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A peninsula of SW Asia, largely desert, lying between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf and bounded on the north by Jordan and Iraq, which is the original homeland of the Arabs and the historic centre of Islam; in literary use, it may be referred to as a rich and distant eastern land (Araby is an archaic variant of the name).

Arabian bird a phoenix, a unique specimen; the phrase comes originally from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1606–7).

The Arabian Nights a collection of stories and romances written in Arabic. The king of Samarkand has killed all his wives after one night's marriage until he marries Scheherazade, who saves her life by entertaining him with stories. The stories include the tales of Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor. The collection is also known as The Thousand and One Nights.

Subjects: History.

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