Its great and ancient cities Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad with populations well into the millions, are rapidly expanding their municipal services, communications systems and other facilities.New construction is evident everywhere as high-rise buildings replace the covered bazaars of former times.The Arab homeland stretches some 5,000 miles nearly twice the distance between New York and San Franciscofrom the Atlantic coast of northern Africa in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to Central Africa in the south. By comparison, the United States comprises 3.6 million square miles.
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The headquarters of the Arab League are in Cairo, Egypt, which also hosts some of the League's specialized agencies.
Additional agencies are based in the capitals of other Arab countries.
The Atlas range in northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) forms a barrier between the Sahara Desert and the coastal areas.
Other important mountain systems are the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges and the Zagros Mountains to the east of Iraq.
Given the current annual rate of increase, the population will be approximately 280 million by the year 2000.
The concept of average population density has little meaning when applied to the Arab world.The followers of those faiths lived in harmony throughout the centuries in the Arab homeland, since all considered themselves the people of one God. His Arab followers soon spread the new faith in the West, across North Africa into Spain and France, and in the East, to the borders of China.The Prophet Muhammad appeared in the seventh century A. These Muslim believers rapidly founded a new and dynamic civilization that for centuries was the only bright light in an otherwise culturally and intellectually stagnant world.One of the oldest regional organizations in the world, the Arab League was founded on March 22, 1945, even before the formal establishment of the United Nations.The primary objective of the Arab League, as it is commonly called, is to facilitate maximum integration among the Arab countries through coordination of their activities in the political sphere as well as in the fields of economics, social services, education, communications, development, technology and industrialization.Given the preponderance of arid conditions, reliable sources of water are immensely important; be they springs, from which oases are formed, or rivers.