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Lecture Explores Colonial Rivalries Past and Present in the Arab World

Tuesday
March 12, 2013
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Birzeit University Professor of Geography Husain Al-Rimawi asserted that "The ‘real’ Arab Spring is when Arab countries kick out the foreign colonizer, which controls our resources and heritage."

He made the statement while giving a lecture on “Colonial Rivalry over the Arab World: Past, Present and Future Considerations," held by the Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies on March 6, 2013.

Rimawi offered and overview of Western ambitions in Arab countries, in light of the historic and growing importance of Arab oil and gas, and especially after the opening of the Suez Canal.

Rimawi also addressed the most important and recent political events in the Arab region, starting with the British occupation of Egypt in 1882 up to Western countries’ role in the current Arab revolutions. He used geographical maps to explain the Western sectarian division of the Arab world, most importantly the proposal of US President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to split the Arab world in order to control it. Rimawi believes that the most dangerous colonial idea to be proposed was the Jerusalem-Irbil railway project, which was to be part of the future Jewish state stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates.

Addressing current Arab events, Rimawi said that the Arab world has continued to discover more oil and gas resources, especially in the Levant states and along the Mediterranean coast. A gas pipeline project from Qatar through Syria to Europe can compete with the supply of Russian gas, he says, as soon as the West led by the United States aids the overthrow of the Syrian regime.

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