‘Peoples and cultures’ considers how the Arabs, Persians, and Turks created Islamic history. The Arabs and their culture have been central to all Muslims in a number of ways. The spread of Arabic as a scholarly language allowed scholars to communicate their ideas across boundaries and generations. Although the Persians lost their empire and independence to Islam, from the 11th to 19th centuries Persian was the leading language of high culture throughout the Islamic world. The Turks first entered the Islamic world as slaves, but later contributions include the ancient Turkish ‘crescent and star’ symbol with which Islam is often associated and their culinary influence on Islamic civilizations.