Now that we have spent a lot of time discussing the U.S.’s role in the Middle East, it is time to write about what we’ve learned and about our personal opinions on this issue.
My initial impressions of the Middle East and Northern Africa are they are desolate, poor, and primarily Muslim. Although I know there is an infrastructure in the cities that is not how I viewed the overall majority of these two countries. The terms political unrest and upheaval, also come to mind. When all you see on the news are war torn areas in these countries, the view you come out with is skewed by what the media introduces you to. Many thoughts also run through ones’ head when you ponder what to expect when you approach these countries about business opportunities. I do not believe I am ethnocentric when it comes to other countries and their culture, albeit I have a perception which is stifled and constricted by those skewed views in which we are shown. I also feel there is only two classes, the haves and have nots, if you will. The “haves” living in the cities with an infrastructure, and the “have nots” living in shacks without any of modern day conveniences.
The Middle East is a region centered on Western Asia and Egypt the region has generally been a major center of world affairs as the major religions of Islam and Christianity and Judaism were also established within the region. The region is made up of 18 countries and has vast reserves of crude oil. In modern times the Middle East remains a strategically, economically, politically, culturally and religiously sensitive region.
With the shah still sick, it was hard to manage what was back in Iran. The speed of change in Iran was too hard to get command. “The shah was in trouble, reaping the harvest of years of brutal and unpopular policies, including the use of secret police that controlled dissent with arbitrary arrests and torture.” It was obvious that the shah had lost all control of his people of Iran, but the president had hoped for an alliance of opponents to be formed. A man
It is noted that every Middle Eastern Country are publicly fascinated of the Dabke dance. Each of the Middle Eastern nation claims they are the best at dancing Dabke. They also claim to have to have invented the dance (Hussein, 2016). However, there is the truth and reality behind the dance. Dabke is also referred to as Dabka or even Dabkeh. It is those names that the Middle Eastern people refer to the actual dance that is normally used by different dialect. The dance is universal irrespective of someone’s roots and cultural background. Whether one comes from Iraq, Lebanon, or even Palestine, the dance is still the same. The term Dabka basically means the act of stomping (Haugbolle, 2010). The dance found its inception back in the early 1990s before the segmentation of the Middle East took place. The Middle East was segmented through the colonization process. The colonies were either the French or the British. The Middle East was a single peaceful land that had a common Dabke art. The Dabke art was widely used in celebrations, joyful events, at the weddings, at the graduation, and also in birthdays. Therefore, Dabke was well known to be a tradition that was shared. Meaning the tradition was not owned by anybody and it originated in the Middle East intended for everyone to celebrate.
This led to scarce food supplies, forced labor, and mistreatment of the peasantry, so Egypt was ready for a revolt at the end of the war. The Egyptian nationalist elites decided to form a Wafd (meaning ‘delegation’ in Arabic) party under the leader Sa’d Zaghlul that rid the British in 1936 from the Suez Canal. However, they did very little to alleviate the misery of the majority. Rather, Egyptian politicians held office just to increase their own family fortune and had no time for land reforms and public works projects that the peasantry desperately needed. Thus, the Egytian revolution led to backwardness.
Pahlavi focused mainly on internal reforms during this time, which many considered to be radical. Overall, he improved the country by making many improvements. He built roads, created a more modern, strong army, and brought about a new peace and security to Iran. He also made education there more modern. One of his biggest impacts in education was the fact that he opened the first university in
In addition to Afghan mujahidin, people fro other Muslim countries volunteered and one of the prominent figures was Osama bin Laden who came from Saudi Arabia to join mujahidin and fight against the Soviets. Also, fighters from Chechnya rushed to join the Mujahidin movements, the Soviets were officially atheists and detrimental to the Islam at large. The mountainous terrains of Afghanistan, the ethnic and linguistic differences among the mujahidin faction made it difficult for the groups to cooperate. However, by 1985 the corporation between the resistance groups improved and a network of alliance was created the Seven Party Mujahidin Alliance of Peshware Seven. Some of the prominate of the mujahidin commanders was Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by the Taliban in 2001.
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was the King of Iran (1941-1979) . When his father, Reza Shah’s reign was over, he replaced him and started his reign. He went against his original vow of acting as a constitutional ruler by his involvement in governmental matters. The Shah’s main focus was on Iran’s relations with foreign power as well as modernizing Iran as quickly as possible. Although he was a clever and influential leader, he was known for his monocratic rule, corrupt government, forced westernization, and betraying his own people by use of the Savak. Mohammed Reza was thrown from power because he relied more on manipulation than on leadership.
According to Isaac Newton, an object will stay at rest unless acted upon by an opposing force when it will begin to move. When the object rejects this force, for a brief moment in time, it is called the moment of inertia, where the object, despite the acting push or pull, remains motionless. Many times, this moment of inertia can be translated into a person’s life as they deal with change, and for some, the moment lasts a life time. Within the collection of short stories entitled Dubliners by James Joyce, the evolution from immaturity to maturity of the main characters begins to show the ultimate timelessness of a paralyzed mentality towards change.
In a classic case of western countries meddling in the foreign affairs of a sovereign nation for their own national interests, the American CIA and British intelligence conspired to topple the democratically elected government in 1953. They succeeded in restoring the exiled Pahlavi dynasty to power by installing Reza Shah Pahlavi's son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran. After taking office, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi continued and expanded upon a policy of westernization begun by his father and aggressively repressed Iran's fundamental Islamists to consolidate his power. The Pahlavi dynasty’s restoration fostered anger among the citizens, as Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was seen as a western puppet and therefore a more contemporary extension of the humiliating colonialism endured at the hands of the west. Fostering women’s rights, western dress, toleration of alcohol and the suppression of Islamic customs, traditions and clothing all served to earn him the ire of the general population and Islamic clerics. Milton-Edwards (2006) referred to this “accelerated secularism” (p. 37) as being part of the erosion of religious elements in Iran. Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi thought himself loved by the people, but popular sentiment was against him; and completely behind an exiled Iranian cleric living in Paris named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Ayatollah Khomeini had been writing papers
On December 25, 1979, the Soviets invaded. This started a chain reaction which has resulted in a torn country, fighting for freedom from its traditional Muslim government. Soviet Russia invaded in hopes of establishing a communist, and pro-Soviet, regime in Kabul. After the invasion, the Soviet leaders decided to kill the President of Afghanistan at the time; President Amin, because the leaders were afraid that he had connections with the United States. After his murder, the Soviets installed their own leader, President Babrak Karmal, who they controlled for their own desires.
Iran had been ruled by Shahs, which were essentially absolute monarchies for countless years. The Pahlavi dynasty was the latest family to hold the throne. Of course, Shahs weren’t the only powerful figures in Iranian society. Iranians are a people who are firmly embedded in their religion and traditions. And Shia clerics are the respected leaders of the religious aspects of Iranian life. Looking back into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is evident that the Shahs and Clerics often were at odds with one another.
Before the revolution, Shah Reza Pahlavi was the ruler of Iran. Under his leadership power was clustered and concentrated among his close allies and networks of friends and others with whom he had close relations. By 1970s, the gap between the poor and the rich was widening and huge distrust about his economic policies grew. Resentment towards his autocratic leadership grew fuelling people to dissent his regime further. Shah now was considered an authoritarian who took full control of the Iran government preventing the Iranians from expressing their opinion. The government has transformed from the traditional monarchial form of government to authoritarian with absolute authority replacing individual freedom of the Iranians. This transformation to Iranian was unacceptable because they needed to control their own affairs. They wanted self-government where they could take control as opposed to what Shah was doing. Shah was seen as a western puppet for embracing authoritarian form of government (Axworthy, 2016).