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Endogamy and consanguineous marriage in Arab populations

Bittles, A.H. and Hamamy, H. (2010) Endogamy and consanguineous marriage in Arab populations. In: Teebi, A.S., (ed.) Genetic Disorders Among Arab Populations 2nd Edition. Springer Heidelberg Dordrecht London, New York, pp. 85-108.


Arabs are a Semitic people basically defined as individuals speaking Arabic as their
native tongue, although with many different dialects, who self-identify as being of
Arab ancestry. The Arab world extends from Iraq and the Gulf States in the east to
Morocco and Mauritania on the Atlantic coast of North Africa in the west, and through time it has incorporated many populations with ancestral origins outside the Arabian Peninsula. Large Arab communities are now permanent residents in Europe, North and South America, and Australia, and so the global Arab population is estimated to number 300-350 million (Hamamy and Bittles 2009). All Arabs share certain core cultural values and beliefs, with the family accepted the central structure of society. Marriage is primarily regarded as a family matter and
arranged marriage is widespread within all Arab societies. The practice of arranged marriage does not entail a union contracted against the will of the partners but essentially reflects the fact that the marriage has been mutually agreed by both families on familial and traditional grounds.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Comparative Genomics
Publisher: Springer Heidelberg Dordrecht London
Copyright: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
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