Contemporary West Asia

The Middle East region encompassing many sovereign states of West Asia and North Africa is a centre of world’s earliest civilization. Many countries of the region containing large quantities of crude oil acquired strategic and economic importance since second half of the 20th century. The region covering Baharain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, West Bank, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and UAR contains many rich as well as poor states. The high price of oil transfers huge amount of wealth from oil-consuming states to oil-producing ones. Some depend solely on oil while some others diversified their economic bases through agricultural, industrial and defenseequipment’s production. The region nurtured various ethnic groups including Arabs, Turks, Persians, Jews, Kurds, Armenian, Roma, Samaritans and other tribal communities. Majority of population embrace Islam religion, though charges between shia and sunni sects of Muslim population evoked inter-state and intra-rivalries. Most states rule under authoritarian regimes. In the post war era the politics of the region revolve round Arab- Israel disputes. Palestine- Israel conflicts acquire central focus of Middle- East politics. America’s war against Iraq unleashed series of political complications. Many states of the region being ruled by dictators face political repression, economic stagnation and widespread discontents among masses. That fueled mass protests and revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Baharain, Yemen and Syria. These protests and revolts are pro-people revolving round people’s demand for political reform, economic reforms and social justice. The new Arab revolt indicating new Arab awakening has evoked world wide debates and deliberations over its impact on the Middle- East Politics and world affairs.

 Egypt- The Arab Republic of Egypt encountered mass revolt in January 2011. The country ruled BY Hosni Mubarak since 1986 recorded huge investment in physical and communication networks. Egyptian media spread powerful influence over they Arab World and Cairo emerges as a centre of learning, culture and commerce. Hosni Mubarak modernized its army and military set up. Army acquires dominant role in domestic economy and political process. A movement for change erupted in 2003. Large scale mass movement started since January 2011. Movement continuing for 3 weeks and reflecting broad- based support force Hasni Mubarak to resign. The Council for armed forces took charge and parliamentary election is scheduled to be held in September 2011.

Syria- The Syrian Arab Republic gained independence in April 1946. The Baath party ruled the country under leadership of Hafiz Ali from 1970-2000. After the death of Hafiz Ali, his son assumed power as elected president since 2000. The country ruled under emergency from 1962- 2000. Public protest political repression and economic stagnation erupted since 26the January 2011. Protestors demand termination of state emergency, restoration of civil rights, political freedom and economic reform. The state launched violent attacks on protestors causing death of hundreds of civilian population. More than 10000 people flocked to Turkey. America imposed sanction on Syrian President, Bashar Assad. Recently Bashar Assad made a bid for securing people’s support proposing constitutional amendment and new election.

Palestinian Problem- The Israeli Government continued to enforce severe and discriminatory restriction on Palestinians’ human rights; restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip; and facilities the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank. Between January 1 and November6 2017, Israeli security forces killed 62 Palestinians, including 14 children. Palestinians killed at least 15 Israelis during this same time, including 10 security officers, and injured 129 in conflict-related incidents in the West Bank and Israel.