Building a Model While Debunking Another: The Rivalry of Arab Nationalism between ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim and Gamal Abdel Nasser


The decade of 1950–60 was unique in terms of the establishment of a supranational Arab union, known as the United Arab Republic. However, this union was ill born due to certain frictions between Arab states in the Middle East. There were divergences between the visions of Arab Nationalism for each state and this caused a troubling process for this supranational initiative. This study considers these frictions as the main reasons behind why the UAR was an unsuccessful attempt and further why the Arab Nationalism dissolved afterwards. The divergence between two competing visions of Arab Nationalism is symbolized through the competition between Iraqi prime minister Abd al-Karim Qasim and Egyptian president Gamal Nasser. The domestic, regional and global circumstances for these two countries and their leaders are analyzed in order to illustrate how these frictions became a reality and divided the Arab stance.

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