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This is our Gulf

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

THE Arabian Gulf, with its people and its leaders, intuitively manifest union of statehood beyond the concept of nationality, which has been based on brotherhood, dating back to hundreds of years, from the north bank of the Arabian Peninsula to the Hormuz Strait.

Therefore, when the United Arab Emirates (UAE) especially Dubai began sharing the joy of the national days of GCC countries three years ago, it represented an interpretation of the long history, the pages of which are written with hard work and blood, and the lines of which depict unified hope and determination.

The celebratory initiative of the United Arab Emirates does not aim at flattery but is an actual intuitive expression of fondness for the people of this region who are linked by social, brotherly and joint destiny ties. This makes the entire experience of the cooperation unique, especially since this cooperation managed to withstand all sorts of tests in the past 36 years since its inception.

The cooperation among the GCC countries is like a single body such that, if one of its organs is in trouble, the other organs rush in support to ensure that the organ overcomes its trouble and returns to its natural role within the community.

The United Arab Emirates’ participation in the celebration of Kuwait’s National Day and Liberation Day is an interpretation of the pure GCC blood that was shed for liberating this land from the aggressors.

On Aug 2, 1990, all borders of the Gulf countries vanished and the Gulf region became one heart in terms of unity among its people. At that time, Kuwaitis did not feel like strangers either in Riyadh or Abu Dhabi or Manama or Doha or Muscat. They felt like they were in their own homes. They were not treated as refugees or displaced people. During that time, the entire GCC region considered itself as heading towards the same destiny, which was perfectly articulated by the late Saudi King Fahad bin Abdulaziz when he said, “Kuwait has to return. That is all there is in my mind. If not, both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia should go.”

Those words were interpreted in the same way by other GCC leaders who did not submit to threats. They instead supported the course with everything they had. The extent of losses they incurred was insignificant to them because of their firm conviction that, if one of the pillars of the house falls, the entire house will collapse.

There is no doubt that history will always remember Dubai’s initiative to participate in the national days of all GCC countries. In fact, this initiative has transformed into a tradition in the Gulf region from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain. These countries join Kuwait in its national day festivities, and several years down the line, the national days of every GCC member state will be the national day of the entire Gulf Cooperation Council.

February 25th and 26th are no longer celebratory occasions for Kuwait alone but they have become occasions of unity that the Emiratis, Saudis, Qataris, Bahrainis and Omanis express in their own ways. Through that, they celebrate the unity and belongingness to one nation where borders do not restrict the movement of their people.

This huge nation, which brings us all together under the banner of “Unity is Strength”, will undoubtedly have its own celebration – a day when we will celebrate the union that its people are creating through peace, love and harmony.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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