The Map that Ruined the Middle East – Gabriel Scheinmann

July 30, 2014


The thoughts contained in this essay must have more than crossed the minds of millions of educated Africans, especially Nigerians but Gabriel Scheinmann pulls it all together in a way that those of us who are not lettered can see and understand it clearly.  Why not Africa and why, in particular, not Nigeria?

Please allow me to mangle a quote from a biography I just finished, “Up and On” by a world renowned Nigerian-born surgeon, Mr. Olajide Ajayi who found himself in a post he neither applied for nor wanted … but somehow, he made lemonade from the lemon he was given, a testimony that today stands as the Ogun State Teaching Hospital but before the success, he got there and saw the situation to which he had more THAN less been tricked , he described it more elegantly as “hijacked”, and lamented:  

“… I felt like an undertaker about to be arrested as the murderer”.

Well, here is my mangling:  The union slapped together at Berlin in 1884 to share Africa – they described it as ‘partitioning’ – did unimaginable though not irreparable damage.  With the enduring TRIBAL loyalties as in old TRIBAL Europe with old loyalties rearing their heads and coming to a boil before the recent dismembering of the vestiges of the past (Serbia, Kosovo, et cetera), I see these European overlords, the real “murderers”, pardon me, now acting as do-gooder come to participate in the Wake, wearing real mournful looks.  But with the real motive for the haphazard divisions as in the Middle East not far from the surface, I say, “let my people(s) go” their different ways.

But hei, you guys did it; ALLOW us to go our different ways just as it is more than time you let the Middle East be and stop the pretend-at-peace shuttles while neatly-folded spread sheets that spell out dollars, euros … are in briefcases. 

The arms dealers who sell to both sides, ALLOW these related people to go their different ways.    







A century ago, European powers redrew the lines of the Levant according to their own needs. They are gone, but the map remains, along with a shameful irony: While Europeans found a better way to set their own borders, the states they carved out of the Ottoman Empire continue to burn and self-destruct.




WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014.  8:00 p.m. [GMT]



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