Atlas of the Near East

Atlas of the Near East : State Formation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1918-2010

The Atlas of the Near East offers an in-depth examination of the economic, social, and demographic dynamics of the Arab Near East, defined here as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, in the period from 1918 to 2010.

The original French version of this atlas was completed during summer 2011, after four years of intense work to enable this so Near, and at the same time, so complex East to be made intelligible. When the Atlas du Proche-Orient arabe was published the Syrian conflict was only just starting. Neither in the original version, nor in the present English translation, is the on-going conflict in Syria chartered. The present volume should therefore be seen as an inventory of facts and processes in the Near East prior to the Syrian conflict.

The purview of this Atlas is to present the common traits and diversity of the contemporary Arab Near East, i.e. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine. The study of Israel in its 1967 borders is therefore excluded because Israel’s national identity and economy are radically different from that of the other states in the region. Therefore the comparison between the Arab states and Israel would be meaningless. Instead, in this Atlas we refer solely to the current territory of Israel in the historical chapters and to Israel as a geopolitical agent. In the chapters devoted to demography, economy, development, and urban matters, we deal with Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan simultaneously, while we have opted to devote a separate chapter to the Palestinian territories, which are in fact Arab territories; however, its destiny remains uncertain due to the Israeli occupation. Consequently socio-economically it should be compared to the occupying power since 1967 rather than to those of the neighbouring Arab states.

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