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A muḥāfaẓah (Arabic : مُحَافَظَة [muˈħaːfaðˤa] ; pl.مُحَافَظَاتmuḥāfaẓāt [muħafaˈðˤaːt] ) is a first-level administrative division of many Arab countries, and a second-level administrative division in Saudi Arabia. The term is usually translated to "governorate", and occasionally to "province". It comes from the Arabic root ح-ف-ظḥ-f-ẓ (verb: حفظ ḥafaẓa), which means to "keep" and "guard". The head of a muḥāfaẓah is the (مُحَافِظ) muḥāfiẓ .

Muhafazat in Arab countries

The governorates of Tunisia are wilāyah in Arabic.

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