Unraveling The
Middle-East Conflict

Part-1: Formation of the Middle East contemporary border

16-07-2023 Sunday 10:00 GMT+06:00
Shahary Kabir Shahary Kabir


_The Middle East, often regarded as the epicenter of our human history, stands as the birthplace of civilization and has fostering advancements in diverse fields such as astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, literature, medical science and others.Throughout history of the Middle East, notable figures like Ibn Sina, Hassan Ibn Al-Haytham, Ferdowsi, Hafez, Rumi, Saadi, Sohrevardi, Fatima Al-Fihri and countless others have been revered for their contributions to knowledge and learning.


These luminaries are held in high regard by anyone seeking wisdom, and their names are cherished by many across the globe. As being a region of immense historical significance, the Middle East can rightfully be called the cradle of civilization. Even in the modern world, it continues to play a pivotal role in shaping global affairs. Its rich and intricate history remains at the center of cultural, political, and intellectual dialogues, showcasing the region's enduring importance in the contemporary world.


Starting from the early Mesopotamian period to the present day, throughout the centuries, the borders of the Middle East have undergone significant changes. The modern borders of the Middle East began to take shape following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.


The history of the Middle East since then has been characterized by a complex interplay of factors, including the pursuit of oil, territorial disputes, and power struggles. The discovery and exploitation of oil resources in the Middle East brought about significant economic and political shifts, attracting the attention of global powers and shaping the dynamics of the region. Control over land and resources, including territorial disputes, has often played a central role in defining the history of the modern Middle East.


The quest for power and influence among various regional and international actors has further contributed to the turmoil in the region. Historical events like the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iranian Revolution, the Gulf Wars, Yemen wars and ongoing conflicts have left lasting impacts, shaping the contemporary history of the Middle East. By acknowledging, the complexities and nuances of a region's history, we can gain valuable insights into its present realities and their global implications.

The formation of modern Middle East border:


Geographically from the Eurocentric perspective, most northern part of Africa and south-west Asian region known as the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire which was based in modern day turkey controlled the parts of the Middle East, north Africa and south-eastern Europe from centuries, and it collapsed when they lose in ww1; to grieve of war has been described as the most catastrophic event.


The victory was in British and French side and under the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 they claim ottoman lands and incorporated those areas with respective empires, considering as access to trade routes and own goals to secure their respective strategic interest and influence in the region. Britain took control of present-day Iraq, Palestine, and Transjordan, while France control over Syria and Lebanon, and it has had far-reaching consequences that continue to shape the Middle East to this day.


To draw the boundary they largely ignored ethnic, religious, and tribal divisions. Redrawing the borders, imposition of colonial rule, and geopolitical interests of external powers have often led to future conflicts, nationalist movements and ongoing regional challenges and tensions.


From ww1 to now many got independence from Britain, France and the growing importance of oil is a key factor with departure of European powers and the founding of Israel that led to increased U.S. involvement in this region. After 1950, it becomes the ultimate guarantor of region’s stability. Considering the variety of perspectives, the modern Middle East formed with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates(UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen.


The Establishment of Israel:


During World War I, following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, British forces assumed control over Palestine and issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917.


Unraveling The Middle-East Conflict

The primary objective of this declaration was to establish a homeland for the Jewish population in Palestine, a decision that was sanctioned by the League of Nations in 1922, despite objections from Arab nations. Later, the tensions between Jews and Arabs escalated, leading to open conflict in early 1929 within Palestine.


During World War II, a significant number of Jews sought refuge in Palestine as a result of the Holocaust. This influx of Jewish immigrants further fueled the tensions between Arab and Zionist forces. Finally, on May 14, 1948, the Jewish community formally declared the establishment of the state of Israel, a moment that marked a significant milestone in the region's history.

Since its inception, The Arab-Israeli conflict can be described as an intercommunal phenomenon. It involves military clashes, political tensions, and large-scale disputes. The conflict has witnessed numerous armed confrontations and military campaigns, such as the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1967, and 1973, as well as other intermittent clashes.


Politically, the conflict has been marked by contentious negotiations, failed peace processes, and a lack of consensus on crucial issues such as borders, the status of Jerusalem, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.


The protracted nature of the conflict coupled with devastating wars, has resulted in dire humanitarian situations, displacement of populations, the birth of a devastated youth generation, terrorism, and a multitude of other negative consequences. To be continued....



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