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Summit or gloom?

RESULTS of the recently-concluded Arab Summit do not differ from that of the previous summits, considering the darkness that looms over the horizon due to the Arab conflicts. The Summit of Kuwait was not different from the previous ones, because it was convened at a time all Arabs have unleashed their weapons which they point at each other. Their conflicts have always been the same since the beginning. If we take a closer look at the concluding statements in the last 24 summits, we will realize that Kuwait’s recent announcement was derived from those statements; except the phrases of appreciation addressed to the host country. Results were nil because the statements in open sessions are completely different from those uttered behind closed doors.

We heard a number of speeches in the summit and each speech was written by a team of consultants who exerted tremendous efforts to select the best phrases and words. Yet, most of them moved around the same space like their counterparts 40 or 50 years ago. The youths, who were promised support, jobs and development in previous summits, are now old; while the ‘mills’ of talk continue to move aimlessly. Their grandsons are listening to the same speech and they continue to dream about a better future for the Arabs. Once they reach the goal, will they find what their ancestors saw or it will be worse than today?

In Kuwait’s statement, which is exactly like the previous one, development was one of the headlines at a time many Arab countries no longer dream of development. They began dreaming about reconstruction when they were destroyed by civil wars and the small countries which appeared on the peripheries of the central country. So, what kind of development are they talking about? Will they achieve it while the illiteracy rate continues to rise annually? The illiteracy rate was less than 50 percent in the 1980s and it is now above 60 percent.  Will they realize their dream when more and more Arabs are living below the poverty line?

Let’s move to the second ‘eternal slogan’ which was inserted to the statements of the summits in the 1970s. This slogan is the common Arab market, for which pacts were signed many decades ago; even before the announcement of the European common market. What did Arabs do? They have done nothing. Nevertheless, they still mention the slogan in their statements and decisions; whereas Europe, which started talking about cooperation and unity in the beginning of the 1950s, did not wait for decades like the Arabs. Within some years, Europe announced its common market, established its union and approved the unified currency.

Arabs are crying about the use of their funds abroad. They continue to urge the investors to return to the Arab world even if none of the Arab countries had exerted any effort to protect these funds. Unfortunately, war is waged against these investors every time the regime of a country changes as laws are replaced while investments and properties are confiscated. In addition, the new rulers usually look for their shares in these investments — a scenario that looks like the Arab invasions before Islam.

Arabs are still talking about unity and their keenness to achieve it. Can they tell us what kind of unity will be accomplished when their weapons are pointed at each other amidst the phantoms of separation dancing in more than one Arab country; and some of them have gotten out of one country to be in the era of federalism? Do they see the Arab nations as idiots whom they can convince through their talks in spite of the miserable reality in terms of security, economy, health, education and society?

What we read in Kuwait’s statement were words derived from the Arab conflicts. Anyway, this was expected and we will read this again after one year in the 26th Arab Summit in Cairo; as if Arabs did not read a verse from the Holy Quran, stating that Allah, the Almighty, does not change people’s defects until they themselves start changing. They have been acting as if the Arab nation does not read or it forgets the fact that it repeats itself in every gloomy summit!

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

By: Ahmed Al-Jarallah

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