Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You know it's finals week when...

You wake up in the morning and think, "I don't have time to ______ today, I'll do it tomorrow."

a) shower
b) make the bed
c) change clothes
d) put in contacts
e) eat
f) update my blog in a meaningful way

but I DO have time to check Facebook 100 times when I should be writing a paper on the Arab League.

Here's what I have so far:

"Since the end of the Ottoman Empire, the Arab world has known little economic or political coherence. As what we now know as modern states began to gain independence from Western powers in the post WWII period, the question became: in light of years of colonial interference with trade routes and state borders, would the Middle East region ever be able to integrate, politically and economically? Edward Said referred to “Arab integration” as an “oxymoron”, but attempts at integration have shown that the “impulse to integrate”, born from a desire for unity, is well and alive in the Arab world. Little refers to this impulse as the “historical condition of the Arabs: their...abiding belief that union is a natural condition of their peoples which only required political formulation” despite their “inability to unite politically” (Little 139).

Benefits of integration

There have been attempts at integration in the Arab world, varied efforts—different combinations of political, structural, and economic integration—that have met with equally varied success. The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council are two of these, both making different contributions to the goal of Arab integration.

The Arab League was established in 1945 and originally consisted of seven nations: Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt and Yemen, and was meant to “strengthen relations between the Arab states upon a basis of respect for the independence and sovereignty of these states” (Hudson 11). The Arab League was structurally sound as a concept: seven autonomous nations that expressed a commitment to regional economic development and forming what Hudson calls a “security-community” to create an atmosphere of mutual trust.

In 1950, member states signed a treaty for defense and economic cooperation, including the creation of a joint defense council and a military commission, and in 1953 two economic agreements were passed: one to facilitate trade, and one governing transit trade. There were customs exemptions on almost all raw materials, and reductions on customs for most industrial products. Further economic cooperation came in 1958 when the Arab League Economic Council formed the Council of Economic Union, which was signed by seven member states. This led to the creation of the Arab Common Market of 1965—but that’s where things stopped going according to plan.

Only four of the seven member states signed on to the Arab Common Market."

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