What is Arab Nationalism?
"Arab nationalists believe that the Arab
nation had existed as a historical entity prior to the rise of
nationalism in the 19th–20th century. The Arab nation was formed
through the gradual establishment of Arabic as the language of communication and with
the advent of Islam as a religion and culture in the region.
Both Arabic and Islam served as the pillars of the nation. According to
writer Youssef Choueiri, Arab nationalism represents the " 'Arabs'
consciousness of their specific characteristics as well as their
endeavor to build a modern state capable of representing the common
will of the nation and all its constituent parts.'
"Within the Arab
nationalist movement are three differentiations: the Arab nation, Arab
nationalism, and pan-Arab unity." (Wikipedia)
Nationalism (not just Arabs)
Timeline in Middle East (utilizing
the above resources)
- 1860's -- Arab Nationalism
beginnings among Arab Intellectuals in Levant and Egypt: built around a
sense of loyalty to the "Fatherland" but not necessarily an "Arab
- 1860's onwards -- Influx of
Christian missionaries and educators from Western countries provided
education for many Arabs who also observed western nationalistic
ideals. Arabic literatrue produced in Levant and Mesopotamiz
condeming the Ottoman's for "betraying Islam". Islam had not
always been "the sick man" of Europe. They recalled earlier
Islamic empires when Islam was in its "golden age". They insisted
"that European modernism itself was of Islamic origin. The Arabs,
on the other hand, had deviated from true Islam and thus suffered
- 1870's -- Arabs in Syria and Lebanon
formed a secret society with the goal of throwing off the yoke of the
Ottomans. More secret society's formed with similar and
- By 1900's -- many Arab groups
embraced an Arab nationalism that provided basis of Arab nationalist
ideology in the 20th century. Influenced by Islamic
- 1911 -- In Paris a number of Muslim intellectuals
from the Levant formed al-Fatat ("the Young Arab Soceity"). There
goal was "raising the level of the Arab nation to the level of modern
- 1913 -- Al-Fatat hosted the Arab
Congress in Paris to discuss reforms in the Arab world. Ottoman
authorities "cracked down on the organization's activities" forcing the
al-Fatat to go underground. Al-Fatat began to seek independence
of Ottoman's and any other non-Arab governments. All of this had
little effect on the majority of Arabs.
- Late 1800's thru 1915 -- Growing
nationalist movement among Armenians.
- 1915-1916 -- Armenian genocide.
Current Arab Nationalism