Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Pan-Arabian Republic?

With recent development in Arab nations, once more the idea of a united arab nation has surfaced. This was unsuccessfully attempted by the main exponent of the Pan-Arabism, Nasser, once before. His definition of arabs as, those who speak Arabian, enables a whole patchwork of the people to be incorporated in such a state. However, Nasser's UAR of Egypt-Syria collapsed after a few years.

Pan-Arabism is supported by the fact that Arabian borders are mainly creations of the Europeans. Just like in Africa, the map of Arab nations in the Atlas book is something like a school child's painting, drawn with a ruler and a pencil and then coloured with different coloured pencils. In earlier times borders did not matter at all, except for the rulers of these lands. Even they found it unable to define a border, and even now there are some borders not clearly defined.

When old rulers were in control, it was a pipe dream to imagine a united Arabia. But, something strange is now happening. It is in a way the overthrow of the old by the young, utilizing the majority power they have. In Arabia, young people constitute more than 50% of the population. With new thinking in terms of cyber space and democracy, one wonders if the young people would aspire for a broader union.

There are numerous challenges to the establishment of a Pan-Arabian state. The presence of Israel, whether we like it or not, is a grave hindrance. Also, outside powers will be quite apprehensive of the growing state of Arabia. Furthermore, in all places, young people are not in total control. The role played by different tribes is, like in Africa, quite significant. For many Arabs, God is utmost important. Then comes family and tribe. A united Arabia is a distant abstract entity for those people. They may not even be aware that such a state has been envisaged.

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