Essay: History of Arab Countries

The Islamic elements are important in the context of popular nationalism of the age. Their preconditions were: the ideas of the “Third World”, of Arab unity and socialism, which was predetermined by historical events of the time.

Marxism ideas influence states of Asia. There appear nationalist movements in reaction to French order. On gaining their independence, Tunisian, Algerian educated classes form parties as in other independent countries of Maghrib, such as Marocco. In the majority of Middle East countries the ruling elites did not manage to create a state, following their own interests and soon collapsed. Iraq renounced the agreement signed in 1948 with Great Britain. In 1950s in Syria there emerged two parties, also represented by educated people. Aflaq wrote that Arab nation should do its best to live in a single state.

The Bath party was spread in Lebanon, Jordan, etc. and touched questions of identity. It led to the formation of United Arab Republic in 1958. In Egypt Abd al-Nasir became a leader and formed the socially orientated ideology, speaking of Egypt as a dominant, which summoned to Arab unity. The movement resulted in growth of Egypt. Kuwait and Algeria became independent, British influence decreased. Syria and Egypt could not find a compromise. “Nasirism” showed its imperfection. Arab states conflicted with powerful Israel, it resulted in the war which positively changed America’s attitude to Israel. Palestinians turned into fugitives. Arab states refused to recognize Israeli victory though.

I consider that the new wave which emerged in 1950s was strengthened with the idea of Arab unity. The Arab world had to overcome a number of difficulties on the way to social justice and independence of such states as Kuwait and Algeria for instance. There were arguments about Syrian identity and its interrelation with other countries and Michel Aflag stated that Arab nation has a long complicated history and gained enough experience to become a united state. A lot was achieved in the aspect of Arab unity during the social reform. Arab nation proved that it is worth having its own place in the world in spite of discrepancy of view points.

The war of Israel and Egypt was an essential event in the history of Arab states, consequently Israel strengthened its positions and Palestinians on the contrary lost their identity. But each country pursued its own interests and strategies according to national priorities, that is why finding a compromise between Egypt, Syria and Iraq, for example, was next to impossible. I also suppose that the complex conditions in which Arab countries found themselves favored the development and strengthening of their national spirit and obtaining experience which was like an investment for the future. It must have given an impetus for favorable changes and intensification of national sense and consciousness in the process of formation on the world map.

The Climax of Arabism. Chapter 24