Politics

What Is The League of Arab States?

The Arab League is a regional organization of Arab nations in and around Arabia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

What Is The League Of Arab States?

League of Arab States is a voluntary association of countries that use Arabic as the official language or whose members are mainly of Arab origin. Arab League aims at fostering cooperation among its members and coordinates their policies towards the common goal. The League facilitates economic, political, social, and cultural activities designed to enhance the welfare of its member states. It does this through some of its organizations such as the Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (ALESCO) and the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU).

History Of Formation Of The League Of Arab States

Following the adoption of the Alexandria Protocol in 1944, the League of Arab States was established in 1945 in Egypt with six countries as the founding members. These were Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Its first major activity was in defense of the Arab population that was being uprooted in the Middle East to create room for the formation of the Israeli state. It formed a mutual defense treaty in 1950 followed by the common market in 1965.

How Many Countries Are Members Of This League?

The league of Arab States is made up of 22 countries including Palestine which it also recognized as an independent country. However, the participation of Syria in the organization's activities got suspended since November 2011 due to government’s suppression of the civil war. Egypt was expelled from the League from 1979 to 1991 due to its peace treaty with Israel. In the second half of the 20th century there was an increase in membership of the League, with 15 more Arab countries joining and four more joining as observers. Chad is not a member of the league, though 12% of its population identifies as Arab and Arabic is one of the country’s official language. The country applied for membership in 2014. Israel also is not a member although about 20% of its population is Arabic Palestinians and almost half of the country’s population is descendants of Jews from Arab countries

Interactions Between Member Countries Of The League Of Arab States

The League provides a forum for the members to coordinate their policy decisions, deliberate on matters of common interests and take a joint position as well as settle some disputes among its members such as the Lebanon Crisis of 1958. Each member country has a single vote, and the decisions made by votes are only binding to the countries that participate in the voting. The countries, for example, signed the Joint Defense and Economic Cooperation in 1950 to achieve coordination among its members in military defense measures. In 2015, its leadership announced the formation of a joint force to help them fight and counter extremism within their countries. It is believed the decision was informed by the rising cases of violent civil wars and terrorism in the region. Participation by the members is voluntary, and the army can only intervene at the request of the affected members. The effectiveness of the organization has been hindered at times due to the division among its members. For example during the Cold War, some of its members were allied with the Soviet Union while others supported the Western powers. To date, there is a considerable rivalry between Iraq and Egypt. The traditional monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco have also had their tensions with other new revolutionary states such as Egypt and Iraq. The unity of the League was also severely tested when the US-led alliance invaded Iraq. Some of them supported, others opposed while the rest remained neutral. Literacy in Arab League Countries

The figures used in the measurement of literacy are based on self-reported data. Definitions and data collection methods vary and at times yield inconsistent data among the countries. However, the oil boom in the region has enabled the setting up of several universities and other higher institutions of learning. At the top of the chart is Qatar with literacy rate of 97.3% followed by Palestine with 96.5%. At the lower end of the chart is Somalia with a range of 44%-72%.

Demographics Of Arab League Countries

The overwhelming majority of the residents of the countries identify as Arabs. The estimated population as at 2015 was 423 million over an area of over 13,000,000km2 resulting in a population density of 27.12/km2. Egypt is the most populous with over 90 million people with Comoros as the least populated with 0.6 million. The predominant religion is Islam. There is also an estimated population of 15 million Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Sudan among others. There are also other minority religious groups such as Yazidis, Druzes, and Shabaks among others. The official language for the states is literary Arabic based on the Classical Arabic. However, the countries have other sub-dialects such as Somali, Berber, and Kurdish among others. The least populous countries are Comoros and Djibouti with each having less than a million people.

Economy Of The Arab League

The area is rich in resources with most countries having oil and natural gas deposits. Tourism is the other rising economic activity despite the general instability with Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Lebanon leading the way. The telecommunications industry is the other budding and highly competitive sector with some recent companies such as Orascom and Etisalat managing to achieve international penetration. The other significant economic projects championed by the League include the Arab Gas Pipeline which transports the resource from Egypt and Iraq to Jordan, Turkey and into Europe. There is also the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) trade agreement which aims at making the sale of products within the bloc free of tax. However, there exists great disparity in the economic development between the member states. For example, Qatar which is the wealthiest in the bloc has its Gross Domestic Product per capita over seventy times that of Mauritania. There are a host if oil-rich states such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and the poorer ones including Djibouti, Sudan, and Comoros among others. The League has not managed to bridge these gaps and disparities. Some parts of the geography of the League have excellent transport connections that facilitate trade. The Arabian Peninsula and Near East are well-connected with air, sea, rail and road systems. The Nile Valley includes Sudan and Egypt. The two countries have worked to improve the navigability of River Nile to improve the interstate interactions and trade between them. The other division of the League is the Comoros Island which is not physically connected to any of the countries but still trades with them.

Cultural Interactions Between The Member States

The Arab League has sponsored sporting events among the member states. For example, there is the Pan Arab Games which is considered the biggest sporting event in the nations’ calendars. There are also plans for the Arab Champions League between the Arab clubs.

RankCountryPopulation
1 Egypt92,519,544
2 Algeria37,100,000
3 Iraq37,056,169
4 Morocco32,064,173
5 Sudan30,894,000
6 Saudi Arabia28,146,658
7 Yemen23,580,000
8 Syria*21,906,000
9 Somalia11,400,000
10 Tunisia10,673,800
11 United Arab Emirates8,264,070
12 Libya6,733,620
13 Jordan6,332,000
14 Palestine4,550,368
15 Lebanon4,224,000
16 Kuwait3,566,437
17 Mauritania3,291,000
18 Oman2,845,000
19 Qatar1,699,435
20 Bahrain1,234,596
21 Djibouti864,000
22 Comoros691,000

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