Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to by Adeed Dawisha

By Adeed Dawisha

Like a very good dynasty that falls to destroy and is ultimately remembered extra for its faults than its feats, Arab nationalism is remembered quite often for its humiliating rout within the 1967 Six Day warfare, for inter-Arab divisions, and for phrases and activities individual by means of their meagerness. yet humans are inclined to put out of your mind the majesty that Arab nationalism as soon as used to be. during this elegantly narrated and richly documented publication, Adeed Dawisha brings this majesty to lifestyles via a sweeping historic account of its dramatic upward push and fall.

Dawisha argues that Arab nationalism--which, he says, used to be encouraged by way of nineteenth-century German Romantic nationalism--really took root after international struggle I and never within the 19th century, as many think, and that it blossomed purely within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties lower than the charismatic management of Egypt's Gamal 'Abd al-Nasir. He lines the ideology's passage from the cave in of the Ottoman Empire via its effective ascendancy within the overdue Nineteen Fifties with the team spirit of Egypt and Syria and with the nationalist revolution of Iraq, to the mortal blow it

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Extra resources for Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair

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78 Khayriya Qasmiyya, Al-Hukuma al-‘Arabiya fi Dimashq, 1918–1920 (The Arab government in Damascus, 1918–1920) (Cairo: Dar al-Ma‘arif bi Misr, 1971), p. 107. 79 C. Ernest Dawn, “The Amir of Mecca al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali and the Origins of the Arab Revolt,” in Dawn, From Ottomanism to Arabism, pp. 1–53. 80 Karsh and Karsh, “Reflections on Arab Nationalism,” and Efraim and Inari Karsh, “Myth in the Desert, Or Not the Great Arab Revolt,” Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 33, no. 3 (July 1997). The main arguments of these articles later appeared in the authors’ book, 36 CHAPTER TWO ish documents of the period, especially Foreign Office dispatches and intelligence reports, the Karshes paint a picture of, if anything, a prevailing mood of apathy directed against the person of the sharif as well as against the general notion of a revolt spurred by a commitment to the extrication of the “Arab nation” from under the hegemony of the Turks.

289. 53 30 CHAPTER TWO number, hardly indicative of a widespread swell of nationalist emotions among the Arab populations of the Ottoman Empire. 57 In the case of Syria, for instance, Hassan Kayali, using extensive Ottoman archives, as well as Arabic and European sources, argues that “it would be more appropriate to refer to ‘Syrianism’ rather than Arab nationalism in the period before the world war. ”58 And in this, these societies simply reflected the general proclivities of the masses, the vast majority of whom were indifferent to Arab nationalist concerns.

101 As we have seen, the few thinkers who extolled the uniqueness and many virtues of the “Arab nation,” and most significantly its racial and cultural separateness, were mainly Christians with whom very few, if any, of the Muslim majority concurred. To the Muslim thinkers, the concept of the “Arab nation,” if they thought about it at all, was completely subsumed within, and subservient to, the vision of the Islamic Umma. And as with the secret and public “Arab nationalist” societies, and even with the sharifian revolt, the vast majority of the Arab populations seemed detached from, or at best lukewarm about, any activity that spelled separation from Istanbul.

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