Posted by Jeff from d53-251-230.try.wideopenwest.com (18.104.22.168) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 at 10:56PM :
In Reply to: Shlame posted by Alexander from 22.214.171.124.cfl.rr.com (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, February 19, 2003 at 10:47PM :
: The common misconception about the Middle East lies in that people refer to middle easterners as Arabs. They think that the majority of the Middle East is full of Arab people. Why is this so? Is it because of the vast majority of Arabic speaking people? I think so.
: Let us look here:
: Turkey- Turkish
: Syria- Arabic
: Iraq- Arabic
: Iran- Farsi
: Qatar- Arabic
: Armenia- Armenian
: Kuwait- Arabic
: Egypt- Arabic
: Lebanon- Arabic
: Is it merely coincidence that people consider those who dwell in Arabic speaking countries to be Arab? I think not. Language should not be a determinant of how people are judged as a race. Since this is an Assyrian forum, let us look at the composition of Iraq.
: Iraq (Uruk) is not mostly Arabic, like people tend to think. The large majority is a mixture between modern conquerors and ancient ones. For instance, you can distinguish between Mongol, Turk, Qord, Arabic, Farsi, etc. You can also pretty much distinguish between Assyrian, Mandaean, and some other less known races. That said, a reason so many people turn to Arabisation is that it is so easy to say you are what everybody else is and just go with the flow. For your information, Saddam Hussein is not Arabic. He may have some Arabic blood, no doubt, and Arabic lineage, but he is actually of a particular race that is quite common throughout Iraq.
: I find it humorous when people speak of Iraq as an Arab country, that is, after the initial annoyance of it. Yes, it was conquered by Arabs, but also by many other races. Did the others just suddenly disappear? I find it interesting how Assyrians are always claiming to be the true and “only real descendants” of old Iraq with a legitimate claim to the throne they try so hard to grasp at. Well, although I like Assyrians, needless to say, they are not alone in the sea of “rightful heirs to Iraq.”
: And as for the rulers of Iraq, they use the idea of Arabism in their governance, but it does no legitimatize their claim. I wonder sometimes whether they are really under the impression that they are descendants of true Arabs.
: Peace to all,
I think that Modern Pan-Arabism was a response to the creation of Israel and western spheres of influence in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern countries were weak and needed a unifying force... kind of like how today everyone has American flags on their cars, underwear, and hanging from every which place. In some ways it failed miserably, in other ways it helped. The creation of OPEC was definitely a good thing, and the embargo of the 70s taught everyone a lesson or two. I don't think the Middle Eastern countries could ever successfully do that again, since Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. are very beholden to foreign (aka American) interests.
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