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Presentation on theme: "THE MIDDLE EAST: THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION, EMPIRES, COLONIALISM & CLIENTAL STATES OF THE WEST Freedom cannot be given, it has to be taken, otherwise."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE MIDDLE EAST: THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION, EMPIRES, COLONIALISM & CLIENTAL STATES OF THE WEST Freedom cannot be given, it has to be taken, otherwise the ‘free’ subjects remain ever subservient to the giver, i.e. the colonial/imperial power. The political leadership in most of the Muslim countries, to date, is the legacy of European colonial rule.

2 THE MIDDLE EAST: THE ISLAMIC WORLD The Middle East represents the Islamic world, the Muslim world, the Arab world. It has large segments of ethnically non-Arab population within the Middle East – Turkey (Turkish), Iran (Persians), and the Kurds and it embraces communities of different religions.

3 WHAT IS THE MIDDLE EAST The Middle East, a term coined by western colonialists and imperialists, encompasses all those countries of Asia situated south of the former Soviet Union (i.e. south of the Caucasus Mountains) and west of Pakistan, and the Arab speaking countries of North Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco) as far as Morocco in the West.

4 THE BRIDGE BETWEEN THE EAST & THE WEST The Middle East is situated at the junction of Europe, Asia and Africa, and as such commands the strategic approaches to these three continents controlling the Suez Canal, the major shipping line/route through which passes the fuel tankers and global commerce and trade between the East and the West.

5 THE BIRTHPLACE OF THE THREE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS The Middle East has been the birthplace of the three Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Wailing Wall, Jerusalem Church of Nativity, Bethlehem Masjid Al-Haram Sharif, Makkah

6 A REGION OF OIL & GAS The Middle East has the largest single reserve of oil and natural gas. The black gold nations are Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Libya while Algeria, Qatar and Tunisia are rich in natural gas. Saudi Arabia has 260 billion barrels of proven oil. Iraq has 112 billion barrels of proven oil reserves plus an estimated 220 billion barrels in untapped wells. Iran has 150 billion barrels of proven oil. The region thus holds the key to western economy, western livelihood and above all the key to the civilization/existence of the developed industrialized countries of the West also known as the oil-based civilization of the developed world.

7 THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION The Middle East has been the cradle of world civilization. It is the home of the two of the world’s oldest civilizations -- the Nile Civilization and the Mesopotamian Civilization, known for the introduction of writing (the Hieroglyphics and the Cuneiform), record keeping, the codification of laws (the Code of Hammurabi), the concept of city-states and democratic governance, the concept of authenticity, weights and measures, and the schooling system, to name a few.

8 THE SEAT OF ISLAMIC LEARNING The Middle East is the seat of Islamic learning. The region has given birth to the three first universities of the world. The region also introduced the concept of a written constitution into the political history of mankind – The Constitution of Madinah, 622 AD, establishing a religious-cultural pluralistic system. It is also regarded to be the first Human Rights Document in the history of mankind. Al-Azhar University, Cairo

9 THE MIDDLE EAST IN WORLD WAR I During World War I, the Ottoman Empire became a member of the Central Powers. This alignment brought an end to the traditional British policy of friendship with the Ottomans. The alignment challenged British imperial life-line- the sea route, the Suez Canal and the overland route- to Iran where it had oil interests and to the British Indian Empire. The Imperial British Navy changed its energy source from coal to petroleum in 1914

10 FACTORS SHAPING POST-WAR MIDDLE EAST Three major factors prevalent during the war shaped the post-war Middle East. (1)Arab Nationalism (2)Zionism (3)Secret Agreements

11 ARAB NATIONALISM Great Britain exploited Arab nationalism with false promises of Arab independence in return for an Arab Revolt against the Ottomans. Sheriff Hussein, the Ottoman appointed agent led the negotiations with Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner to Egypt. (Hussein-McMahon Correspondences, 1915-16). Gt. Britain also pursued the “divide and rule” principle and concluded another treaty with Ibn Saud, the tribal leader of the Nedj.

12 CONSEQUENCES OF ARAB NATIONALISM Arab Revolt led to the defeat of Ottomans at the battle of Aqaba in July 1917. Emir Hussein was ousted from the Arabian Peninsula by Saudi forces. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formed in 1932 with British blessings. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan created for Emir Abdullah, the son of Emir Hussein and one of the Arabs who participated in the Arab Revolt. Emir Faisal made King of Syria by Britain but objected by France and was made the King of Iraq. The capture of Aqaba paved the way for Anglo-French domination of the Middle East and the implementation of the Secret Agreement, i.e. the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

13 THE SYKES-PICOT AGREEMENT, 1916 With the defeat of the Ottomans, the Asiatic Ottoman Arab world was secretly carved out between Britain and France on the basis of devious, deceitful, dishonest wartime secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, legitimized by the League of Nations.

14 THE SYKES-PICOT AGREEMENT Syria and Lebanon went to the French and Britain had direct control over Palestine (Transjordan) and Iraq. The nomadic Arabian Peninsula constituted the future independent state of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

15 JERUSALEM WAS THE QIBLA. Jerusalem was the Qibla. Al-Masjid El- Aqsa is an Arabic name which means the Farthest Mosque. Ten years after the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) received his first revelation, he made a miraculous night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and to the Seven Heavens on a white flying horse called Al-Buraq El-Sharif. During his interval in Jerusalem, the Prophet stopped to pray at the rock (now covered by the golden Dome), and was given the commandment to pray five times a day. Until then, Jerusalem was the Qibla. Today, Muslims throughout the World use Mecca as the direction of prayers (Qibla). Al-Aqsa Mosque is the second oldest mosque in Islam after the Ka'ba in Mecca, and is third in holiness and importance after the mosques in Mecca and Medina. It is also called Al-Haram El-Sharif (the Nobel Sanctuary).

16 ZIONISM War expediency required Great Britain to reach an understanding with the Zionists who aimed to obtain a guarantee from the Allied Powers that in the event of defeat of the Ottomans, Palestine would be recognized as a Jewish commonwealth. An understanding with the Zionists produced a new ally in the form of World Jewry, i.e. the support of the European (Germany, Austria, and Russia), American and Arab Jews. Political and economic influence of the Zionists in America led to the formal entry of the United States into the war against the Central Powers in the Spring of 1917. The British Government approved the Balfour Declaration in November, 1917, favouring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

17 THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY Turkey retained its territorial integrity by defeating all the Allied Powers who had invaded its soil. The Turkish Army was led by Mustafa Kamal. Kamal abolished the Khalifat and established the Republic of Turkey. Governance is based on a constitution. Although regarded by many as a secular ruler, Kamal reinstituted many of the authentic Islamic principles. Turkey is the only Muslim country to be a member of NATO and the first Muslim country to have recognized Israel.


19 Between 1919 and 1945, the Middle East under the British and the French colonial rule saw the systematic destruction of Arab unity, the emergence of despotic monarchies, installation of minority governments, creation of minorities and sectarian problems, and above all the loss of Arab control over their own wealth, territories and destinies. The once compact Arab land with a common culture thus became volatile, divisive and fragmented with the creation of Israel and the formation of several independent Arab political entities with the blessings of Britain and France. The worst victim as a result of the Arab Revolt of 1917, is the virtual extinction of Palestine as a political entity in 1967.

20 THE MIDDLE EAST IN POST-WORLD WAR II In post-World War II, in the former Arab Ottoman lands emerged: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Yemen, the Gulf States of Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait. These came to be ruled in principle by minorities whose local interest allied them with the West, thus lacking legitimate governments in the Arab Middle East. Israel, regarded by the West as the only democratic and secular country in the Middle East, is the only declared Jewish State in the world. A state created by the use of force on Arab lands mostly inhabited by Arab Muslims and Christians, who are the descendents of the Philistines and Cannanites.


22 NORTH AFRICA MIDDLE EAST Kingdom of Morocco: In 1956, after 44 years of occupation, Morocco regained independence from France and Spain as the "Kingdom of Morocco. King Mohammed VI, assumed the throne in July 1999. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The King of Morocco holds vast executive powers, including dissolving parliament at will. constitutional monarchy Algeria: Won its independence in 1962 from the French. In December 1991, the Islamic Salvation Front won the first round of the country's first multi-party elections. The military then intervened and cancelled the second round. Ruled the country with emergency laws while Algeria went through Civil War. On 27 April 1999, after a series of short-term leaders representing the military, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the current president, was chosen by the army.Islamic Salvation Frontfirst roundmilitary Abdelaziz Bouteflika Tunisian Republic: Was a French colony between 1881 and 1956. The country nominally operated as a republic under the authoritarian regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who governed from 1987 to 2011 before fleeing following wide-ranging protestsZine El Abidine Ben Aliwide-ranging protests

23 NORTH AFRICA MIDDLE EAST LIBYA & EGYPT Libya, officially the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya: Libya gained independence as the Kingdom of Libya in 1951 from Italy. Libya has been ruled from 1969 to the present by Muammar al-Gaddafi, who rose to power in a military coup overthrowing the monarchy. Formal political authority resides in a structure of people’s congresses. It has large petroleum reserves, the largest in Africa. Jamahiriya overthrown by NATO forces in August, 2011.JamahiriyaKingdom of LibyaMuammar al-Gaddafipetroleum Republic of Egypt: In 1946, Britain withdrew from Egypt in with the exception of the Suez Base. In 1952, colonial rule came to an end following a military coup d’etat led by a group of young officers calling themselves the Free Officers, led by Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser. Monarchical rule came to an end. Nasser known for the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956. Hold’s the key to the Suez Canal, the major shipping line/route through which passes the fuel tankers and global commerce and trade between the East and the west. It is the First Arab country to have concluded a Peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Receives annually $1.5 - $2.0 billion as military aid for maintaining the Peace Treaty.

24 THE MIDDLE EAST UNDER WESTERN SIEGE Since World War II, the Middle East with its immense wealth in oil and natural gas and over the issue of the security of the State of Israel, an entity created in an already settled area by Western colonial and imperial authorities, poses the most serious challenging region in world geopolitics. Through the “penetrated system”, the Middle East is under Western siege. Only people’s power from within the region can undo the existing status-quo and establish legitimate government and control their destinies and wealth.



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