A century later, many still blame this agreement for turmoil in the Middle East

Kai Ryssdal May 11, 2016
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A member of the Iraqi security forces stands guard as civilians look at the damage following a car bomb attack in Sadr City, a Shiite area north of the capital Baghdad, on May 11, 2016.  AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images

A century later, many still blame this agreement for turmoil in the Middle East

Kai Ryssdal May 11, 2016
A member of the Iraqi security forces stands guard as civilians look at the damage following a car bomb attack in Sadr City, a Shiite area north of the capital Baghdad, on May 11, 2016.  AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images
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Almost 100 years ago, two European men were tasked with drawing up a new border map for the Middle East.

Their names were Sir Mark Sykes and Francois George-Picot and their map was arbitrary and largely ignored the intricate politics of the area. To this day, power brokers in the region still blame what became known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement for fostering unrest in places like Iraq and Syria.

Robin Wright is a contributor at the New Yorker and she has the byline on a piece called How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East.”

Wright spoke with Kai Ryssdal, click the audio player above to listen to the interview.

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