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IS the Arab reality today similar to yesterday’s reality? Did Arabs return the favor to each other at the time of establishing modern states after the Sykes-Picot division?
The answer to this question points us to several Arab models in order to know what we have done to ourselves.
For instance, Syria went through ten challenging years, thanks to the Arab interferences sparked by the “Arab Spring” scheme that was aimed at further weakening this nation and fragmenting its society in an effort by the demons of conspiracy to achieve their objectives, like what happened in Egypt during the hegemony of the Muslim Brotherhood Group over the state, as well as in Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
Throughout the decades prior to the civil war, Syria worked on an approach that reflected the reality of its open society. Arabs who visited Syria were treated as citizens in terms of education, medical care and housing. Until 1975, it was continually providing assistance to any Arab country that was in need.
In 1927 when Bahrain decided to establish the Department of Education, it sought the advice of the Syrian scholar Othman Al-Hourani. The same happened in 1957 but with Qatar, which sought the assistance of Professor Abdullah Abdul-Daim.
Also, the government of Iraq had asked the Syrian citizen Sate’ Al-Husari to establish the Ministry of Education, and the University of Baghdad in 1924, knowing that Baghdad was teeming with English advisors at that time.
Later, the King of Iraq commissioned the Damascene officer Subhi Al-Omari to establish the Iraqi army. Then Libya invited educator Bakri Kaddoura to establish the University of Benghazi in 1955.
At the beginning of the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the late King Abdulaziz used the expertise of two Syrian doctors Rashad Fir’aun and Medhat Sheikh Al-Ard to establish Saudi Arabia’s health sector.
As for Jordan, it asked the Syrian engineer Sobhi Kahale to develop the urban plan for the capital Amman. The Prime Minister of Syria, Hassan Al-Hakim, worked at the time to develop the Jordanian banking system. In 1972, the United Arab Emirates commissioned the Syrian economist Izzat Traboulsi to develop the state’s financial system and establish its central bank.
In all these examples, we cannot forget Fares Al-Khoury – the first president of the UN Security Council who was of Lebanese origin and had Syrian nationality. He was able to wrest his country’s independence with a joke at the Security Council.
After the occupation of Palestine, Syria was a haven for the Palestinians. It was also a refuge for Iraqis fleeing the American occupation and the sectarian war that happened there after 2003. It helped the Lebanese the same way during the civil war and in 2006 after the Israeli war on Lebanon. In addition, teachers and experts in all fields were sent from there to Gulf countries, Yemen and the Maghreb countries.
In return, what did the Arabs offer Damascus?
When the civil war began, the neighboring countries opened their borders and allowed tens of thousands of terrorists from all of the Arab world to enter Syria with tools of destruction and weapons for killing the Syrians.
Iran also introduced its sectarian gangs. At that stage, Syria experienced the first Russian-Iranian-Turkish military intervention nearly 40 years after the October War.
Syria is only one of the many Arab models in this era where sedition and sectarian strife has infiltrated every home from all corners of the country. The question is no longer about a person’s name or qualifications, but about his creed and sect. It is on this basis that people are classified.
In fact, killing has become an identity of sectarianism adopted as the slogan of the majority of Arabs who have lost all elements of human immunity, so to speak.
In this regard, we have a very clear example of national disintegration in Arab societies, which is what happened in Lebanon a few days ago. In this country that has 19 officially recognized sects, two of them fought each other.
The other sects should have dealt with the issue as per the teaching of Quran – And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
Instead, they just stood on the fence waiting to see who the victor was in order to move closer, and to see the defeated in order to hurl accusations.
Nonetheless, the last thing Lebanon needs is blood and violence, especially with the stifling living crisis caused by warlords who do not spare any sedition in order to tighten sectarian nerves in an effort to preserve their own interests that have devoured almost everything.
This Arab reality today only means one thing – it has lost its compass, and it is like someone who is self-destructive.
We therefore beg to ask – Will we go back to the time when our societies loved each other and helped each other? Or was it the end of the Arabs instead of the Judgement Day?
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times