NOTE: This was my Graduate Degree Thesis – Its 80 pages
In 2014, the “Islamic State” (ISIS) crossed state borders between Iraq and Syria, claiming the end of state sovereignty in the Middle East. “ISIS” goal is to establish a single caliphate under one national flag, and a ruling Sunni Muslim government with little regard to other religions. This article contradicts “ISIS” perspective by examines several historic examples, in particular, the United Arab Republic (UAR), towards unity while maintaining and respecting state sovereignty. The successes and failures of the UAR provides a case study to the successful economic, social and political cooperation the region requires and forms a modern perspective on how a united Middle East could look like today. Other than the UAR, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a successful example of unity in the Middle East. While respecting sovereignty Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE was able to establish unity in the region twice. Both in the establishment of the Trucial States that later became the UAE in 1971, in addition to the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981. The article concludes as to whether a united Middle East that calls for political, economic, and social cooperation while maintaining state sovereignty is possible.