Arab Nationalist Movement

Arab Nationalist Movement

Arab Nationalist Movement

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The Arab Nationalist Movement () (Harakat al-Qawmiyyin al-Arab), also known as the Movement of Arab Nationalists and the Harakiyyin, was a pan-Arab nationalist organization influential in much of the Arab world, most famously so within the Palestinian movement.

Origins & Ideology

The Arab Nationalist Movement had its origins in a student group led by George Habash at the American University of Beirut which emerged in the late 1940s. In the mid-1950s Habash and his followers joined a larger student group led by Constantin Zureiq. The group's ideology owed much to Zureiq's thinking: it was revolutionary and pan-Arabist. It placed emphasis on the formation of a nationally conscious intellectual elite which would play a vanguard role in a revolution of Arab consciousness, leading to Arab unity and social progress. Ideologically, it was committed to socialism and secularism, but initially not Marxism. Its Arab nationalist approach meant an uncompromising hostility to Western imperialism in general, and Israel in particular, as the movement took a lead in the formation of anti-Zionist doctrine.

The group formed branches in various Arab states, and adopted the name Arab Nationalist Movement in 1958. Some political divergence arose within the movement. Many, especially in Syria and Iraq, became close to local Nasserist movements, and indeed turned into the main pillar of Nasserism in some parts of the Levant. However, another faction moved towards Marxism, including Habash and......
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