Pan-Arabism is a movement for
unificationamong the peoples and countries of the Arab World, from the Atlantic Oceanto the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalismwhich asserts that the Arabs constitute a single nation. Pan-Arabism has tended to be secularand often socialist, and has strongly opposed colonialismand Western political involvement in the Arab world. Pan-Arabism is a form of cultural nationalism.
Origins and Leaders
Pan-Arabism was first pressed by
Sharif Hussein ibn Ali, the Sharif of Mecca, who sought independence from the Ottoman Empireand the establishment of a unified state of Arabia. In 1915-16, the Hussein-McMahon Correspondenceresulted in an agreement between the United Kingdom and the Sharif that if the Arabs successfully revolted against the Ottomans, the United Kingdom would support claims for Arab independence. In 1916, however, the Sykes-Picot Agreementbetween the United Kingdom and Francedetermined that parts of the Arab Mashreqwould be divided between those powers rather than forming part of an independent Arab state. When the Ottoman Empire surrendered in 1918, the United Kingdom refused to keep to the letter of its arrangements with Hussein and the two nations assumed guardianship of several newly-created states. Ultimately, Hussein became king only of Hijaz(later incorporated into Saudi Arabia) in the then less strategically valuable south.
Balfour Declaration of 1917as reason to administer Palestineand the subsequent creation of the British Mandate upset pan-Arabists designs for a geographically contiguous pan-Arab state from the Arab Maghreband Egyptto the Mashreq.
A more formalized pan-Arab ideology than that of Hussein was first espoused in the 1930s, notably by Syrian thinkers such as
Constantin Zureiq, Zaki al-Arsuziand Michel Aflaq. Aflaq and al-Arsuzi were key figures in the establishment of the Arab Ba’ath (Renaissance) Party, and the former was for long its chief ideologist, combining elements of Marxist thought with a nationalism to a considerable extent reminiscent of nineteenth century European romantic nationalism.
. As such, these groups are quite hostile to pan-Arabism.
Failed and successful attempts at Arab union
There have been several attempts to bring about a Pan-Arab state by many well known Arab leaders that ultimately resulted in failure.
The first was the
Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordanin 1958. It was a confederationbetween cousins King Faisal IIof Iraqand King Husseinof Jordan. This federation fell apart after the Iraqi Army's coup d'etat.
United Arab Republicin 1958was the second attempt. Formed under Nasser, it was a union between Egyptand Syria. It lasted only until 1961 when an anti-Nasserist coup in Syria led to Syria's withdrawal from the union.
Two later attempts were conducted by
Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi; these were the Federation of Arab Republicsand the Arab Islamic Republic. Both failed before beginning.
Unity between Southern and Northern
Yemen, though, was successful. Also, the unity of seven Arab emirates that form the UAEtoday stand as examples of the possibility of success of Arab unification.
The current Syrian government is, and the former government of Iraq was, led by the Ba’ath Party, which espouses pan-Arabism.
The high point of the pan-Arab movement was in the 1960s, when the movement was spearheaded by Egyptian leader
Gamal Abdel Nasser, but pan-Arabism was strongly hurt by the Arabdefeat by Israelin the Six Day Warand the inability of pan-Arabist governments to generate economic growth. By the late 1980s, pan-Arabism began to be eclipsed by Islamistideologies. It continues however, to exert a strong influence in Arab print mediaand intellectualcircles, particularly in the Levant.
United Arab Republic
* Arab Federation
Federation of Arab Republics
Arab Islamic Republic
Arab Maghreb Union
Pan Arab Games
* [http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/ArabNationalism.htm Arab Nationalism: Mistaken Identity] by
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pan-Arabism — Pan Arab, Pan Arabic, adj., n. /pan ar euh biz euhm/, n. the idea or advocacy of a political alliance or union of all the Arab nations. [PAN + ARAB + ISM] * * * Nationalist notion of cultural and political unity among Arab countries. Its origins… … Universalium
pan-arabism — ˈpan+ noun Usage: usually capitalized P&A : a 20th century movement having as its principal aim the political union of the Arab states … Useful english dictionary
Pan-Arabism — noun Date: 1920 a movement for the political union of all Arab nations • pan Arab adjective • pan Arabist adjective or noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
pan-Arabism — /pæn ˈærəbɪzəm/ (say pan aruhbizuhm) noun the idea or advocacy of a political alliance or union of all Arab states. –pan Arab, noun, adjective … Australian English dictionary
pan-Arabism — noun the principle or advocacy of political alliance or union of all the Arab states. Derivatives pan Arab adjective … English new terms dictionary
Pan-Arabism — noun The belief in unification of the peoples and countries of the Arab world … Wiktionary
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