Today in Middle Eastern history: the North Yemen Civil War begins (1962)

Historians of the 20th century Middle East have to reckon with the impact of not one, but two cold wars. The main one was of course the Cold War, in which the United States and Soviet Union jockeyed for power and influence all over the world and particularly in the oil-rich Greater Middle East. The second was … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the North Yemen Civil War begins (1962)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Because the Mamluk dynasty wasn’t a “dynasty” in the traditional sense, when the Ottomans toppled it in 1516-1517, there were a lot of important mamluk aristocrats and officials still running around Egypt and Syria who had no particular loyalty to the sultan (Tuman Bey) who had just been overthrown. It was much simpler for the … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Konya (1832)

The Battle of Konya, fought on December 21, 1832, was the decisive battle in the 1831-1833 Ottoman-Egyptian War, and in that sense it serv–I’m sorry, you had a question? Yes, the Ottoman-Egyptian War of 18–huh? Another question? Oh, right. Yes, the Ottomans conquered Egypt in 1517, and we haven’t mentioned that they lost Egypt anywhere … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Konya (1832)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Camp David Accords (1978)

A few days ago we passed the anniversary of the Oslo I Accord, US President Bill Clinton’s attempt to foster a durable Israeli-Palestinian peace accord that turned out instead to be a lopsided, unworkable framework that’s fostered nothing but many years of failure and frustration. Today we mark the anniversary of Oslo’s closest antecedent, the Camp David … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Camp David Accords (1978)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Nile (1798)

The “Battle of the Nile,” which didn’t really take place on the Nile but whatever, can be seen as the naval companion to the Battle of the Pyramids, fought 11 days earlier between French and Egyptian forces outside of Cairo. It can also be treated as that battle’s bookend. As successfully as the Battle of the … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of the Nile (1798)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Abukir (1799)

Napoleon’s chances for a successful Middle Eastern campaign ended shortly after that campaign began, at the Battle of the Nile in early August 1798. We’ll talk about that battle and its repercussions later. But from Napoleon’s perspective, the British victory at the Battle of the Nile meant that he could no longer rely on offshore French … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Abukir (1799)