The Hussein McMahon Correspondence were letters which were used in communication between Sir Henry McMahon who was the British high commissioner in Egypt and Husain ibn ‘Ali who was the Emir of Mecca.The letter were sent during World War 1 which was between 1915-1916.The Arabs wanted the British to grant them their independence in exchange to opposition to the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, Hussein sent the first letter to Sir Henry McMahon which gave the conditions that the Arabs wanted fulfilled for them to participate in the war against the Turks.Palistine was not considered in the letters, and therefore Arab independence was not granted to Palestine even after the war was over (Cleveland ,2004).
The Sykes –Picot Agreement which was made in 1916 was an agreement made in secret by Sir Mark Sykes, a British diplomat and Georges Picot who was a French diplomat. The agreement resulted to the French taking over control of Lebanon, Syria and Turkish Cilicia. The British government on the other hand took over Baghdad, Palestine, Jordan and areas around the Persian Gulf; they also took control of Arabia and the Jordan Valley. The agreement was in contradiction of the McMahon Agreement made in 1915 which allowed the Arabs to govern their regions once they assisted the Allies in fighting the Turks.
The Balfour declaration made in November 1917 was between the British and Jewish people living in Britain and America. Arthur James Balfour who was the British Foreign Secretary wrote a letter to Baron Lionel Walter who was the most influential Jewish Citizen in Britain. In this letter, James Balfour noted that Britain would support a Jewish homeland which would be in Pakistan. The declaration was a move to woe the Jewish people to support the Allies in the war against Turkey, however, after world war 1,Britain took control over Pakistan, and this angered many Jewish and Arabs who had been promised a self-governed government.
In the early 20th century, the League of Nations formulated the Mandate system which stipulated the method of administration of regions that were not governing themselves. In this system, some countries would have to be controlled by other countries which would be involved in administration duties. One example of a country which was under the control of a foreign government was Pakistan which according to the League of Nations was under the Great Britain. After the end of World War Tithe League of Nations was dissolved, and all the remaining mandates were put under the Trusteeship of the United Nations (Kamrava, 2005).
The Baath Party is a political party which was formed by the Arabs, the main aim of the party was to advocate for the formation of a single Arab Nation. The founders of the party were Michel Aflac and Salah al-Din al-Biter in Damascus the year 1943.The party was then formed in Iraq and other Arab nations.
Abdel Nasser remains to be one of the most popular leaders in the Arab world who was in full support of Pan-Arabism. He was able to unite the Arabs in addressing the Palestine issue and Arab unity after the Suez War. He was on the frontline towards the liberation of Palestine and creating a cohesive and united Arab community. His moves to liberalize and unite the Arab community lead to the rise of Nasser’s.
During the Suez Canal crisis, Nasser did not give in into the demands of the French and British Leaders. He formed the United Arab Republic which also included Syria; the Arabs were all united under the ‘Sawt al Arab’ meaning the Voice of the Arabs, this created excitement within the Arab World with people rising up to advocate for their liberation. The Arab world was able to rise up and fight for its liberation as one block (Kamrava, 2005).
During the 1950s and 1960s, Nasser was able to gain great influence outside Egypt due to his anti-imperialist policy and stood out to be a key political figure in the Arab world. With a key leader, it was possible to unite the people within the Arab World to fight against imperialism from the Arab world. There was the formation of other parties such as Kamal Junblat’s Popular Socialist Party which was formed in Lebanon and militia groups such as Sunni Militia which was very active during the Lebanese civil war (Beeri, 2002). The Arab world needed a person who would lead to them to liberation and Abdel Nasser stood to be a key figure hence the rise of Nasserism.
Beeri, E. (2002). Nasserism, a hope that failed. Tel-Aviv, Israel: World Labour Zionist Movement.
Berberoglu, B. (1999). Turmoil in the Middle East imperialism, war, and political instability. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Cleveland, W. L. (2004). 3. A history of the modern Middle East (3rd ed., pp. 87-101). Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.
Kamrava, M. (2005). The modern Middle East a political history since the First World War. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Podeh, E., & Winckler, O. (2004). Rethinking Nasserism revolution and historical memory in modern Egypt. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.