North Africa Research Paper

Pages: 3 (916 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel

North Africa

There is no set definition of North Africa (No author, 2012). It always includes the Maghreb countries that line the Mediterranean -- Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania -- as well Egypt, the Western Sahara and sometimes the Saharan nations of Niger, Chad and Mali. The predominant languages of the region are Arabic and Berber. All North African countries are majority Muslim countries, with only small Christian and Jewish minorities that date from antiquity. The region's history is ancient, and for centuries before and after the Roman Empire the region was politically fragmented. Arabs brought Islam and the Arabic language to the region centuries ago. More recently, Ottoman and French presence in the region contributed some cultural influences.

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The NASP (2012) defines culture as "an integrated pattern of human behavior." Cultural artifacts include thoughts, communications, languages, practices, beliefs, values, customs, manners of interacting and roles, and relationship beliefs (Ibid). These arise from the history of influences of the region. As noted, the Muslim religion, Arabic and Berber languages are two important aspects of North African culture. The region's multiple influences (French, Arab, Ottoman, Berber) contribute to the rich culture. Of specific importance in leadership studies, elements like power distance and individualism are also important aspects of the culture. Geert Hofstede's work (2012) on Morocco can be used to highlight these latter two points, if extrapolated to the region at large.

Research Paper on North Africa Assignment

Prior to Islam, North Africa was more seamlessly integrated into the same Mediterranean culture that Europe had. North Africa was part of the Roman Empire and had influences of cultures ranging from Greek to Egyptian to Phoenician, that latter having contributed Carthage, which today lies just outside Tunis. When Islam arrived, it quickly became the dominant religion of the region, relegating Christianity and Judaism to the status of distant minority religions in North Africa. Islam came to North Africa in the decades following the death of Mohammed. Islam cut off North Africa culturally from Mediterranean Europe and this has shaped the prominent role of Islam in North African culture today. Yet, the Islam practiced in North Africa is more moderate than that practiced in the Arab world, though both derive from the Sunni school (Jenkins, 2004). This reflects the influence of Mediterranean culture and Berber beliefs, which temper the hardline Islam of many Arab states.

The Arabic language is another critical element of North African culture. It was brought to the region during the spread of Islam, and gained its prominence as a liturgical language. It serves the function today as a lingua franca, having proven more viable in that role that languages that were introduced to the region later, such as Turkish or French. The Berber language is still spoken, providing a sense of differentiation from… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "North Africa" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

North Africa.  (2012, February 14).  Retrieved March 3, 2021, from

MLA Format

"North Africa."  14 February 2012.  Web.  3 March 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"North Africa."  February 14, 2012.  Accessed March 3, 2021.