"Whatever their claims to antiquity, all the states of the Middle East are modern creations, a result of the collapse of the Ottoman and Czarist Russian empires at the end of World War I, and of the interaction of these states with a modern global system of political, military, and economic power.
When it comes to particular forms of claim and symbol, a similar modernity applies. Neither the claims of Islamists nor of Zionist politicians to be recreating a lost past are valid. The concept of the Islamic state, propounded in Shi'ism by Ayatollah Khomeini through the Iranian Revolution of 1978-9, and that of a revived Caliphate, endorsed by conservative Sunnis including al-Qa'ida, are modern political projects. The state of Israel, for example, bears no relation except rhetorically to the ancient kingdoms of Solomon and David. Many of the most potent symbols of contemporary politics are also recent creations. Thus the Saudi monarchy's claim to be khadim al-haramain ('Servant of the Two Holy Places') was introduced only in 1986, and then in order to head off rival claims by King Hussein of Jordan to be the patron of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem; while Osama Bin Laden's comparable term for Arabia, bilad al-haramain, ('Land of the Two Holy Places') is an invention of his. All the monarchies in the Middle East claim ancient, ritualised, legitimacy, but they are, in fact, creations of the twentieth century, of the vogue for kingship that, late in the day, swept the Arab world, and, not least, of attentive, and at times military, support given to them at times of crisis by their more powerful friends in Europe and the US."
--Fred Halliday, 100 myths about the Middle East
PS: See Joel Wing's excellent post "A Look Into Iraq's Creation, Governance, And Disputed Territories: An Interview With Stephen Donnelly, Former U.S. And U.N. Official", which shows that today's borders in the Middle East are mostly a result of Ottoman maps and Ottoman administration. Donnelly says that the notion that today's Middle East is a modern creation of western powers is actually a myth: "This myth, with accompanying imagery of British adviser Gertrude Bell and Winston Churchill dividing up the Middle East during an English Garden party (before jumping down Alice’s rabbit hole for further entertainment), is incorrect and misleading."