A muḥāfaẓah (Arabic: محافظة [muˈħaːfaðˤa]; pl. محافظات muḥāfaẓāt [muħaːfaˈðˤaːt]) 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 ظ ḥ-f-ẓ, which means to "keep" and "guard". The head of a muḥāfaẓah is the muḥāfiẓ.
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