THROUGHOUT history, there have been stories of individuals who created a renaissance in their countries and worked to get them out of crises despite the difficulties they faced.
Some of them managed to change the course of the state, others succumbed to partisan perspectives, or even populism, which led to flooding the country with major problems and pushing it to bankruptcy, just like what happened when the party took control of the country.
This is exactly what happened when the Labor Party took control of the British government after the tripartite aggression on Egypt, which put an actual end to the United Kingdom’s control of the Middle East, but caused a stifling unemployment crisis in it.
Until the beginning of World War II, this big country was called the empire where the sun never sets. This island kingdom was able to impose its decision on countries much larger than it. However, the electoral populist calculations of its parties, especially the Labor Party, led to the erosion of hegemony, which weakened its economy.
Subsequently, an unprecedented crisis emerged, which prompted it to request for financial aid from the United States in 1965, which coincidentally was one of its colonies in the 16th century.
At that time, the White House was resentful of the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s rejection of the Vietnam War. Therefore, his efforts to obtain a loan did not succeed. However, the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, during her visit to Washington, was able to soften the position of US President Lyndon Johnson to lend her country 800 million pounds, which helped revive the economy and overcome the crisis.
Populism has caused many crises for Britain and others. Some of its former colonies were more able to rise due to the ingenuity of its leaders, such as Singaporean Lee Kuan Yew, Malaysian Mahathir Mohamad, and other makers of the modern renaissance including the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who within a few years made the largest country in the world become the locomotive of the global economy, and Margaret Thatcher, who worked to revitalize the economy during her 13 years in power.
In the past ten years, the Arab world witnessed toxic winds of the “Arab Spring” which toppled several countries. However, the ingenuity of other leaders succeeded in preventing the spread of its fire to their countries.
We can see what happened at that time in Saudi Arabia, which was a clear target for the planners of the bloody chaos, who had sought help from outsiders and renegades abroad, or the Muslim Brotherhood Group whose leaders portrayed them as being capable of destabilizing the security of Saudi Arabia.
In March 2011, unknown pages on social media called for a demonstration in the Court of Grievances Square in Riyadh, and in the Allegiance Square in Jeddah. On that day, about 15 people gathered in the capital and ten others in Jeddah. The popular consensus was against such subversive calls, and the people instead renewed their allegiance to its leadership.
At that time, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz had issued 30 royal decrees through which he changed the face of the state economically and politically, and extinguished the chaos that some fugitive agents had fabricated. This is what happened in Kuwait as well when some mobs sought to organize demonstrations under the title “National Dignity”…. we all know what happened.
There is no doubt that the major transformations in Saudi Arabia began during the era of King Salman and his young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. They made this great kingdom the jewel of the Gulf crown, and the pillar of its tent, first for putting the right man in the right place, and second for fighting corruption in a unique and creative manner that has never been experienced in the Arab world before.
In addition, Saudi Arabia launched a series of major projects for creating modern industrial or residential cities, developing education, consolidating the moderation of Islam that the Muslim Brotherhood Group and others tried to obliterate, and taking the Saudi people away from extremism. It is because of such steps that Saudi Arabia is witnessing a new development workshop every day.
As for the Arab world, it is not possible to forget the role of the Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi in renewing his country’s renaissance and launching a major modernization process through comprehensive development for all of Egypt based on well-thought-out plans.
Contrary to all that, there are countries that were unable to overcome their challenges because they did not work on correcting past mistakes and taking serious reform, but rather left their affairs to the odds and reactions.
In all of this, the matter of renaissance was linked to an ingenious and creative executive who would manage a serious government, manage public affairs with skill, and take advantage of all available opportunities to advance his country, as well as consolidate development among the people as a way of life.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times