The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies announced the publication of two new books in May 2013.
The first of these, Advantages of the Arab-African Relations and Ethnic Diversity as a Cultural Bond (237 pp.), is written by Abdulsalam Ibrahim Baghdadi. The book examines the Horn of Africa's strategic and economic importance from an Arab perspective. In doing so, it takes in the tribal, ethnic, and religious composition of Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda. In addition to controlling the Nile's headwaters, and being adjacent to the Bab el-Mendab Strait, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa is a region of vital importance to Arab strategic security. Baghdadi's book also addresses some of the international and regional conflicts flaring in those countries, attempting to determine the real causes behind these conflicts, and how multiple ethnicities and political movements impact this.
The second book is a revised edition of Wajih Kawtharani's The Levant at the Beginning of the 20th Century: Demography, Economy, Palestine, and the Zionist Project-A Reading of French Diplomatic Documents (463 pp.), first published in 1984. The new edition includes an additional study dedicated to "France, Palestine, and Zionism". Bringing Kawtharani's work into the contemporary world, the new version ties Greater Syria's modern history to the political, intellectual, and societal transformations presently underway, such as the burgeoning of ethnic, sub-national, and sectarian identities
His primary concerns in the book are: how did the French diplomatic corps deal with Syrian and Lebanese affairs at the turn of the 20th century? How did they view the members of the various confessional, sectarian, and ethnic groups and their distribution in urban and rural areas, including the mountainous and nomadic areas? Kawtharani was able to explore this perspective by relying on a number of documents from the French foreign ministry and a number of other sources, revealing official French attitudes toward Syria's future. Ultimately, what came to pass was the division of Greater Syria. France's justification at the time was that Syria did not know the concept of a nation-state, and its fate, therefore, was open for chaos to ensue, which would cause the formation of new nations. The documents analyzed in the book also shed light on part of the Anglo-French conflict over Syria, which was raging at the time, arguably making it easier for readers to understand not only the history of Greater Syria, but also its contemporary events.