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London Conference, St. James' Palace, February 1939. Palestinian delegates (foreground), Left to right: Fu'ad Saba, Yaqub Al-Ghussein, Musa Alami, Amin Tamimi, Jamal Al-Husseini, Awni Abdul Hadi, George Antonious, and Alfred Roch. Facing the Palestinians are the British, with Sir Neville Chamberlain presiding. To his right is Lord Halifax, and to his left, Malcolm MacDonald

George Habib Antonius, CBE (hon.) (Arabic: جورج حبيب أنطونيوس‎; October 19, 1891-May 21, 1942) was a Lebanese- Egyptian author and diplomat, settled in Palestine, one of the first historians of Arab nationalism. Born in Deir al Qamar of Lebanese Christian (Greek Orthodox) Arabic parentage, he served in the British Mandate of Palestine. His 1938 book The Arab Awakening was written as Palestine was slipping from Arab control. His book generated an ongoing debate over such issues as the origins of Arab nationalism, the significance of the Arab Revolt of 1916, and the machinations behind the post - World War I political settlement in the Middle East.

Antonius traced Arab nationalism to the reign of Mehmet Ali Pasha in Egypt. He argued that Arab nationalism was a product of the West, especially of Protestant missionaries from Britain and the United States. He saw the role of the American University of Beirut (originally the Syrian Protestant College) as central to this development.

George Antonius is viewed as the founder of modern Arab nationalist history. According to Martin Kramer, The Arab Awakening "became the preferred textbook for successive generations of British and American historians and their students".[1] Some modern historians, like Kramer, disagree with Antonius' work, rejecting certain conclusions he has made.


  1. ^ Kramer, Martin (1996). "Ambition, Arabism, and George Antonius" in Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East, ed. Martin Kramer (New Brunswick: Transaction, 1996), 112-23.

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