Sunday, 27 May 2012



  • Started against the Otoman Empire in the aerly XX Century, with some 'help' of the British, but they soon had their autonomy jeopardized as the British fostered their isolation through supporting zionism.
  • The Pan-Arabist, Al-Fatat ("the Young Arab Society") was created in 1911 and launched the Arab Congress of 1913, originally for autonomy within the Otoman empire but due to persecutions it sharpened into independence.
    • In 1919 the young cadres of Al-Fatat launched the Al-Istiqlal (Arab Independence Party) with a somehow more nationalistic than pan-Arabistic claim for independence of other Arab countries
      • Created a subtle tension between nationalists and pan-Arabists
      • Undeclared sponsoring from Ibn al-Hussain of Iraq.
  • Under the command of the Sharif of Meca, supported by the British, the Otoman power was overthrown during the 1st world war, but the British fostered fragmentation as they dettached Iraq under the rule of one of his son's Faysal Ibn al-Hussain, and east Palestine (Transjordania or contemporary Jordan) under the rule of his other son, Abdulah I of Jordania.
  • The relative independence of Egypt (1921*), Iraq (1920*), Saudi Arabia (1920*) and North Yemen (1918*) encouraged Arab nationalists to put forward programs of action against colonial powers in the region, what was sharpened in the 1930's due to the threat of Zionism.
  • It's peak was after the World War II, under the leadership of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser
    • Opposed to the British control of the Suez Canal Zone and concerned at Egypt becoming a Cold War battleground Nasser pushed for a collective Arab security pact within the framework of the Arab League. A key aspect of this was the need for economic aid that was not dependent on peace with Israel and the establishment of U.S. or British military bases within Arab countries. Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and directly challenged the dominance of the Western powers in the region.
    • The humiliating defeat in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War strengthened the Arabs' resolve to unite in favor of a pan-Arab nationalist ideal.[7]
    • With the advent of Palestinian nationalism, a debate circled between those who believed that pan-Arab unity would bring about destruction of Israel (the view advocated by the Arab Nationalist Movement) or whether the destruction of Israel would bring about pan-Arab unity (the view advocated by Fatah)
  • Decline of Pan-Arabism after the 1967 war
    • The Arab Nationalist Movement shifted from Pan-Arabism to Marxist-Leninism
    • the elimination of many of the irritants that stoked nationalist passion as imperialism and pro-Westernism waned in the Arab world during the 1950s and early 1960s;
      • The British presence in Egypt and Iraq had been eliminated; the Baghdad Pact had been defeated; Jordan's British chief of staff, Sir John Bagot Glubb, had been dismissed; Lebanon's pro-Western president, Camille Chamoun, had been replaced by the independent Fu'ad Shihab; and the Algerians, sacrificing a million dead in a heroic struggle, had triumphed over French colonial power.[45]
  • regional attachments such as Iraqi president Abd al-Karim Qasim's "Iraq first" policy;
  • attachments to tribes and "deeply-ingrained tribal values";
  • suspicion of Arab unity by minority groups such as Kurds in Iraq who were non-Arab, or Shia Muslims in Iraq who feared Arab nationalism was actually "a Sunni project" to establish "Sunni hegemony";
  • the Islamic revival, which grew Arab nationalism declined, and whose adherents were very hostile towards nationalism in general, believing it had no place in Islam;
  • lack of interest by the movement in pluralism, separation of powers, freedom of political expression and other democratic concepts which might have "resuscitated" the ideology in its moment of weakness
  • Attempts of unity were made by Nasser until 1971, and since them from Gadaffi, but none of them succeeded.

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