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The Sykes-Picot Agreement was the result of secret deliberations between British civil servant Mark Sykes and French diplomat François Georges-Picot. Wikimedia Commons

The Sykes-Picot Agreement and the making of the modern Middle East

The Sykes-Picot Agreement created the modern Middle East. It represents one of the first installments in a long line of modern European – and subsequent American – meddling in the region.
The promise of recently explored oilfields dictated British interest in Mesopotamia (roughly, modern-day Iraq) during the Sykes-Picot Agreement negotiations. Reuters/Thaier Al-Sudani

Explainer: what is the 100-year-old Sykes-Picot Agreement?

The Sykes-Picot Agreement delivered the spoils of war to Britain and France, and deferred the dreams of Arab nationalists.
The century since the first world war is littered with the broken promises of Muslim rulers to bring about a transition to more representative forms of government. AAP/Asmaa Abdelatif

How the political crises of the modern Muslim world created the climate for Islamic State

The rise of Islamic State and its declaration of the caliphate can be read as part of a wider story that has unfolded since the formation of modern nation states in the Muslim world.
Map of the Sykes–Picot Agreement showing Eastern Turkey in Asia, Syria and Western Persia, and areas of control and influence agreed between the British and the French in May 1916. Royal Geographical Society via Wikimedia Commons

The post-colonial caliphate: Islamic State and the memory of Sykes-Picot

The leaders of Islamic State do not see their caliphate as an exercise in theocracy for its own sake, but as an attempt at post-colonial emancipation.

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