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Differences Between Arabs and Pakistanis

Arabs vs Pakistanis

It is okay if you are as confused as I was on the differences between Arabs and Pakistanis. If you have reached this article, then surely you are looking for the answers to these questions.  Basically, the information and education about what each is (or not) would certainly answer this question.

The source of the confusion is topography and lineage consideration. Because there is a country named Saudi Arabia and there also exists a country named Pakistan, both lie in the Middle East Asian topography it is sure to be confusing. Fortunately, this very pertinent information can shed  light on this multi-level of confusion.

Let us take a look at the Arabs first. “Arab” is an ethnicity specifying the people who live in the Arab world–the region in the Middle East, West Asia, and North Africa. They are an ethnic group of people that has an identified and unique linguistic, genealogical, and cultural origin of their own.  Their identity is based on their tribal relationships that are to say internal and grounded in their roots.

An Arab, nonetheless, can be identified by this ethnicity, and it does not necessarily mean that he is from Saudi Arabia (or from other countries in the Middle East for that matter). An Arab can be found in most parts of the Middle East and the rest of the world.  As long as his roots are Arabic – bedouin roots and generally speaks Arabic, and has this ethnolinguistic identity, then the person is broadly referred to as an Arab. The Arab religion is predominantly Islam, but take note that not all Muslims are Arabs.  Again, Arabs are people with that particular lineage.

On the other hand, Pakistanis are people living in the country of Pakistan. Pakistani people are citizens of the said country and have lived there with all its multi-ethnicities and cultures. Thus, a Pakistani need not be Arab in lineage. Pakistani is a nationality; therefore, lineage can be of Arab descent or not.

Pakistanis are mostly Muslims because Pakistan is a Muslim state. Though religion does not necessarily form a prerequisite to become a citizen of whichever country, it only says that in Pakistan, Islam is the majority. Thus, some Pakistanis are of Arab lineage, and their nationality is just Pakistani (in that case there is no use to differentiate the two).

There goes the line that separates Arabs and Pakistanis. Generally and basically, “Arab” is lineage, and “Pakistani” is nationality or citizenship. To further illustrate the meaning and difference between the two, let us compare them with other countries and their lineage. If you say “American,” you are referring to the people of the United States of America. But when you take a look closer, not all Americans are Caucasians or whites. There are African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and so on. The word “American” is their citizenship, and the latter demographic specifics are lineage.

To further discuss this, Arabs can be citizens of Pakistan, thus making them Pakistani by nationality but Arabs in lineage. But we call them Pakistani, like we call an Asian-American with American citizenship as American or has American citizenship. But if you ask him his lineage, he would say he’s Asian. (That can still be specified into: Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Indonesian, etc.).


  1. The main differences between Pakistanis and Arabs are the line of lineage and citizenship. That would certainly clear the air regarding confusion and ignorance the next time you discuss the particular topic or meet people with Arab lineage or a Pakistani living in different parts of the world.
  2. An Arab is distinguished based on his or her ethnicity in that he lives somewhere in the Arab world.
  3. A Pakistani lives in Pakistan. He or she can be from an Arab descent or not.

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  1. “They are an ethnic group of people that has an identified and unique linguistic, genealogical, and cultural origin of their own. Their identity is based on their tribal relationships that are to say internal and grounded in their roots.”

    Arab is NOT an ethnicity. It is rather a culture centered around the Arabic language.

    Do look up of present day Arab countries and you will find an Arab from the Gulf is not the same as an Arab from the say, Lebanon, or Arab speakers from North Africa. I am not talking about just the linguistic differences such as dialect, or cuisine or cultural traditions. You need to go back thousands of years to truly understand the mixing and movement of people whi are today known as Arabs. You need to understand that Arabs come in a variety of colors and ethnical mix. Many Somalis for instance identify as Arab whiles many dont. But even putting that aside, Arabs look different as there has been a lot of inter-ethnic mixing. Palestinians, Syrians, Lebanese look much different from Iraqis, Yemenites, Saudis. Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia are all situated in North Africa yet dont look alike. Are you familiar with Berbers or Amazighs? Another thing to look up. All this information is out there but sadly, there are so many misconceptions about race and ethnicity these days and such obsession. Just accept we are all human and thats the only race.

    How will you identify the Arab lineage when Arabs themselves are mixed with both Europeans, Africans and Asians. Just look at present day Lebanon. Women from Russia are preferred by many as their wives. Also let us not forget about the Kurds in Syria, Iraq etc. Look at the bedouins of Saudi and then compare them to the remaining Saudis among whom you will find every shade of color. Many Saudis (men) have married Asians, Africans or other Arabs. There is no pure Arab racial profile or genealogy or dna profile.

    Arab is neither a race nor an ethnicity. While some components of the DNA may be shared, just like Sudanese and Nigerians, there are wide range of mixing. Arab is basically a mix in itself. Just like Americans range in color, ethnicity, ethnicity, religion, same applies to Arabs.

    • There is very little Arab linage in the north African populations, they are Berber in heritage. The North African countries were just Arabised through colonialism. The same could be said for Lebanon and Syria. These peoples are more closely related to others of the Mediterranean.

      • “Arabized through colonialism”

        You must have a misconception on what colonialism is, because the historic land expansion of pre-indistrialized empires does NOT classify “colonialism”, and should rather be called proto-imperialism or expansionism. Colonialism was a systemic process undertaken by industrialized western European nations in the early modern era wherein the sovereignty of non-European people was disregarded to allow the exploitation of foreign lands and territories for the sole benefit of the empire’s homeland and economy, at the expense of the indigenous people of the land. Trying to conflate Arab expansion into the Levant and North Africa in the 8th century and Arab cultural homogenization and assimilation over the past millennia with the European colonization of the world is ignorant at best, and intentionally misleading at worst. They aren’t comparable and aren’t classified similarly in a historic context.

  2. While Pakistanis and Arabs are two different things, I’m afraid to say this is an awfully misinformed piece, clearly not written by a Pakistani, or at least an individual with knowledge of the subcontinent. Also Pakistan is not in in the Middle East.

    • You are incorrect, the percent of Arab lineage in Pakistan is huge. There are many Pakistanis of Arab descent. Pakistan is also on the crossroads of the Middle East and was stated by the second bush administration as part of the Greater Middle East. Pakistan is a diverse nation of people with different backgrounds, ancestry, ethnicity and culture. Please do further research to prevent the spreading of misinformation. Thank you.

      • You are a embarrassment to your people and your ancestors! How is a country that is younger than the average of one human lifetime that’s in the Indian subcontinent and separated from India during ww2 suddenly have so many Middle Easterners or Arabs as you say? How does a country in South Asia have more Middle eastern people than every single Middle Eastern country combined? How does such a young country have over 300 million people ? We’re did they come from ? Do you know that just that little tiny country called Pakistan now has more people than every single country in the Middle East combined? Lol so you are saying Pakistan has more middle Easterners than the Middle East? Why are you guys so ashamed of who you really are and who really is your ancestors that you have turned a religion into a culture and a ancestry lol so just because Indians converted to Muslims and didn’t get along with Indians who are Hindu and the British have Indians who are Muslim a small tiny piece of India, you guys suddenly became Middle Eaterners ? Lol you are so ashamed of who you are that you are willing to write such nonsense online and expect people to believe such garbage? Do you separated from India and became Arab suddenly lol? How does that work can you please explain?

      • “the percent of Arab lineage in Pakistan is huge”

        Citation needed*

        Pakistanis don’t self-identify as Arab, don’t have significant (if any) Arab DNA admixture (everyone in my family including me has taken a 23andMe- zero Arab or Middle Eastern DNA here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) and don’t speak Arabic. It is a multiethnic nation for sure, but all *indigenous* ethnic groups of Pakistan either belong to the Indo-Aryan, Indo-Iranian, Dravidian, Dardic or Tibetic ethno-linguistic groups. None of them fit into the semitic Arab group or natively speak Arabic. Claiming they’re Arab because somewhere down the line some of them may have had some Arab admixture is like claiming white Americans should be called indigenous Americans since some of them are 1/64th Cherokee.

  3. As the other poster said, Arab is not an ethnicity. Actually, Semitic is, and encompasses both Jews and Arabs. Genetic haplotypes can for example identify your ancestral origins as being from, say, the upper Levant, but whether your ancestors would today be considered Palestinian or Israeli, there’s no difference ethnically.

    Pakistan split off from India just after WWII. India has many ethnicities, but it broadly considered Asian. Which is if anything a fine example of how very broad categories like Asian and Caucasian are pretty useless.

    There are more than 9,000 haplotypes which are a good breakdown of ethnicity if you’re discussing actual biological origins. Don’t confuse those with political and cultural origins, which is what most people are interested in. Conflating the two is as silly as conflating the biological and cultural meaning of gender, or even more simply, the colloquial and scientific meaning of a word like “theory”.

  4. For those who lack knowledge, the percentage of Arab lineage is huge in Pakistan. There are many Pakistanis of Arab descent. Pakistan is also on the crossroads of the Middle East and was stated by the second bush administration as part of the Greater Middle East. Pakistan is a diverse nation of people with different backgrounds, ancestry, ethnicity and culture. Please do further research to prevent the spreading of misinformation. Thank you.


  6. Thanks I’m totally agree love from Pakistan❤

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