Umma Al-Arabiyya, Al-

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Arab term originally designating the whole Arab community; it has become an Arabic intellectual concept suggesting a unity of values, traditions, history, and language. Great Britain had attempted to use the idea of a "Great Middle East Arab State" as a means to weaken the Ottoman Empire, but Arab unity became a mobilizing regional political theme at the end of World War I when the oil needs of France, the United States, and Great Britain preferred a lack of unity among the Arab states. This in turn led to the rise of a new feeling of national identity in the Arab community, al-Umma al-Arabiyya.