Quite simply stated, the Arab conquest of the region gave birth to the Arab World, to the notion of Arab unity and to the Arab peoples themselves. It took a diverse group of people and gave them a common language, culture, religion and, over time, a common identity. It is, thus, that the Arab conquest of the region stands out as one of the most significant turning points in the history of the Middle East and, indeed, the roots of Arab Nationalism can be directly traced to it (Hitti, 1943). Arab nationalism, tracing its roots to the Moslem conquest of north Africa and the Levantine, has survived over the millennia due to a complex set of historical and political circumstances.
The concept of the Arab nation and of Arab nationalism is based on historical circumstances which have a strong psychological appeal. As argued by Karsh (2001) in "Misunderstanding Arab Nationalism," this concept represents the historical successes, and power that the Arabs had achieved when they were united as a single empire from the eleventh to the nineteenth century. Since the collapse of that Empire, however, the Arabs have achieved little and have, indeed, devolved into twenty-two third world nations which have little, if any, political and economic influence over world affairs (Karsh, 2001). ...Show more