ON Sunday evening of Sept 9, 2017, the Crown Prince of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
When the news about this was published, joy spread among all in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, because of the determination to resolve the emerging crisis at that time, and the fact that the people of the GCC countries see their pride, filiation, and sanctuary in this organization.
One among those who gladly received the news was His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who did not hesitate even for a moment to launch his reconciliation initiative for ensuring that the buildup of smoke of this crisis had a ventilation hole to allow the smoke to leave and to prevent suffocation. With this in mind, he visited the four concerned capitals with all his tools to bridge the gap between the brotherly countries in conflict.
On that day, the GCC countries were on par with the young leaders who had recently taken responsibility of the three important countries – Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad who inspires reassurance, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan from the United Arab Emirates, the UAE’s Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, and the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Geographically, Saudi Arabia appears like a subcontinent in its own respect. All the three countries in question have modern visions for the future and the system as a whole, resulting in them representing an added value for the leaders of wisdom in the region.
With these three young leaders, the horizons of GCC aspirations for the future began to widen economically, politically and socially.
However, what happened had worsened the crisis between these countries.
Nonetheless, the bullet that does not kill will strengthen.
Accordingly, whatever happened has happened, despite our wishes for it not to have happened in order to avoid impeding the course of the GCC renaissance.
Today we look at that bullet as a source of strength, because it did not kill this deep-rooted establishment, especially since His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad made the solution of the crisis his daily concern. His absolute belief is that the pillars of the GCC should not be shaken or brought down after becoming solid; hence, this issue became a joint achievement in this manner.
We are today on the verge of witnessing great changes in the region. We need an audit of what transpired in the past three years in order to realize what the gains and losses were so that we can avoid the mistakes in the future and build on positive commonalities.
After the onset of the GCC crisis, the gap widened between the brotherly countries, prompting mercenaries – Arabs and non-Arabs – from inside and outside the region to take advantage of the situation just like what happens in any conflict or war.
They invested in people’s pain by sabotaging any respite from the ongoing crisis, either by fabricating news and stories or attempting to incite sedition. During this time, various media outlets, which crave for crises, received what would nourish their “endeavor”.
After this experiment, facts were revealed. For instance, those media and the parties that drive them exploited the case of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by fabricating stories that were unbelievable to sane minds.
They relied on the principle – “All weapons are permissible in war”. How far are they from the pre-Islamic era war, Basus War between the two cousin tribes which lasted for 40 years? In the last crisis and with the development of technology, all that was needed was a fire raging between brothers for few days for it continue for three dry years.
Undoubtedly, the evil investment in the Khashoggi’s case and others had repercussions on some countries that were fishing in disturbed waters in order to hurt the countries of the region.
Yes, it did hurt at some point, and it also nourished the hatred of others. Huge amounts of money were spent by the relevant countries in the GCC on the arsenal of the media, which has become a powerful force of the current times. We hope the same force will become a positive one to serve the course of the GCC towards a better future. This is due to the fact that the media, as a weapon and a force, is best to have when it serves the welfare of the nation.
Even though all this broke the hearts of the GCC peoples who are loyal to this fraternal organization, it also formed a domain of interests, just as in every crisis or war as aforementioned.
In such situations, the exploiters become active to benefit from the situation, even towards a ray of light that shines through the ongoing “Gulf Cup” in Doha, Qatar.
On this occasion, the GCC people are greatly rejoicing after seeing the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and behind them the Qatari people standing in respect to the Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini national anthems. This makes the GCC nationals wonder if the smoke of the crisis has begun leaving the room.
His Highness the Amir of Kuwait was also overwhelmed with joy, as he was enduring the dispensable distance and divisions within the GCC states, but the hope that the GCC flag will remain raised never eluded him.
For the determination to solve the crisis, the credit goes to the one who initiated the effort of building bridges and bringing the conflicting parties closer – His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad, who saw fire burning in most of the regional countries, namely Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Lebanon and other Arab countries. He realized that the sparks of such a fire would not be limited within its borders, and that there was an urgent need to protect the GCC countries from this fire.
Here we have to rely on ourselves after experiencing the sensitivity in this part of the world, especially since this experience has proven that the relations with some major countries can turn into a source of blackmail for us.
The price to pay is always humongous, as they exploit the contradictions between us. Therefore, it is necessary to meet on a common ground of the GCC in pursuant to the principle – “Sticks in a bundle can’t be broken but sticks taken singly can be easily broken.”
Today, these facts inspire us to say – We equally honor the abilities and capabilities of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and definitely, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
These leaders are full of vitality of young people, and possess wisdom and good vision of the region’s veteran leaders. Based on this fact, we are facing a completely different circumstance compared to what it was yesterday with its terms and conditions, especially since the young Amir of Qatar realizes the change of time. What was not acceptable then can be permissible today.
We hope that time has overcome yesterday’s conditions.
Indeed, after this painful experience, everyone has realized that the sticks taken out singly can be easily broken, and that unity is strength. Hence, if we blamed the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for some of his stances, we today admonish ourselves.
Therefore, we have to welcome those who are carrying the flag of Qatar and coming on the white horse towards us, so that this flag flaps alongside its GCC sisters. We have to ensure that we curb and contain the mercenaries, and stop them from the intransigence demeanors.
There is no doubt that he (Sheikh Tamim), together with his brothers, will defend the GCC from the wicked ones who trade on dark thoughts; and perhaps Sheikh Tamim will deliver.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times