Name Institution Course Instructor Date The Middle East and the World: Identity and Conflict in the Middle East Identity has been, and continues to be, one of the prime basis of conflict in the Middle East countries since the early sixteenth century, when the Ottomans overthrew the Mamluks and marked the first instance, since the advent of Islam, that the Arabs came under foreign occupation…
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The social transformation of the region guided by Nasserite Pan Arabism, that strove to provide a common political platform, Baathist secular socialism, that attempted to overcome sectarian and national divide, and dominance of fundamentalist monarchies, that intended to maintain hereditary rule, has ensured that the region will continue to be in a state of conflict in trying a find a common identity. The introduction of liberalising western concepts like freedom of expression, right to self rule, women rights and personnel sexual choices has resulted in a considerable cultural clash within the largely conservative Middle Eastern states. Combined with the unwavering European and US support for the aggressive Israel behaviour, this has galvanized the people, if not the governments, and given rise to general anti western sentiments amongst them against this perceived social and political interventions. Foreign intervention, or its perception, has helped to resolve the Middle East countries to solve their national identity issues as well as achieve social reconciliation (William and Bunton 412). This study narrows down on the cases of Lebanon, Iran and Syria to help us in understanding the relationship between foreign intervention, national identity debates, and social transformations in these three countries. Lebanon is quite diverse in its people and heritage with rich history and civilisation (Marjane 52). Its history has been mired by its institutionalized religious affiliations, desire for economic liberation and pursuit of political independence. The presence of a large Palestinian refugee population has added fuel to the simmering mix. With a weak political regime between 1975 and 1989, Lebanon became a theatre of war and haven for terrorist groups contesting to have a role in the domestic and global geopolitics. The first two presidents Bishara al Khur and Shamun did not address the issues of national unity. In the same period, there was pressure on Lebanon due to the Suez Canal crisis and attack on Egypt by some western countries (Marjane 69). This resulted in instability and US military intervention in 1958 to preserve Lebanon’s national integrity. Lebanon has taken remarkable steps in resolution of conflict. One of the most successful methods has been interreligious political talks and settlements that have yielded fruits and brought domestic stability. Lebanon boasts of 18 recognised religious sects and the reconciliatory talks have seen them forge a direction for their future (William and Bunton 446). Non Governmental Organisations played a key role in the Lebanese restoration process by training the citizens on how to embark on a more constructive way of conflict resolution. Some of the organisations have provided trainings and opportunities for cultural exchange that boost the overall cultural tolerance among the people. Multinationals have also intervened in the Lebanese restoration process. The presence of humanitarian organisations in Lebanon has led to creation of employment opportunities and encouraged activism towards human rights issues. The American University of Beirut has been a pioneer of modern secular education. This has helped in establishing a stable political economy that adheres to international standards of human rights. These humanitarian orga
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“He Middle East and the World: Identity and Conflict in the Middle East Essay”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1461816-he-middle-east-and-the-world-identity-and-conflict.
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