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The big ideas of 2016: redrawing borders

The decline of the idea of the Arab nation state will store up trouble for the future

By Sameer Rahim   January 2016

All over the world, borders are being remade to take account of new political realities. In the Middle East, an Islamic State (IS) propaganda video from 2014 shows the terrorist group blowing up an old border post between Iraq and Syria—a relic of the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement, much disliked in the Arab world for creating colonial boundaries. Pan-Arabists have long dreamed of a United Arab Republic, though attempts to create one have always ended in failure. As both…

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