September 10: Rashid Khalidi on the 1967 War and the Demise of Arab Nationalism

The Washington History Seminar began its new semester on September 10 with a talk by Middle East scholar Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University. According to Khalidi, the defeat of Egypt and Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is often described as a deathblow to pan-Arabism, and it did indeed gravely undermine the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser. But he argues that the Egyptians, Syrians, and Palestinians had in fact already begun to shift towards narrower nation-state nationalism even before the 1967 war, which merely confirmed this reorientation.

Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia. He has taught at the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut. He is a past president of the Middle East Studies Association. His books include The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); and Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009).

Khalidi-Rashid-100x100The weekly seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It is directed by Wm. Roger Louis of the National History Center and Christian Ostermann of the Wilson Center. It meets at 4 p.m. in the 6th floor Moynihan Board Room at the Wilson Center in the Ronald Reagan Building at 13th and Pennsylvania, NW (Federal Triangle Metro Stop).