Although the Arabic language arose long ago in the 5th century BCE, as a member of the western branch of the Hamito-Semitic language family its ancient origins can be traced back to a date between 8000 and 6000 BC. Today, approximately 75 million people worldwide speak it today.
Literary Arabic is one of only two languages classified as being in the ancient stage of development. In order to be classified as ancient a language must have retained all of those common features it had when it was first developed. Hebrew is the other ancient language.
Arabic is not only the official language for the Islamic faith; it has enabled the rich imagery found within the Koran, the Holy Scripture of Islam. Like Hebrew, Arabic is written right to left.
The greatest concentration of Arabic-speaking people is on the Arabian Peninsula which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen Arab Republic, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, United Arab Emirates, and Iraq.