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The develoment of Arab Nationalism - Essay Example

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The Development of Arab Nationalism Name of the Student History and Political Science Name of the Concerned Professor July 12, 2013 The Development of Arab Nationalism Introduction Arab nationalism tends to be an ideological development that started gaining grounds in the late 19th century, as the Arab nations started to gain independence from their previous colonial masters…
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The develoment of Arab Nationalism
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Download file to see previous pages Arab nationalism called for a political and cultural rejuvenation of the Arab world, an intense celebration of the Arab civilization and the Arab literature and language, and called for a political unification of the Arab world (Dawisha, 2005). The premise that encouraged the Arab nationalism was the firm belief that the Arab people tended to share a common linguistic heritage, cultural values, historical past and religious belief system (Dawisha, 2005). Genesis of Arab Nationalism In that context it is imperative to unravel the genesis of Arab nationalism. Since the 16th century the Ottoman Empire exercised a formal sovereignty over the Arab lands (McCarthy, 2006). For quiet a time the Ottoman Empire tended to be cautious in its approach towards the Arab tribes, choosing to garrison the key ports and cities, exercising little influence in the local Arab politics and tribal affairs (McCarthy, 2006). The Arab residents of Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Palestine appreciated this arrangement and actually started dominating the local Ottoman administration (McCarthy, 2006). However, as in 1914 the Ottoman Empire entered the I World War, it no more afforded to take the Arab loyalty for granted. It was first owing to the rise of a nascent Arab nationalism that drew inspiration from the Western ideas (McCarthy, 2006). Many Arabs started to appreciate the nationalist Slavic movements of the Balkans, most of which managed to secure independence from the Ottoman Empire (McCarthy, 2006). The other factor was the rising clout of the educated Arab elites, which included former or serving officers affiliated to the Ottoman administration and army, Arab civil servants and intellectuals (McCarthy, 2006). The completion of Hejaz railway in 1908 was the other bone of contention for the Arabs who believed that it tightened the Ottoman stranglehold on them (McCarthy, 2006). This particularly enervated the Hashemite clan that claimed descent from the Prophet and was led by Sharif Hussein ibn Ali in 1914 (McCarthy, 2006). The disgruntled Arab tribes of the interior resented the stringent approach of the Ottomans and gradually started to enter arrangements with the British, to initiate a revolt against the Ottomans (McCarthy, 2006). This revolt was further incited by the nationalist al-Fatat movement in Syria (McCarthy, 2006). In the post World War I period, the establishment of the French and the British mandate saw varied Arab uprisings like the uprisings in Iraq and Syria (Jankowski, 2002). Besides the relative independence of North Yemen, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq incited the Arab nationalists in the neighbouring regions to overthrow the imminent Western colonial powers (Jankowski, 2002). The ensuing anti-Zionist uprisings in Palestine and anti-colonial activities in Syria further encouraged the nationalist movements in Iraq and Egypt, which gave way to the modern Arab nationalism that led to the independence of varied Arab nations in the period following the World War II (Jankowski, 2002). The Role Played by Intelligentsia There is no denying the fact that Arab intellectuals do played a pivotal role in the genesis, encouragement and dissemination of Arab nationalism. Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi was a prominent Syrian intellectual ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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