what Mauritania is, the quiet monk sitting alone in the desert. Morocco This is the most Berber or Amazigh influenced country in the entire Arab world. The’re Arabic, even if you’re a native speaker It’s very very hard to understand. They have the weirdest accents, right? Incredibly strong. It’s kind of like what Chile is to the Spanish? Correct? Yeah, that’s dead-on. I mean they are considered an Arabic country, but …..Are they reeeeaally?… So Mohab, if the Arab world was a family. How would you kind of place Morocco? Comfortable. Financially Comfortable uncle. Stands up at dinner and he gives that big speech you couldn’t really understand what he was talking about He’s like the guy that showed up. He’s like hey *Are you arlight Barbie?* Oh, ok. Oh, Cheers, Cheers! Cheer, oh yeah *Oman. So when you say Oman, “Om” is actually mother in Arabic It’s like the the old mother or the old grandma was really really wise and really likes to keep things traditional Not just culture and family the grandma of the Arab world Correct I would say it could be easily the friendliest or the second(friendliest). No heat, no fights, nothing. Yeah, Oman is kind of untouchable. Arab countries don’t want to go in and like cause any trouble. When you go there It’s kind of like a travel back in time like that people’s memory of the cities They still wear the same clothing from like hundreds of years ago, correct? I would say, if it ain’t broken, why fix it? Yeah, Oman, don’t don’t fix it. It doesn’t need to be fixed. Palestine Oh boy, that’s a little confusing because they are still considered part of the Arab League But in terms of actual real legislation, it’s kind of like in a limbo stage. So it’s weird Yeah, it’s kind of a lot of Palestinians have told me that like a lot of Arab countries can stand in solidarity with Palestine But they’re kind of careful not to invest too much into it cause two things they kind of want to keep Palestine as that poster child. People do not have the resources with the time to just Get out of their own homes and go somewhere else to mind someone else’s problem. You can’t use my washer/dryer unless I actually finish it Otherwise in terms of Palestinian culture and everything. I was told they invented kunafe. I don’t know. I don’t know Mohab, when you meet a Palestinian person, what do you think? How did you get here? I’m not even joking. They have travel documents, but they don’t have passports because it’s not a state So you mean if you just think okay, there must be a story every single time You meet a Palestinian outside of Palestine more often than not when they leave the just immediately seek asylum Qatar When I say Qatar, what are some things that immediately pop in your head? I’m not talking about the people I am not talking about the people immediately The two topics the two huge topics that come to mind would be the Muslim Brotherhood and al Jazeera Network I don’t know what happened over the past few years But it’s not one of those topics that you watch any Arabic channel or Egyptian media handling the topic of Qatar with grace It’s funny because yeah Qatar has like the highest Expat ratio out of any country in the world at like almost 80, I think over 80% So it’s actually kind of rare to find a native Qatari citizen Like they’re all hiding in the penthouse suites of the building is it’s like very close. You can’t find them It’s so hard and they did score the World Cup 2022 – yeah, I actually really liked Doha when I visited that I’ll say like I loved him there It was great. Like Souq Waqif looked really cool. It’s a really cool spot you can visit Yeah, but at the same time I wasn’t immersing myself with the entire underlying spectrum of politics and what’s going on It’s a whole other story. Yeah, but I just liked my stay. That’s all I can say. Saudi Arabia Big Daddy, the big daddy of the Arab world. They even have Arab in their name, basically when I was there a lot of assumptions I had were kind of dispelled. You can check them out in the video here But basically to outsiders and most Arabs, Saudi Arabia is kind of seen the same way It’s like money money oil and religion, right? Yeah. I mean, it’s really really the hub of Islam. It is in Madina Munawwara Mecca they have the Shahada (لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله)(There is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger)on the flag. You said that’s so fast Yeah, however, you also do kind of notice that they are Slowly trying to progress into the 21st century a have been passing laws over the past ten years What is that gonna look like we’ll see Time will tell Yeah Somalia. This is this is probably the Blackest Africanist(what?) Arab country, right? It really is Yeah, in terms of culture. They’re pretty kind they’re kind of I don’t want to say similar to Ethiopia and Eritrea, but they do have like similar food. I’m not trying to offend anyone I promise this is just a little bit funny fact growing up in Egypt Somalians or or the word somali would kind of connotated the butt of most of the jokes. I mean, oh But it’s endearing it’s not a racism thing don’t go there I don’t go there but you still use a people group in the context very rich in culture though, Very colorful vibrant traditions and customs. Yeah, their colors are insane. Oh, yes, Somali people are very colorful Sudan Sudan had that thing going on with Egypt They have very very first of all, it’s the borderline you share the same border. Yeah Yeah, they were under an alliance at some point They were actually the same exact country anything that happens with the Nile in Egypt Will affect Sudan so. And vice versa and vice versa. Think about it this way You have a brother and you love them so much, but you don’t have a problem having a fistfight with them Syria okay Mohab what comes to mind when I say Syria Assad and Isis obviously so you can understand it The country is just connotative to a lot of dark black terrorism again They didn’t ask for it but just kind of what happens Syrians are kind of like the people that show up and they have the craziest stories in the group I pretty much that’s how it you would probably yeah and everyone cries But if you just meet them as people I’m sure they’re just people it’s just there’s always a story with a Syrian Tunisia the artsy person of the Arab world they were voted the freest country in the Arab world as well Yeah, they’re known for having a lot of cool crafts people know them for their carpets and their carvings It’s just like they love art when you mentioned Tunisia what comes to mind again as an Arab? Algerian even though it’s a completely different country, but there’s so much similarity and if you’re not really well-versed in history You would not really know a whole lot of difference between the two countries French also speaking people I believe they speak French right they do Yeah, and they also have really good health care which we explained in the Libya episode Lots of Libyans go to Tunisia for health care the UAE United Arab Emirates now It’s interesting because they’re called the Emirates but it’s actually ruled by Sheikdoms seven Sheikhs They kind of unified the whole country. So technically there’s like no royal family. But I mean there’s some super rich It’s kind of what this really is, but not really. The country played their cards, right? They know they actually knew and they still do know at some point. We’re going to be running out of oil So what else to do? Let’s turn this into some modern marvel twenty-five years ago It was just like a fishing village on the desert. That’s it But then like late 90s like exploded when I was there It was very crowded, you know, so many people were trying to look at the Burj Khalifa and you know It’s just like I couldn’t find a single like what do you call like a Souq. I couldn’t find a single one maybe in other Emirates Abu Dabi or Dubai definitely not knows like I couldn’t find anything traditional everything was just glass and metal in conclusion will have what would you Say I think it would be the rich VIP booth That you see at a club in Vegas And finally, Yemen So most people kind of know this country as having a little bit of a conflict with Saudi Arabia There is kind of like a Shia-ish minority They it’s weird because they actually kind of have like the almost the exact same population as Saudi Arabia but in a smaller concentrated area Delicious food very very unique cuisine very very rich of protein-protein steak lamb and chicken. Mmm. Cool thing about Yemen They are definitely known for Socotra island, which is all the plans are only unique to that one Island You can’t find them anywhere else on earth It’s a little hard to get there though because of the Somali pirates, but it’s very cool So Mohab, what would you say? Yemen is kind of like in the big broad Arab family I would say someone very very comfortable in the shadow know what the emo kid And that is it all the 22 nations of the Arab League, we did it. We probably offended half of everybody but oh well reading those comments are gonna be fun Yeah, and before we go I gotta do this little quick shop for Squarespace Thank You Squarespace for sponsoring this video for those of you that don’t know although I’m pretty sure a lot of you do know Squarespace is a website where you can make a website if you’re gonna squarespace.com They got a lot of cool Templates and programs and they’ve got a lot of cool options that you can click on They have a lot of cool colorful things that you can choose from if you want to make a website Squarespace is the place to go and if you go to this link right here Squarespace/geographynow you can get a 10% discount on your first purchase for Squarespace if you’re Interested in making the website check them out. Thank you Squarespace for sponsoring geography now. Thank you Mohab. Thank you so much. If you guys want to see Mohab again, just let me know in the comments or something I don’t maybe we could put you in a different episode I’m very exclusive like Kuwait with my crew in my group. So I mean I’ll work for it. Thanks for watching! Subtitles by Stormwind.