The centennial of the Treaty of Lausanne is a good time to look at its profound impact on the peoples of the Middle East — beyond its founding of modern Turkey.
Signed by the Allies after World War I and a new nation emerging from the conflict, the treaty marked the end of an established world order and great change for the nations and people right across the region.
What had amounted to countries were dismantled and populations were scattered, stripped of sovereignty, authority and control of their destiny.
What were once established communities with rich historical legacies, clear collective identities, extensive influence, and vast territories were transformed into largely unrecognised minorities within other newly drawn nations.
Lausanne came at around the same time as the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which was a global project and a significant political strategy aimed at shattering the Arab dream nurtured by the founders of Arab nationalism since the late 19th century.
This dream sought to establish a unified Arab entity encompassing the Asian expanse of the Arab world. But instead, a fragmented Arab geography comprising multiple states emerged.