THE Middle East and Africa are unable to break the curse that has been haunting these regions. Unfortunately, these regions have failed to learn lessons from the curse.
Whenever a nation rises up after being lured by a group of politicians in the name of revolution and once the legitimate regime falls, the entire country falls into chaos. In good days, institutions transform into power fields and centers. In dark days, the rule is for whoever wakes up early. These unusual conditions resulted in further underdevelopment, poverty, illiteracy, economic delay and loss of natural wealth.
This is what occurred in Iraq in 1958, in Egypt during the reign of the late Jamal Abdul-Nasser, and in Sudan which is currently enduring crisis ignited by political groups striving to take over the rule; while poverty continues due to lack of efforts to build institutions and promote the State globally through clear economic plans, in addition to civil wars which have been going on for decades because of the greed for power.
In the latter part of 2010, Tunisians revolted against the stable rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who was developing the country economically in accordance with available capabilities. However, after the chaos that followed his ouster, the series of political crises due to different opinions among political groups trying to take power and the foreign interferences, the country entered into a dark tunnel whose end no one knows. This also happened in Yemen in 2011 after it was infected by the ‘Arab Spring’ virus that prompted political factions, led by the Houthis, to revolt; while the Yemenis were unaware of the chaos and civil war awaiting them. Today, Yemenis are wishing for the days of the ousted president – the late Ali Abdullah Saleh.
A similar scenario happened in Libya. Despite our differences with Colonel Gaddafi’s rule, that country was stable. Currently, it continues to endure a power struggle within its political and armed groups. Some of these groups allied with foreign powers whose interests usually clash with that of Libyans who are now wishing for the clock to go back to the days of Gaddafi. Those days were way better than the ongoing killings on various streets in Libya. Undoubtedly, Saddam Hussein committed major sins against his people and his neighbors, but those days are better for Iraqis who are currently witnessing sectarian militias controlling their country. The agenda of these militias is in line with the Iranian scheme; in addition to the colors of torture, death and destruction of the State which prompted most Iraqis to wish for the rule of Saddam.
The toxic wind of the ‘Arab Spring’ also blew in Syria, but its regime was unable to counter it and shut its windows; so it is now paying a huge price. It will take decades to repay in order for Syria to at least return to what it was before 2011.
Only Egypt survived from the beast due to the vigilance of its people and their counter revolution on June 30, 2013 which redeemed Egypt from the claws of the Muslim Brotherhood Group. Although this redemption came at a high price economically, Egypt is recovering after learning the lesson. The people of Sudan should learn these lessons in order to avoid falling into a trap of slogans. This country is bound to engage in civil war, worse than that of Somalia, if the current regime falls due to the current political situation, increasing calls for separation and lack of common vision towards national development that will be beneficial for the Sudanese
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times