Tribalism in the Middle East and North Africa

1043 Words Feb 24th, 2018 4 Pages
Museums throughout the Gulf exhibit lineage maps demonstrating the family trees of ruling members. Major financial institutions in Dubai and Bahrain display in their offices large maps specifying important ruling family members of the Gulf States, including their marital, government, and business affiliations (Al-Qassemi). In Libya, tribal affiliation can play an important role in securing employment and public services, in much the same way as university affiliations and networks are believed by some people to influence employment and career prospects (Hussein). Tribalism in the Middle East and North Africa still plays an important role in modern daily life.
However, the role of tribalism varies. While significant distinctions exist in the nature of tribalism in Iraq and Libya, their similarities offer a basis of comparison. Much can be gained from analyzing how tribalism has manifested in these countries, both historically and at the present. Iraq and Libya are both rich in oil and increasingly urbanized countries. Both countries are also recently governed by Arab-nationalist socialist regimes. In these countries, tribal affiliations no longer have the institutional legitimacy they once did, but still have predominant societal influences. Parallels can be drawn between the Ba’athist Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq and…
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