North Africa

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**Geography of North Africa:**
– North Africa features the Sahara desert, the Atlas Mountains, and the Nile River and delta.
– The Sahara desert covers over 75% of the region, with various landforms like ergs, hammada, and reg.
– Fertile farming land is found in sheltered valleys in the Atlas Mountains, the Nile Valley and Delta, and the Mediterranean coast.
– Crops grown in North Africa include cereals, rice, cotton, olives, figs, dates, and citrus fruits.

**Demographics and Ethnic Groups in North Africa:**
– Ethnic groups in North Africa are divided into the Maghreb, the Nile valley, and the Sahel.
– Modern Standard Arabic is the official language, with Berber recognized as a second official language in Algeria and Morocco.
– The largest ethnic group in North Africa is the Arabs.
– In 2001, there were an estimated 9 million Christians in North Africa, mostly in Egypt and Maghreb countries.
– North Africa’s inhabitants include Arabs, Berbers, Egyptians, Nubians, and Haratins.

**Historic Movements and Influence:**
– Berbers have inhabited western North Africa since at least 10,000 B.C.
– Arab migrations to the Maghreb began in the 7th century, influencing the region’s culture and language.
– Waves of Arab migrations to the Maghreb in the 7th century Arabized North Africa.
– North Africa shares genetic, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic ties with the Middle East.
– Arabization and Islamization have shaped the cultural landscape of North Africa.

**Culture and Religion in North Africa:**
– Majority in Maghreb and Sahara regions speak Arabic and follow Islam.
– Berbers influenced by Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Europeans, and Africans.
– Majority in Maghreb and Sahara regions follow Sunni Islam.
– Significant Coptic Christian minority in Egypt.
– North African cuisine showcases Arab, Berber, and African elements.

**Historical Significance and Academic References:**
– Earliest rock paintings found in the Sahara.
– Prehistoric North Africa crucial for human history understanding.
– Encyclopedic World Atlas by Oxford University Press.
– Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen).
– Ancient village Volubilis in Morocco by C. Michael Hogan.

North Africa (Wikipedia)

North Africa (sometimes Northern Africa) is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of the Western Sahara in the west, to Egypt and Sudan's Red Sea coast in the east.

North Africa
Sovereign states (6)
Other territories (3)
Partially recognized states (1)
Time zonesUTC+00:00
The population density of Africa as of 2000

The most common definition for the region's boundaries includes Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Western Sahara, the territory disputed between Morocco and the partially recognized Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The United Nations' definition includes all these countries as well as the Sudan. The African Union defines the region similarly, only differing from the UN in excluding the Sudan. The Sahel, south of the Sahara Desert, can be considered as the southern boundary of North Africa. North Africa includes the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, and the plazas de soberanía. It can also be considered to include Malta, as well as other Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish regions such as Lampedusa and Lampione, the Azores and Madeira, and the Canary Islands, which are all closer or as close to the African continent than Europe.

Northwest Africa has been inhabited by Berbers since the beginning of recorded history, while the eastern part of North Africa has been home to the Egyptians. In the seventh and eighth centuries, Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula swept across the region during the early Muslim conquests. The Arab migrations to the Maghreb began immediately after, shifting the demographic scope of North Africa in favor of the Arabs. Many but not all Berbers and Egyptians gradually merged into Arab-Islamic culture. These processes of Arabization and Islamization has defined the cultural landscape of North Africa ever since.

The countries and people of North Africa share a large amount of their genetic, ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity and influence with the Middle East/West Asia, a process that began with the Neolithic Revolution c. 10,000 BC and pre Dynastic Egypt. The countries of North Africa are also a major part of the Arab world. The Islamic and Arab influence in North Africa has remained dominant ever since, with the region being major part of the Muslim world. North Africa is associated with the Middle East in the realm of geopolitics to form the Middle East-North Africa region.

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