pan-Arabism
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Pan-Arabism ( ar, الوحدة العربية or ) is an ideology that espouses the unification of the countries of
North Africa North Africa or Northern Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania in th ...

North Africa
and
Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact character ...

Western Asia
from the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
to the
Arabian Sea The Arabian Sea ( ar, بحر العرب ''Bahr al-Arab'') is a region of the northern Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water Water is an Inorganic co ...
, which is referred to as the
Arab world The Arab world ( ar, العالم العربي '), formally the Arab homeland ( '), also known as the Arab nation ( '), the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Member states of the Arab League, Arab countries which are members of ...

Arab world
. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts the view that the
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arabs
constitute a single nation. Its popularity reached its height during the 1950s and 1960s. Advocates of pan-Arabism have often espoused
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, s ...
principles and strongly opposed
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...

Western
political involvement in the Arab world. It also sought to empower Arab states against outside forces by forming alliances and, to a lesser extent, economic co-operation.


Origins and development

The origins of pan-Arabism are often attributed to
Jurji Zaydan Jurji Zaydan ( ar, جرجي زيدان, ; December 14, 1861 – July 21, 1914) was a prolific Lebanese novelist, journalist, editor and teacher, most noted for his creation of the magazine '' Al-Hilal'', which he used to serialize his 23 histor ...

Jurji Zaydan
(1861–1914) and his
Nahda The Nahda ( ar, النهضة, translit=an-nahḍa, meaning "the Awakening"), also referred to as the Arab Awakening or Enlightenment, was a cultural movement that flourished in Arabic-speaking regions of the Ottoman Empire, notably in Egypt, Leba ...
(Revival) movement. He was one of the first intellectuals to espouse pan-Arabism as a cultural nationalist force. Zaydan had critical influence on acceptance of a modernized version of the Quranic Arabic language (
Modern Standard Arabic Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or Modern Written Arabic (shortened to MWA), terms used mostly by Western linguists, is the variety of standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standa ...
) as the universal written and official language throughout the Arab world, instead of adoption of in the various countries. Zaydan wrote several articles during the early 20th century which emphasized that Arabic-speaking regions stretching from the Maghreb to the Persian Gulf constitute one people with a shared national consciousness and that this linguistic bond trumped religious, racial and specific territorial bonds, inspired in part by his status as a
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
ine Christian
émigré An ''émigré'' () is a person who has emigrated Emigration is the act of leaving a resident country or place of residence with the intent to settle elsewhere (to permanently leave a country). Conversely, immigration Immigration is the ...
in 19th century Egypt. He also popularized through his historical novels a secular understanding of Arab history encompassing the pre-Islamic and Islamic periods into a shared history that all Arabs could claim as their own. As a political project, pan-Arabism was first pressed by
Sharif Hussein ibn Ali Hussein bin Ali Al-Hashimi ( ar, الحسين بن علي الهاشمي, ''al-Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī al-Hāshimī''; 1 May 18544 June 1931) was an Arab leader from the Banu Hashim clan who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908 and, after pr ...
, the
Sharif of Mecca The Sharif of Mecca ( ar, شريف مكة, Sharīf Makkah) or Hejaz ( ar, شريف الحجاز, Sharīf al-Ḥijāz, links=no) was the title of the leader of the Sharifate of Mecca, traditional steward of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and t ...
, who sought independence for the
Mashreq Image:Mashreq.PNG, Map depicting the area most conservatively known as the ''Mashriq'' The Mashriq ( ar, ٱلْمَشْرِق), sometimes spelled Mashreq or Mashrek, is a term used by Arabs to refer to the eastern part of the Arab world, locat ...
Arabs from the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
, and the establishment of a unified Arab state in the Mashreq. In 1915 and 1916, the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence resulted in an agreement between the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
and the Sharif that if the Mashreq Arabs revolted successfully against the Ottomans, the United Kingdom would support claims for Mashreq Arab independence. In 1916, however, the Sykes-Picot Agreement between the United Kingdom and France determined that parts of the Mashreq would 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 Mesopotamia,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...

Lebanon
,
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
and what became modern Syria. Ultimately, Hussein became King of only
Hijaz The Hejaz (, also ; ar, ٱلْحِجَاز, al-Ḥijāz, lit=the Barrier, ) is a region in the west of Saudi Arabia (Shahada) , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saud ...

Hijaz
, in the then less strategically valuable south, but lost his
Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office governing a territory under Islamic rule. The person who holds this office carries the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ) and is considered a poli ...
throne when the kingdom was sacked by the
Najd Najd, ( ar, نَجْدٌ, ) or the Nejd, forms the geographic center of Saudi Arabia (Shahada) , national_anthem = "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia, " "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection ...

Najd
i
Ikhwan The Ikhwan ( ar, الإخوان, The Brethren), also Akhwan, was the first Saudi army made up of traditionally nomadic tribesmen which formed a significant military force of the ruler Ibn Saud and played an important role in establishing him as rul ...

Ikhwan
forces of the Saudites and forcefully incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
. A more formalized pan-Arab ideology than that of Hussein was first espoused in the 1930s, notably by
Syrian Syrians ( ar, سُورِيُّون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشَّعْب السُّورِيّ, : eş''-Şa‘b es-Sūrī''; syr, ܣܘܪܝܝܢ), are the majority inhabitants of and share common ine roots. The ...
thinkers such as , Sati' al-Husri,
Zaki al-Arsuzi Zakī al-Arsūzī ( ar, زكي الأرسوزي; June 18992 July 1968) was a Syrian philosopher, philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the intersection of textual criticism, literary critic ...
, and
Michel Aflaq Michel Aflaq ( ar, ميشيل عفلق‎, , 9 January 1910 – 23 June 1989) was a Syrian philosopher, sociology, sociologist and Arab nationalism, Arab nationalist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of Ba'athism and its ...
. 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 Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
thought with a
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peop ...
to a considerable extent reminiscent of nineteenth-century European romantic nationalism. It has been said that Arsuzi was fascinated with the Nazi ideology of "racial purity" and impacted .
Abdullah I of Jordan AbdullahI bin Al-Hussein ( ar, عبد الله الأول بن الحسين, ''Abd Allāh Al-Awal ibn Al-Husayn'', 2 February 1882 – 20 July 1951) was the founder and ruler of the Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the ...
dreamed of uniting
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
,
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
, and Jordan under his leadership in what he would call
Greater Syria The region of Syria ( ar, ٱلشَّام, '; Hieroglyphic Luwian: ''Sura/i''; gr, Συρία), known in modern literature as Greater Syria (, '), "Syria-Palestine", or the Levant, is an area in Western Asia east of the Mediterranean Sea. The re ...
. He unsuccessfully proposed a plan to this effect to the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, which controlled
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
at that time. The plan was not popular among the majority of Arabs and fostered distrust among the leaders of the other Middle Eastern countries against Abdallah. The distrust of Abdullah I of Jordan#Expansionist aspirations, Abdallah's expansionist aspirations was one of the principal reasons for the founding of the Arab League in 1945. Once Abdullah I of Jordan#Assassination, Abdallah was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist in 1951, the vision of Greater Syria was dropped from the Jordanian agenda."Arab Unity." ''The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East''. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum, 2002. pp. 160–166. Although pan-Arabism began at the time of World War I, Egypt (the most populous and arguably most important Arab country) was not interested in pan-Arabism prior to the 1950s. Thus, in the 1930s and 1940s, Egyptian nationalism – not pan-Arabism – was the dominant mode of expression of Egyptian political activists. James Jankowski wrote about Egypt at the time,


Attempts at Arab union

It was not until Gamal Abdel Nasser that Arab nationalism (in addition to Arab socialism) became a state policy and a means with which to define Egypt's position in the Middle East and the world, usually articulated vis-à-vis Zionism in the neighbouring state of Israel. There have been several attempts to bring about a pan-Arab state by many well-known Arab leaders, all of which ultimately resulted in failure. British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden called for Arab unity during the 1940s, and was followed by specific proposals from pro-British leaders, including King Abdullah I of Jordan, Abdullah of Transjordan and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said of Iraq, but Egyptian proposals for a broader grouping of independent Arab states prevailed with the establishment of the League of Arab States, a regional international organization, in 1945. In large part representing the popularity Nasser had gained among the masses in the Arab world following the Suez crisis, the United Arab Republic (UAR) in 1958 was the first case of the actual merger of two previously-independent Arab countries. Hastily formed under President Nasser's leadership but on the initiative of Syrian leaders who feared a takeover by communists or "reactionaries" and hoped to lead the new entity, the UAR was a unitary state, not a federal union, with its critics seeing this as hardly more than a small country being annexed by a larger one. It lasted until 1961, when Syrian army officers carried out a coup d'état and withdrew from the union. As politicians felt pressured by the wide public to espouse the idea of unity, Egypt, Syria and Iraq entered into an abortive agreement in 1963 to form the United Arab Republic, which was to be "federal in structure, leaving each member state its identity and institutions." By 1961, Egypt had become the only remaining member but continued to call itself "the UAR" (thereby implying it was open for unification with other Arab countries), but it eventually renamed itself the "Arab Republic of Egypt" in 1973. Also in 1958, a Hashemite-led rival, the Arab Federation, was founded between Jordan and Kingdom of Iraq, Iraq. Tensions with the UAR and the 14 July Revolution made the Arab Federation collapse after only six months. Another attempt, the United Arab States, existed as a confederation between the United Arab Republic and the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen, but it dissolved in 1961. Two later attempts represented the enthusiasm of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, the Federation of Arab Republics, which lasted five years, and the Arab Islamic Republic, which never emerged in practice. Aside from the forcible unification of much of the Arabian Peninsula by the Saudi rulers of Najd during the 1920s, the History of the United Arab Emirates#Federation of Emirates, unity of seven Arab emirates that form the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni unification, the unification of North Yemen and South Yemen stand today as rare examples of actual unification. The current Syrian government is and the former government of Iraq was led by rival factions of the Ba'ath Party, which continues to espouse pan-Arabism and is organized in several other countries.


Decline

The decline of pan-Arabism is attributed to several factors. Problems persisted over a wide range of issues since the inception of pan-Arabist philosophy in the late 1800s, which, until its decline, had kept pan-Arabism on course for causal failure. The factors include: the promotion of pan-Islamism, the sectarian and social differences within the different Arab societies; the competition between different Arab leaders to be the leading voice for the Arab and Islamic worlds; and, to a lesser extent, military defeat against an enemy force. The promotion of pan-Islamism had been a key aspect within Arab and Muslim societies. Such philosophy dictated for a united Islamic ‘Ummah’ or the close bounding of all Islamic communities to maintain and promote an essence of one family, one cause. The philosophy of pan-Arabism placed itself in contradiction to the philosophy of pan-Islamism as was clarified by religious scholars and Sheikhs within the various Arab countries, especially the Gulf. The belief held by critics emphasized that pan-Arabism separated itself from the Ummah in that it only promoted Arab unity and ideals, not Islamic ones. The religious conservatism within the societies propelled pan-Islamism to defeat alternative thoughts such as pan-Arabism. Various sectarian and social differences within the various Arab societies was another fueling factor for pan-Arabism's decline. Sporadic Sunni Islam, Sunni and Shia Islam, Shia religious divide exacerbated by internal and foreign factors caused reconsideration within Arab circles as to whether pan-Arabism was viable although the issue was religiously oriented. Social differences toed a similar line. Countries like
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...

Lebanon
and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
considered secular brought about a clash of thought with the likes of religious
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
, whose longstanding promotion of religion was contradictory to the goals of the secular hierarchy within the two Levantine countries, for example. Different Arab leaders competed to become the leading voices for the Arab and Islamic worlds. Such competition sporadically resulted in friction between the leaders of these Arab countries. The United Arab Republic, which was formulated by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
’s Shukri al-Quwatli, was promoted to be the collective voice for the Arab world and the spearhead of pan-Arabism. Being the only physical incarnation of pan-Arabism, it did not receive the expected praise from other Arab nations, especially in the Gulf, which further added to the decline of pan-Arabism. To a lesser extent, the military defeat to “arch-enemy” Israel made both prominent sources of pan-Arabism reconsider such philosophy. The United Arab Republic, consisting of Egypt and
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, received ideological burden due to the unfavorable outcome, thus putting pan-Arabism in question. The victory of Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and the inability of Egypt and Syria to generate economic growth severely damaged pan-Arabism's credibility. "By the mid-1970s," according to ''The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East'', "the idea of Arab unity became less and less apparent in Arab politics, though it remained a wishful goal among the masses." By the late 1980s, pan-Arabism began to be eclipsed by both Nationalism, nationalist and Islamism, Islamist ideologies. Pan-Islamic philosophy has taken shape within Arab societies that through the Ummah, the collective Muslim unity, the Palestinian cause can be resolved against Israel. Various pan-Islamic governments outside the Arab world, such as in Iran and Turkey, have professed of its attempt to lead the Muslim world in the cause.


See also

*Arab Union *Ba'athism *Berberism *Pan-Africanism *Pan-Iranism *Pan-Islamism *Pan-Turkism


References


External links


Arab Nationalism: Mistaken Identity
by Martin Kramer
Sample chapter from Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century
by A. Dawisha
"Pan-Arabism on the March?: Israel Weighs the New Challenge"
by Nissim Rejwan {{Authority control Pan-Arabism, Arab–Israeli conflict Pan-nationalism, Arabism Political movements