Arabism or Arab Nationalism is an ideology that was proposed at the beginning of the twentieth century by several Arab thinkers and leaders, with the objective to unite Arab countries in one single nation that speaks the same language, to stand against the West. However, until the mid of the twentieth century, Egyptian nationalism was the ideology that dominated the political arena in the lands of the Pharaohs.
It was not until the rise of Nasser to power after the 1952 coup d’état that Arab nationalism or the formation of a Pan- Arab State became a project in progress that eventually working to make it happen shaped the new Middle East. Several countries united but eventually the fate of such fragile unities was doomed to failure; some unities collapsed within six months of its formation. It became apparent that Nasser put his charismatic and revolutionary skills to use to create a Pan Arab State under his rule. His dream was crushed with the 1967 defeat and his credibility was lost among the Arab leaders.
With the death of Nasser, and the Camp David accord treaty between Egypt and Israel, Egypt completely drifted away from the Arab realm. Anwar Sadat was not enthusiastic about the idea of Arab unity anyway – And with the rise of Islamism in the eighties, the resurrection of the Islamic caliphate took center stage, causing the Arabism ideology to become a ghost in the minds of some and a dream to others.
Arab nationalism is an oxymoron because other than the official language there is no other element that bonds the people of these countries together. The leaders of the Arab world manipulated the hearts and minds of the people for their own benefits. Not just that the cultures and ethnicity are different, but also the dialects varies so much to the extent that it is hard for people to understand each other. The European Union on the other hand was not founded on the basis of language, but for economic empowerment, which in the case of the Arab countries was on the bottom of their objectives.
And while the leaders in the Middle East were enforcing the Arab ideologies on their people, ethnicities were erased. Between Arabism and Islamism, the true Egyptian identity that was born thousands of years ago was lost. Monuments are viewed as idols by Islamists and the great ancient civilization was condensed to few chapters in history books.
The Kurds of Iraq were forced to assimilate into a culture and a language that didn’t belong to them, and they certainly have nothing in common with the residents of the Berber tribes in North African countries, the Nubians and Siwans in Egypt, the Levantines, the Arabs of Arabia and many other ethnicity that live in this part of the world.