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According to Orientalist Historian Bernard Lewis, there is no word in Arabic for this country's name; what country is it?




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Answer: Saudi Arabia

According to Lewis: "Most remarkable of all, there is no word in the Arabic language for "Arabia," and modern Saudi Arabia is spoken of instead as "the Saudi Arab kingdom" or "the peninsula of the Arabs," depending on the context.

This is not because Arabic is a poor language-quite the reverse is true - but because the Arabs simply did not think in terms of combined ethnic and territorial identity.

Indeed, the caliph Omar, the second in succession after the Prophet Muhammad, is quoted as saying to the Arabs, "Learn your genealogies, and do not be like the local peasants who, when they are asked who they are, reply: 'I am from such-and-such a place.' "

Source: The Revolt of Islam by BERNARD LEWIS.

For further info, see: http://www.newyorker.com/printable/?fact/011119fa_FACT2

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