Cairo 1921: Ten Days that Made the Middle East By C. Brad Faught

    The first comprehensive history of the 1921 Cairo Conference which reveals its enduring impact on the modern Middle East

    Called by Winston Churchill in 1921, the Cairo Conference set out to redraw the map of the Middle East in the wake of the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The summit established the states of Iraq and Jordan as part of the Sherifian Solution and confirmed the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine—the future state of Israel. No other conference had such an enduring impact on the region.
    C. Brad Faught demonstrates how the conference, although dominated by the British with limited local participation, was an ambitious, if ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to move the Middle East into the world of modern nationalism. Faught reveals that many officials, including T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell, were driven by the determination for state building in the area to succeed. Their prejudices, combined with their abilities, would profoundly alter the Middle East for decades to come. Cairo 1921: Ten Days that Made the Middle East

    Enlightening, well-researched and well-written study of the Cairo Conference. Here, Churchill, T. E. Lawrence and others from Great Britain and several future-Arab nations met in March of 1921 to create the modern Middle East. Naïveté, paternalism, commercial interests all mixed to set things in motion that we continue to deal with today. Jordan is arguably the only success. Iraq and Israel/Palestine not so much. Interesting that Britain wanted a shared Jewish-Arab state in Palestine. The existing Arabs wanted nothing to do with the Jews. The Jews wanted a state. Hello Gordian Knot. 9780300256741 A book worth reading by anyone concerned with the politics and future of the Middle East, including Israel. The 1921 conference in Cairo sought a pathway to the creation of viable nation states in the Middle East after World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The ethnic, cultural, political and religious forces that made that task difficult (impossible?) then are the same ones that haunt the region 100 years later. The book examines the motives and actions of Churchill, Lawrence, Bell and the others involved. Possible explanations range from: a sincere effort provide a pathway to democratic self government, to a thinly disguised attempt to maintain British imperialism, to ego driven naïveté. Regardless of how you view the effort, it’s important to understand it. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. 9780300256741 I had a general understanding of the making of the Nations of the Middle East following World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, but the book: Cairo 1921: Ten Days that Made the Middle East added a lot to my understanding. The book gives a lot of the background leading to the creation of the current Nations in the Mid-East. This includes political agreements such as the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Agreement, as well as the key Arab and Western leaders involved in negotiating the agreements.
    The results led to the new states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and ultimately, the nation of Israel. How this came to pass, and the considerations tha went into these decisions are discussed. Certainly, Benouin armies helped the British fight against the Ottoman Empire during WWI, and had expectations about gaining an independent state. However, the aspirations of Arab leaders and expectations of the Frence and British didn't always coincide, especially when considering possible Jewish settlements in Palestine. Nonetheless, within a dozen months or so following the conclusion of the 1921 Cairo conference, the British felt some success with the creation of two new states (Iraq and Transjordan) in the Middle East, monarchies based on representative government.
    However, negotiations for carving out a homeland for the Jewish people remained contenscious,. Agreements were ultimately achieved, albeit not as permanently as envisioned. The author also provides a good breakdown on the discussions which led to the decisions that were made. 9780300256741 It was a very engaging, readable book. I did not know much about the Ottoman Empire and what happened at the end of WWI. Bringing life historical figures like Churchill, TE Lawrence, the sultans of Arabia were fascinating. Well worth the history lesson of how the Middle East was divided up by France and England. I think his conclusion was too rosy. 9780300256741


    Summary Cairo 1921: Ten Days that Made the Middle East