The Arab world (Arabic: العالم العربي al-ʿālam al-ʿarabī; formally: Arab homeland, الوطن العربيal-waṭan al-ʿarabī), also known as the Arab nation (الأمة العربيةal-ummah al-ʿarabīyyah), the Arabsphere or the Arab states, currently consists of the 22 Arabic-speaking countries that make up the members of the Arab League. These countries occupy the Middle East and North Africa; an area stretching 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. The contemporary Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants, over half of whom are under 25 years of age.
Quneitra is the largely destroyed and abandoned capital of the Quneitra Governorate in south-western Syria. It is situated in a high valley in the Golan Heights at an altitude of about 1000 metres above sea level. Quneitra was founded in the Ottoman era as a way station on the caravan route to Damascus and subsequently became a garrison town of some 20,000 people, strategically located near the border with Israel. On 10 June1967, the last day of the Six-Day War, Quneitra came under Israeli control. It was briefly recaptured by Syria during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but Israel regained control in its subsequent counter-offensive. The city was almost completely destroyed before the Israeli withdrawal in June 1974. It now lies in the demilitarized United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone (UNDOF) between Syria and Israel, a short distance from the de facto border between the two countries. Israel was subsequently heavily criticized by the United Nations for Quneitra's destruction; Syria was criticized by Israel for not rebuilding the city.
Nasser's popularity in Egypt and the Arab world skyrocketed after his nationalization of the Suez Canal and his political victory in the subsequent Suez Crisis. Calls for pan-Arab unity under his leadership increased, culminating with the formation of the United Arab Republic with Syria (1958–1961). In 1962, Nasser began a series of major socialist measures and modernization reforms in Egypt. Despite setbacks to his pan-Arabist cause, by 1963 Nasser's supporters gained power in several Arab countries, but he became embroiled in the North Yemen Civil War. He began his second presidential term in March 1965 after his political opponents were banned from running. Following Egypt's defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Nasser resigned, but he returned to office after popular demonstrations called for his reinstatement. By 1968, Nasser had appointed himself prime minister, launched the War of Attrition to regain lost territory, began a process of depoliticizing the military, and issued a set of political liberalization reforms. After the conclusion of the 1970 Arab League summit, Nasser suffered a heart attack and died. His funeral in Cairo drew five million mourners and an outpouring of grief across the Arab world.