Date: Sep 19, 2013 12:49 PM
Author: Domenico Rosa
Subject: Re: Notes On A Century

Haim wrote:

> We are all familiar with the notion that the
> experiences of other people in other fields of human
> endeavor can often shed light on our own efforts.
> This forum may find interesting a couple of comments
> s by Bernard Lewis from his book, "Notes On A
> Century: Reflections Of A Middle East Historian".

[snip]

Haim,

What do you think of the following article?
==========

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/06/iraq-syria-lebanon-economic-union

For Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, there is a peaceful solution

The Middle East, on the brink of sectarian disaster, can revive its ancient spirit of co-existence in an economic union

Wadah Khanfar
The Guardian, Monday 6 May 2013

[...]
The borders of the Middle East states established by the Sykes-Picot agreement were illogical and impractical, and have never enjoyed any legitimacy in the minds of Arab people. They were never able to evolve into stable nation states, unlike neighbouring Iran and Turkey. In response, the pan-Arab movement emerged demanding unity, a dream which enticed the region's people but never materialised on the ground.

It now seems the Sykes-Picot agreement will not last to see its first centenary. But we should not look for an alternative that is worse: more artificial borders would be a recipe for permanent conflict. A solution is possible through the revival of the spirit that has distinguished the Middle East throughout its history. Four peoples have coexisted in the region since ancient times - Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Iranians - in an open social and economic environment. For centuries the region remained a contiguous unit, despite its diversity of religions, sects and ethnicities; people, ideas, religions and goods moved around in freedom.