The Cushitic languages are a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Ethiopia), as well as the Nile Valley (Sudan and Egypt), and parts of the African Great Lakes region (Tanzania and Kenya). The branch is named after the Biblical character Cush, who was traditionally identified as an ancestor of the speakers of these specific languages as early as 947 CE (in Masudi’s Arabic history Meadows of Gold). The most populous Cushitic language is Oromo (including all its variations) with about 35 million speakers, followed by Somali with about 18 million speakers, and Sidamo with about 3 million speakers. Other Cushitic languages with more than one million speakers are Afar (1.5 million) and Beja (1.2 million). Somali, one of the official languages of Somalia, is the only Cushitic language accorded official status in any country. It is also one of the recognized national languages of Djibouti, the other being Afar.