Impact of Colonization

Iraq: The concepts of colonial feminism and Orientalism are vital in understanding current United States relations with Iraq. Our preconceived notions of the status and treatment of women have played a big role in justifying the war in Iraq.

Palestine and Israel
Zionism is a source of colonialism in Palestine. Zionism is criticized for spreading Jewish culture among Palestinians in order to ethnically cleanse the areas of Arabs. European Jewish settlers are responsible for the Israeli colonialism which continues to affect Palestine.
Razack, Sherene H. "Reflections on Masculinity, Zionism and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict." Fireweed. Toronto: October 31, 2002. Iss. 77; pg. 31


Although Lebanon has experienced similar oppression and Orientalism as the other countries, the main concern now by many is the colonization by Syria. Lebanon has all the characteristics like the others- an independence day, constitution, etc., but what most people do not know is that many of the most important decisions are made in Damascus, Syria. The colonization started in the 1920's when Lebanon was created from a region of Syria. Most Lebanese people want to be independent from Syria, but others are concerned that the colonization has brought too many benefits for it to be stopped. For more information, go to Middle East Quarterly


Syria has experienced its share of colonization and invasion by outside forces, that have seen their culture as inferior to their own. " After Turkey was defeated in World War I, Syria fell under France's sphere of influence."¹ The French influence has aided in the unequal treatment against women. "Rebellions against French rule broke out throughout the 1920s."¹ Women have been a part of the French resistance and have used their feminine activism to start their own organizations to aid to in the liberation of women. Throughout the 1920's women have formed organizations such as the Womens Literacy Club in 1920 and The Milk Society was formed in 1922 to help mothers, children, refugees and the poor. Syria officially gained its independence when the last French and British occupying forces left the country in 1946.¹ After Syria was free from occupation and colonial influence the Syrian people were left to rebuild their political structure, while women were still struggling for equality.
~*~ Syria Homepage ~*~

Saudi Arabia

Morocco - Orientalism has played a MAJOR role in the view of Arab culture especially harems. Harems were deeply rooted in Moroccan culture for a long time and therefore the West's view of harems has altered our perception of the East.
Colonization also played a major role in the history of Morocco. The country at different periods of time was under the control of different European powers. This part of Moroccan history has greatly affected the culture and language of the country.

Colonization and orientalism has also made an impact on activism in these countries: it has influenced the initial agendas of activist organizations, how Arab and Arab American feminist activists are perceived by the Western Liberal feminist community, the constraints that colonization and orientalism has placed on the feminist activist movement, etc.