Arabic is spoken by over a hundred million people throughout the Middle East. It is also the language of Islam and the Quran. Because of this, many Muslims who do not speak Arabic have borrowed many words from Arabic, just as most European languages have borrowed words from Latin.

Arabic is a Semitic language, along with Hebrew and several languages of the ancient Middle East, such as Assyrian and Aramaic, and also many languages of present-day Ethiopia.

The Semitic languages are part of a still larger family of languages known as Afro-Asiatic, which, as the name denotes, are spoken in Africa and Asia (although no further east than the Arabian penninsula). Besides Semitic, other languages in Afro-Asiatic include Ancient Egyptian (heiroglyphics), the Berber languages of North Africa, Hausa, one of the major languages of Nigeria, and the Cushitic languages, including Somali, the language of Somalia.

I also have a more detailed lineage of Arabic and other Afro-Asiatic languages

Disclaimer--All information on this page came from the top of my head. It should be accurate, however, there may be mistakes.
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July 16, 1996