The Middle East can be considered part of the planet that presents reasons for conflicts, with emphasis on the differences between Arabs and Jews. This is a fact that started with the establishment of the State of Israel, in 1947. In 1988, Palestine and Israel began their participation in peace agreements. In 1993, for example, Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli prime minister at the time, and Yasser Arafat entered into a peace deal.
Such an agreement had an interim character, giving Palestinians self-government over the occupied territories, a fact that allowed a ceasefire. However, this was not enough, as the attacks intensified in the region, triggered by dissatisfaction on the part of radical Palestinian and Israeli groups. The problem was further compounded by the death of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, murdered by an orthodox Jewish student who opposed to the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
Yitzhak was succeeded by Shimon Peres, who continued with the peace process started. In 1996, Yasser Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority with a high number of votes (88.1%).
The formation of a Palestinian state did not take place completely, given that military control and foreign relations were still the responsibility of the Israelis. At the end of the 1990s, conflicts became frequent due to the initiative of the Palestinian and Israeli radical groups, which hampered the process of forming the State of Palestine.
The conflicts continued until the early 2000s, with a significant increase in the incidence of cases of armed attacks and confrontations, mainly of suicide attacks by the Palestinians. In this way, Israel responded quickly to the offensives with several attacks on the Palestinian territory, causing the death of terrorists and civilians.
Faced with the bleak picture, the UN Security Council (United Nations Organization) approved and proposed, through the United States, the creation of a Palestinian state. Even with these initiatives, the current geopolitical situation is still very troubled, marked by a high number of armed conflicts and attacks. It seems that the disagreements are endless, given that the Israelis blame Palestinians for not punishing the extremists contained in the territory of their activities. The Palestinians blame the Israelis for making the situation even worse by responding in an armed manner to the terrorist attacks of their extremists. In short, it seems that this conflict is endless, in the face of such intolerance externalized by both sides.
It is not possible to highlight conflicts in the Middle East without mentioning the Iraq issue. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait on the pretext that the latter was not complying with the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) rules regarding the volume of oil production. Offensive interfered by the United States, with UN approval, U.S. started the Gulf War, which lasted from 17 January until 28 February 1991, ending with the defeat of the Iraqis, frustrating the plans of leader Saddam Hussein. This war left hundreds of thousands of deaths, mainly of soldiers and citizens of Iraq. Despite being defeated, the dictator leader was not removed from office, on the other hand, the United States introduced an economic embargo, a fact that intensified social problems in Iraq.
There is another geopolitical problem involving Iraq, the aspiration of the Kurdish people to obtain their political and territorial independence. In 1991, the Kurds tried to seek their independence from Iraq, but were aggressively prevented by the Iraqi forces that carried out a real massacre, thousands of Kurds were killed, in addition, approximately 500 thousand took refuge in the mountains in the region. This ended only with the intervention of the UN, which created a protective barrier in favor of these people.
In 2001, on September 11, the United States suffered terrorist attacks, so the US President George W. Bush asked the UN for approval to invade Iraq, a request that did not get approval from most members of the organization. Despite this, the United States invaded Iraq, and in March 2003, a war broke out, killing more than 100,000 people and surrendering that country. In addition, the Americans removed Saddam Hussein from the presidency of Iraq. Despite the end of Saddam’s dictatorial government, the conflicts still ran for seven years. In August 2010 alone, the United States army withdrew from Iraqi territory, however, about 50,000 soldiers will remain to conduct training.
There is also, in the Middle East, the struggle for possession of hydrographic basins and groundwater, which has motivated the emergence of outbreaks of armed conflicts, an example of which is the Jordan River basin, disputed between Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. There is also a fierce dispute over the Tigris and Euphrates basins by Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Syrian foreign policy has been driven by ideology as well as real politics. The first dimension, with panarabism as a guideline, stood strong after World War II. The other, particularly marked by its relationship with Israel, gained a central place especially after the Six Day War in 1967.
Syria early became a center of power for pan-Arabism, with the Baath party as the driving force. The party gained a strong position in Iraq as well, but there was a rivalry between the two, both between the two states and the heads of state, Hafez al-Assad and Saddam Hussein.
The other political direction for uniting the Arab countries and people was rooted in Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who attracted supporters throughout the Arab world, including Syria. His influence, and Egypt’s war with Israel in 1956, helped the Syrian Baath party to merge Syria and Egypt into the United Arab Republic in 1958. An Egyptian-Syrian defense pact was signed as early as 1955. With the merger, Syria ended as an independent state, but resurfaced when the Syrians withdrew in 1961. An attempt to revive the Union in a federation in 1963, including with Iraq, failed.
Middle East conflict
In establishing Israel in 1948, Syria participated in the war against the new state. Syria stood on Egypt’s side during the Suez crisis of 1956 and the subsequent Arab front against Israel.
For Syrian foreign policy, the Six Day War in 1967 and the October War in 1973 were far more crucial. When Israel attacked Egypt and Syria in June 1967, the Arab forces were defeated, and Israel occupied the Syrian Golan Heights. When Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel in October 1973, Syria’s goal was to take back the Golan, but Israel also emerged victorious from the war. An agreement between Israel and Syria on the separation of respective forces on the Golan was signed in 1974, which led to the deployment of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
Syria was a proponent of isolating Egypt after the peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Syria thereby strengthened its regional position at the expense of Egypt.
The Cold War
In addition to being involved in the Middle East conflict, Syria became a player in the Cold War in the 1970s and 1980s. Syria received civilian and military aid from the Soviet Union. The country’s strategic value was emphasized by the fact that the Soviet Union built the naval base Tartus base in Syria, which was continued by Russia, and gained great importance during the war in Syria.
Syria also established relations with other countries in Eastern Europe. These were broken, or weakened, as a result of the end of the Cold War.
Are you planning to attend a Middle East college? Then, you have come to the right place! We have carefully reviewed each of 4-year colleges and universities in the continent of Middle East and the following are the top 50 public and private programs listed by rank scores. The following colleges and universities in Turkey, Egypt, Israel and other countries in Middle East (refer to Countryaah.com for a full list of Middle East nations) have been many times ranked by education experts based on their academic excellence and employment statistics. Please note that all universities were reviewed yearly based on their academic reputations, research ability and graduate performance.
#1. King Saud University – Saudi Arabia Riyadh
#2. King Abdulaziz University – Saudi Arabia Jeddah
#3. King Abdullah University of Science & Technology – Saudi Arabia Thuwal
#4. Cairo University – Egypt Giza
#5. American University of Beirut – Lebanon Beirut
#6. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals – Saudi Arabia Dhahran
#7. Ain Shams University – Egypt Cairo
#8. Alexandria University – Egypt Alexandria
#9. United Arab Emirates University – United Arab Emirates Al Ain
#10. Université de Sfax – Tunisia Sfax
#11. Université de Tunis El Manar – Tunisia Tunis Rommana
#12. Alfaisal University – Saudi Arabia Riyadh
#13. Mansoura University – Egypt Mansoura
#14. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology – United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
#15. Kuwait University – Kuwait Kuwait City
#16. Sultan Qaboos University – Oman Muscat
#17. Jordan University of Science & Technology – Jordan Irbid
#18. Université de Monastir – Tunisia Monastir
#19. University of Jordan – Jordan Amman
#20. Assiut University – Egypt Assiut
#21. American University of Sharjah – United Arab Emirates Sharjah
#22. Université Mohammed V Agdal – Morocco Agdal Rabat
#23. Université Cadi Ayyad Marrakech – Morocco Marrakech
#24. Qatar University – Qatar Doha
#25. Université de Carthage – Tunisia Amilcar
#26. Al Azhar University – Egypt Cairo
#27. King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences – Saudi Arabia Riyadh
#28. American University in Cairo – Egypt Cairo
#29. Suez Canal University – Egypt Ismailia
#30. Université Hassan II Casablanca – Morocco Casablanca
#31. Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediene – Algeria Alger
#32. Université Mohammed Premier Oujda – Morocco Oujda
#33. Université de Tunis – Tunisia Tunis
#34. Lebanese American University – Lebanon Beirut
#35. King Khalid University – Saudi Arabia Abha
#36. Zagazig University – Egypt Sharkiya
#37. Hashemite University – Jordan Zarqa
#38. Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
#39. King Faisal University – Saudi Arabia Alhsaa
#40. Helwan University – Egypt Cairo
#41. University of Sharjah – United Arab Emirates Sharjah
#42. University of Tanta – Egypt Tanta
#43. Taif University – Saudi Arabia Taif
#44. British University in Egypt – Egypt Cairo
#45. Khalifa University – United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
#46. Najran University – Saudi Arabia Najran
#47. Université Libanaise – Lebanon Beirut
#48. Minia University – Egypt Minia
#49. Université du Sousse – Tunisia Sousse
#50. Université Constantine 1 – Algeria Constantine
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