The Cedid Atlas (The New Atlas in Ottoman Turkish) was one of the first printed atlases in the Muslim world
The Cedid Atlas (The New Atlas in Ottoman Turkish) was one of the first printed atlases in the Muslim world. It was commissioned by the Ottoman government in 1803 as part of its 19th century reforms to bring the empire up to par with other European powers. All of the maps in the atlas were thus adapted from an earlier atlas made by the English cartographer, William Faden. Only 50 copies were printed of the atlas, and of those, only about 10 survive today.
The development of the modern nation states throughout the Arab world is a fascinating and heartbreaking process. 100 years ago, most Arabs were part of the Ottoman Empire/Caliphate, a large multi-ethnic state based in Istanbul. Today, a political map of the Arab world looks like a very complex jigsaw puzzle. A complex and intricate course of events in the 1910s brought about the end of the Ottomans and the rise of these new nations with borders running across the Middle East, diving Muslims from each other. While there are many different factors leading to this, the role that the British played in this was far greater than any other player in the region. Three separate agreements made conflicting promises that the British had to stand by. The result was a political mess that divided up a large part of the Muslim world.