chapter  26
23 Pages


It has become accepted to draw a distinction among the nationalist movements of the modern Arab Middle East between particularist patriotic movements, called wataniyya-that is, movements based on a specific territorial region, watan (fatherland), such as Lebanon and Syria-and the pan-Arab nationalist movement, called qawmiyya, based on qawm (nation), in this case the Arab nation. It is very doubtful whether the conceptual division of qawmiyya versus wataniyya was really valid during the period in which the nationalist movements were forming in the Arab Middle East-the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries-without disavowing the very possibility of the existence of local nationalist movements versus a panAxab movement. Moreover, the entire distinction between nationalism versus patriotism (which underlies the Arabic translation of qawmiyya versus wataniyya) is actually a distinction of European origin, and it is doubtful whether it can be applied to the Arab Middle East in the period under discussion.