The presentation on the Sykes-Picot Centennial was very informative and detailed as well as told in a smooth way which helped me to follow along with the events that occurred and their effects. The guest speakers were very knowledgeable and explained events in a thorough and interesting way. I thought that the presentation as a whole was a great way for students to learn about new things that might not be taught in their classrooms.
I learned that the influential countries at the time who had an interest in the Middle East were France, Great Britain, and Russia also, known as the Triple Alliance. Each country had a different reason to want to claim a part of the Middle East. Russia wanted control over Turkish straits for trade purposes and influence in Constantinople. France saw economic interest such as export of silk and trade in which they would need to claim coastal areas including Lebanon and Syria. Britain on the other end, was interested in Iran for oil because the British Navy has switched from coal to oil. In 1916, Mark Sykes (British), Francois Georges-Picot French) met in Russia to negotiate and divide part of the Middle East based on personal interest and no thought to the people living there. The Sykes-Picot agreement was a way for those countries to call dibs over places in the Middle East; the agreement was a secret that eventually was published when a new leader took hold of Russia who did not want any part of the Middle East. On one hand, the British signed the Sykes-Picot agreement and on the other, they tried to use their influence to get the people in the Middle East to help the British government. Britain tried to cause revolts by promising people that their t...
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...ia started its military involvement in the Middle East and the U.S. also went into areas where to attack ISIL. The Syrian Civil war was brutal and had chemical attacks against the people and many refugees who need help and security. There was a plight of the minorities such as the Kurds who are spread throughout multiple states. The effects of the Sykes-Picot agreements are still happening in today’s world.
I left the presentation classroom with so much more knowledge about the Middle East and how it came to have such tragedies. I think that it was a great experience for me because I never really knew much about the Middle East and its history. It makes me sad to think that countries such as Britain determined the destiny of the people living in the Middle East when they had divided it up without considering the people living there.
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