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The Arab Uprisings: A Society Transformation Report (Assessment)

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Updated: May 28th, 2021

In the tweritieth century, pan-Arab nationalism became a powerful force in the region. How did it develop? To what extent was it successful? Why or why? Make sure to analyze specific historical examples to support your thesis.

The idea of bringing the Arab nation together and promoting unity among the target population emerged in the early 19th century. Although tracking down the actual founder of the movement is a rather complicated task, Jurji Zaydan is typically mentioned as the person that inspired pan-Arab nationalism. Among the primary factors that spurred its development, one must mention the necessity to encourage communication between the members of the Arab culture. In other words, it was necessary to transcend physical boundaries to unite the nation, the language being one of the primary tools for helping Arab people bond.

In retrospect, the effects of the movement could be called ambiguous since pan-Arabism both led to bringing the nation closer and at the same time contributed to detailing the differences between its groups. Indeed, a closer look at the nature of the movement will reveal that the idea of unification was rather sensible. However, the lack of agreement about essential elements of the Arab national philosophy, such as the concept of an individual in the context of the state, triggered inevitable and numerous arguments. For instance, the conflicts within the AR, the issues regarding Egypt and Syria, etc., showed that there was a lack of a common philosophy (Cleveland, 2015).

How did World War II transform the landscape of the Middle East? What remained the same? What changed? Why? Which historical processes became more important after 1945 in the region?

The effects of the World War II were devastating in nearly every corner of the world. Causing millions of deaths, WWII affected every single country in the world, and the Arab states were not an exception. For example, the Jewish people that resided on the Arab territory were killed in the Holocaust. The Arab population of the Middle East also suffered significantly. Furthermore, the Suez Crisis needs to be mentioned among the primary negative effects of WWII on the Middle East. Being an essential strategic element, the Suez Canal was viewed as an important tool in managing transportation and the arrangement of troops; thus, the Middle East states were affected significantly by the actions of the WWII participants. Finally, the internal conflicts that resulted from the rearrangement of powers within the states should be mentioned as the primary effect of WWII. The conflict between Israel and Arab countries over Palestine, which resulted from the decisions made after the WWII, can be deemed as the primary effect of the latter on the Middle East. Similarly, the creation of Taliban may be interpreted as the aftereffect of WWII (McGrath & Martin, 2015).

Compare and contrast the experiences of Iran and Turkey in the 1945-1990. How did each react to specific historical processes, and to what extent did each establish democratic traditions?

Iran and Turkey have experienced significant changes during 1945-1990. Although sharing a range of similarities, the two states are typically viewed as two opposites in the context of the Middle Eastern world. The residents of Iran experienced the effects of the Pahlavi absolutism, which led to a rather complicated situation. Particularly, the crisis of 1946 affected the further development of the state significantly. In contrast to Iran, Turkey has experienced significant democratic transformations since WWII.

For instance, the transition from a single-party to a multiparty government system has created opportunities for voicing the opinions of all members of the state. Consequently, the premises for building democratic relationships within the state were created. The reactions of the two states toward new challenges and opportunities, in turn, were also unique. The Iran-Iraq war, which occurred in the 1980s, weakened the state significantly. Turkey, on the opposite, managed to develop impressive economic and political connections in the context of the post-WWII environment, therefore, strengthening its positions in the context of the global political environment. Thus, the scenarios of Turkey and Iran can be viewed as the examples of success and failure in using the political relationships after a global military crisis (Gelvin, 2015).


The Suez Crisis

The term “Suez Crisis” is applied to the scenario that involved the invasion of Egypt. In their attempts to overthrow Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was the president of Egypt at the time, Israel, Great Britain, and France suffered an impressive defeat. The governments of the U.S. and the USSR, as well as the members of the UN, compelled Israel and its supporters to retreat.

The Truman Doctrine

Proposed by Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the US, the Truman Doctrine was supposed to help the U.S. resist the pressure of the USSR during the period of the Cold War. The Truman Doctrine promoted the ideas of democracy and resistance against the sweeping power of tyranny.

Aswan Dam

Aswan Dam is an embankment dam that was built after the authorities of Egypt and the USSR joined forces. There was an attempt to use the dam by Great Britain, France, and Israel as the means of establishing wider geopolitical control in the adjacent areas. However, facing extensive pressure from the UN, the U.S., and the USSR, the states in question ceased their attempts.

Saddam Husayn

Saddam Hussein was a president of Iraq in 1979-2003. He resisted the attempts of the local minorities to gain independence. Furthermore, Hussein stifled any attempts at developing independence within the state. Creating the tools that allowed him to gain complete control over any political, economic, social, or cultural changes within the state, he became a massive threat to the further well-being of Iraqi citizens. Furthermore, Hussein was accused of having connections with Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. In 2006, Hussein was executed (Cleveland, 2015).


Cleveland, W. L. (2015). The making of an Arab nationalist: Ottomanism and Arabism in the life and thought of Sati’ Al-Husri. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Gelvin, J. (2015). The Arab uprisings: What everyone needs to know. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

McGrath, J., & Martin, K. C. (2015). The modernization of the western world: A society transformed. New York, NY: Routledge.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "The Arab Uprisings: A Society Transformation." May 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-arab-uprisings-a-society-transformation/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'The Arab Uprisings: A Society Transformation'. 28 May.

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