A little bit of history I just learned:

The United Arab Republic was a union between Egypt and Syria. The union began in 1958 and existed until 1961 when Syria seceded from the union. Egypt continued to be known officially as the ‘United Arab Republic’ until 1971. The President was Gamal Abdel Nasser. During most of its existence (1958-1961) it was a member of the United Arab States, a confederation with North Yemen.

For your cocktail party conversation.