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The First World War and its Aftermath

The First World War and its Aftermath


The Shaping of the Modern Middle East

edited by TG Fraser

Format: Hardback
Published: September 2015
Pages: 350
ISBN: 9781909942752

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This book gathers together leading scholars in the field to examine the impact of the First World War on the Middle East, so crucial to understanding the conflicts unfolding in the region today.
In addition to recounting the international politics of the Great Powers that drew lines in the sand, contributors address topics ranging from the war’s effects on women, the experience of the Kurds, sectarianism, the evolution of Islamism, and the importance of prominent intellectuals like Ziya Gökalp and Michel ‘Aflaq. They examine the dissolution of the Ottoman empire, the exploitation of notions of Islamic unity and Pan-Arabism, the influences of Wilson and American ideals on Middle East leaders, and likewise the influence of Lenin’s vision of a communist utopia. Altogether, they tell a story of promises made and promises broken, of the struggle between self- determination and international recognition.


Introduction: the political transformation of the Middle East 1914–1923 – T.G. Fraser

1. The rise of Egyptian nationalism and the perception of foreigners in Egypt 1914–1923 – Amany Soliman

2. The antecedents and implications of the so-called Anglo-Sanussi War 1915–1917 – Jason Pack

3. British intelligence and Arab nationalism: the origins of the modern Middle East – Steven Wagner

4. The First World War and its legacy for women in Iraq – Noga Efrati

5. From anti-imperial dissent to national consent: the First World War and the formation of a trans-sectarian national consciousness in Lebanon – Mark Farha

6. Historicising hunger: the famine in wartime Lebanon and Syria – Najwa al-Qattan

7. The patriarch, the amir and the patriots: civilisation and self- determination at the Paris Peace Conference – Andrew Arsan

8. A thoroughly modern Caliphate: could legitimate governance for the Middle East in the aftermath of the First World War have been found by looking within? – Louise Pyne-Jones

9. From the Archduke to the Caliph: the Islamist evolution that led to ‘The Islamic State’ – Aaron Y. Zelin

10. Some reflections on whether the Mandates were a slow burning fuse for toxic sectarianism in Arab countries – John Mchugo

11. Oil, state and society in Iran in the aftermath of the First World War – Kaveh Ehsani

12. The new Arab intellectuals of the post-First World War period: the case of Taha Husayn – Bruno Ronfard

13. A Tale of Two Nationalists: Parallelisms in the Writings of Ziya Gökalp and Michel Aflaq – Michael Erdman

14. Women, war and the foundations of the Turkish Republic: the vision of New Womanhood in Halide Edib Adıvar’s The Shirt of Flame (1922) – Sevinç Elaman-Garner

15. The limits of soft power: why Kurdish nationalism failed in the French Mandate of Syria – Laila McQuade and Nabil Al-Tikriti

16. The other jihad: Enver Pasha, Bolsheviks, and politics of anticolonial Muslim nationalism during the Baku Congress 1920 – Alp Yenen

17. A point of order: a battle for autonomy in the First Legislative Council of Transjordan – Harrison Guthorn

18. Drawing the line: Calouste Gulbenkian and the Red Line Agreement of 1928 – Jonathan Conlin




‘In light of this nascent regional awareness of the Middle East’s historical boundaries, the inaugural Gingko Conference’s decision to focus on the aftermath of the First World War is more pertinent than ever.’

– Eugene Rogan, Associate Professor of the Modern History of the Middle East, University of Oxford

‘The Gingko Library Conference will throw light on how the Middle East and its problems came to be as they are: this is a highly important event and very appropriate in this centenary year marking the beginning of the First World War.’

– Anthony Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities

‘The institutions that concentrate on culture hold the most hope for looking beyond the immediate struggles for land and power. This is why the Gingko Library is important for the service it does bringing out the common elements in the literature, arts, and productions of the peoples of the Middle East. The conference also reminds us about what is common between peoples and civilizations, and we need it to never stop looking for what draws us together, not only for what divides us.’

– Leila Fawaz, Issam M. Fares Professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Tufts University

‘A major role of literature is to show us that we can differ in religion, skin colour or culture but are still all basically human beings with the same feelings, the same pain and the same hopes. That is why the conference is so important, because we should get to know each other more and more in order to make the this world a better place.’

– Alaa Al Aswany, bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building

‘[…] This would make an excellent resource for students and scholars of the Middle East who are interested in history from the perspective of people in the Middle East themselves, rather than an imperial history.’

– Review of Middle East Studies