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Yet another view is held by al-Masudi that the word "Arabs" was initially applied to the Ishmaelites of the "Arabah" valley.In Biblical etymology, "Arab" (in Hebrew Arvi ) comes both from the desert origin of the Bedouins it originally described (Arava means wilderness).
Among the most prominent civilizations was Dilmun, which arose around the 4th millennium BC and lasted to 538 BC, and Thamud, which arose around the 1st millennium BC and lasted to about 300 CE.
Arab tribes, most notably the Ghassanids and Lakhmids, begin to appear in the southern Syrian Desert from the mid 3rd century CE onward, during the mid to later stages of the Roman and Sasanian empires.
Before the expansion of the Rashidun Caliphate (632–661), "Arab" referred to any of the largely nomadic and settled Semitic people from the Arabian Peninsula, Syrian Desert, North and Lower Mesopotamia.
The Arab world stretches around 13 million km, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean in the southeast.
Beyond the boundaries of the League of Arab States, Arabs can also be found in the global diaspora.