Book Review: Roots of today’s Middle East chaos found on the battlefields of World War I

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By Lisa Kaki

The end of the World War I marked the end of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of new countries. Lebanon and Syria were both created by France in the 1920s. These arbitrary boundaries, which opened a new chapter in the region, have been at the center of conflicts ever since. The Civil War that began in Lebanon in 1975 and lasted 15 years caused the deaths of 120,000 people.

Syria has also been devastated by a bloody war in which Europe was conspicuous by its absence. At a time when many Arab countries are divided by political and sectarian passions, a lot of discussion focuses on the Great War’s partition plans. In a timely and meticulously researched book, Eugene Rogan sheds light on the neglected Middle-Eastern theater of World War I.

“The Fall of the Ottomans – The Great War in the Middle East 1914-1920” fills a void. Very little is known about the Turkish and Arab experiences of the Great War and its centenary also attracted little attention in the Middle East. Read more

Source: Arab News

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