a new middle east

Cairo - Egypt | Thursday, April 14, 2022:

For a long time in the Arab world, “Middle East” was a dark, dismal and damnable term. Its invention and reiteration in international forums was seen as conspiracy or academic camouflage, according to my friends and colleagues Ali Al-Din Galal and Gamil Mattar in their seminal The Arab Regional Order. The long held belief was that the Arabs had more than enough historical, geographical and cultural ties to constitute an identity of their own. Some terms for the outer parameters of this identity appeared in an early book of mine, The Arabs and the Geographically Neighbouring States, which referred to Iran, Turkey, Israel and Ethiopia.  But the fact remains, the term had strategic implications for the great powers that used it during the colonialist era. From a Eurocentric perspective, the Middle East was located between the Asian Far East and the Near East on the shores of the Mediterranean.

More: A new Middle East - Opinion - Al-Ahram Weekly - Ahram Online