How do we protect the future of our Arab world from the dangers it faces?

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Khalaf Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman of Al Habtoor Group (AHG)

The Arab world, with its rich history and diverse cultures, has faced a range of challenges and dangers throughout the ages. From the shining days of the Arab Golden Age, when the region was at the forefront of human civilization, to today’s complex geopolitical landscape, our region has been on a turbulent path.

Many threats and conspiracies have surrounded the Arab world since its golden age, the most prominent of which is the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which led to the division of Arab countries between France and the United Kingdom as if they were pieces in a cake, and rearranged the borders of the Middle East by separating members of a clan and a single family.

I have a feeling that we, as Arabs, deal with various parties with transparency that is not reciprocal, sometimes oblivious to the questionable alliances that are being hatched against us, which stem from the old proverb that says, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” What are the ways to protect the future of the Arab nation? How can we benefit from and draw lessons from these complex dynamics?

We cannot help but feel proud when mentioning the historical achievements of the Arab world during the Islamic Golden Age, as they had a significant impact on human civilization and its renaissance. Arab scholars, philosophers, and artists made invaluable contributions to human knowledge and culture. But unfortunately, we failed to preserve this stage of enlightenment and progress and benefit from it to protect the region from conspiracies and intrigues.

Famed historian Bernard Lewis once wrote, “The Golden Age of Islam was not without challenges, as internal divisions and external pressures often tested the resilience of Arab societies. The Crusades and Mongol invasions stand as a harsh reminder of the dangers the Arab world faced. It was during these tumultuous times that the concept of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ often comes up.”

These external threats set the stage for subsequent centuries of geopolitical conflicts and power shifts. Indeed, our world today navigates a complex web of alliances and animosities, with controversial alliances being formed over the future stability of our region, including strange dynamics between the West, Iran, and Israel.

Despite the declared hostility between these various parties, we find their actions often contradict their official positions, as they serve the interest of their declared enemies at the expense of the Arab countries that suffer from both, through militias spread across a large number of Arab countries, whose declared goal is hostility to Israel and an Islamic resistance, while its essence is to keep the Middle East in a state of permanent instability and mobilize to defend its faith, identity and sanctities.

This is confirmed by American Dr. John Mearsheimer, a prominent researcher in international relations, when he expressed his concerns about the questionable alliance between the West and Iran, saying that “the West’s alignment with Iran in various geopolitical theatres raises astonishment. While seeking to achieve its interests in the Middle East, the West was turning a blind eye.” “Sometimes about Iran’s regional ambitions and its support for non-state actors.”

Through my writings over the past two decades, I have always called on the Arab world, especially the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, to beware of losing Arab capitals one after another and falling into the clutches of Iran. Iranian officials do not hide their pride in this expansion, and prominent Iranian figures acknowledge this, as Heider Moslehi, the former Iranian Minister of Intelligence in the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated in 2015, “Iran controls four Arab capitals, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin said.” Netanyahu,” Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei also bragged in a statement in November 2022 about the expansion of his active arms into 4 Arab capitals, celebrating “the success of Iran’s vision in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.”

Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon are countries that fell under the control of the mullahs in Tehran, and the greatest fear is of Iran’s expansionist ambitions that may affect our sanctities and the remaining countries of the Middle East.

Likewise, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a central issue in the region. Dr. Rashid Khalidi, a distinguished historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict, points out that “the ongoing Israeli occupation and settlement expansion continues to threaten peace in the Arab world. The plight of the Arab nation cannot be fully addressed without a just solution to this conflict.”

It is as if Arab solidarity, stability and unity constitute a threat to Western countries and their partners whose dangers we do not realize. Here it is permissible to ask: “Is it in the interest of America, the West, and Israel to unite ranks with Iran to prevent the Arab world from further progress and prosperity and restoring its golden age?

In light of all the dangers surrounding the Arab world, it is necessary to chart a path towards protecting its future, giving priority to unity and cooperation, and investing in education, innovation, research and empowering our children, the natives of this land, which helps to fortify the Arab world and restore its historical importance.Collective action, at the regional and international levels, is crucial to addressing the complex issues facing us.

Arab countries must work together to confront common challenges, such as political instability, economic development, and security threats. Initiatives such as the League of Arab States, if their role is activated, can serve as platforms for cooperation and conflict resolution, and the priority can be given to resolving regional conflicts, the forefront of which is the Israeli-Palestinian conflictand putting an end to the ambitions of Iranian expansion.

The history of the Arab world is a testimony to its resilience and lasting contributions to human civilization. Although it has faced conspiracies and challenges since its golden age, it has the ability to overcome the dangers of the modern era. By strengthening unity, clarity and cooperation, the Arab nation can chart a course toward a brighter future, one in which it regains its position as a beacon of culture, knowledge and progress on the global stage.

By Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor

UAE businessman

This news has been read 1783 times!

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