More than ever, water becomes an issue of power, political stability in the Middle East. This situation of sometimes exacerbated tensions is the result of three major changes. The first change concerns the delineation of borders, which is the result of secret negotiations between the French and the English authorities during the Sykes-Picots Agreement of 16 May 1916, at the time of the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire, described by Tsar Nicholas I as “an old sick man, seriously ill, fallen into disrepair”.
In the Middle East, water has always been seen as a scarce and sacred resource. It is present in Sumerian and Akkadian myths. And the symbolism of water nourished the belief systems of the Hebrews and Arabs. Water is at the origin of the foundation of great hydraulic civilizations, which are water civilizations, either due to their control of this rare resource in a desert environment, like the one of the Nabataeans, or due to the capacity to mobilize this same resource, but in abundance, by the populations of the Fertile Crescent.