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Middle Eastern Studies - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Middle Eastern Studies The formation of states in the Middle East was primarily by partitioning of the former Levante and Mesopotamia and through anti-imperialistic struggle characterized by revolutions and conquests. Subsequent activities of the League of Nations within this region aided the process of nation-building through the introduction of mandated systems (Gelvin)…
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Middle Eastern Studies
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Middle Eastern Studies

Download file to see previous pages... The Arab Spring of 1919 emerged soon after the end of World War 1 gestured to the emergence of pan-Arabism that called for unity of all Arabs against the European led partition and domination of the Middle East (Gelvin). Common features of these nationalistic movements-present now as before- include: 1. A unique citizenry defined by language, ethnicity, religion and historical traditions 2. A belief that, despite the passage of time, nations retained their inherent characteristics Of these state-building and nationalism proceedings, the Syrian revolution is seemingly the bloodiest and longest that has seen massive infrastructural damage and civilian casualties. All nationalists believe in the existence of a “common interest”; which is the sole role of the sovereign state in its provision. However, in the modern world this nationalism-as an ideology and in practice-is not restricted to the interest of the sovereign nationals. The involvement of the United States in the governance of Middle East states is treated with much criticism and skeptic. Its meddling in the Middle Eastern affairs is perceived in light of the massive oil and natural gas resources within the region. In particular, the US purported support for (and silence over) the continued annexation of Palestinian land by Israel and its relentless attack of Afghanistan and Iraq has been seen in stark contrast to its claim of democracy. This is based on the understanding that true nationalism and thus democracy should represent the authentic identity and sovereign aspirations of the local or native people. There are three primary ways through which a state can obtain food for its citizenry: through agricultural production, through imports and through food aid. The Middle East is incapable of growing enough food to sustain its population (Richards and Waterbury). The region is the world’s least self-sufficient in terms of food due to the mismatch in supply and demand. The region has seen an escalated rise in demand characterized by an increased life expectancy of 25 years since the 1970s; the highest in the world since 1970. The infant mortality rate is given as 44 per 1000 persons, which is well below the world’s average and that of less developed states, which are pegged at 54 and 59 respectively (Richards and Waterbury). Food-sufficiency is almost physically impossible and economically it is undesirable. Why is this so? Firstly, the region (being vastly of desert and semi-arid conditions) experiences high water constraint. The region’s renewable water supply per capita dropped from highs of 3500 cubic meters in 1960 to a paltry and diminishing level of 1250 cubic meters. This situation is attributed to a rising population, rapid urbanization and the increased use of water for irrigating purposes. Therefore, the consumption of water for industrial and domestic use has been found by policy makers within the region to be of higher economic value than for agricultural purposes (Richards and Waterbury). Secondly, the concept of food self-sufficiency is entirely different from food security. The former relates to the ability to produce enough agricultural products to meet the consuming public. The latter, however, is more focused on the pertinent needs of individuals over a reasonable guarantee of having a proper meal. The focus of policy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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