Development of Middle East
The group has continued this year considering the origins of many of the current issues in the region in the twentieth century from World War One onwards. Among other issues we have looked particularly at the consequences of the decisions taken by Britain and her victorious allies in carving up the former Ottoman Empire. This has been especially timely as we remember the centenary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration that first promised a Jewish Homeland and the earlier Sykes-Picot Agreement arbitrarily dividing up into protectorates the land that became Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon and laying the grounds for so many of the region’s later problems. We continue to meet monthly, sharing our researches and look forward over the next year to exploring the major political and social developments in the region in the post 1945 world.