Feuding was partly provoked by the scarcity of water, food and animals, which encouraged constant theft. But within this overall domination by the state, a new ruling class was able to consolidate and exercise a new form of class dictatorship. In other areas there emerged large-scale challenges to their position: in Bahrain and Aden in the 1950s working-class nationalist movements were held down; but in the 1960s counter-revolution suffered setbacks. Peninsular society was marked by great poverty and an inability to develop. The crux of this system was reputed to be the dam at Marib in northern Yemen, allegedly constructed in the seventh century B. In 1974 the amount of material in English gathered in his pages was certainly impressive.
From 1969 to 1983, he served as a member of editorial board of the. With both internal and external reinforcement, the forces of division in the Arab world are far stronger than the forces of unity; and no unity, except of a superficial and temporary kind, can be achieved without the destruction of these ruling classes. From 1973 to 1985, he was a fellow of the Amsterdam and Washington. Growth in Egypt meant expansion in Aden; crisis in Mesopotamia meant decline in Muscat and in other Gulf ports. Further decolonization followed; at times it was forced on the imperialists Algeria , and at other times it was placid Kuwait.
This movement has a triple significance: a it for the first time created the possibility of a revolutionary break with the past structures of peninsula society; b it posed a direct threat to capitalist control of two thirds of all known oil resources, the largest single deposit of strategic raw materials in the world; c it broke out of the ideological and class patterns hitherto dominant in the anti-imperialist movement in the Middle East and was therefore a guide to a possible radicalization of the anti-imperialist movement in the whole region. These extracted surplus wealth without necessarily transforming the socio-economic order. A separate and equally important reason for purging the liberation movement of Islamic content is that unless this is done it excludes many workers and peasants throughout the Middle East; up to 20 per cent of the Egyptian population and up to 50 per cent of the Lebanese population are Christians; and it is clear that there can be no common struggle of Palestinians and anti-Zionist Israelis as long as particularist ideologies hold sway. No successful anti-imperialist or democratic movement in the Arab world can be led by the Arab bourgeoisies or by petty-bourgeois states, which create new class dictatorships. For them the radical anti-imperialism developing in the Arabian peninsula pointed to a liberated future.
In this sense the sheikh was no richer than his fellow tribesmen. The threat to traditional rule in Arabia now comes from the Islamists rather than the Leninists. Elder male members of a tribe also had the power to fix bride-prices and to arrange marriages; this too gave them control of one of the key means of allotting and transferring wealth within tribal society. The Suez crisis of 1956 and the Yemeni revolution of 1962 were the peninsular apogees of Nasserism. In both these areas the workers were mostly peasants from the peninsular hinterland; their sudden encounter with nationalist ideas and capitalist exploitation produced a shock that was at once relayed to the villages that had escaped direct capitalist development.
In its extension from Europe and later from North America throughout the world it has only been successfully resisted by those societies that have tried to abolish it by socialist revolution. While local ruling classes developed their own autonomy, the anti-imperialist movement in the peninsula, which had been till then a relatively minor and retarded sub-section of the movement in the Arab Middle East as a whole, was transformed into a powerful section of that movement and was able to develop the anti-imperialist struggle to a level never before achieved in the region. This work analyses the Arabian peninsula and Iran within the global context of western post-colonial strategy and the political economy of oil. This means that unity between sections of the Middle East can only come after the socialist revolution in each part. As a result, separate state structures emerged, each with its own ruling class and each with a separate state apparatus, whose interests lay in preserving their separate identity. Imperialism involves both national and class oppression, but class collaboration has formed the basis not for anti-imperialist unity but for inter-class domestic peace and imperialist penetration through which local ruling classes and imperialism are able to consolidate their common interests.
Now the Sheikh of Arabia has stepped down from his camel. First published in the 1970s, this work retains its vitality as it analyses the Arabian Peninsula and Iran within the global context of western post-colonial strategy and the political economy of oil in an ambitious, encompassing and entertaining manner. For most of this time the Arabian interior was under no unified rule and the states that did spring up were limited by the powers in the north. This post-1967 radicalization encountered many problems. The revolutionary movements of South Yemen and the Sultanate of Oman evolved otherwise; the 1962 revolution in North Yemen was the political precondition for escalation of these two subsequent struggles, both of which were more radical and successful in their development. In former tribal society some animals may have been owned collectively, and there certainly was collective tribal appropriation of water and grazing rights.
This classic work remains indispensable for students, academics, and all those who wish to have a greater understanding of the Arabian peninsula. Both in Egypt and in the Arab world as a whole it was the representative of anti-imperialism and won a number of victories. The pillaging of caravans, or at least the exaction of tolls, formed a major part of the livelihood of many tribes. Several political entities had briefly existed on the border of the Roman and Iranian empires in the first centuries of the Christian epoch; and military and political events in these northern states had an effect on the nomads to the south. The amount of cultivated land is minimal: in Saudi Arabia, the largest state, around 0·2 per cent of the land is cultivated; in South Yemen it rises to 0·5 per cent; in Oman it rises to possibly 1 per cent and in North Yemen it reaches its highest proportion, at around 5 per cent. Although this trade did not originate in the peninsula it benefited Arabia considerably, and the caravan route that transferred incense north from south Arabia was also dependent for its prosperity on this entrepot trade. In the first two phases capitalism saw the peninsula as marginal to its main strategic and economic interests, and had no intrinsic reason for changing the structure of Arabian society.
They sent armies to Yemen and to Mecca and imposed an exploitative administration which lasted for over a century until their empire began to weaken. محمد الرميحي على التعليقات التي أثرت الكتاب ولكن كثرتها أشعرتني بالضيق أحياناً لأنها عكست وصاية على عقول القراء وعدم اطمئنان لقدرتهم على التحليل. It locked individuals into the tribe, since it was incumbent on a tribe to avenge a wrong done to any member of the tribe; and an individual without a tribe was, conversely, helpless. From being an area of extreme economic backwardness and of marginal importance to the world economy, it became the scene of intense development and acquired enormous strategic importance for world capitalism. The Egyptian masses suffered immensely in these blundering foreign initiatives, which demanded large sacrifices of money and life. Where old myths have broken down, new ones have absorbed them or taken their place.