Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The virtue of patience! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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As we observe the many crises of the Arab world with its turmoil and contradictions, our hearts have no choice but to resort to the virtue of patience.

You open a newspaper only for headline about murder to greet you. You switch on the television to be informed of a car bomb in a crowded café of innocent people, the confinement of opinion, fragile relations between states, huge budgets put aside for weaponry, terrifying unemployment rates and the crisis of education and public services. Regional and international organizations publish reports informing its public of the astonishing amount of corruption meanwhile cities and villages are surrounded by poverty, terrorists are brain washing teenagers and the illiteracy rates are rampant.

The fact that all this is happening in our Arab world is not coincidental. These are the results of an international crime committed not by a foreign occupier as many wish to believe but rather by a native one. The enemy has created a healthy environment in which devils can flourish.

What makes the situation even more distressing is that many opportunities are wasted.

Many of us believe there to be a division in the Arab world between the rich and the poor states. The oil producing countries are rich and those who lack oil are poor. What a funny but sad theory! Nations of oil-producing countries also live in poverty, deprived of basic human necessities as well as dignity. The wealth gained from oil was wasted on empty wars and personal adventures – a complete daylight robbery!

Some Arab countries were wrongly classified as poor countries. They are countries robbed of their wealth as poverty was intentionally brought over to them. Somebody spread corruption in these countries, wasted its wealth and crowned himself with what was left over, blaming its condition on Zionism, imperialism and occupation.

In developed countries, the TV screens and press occupy their readers with scientific discoveries. Their youth are busy taking part in sports, skiing, mountain climbing and deep sea diving. People trust their elected governments and keep away from violence, murder and car bombings. Our lives, however, are surrounded by confusion and conflict. We desperately search in old sources for a pre-historic language that talks about sects, religions, tribes and conflicts but concepts such as citizenship, freedom, respect for women, the rights of children and the ballot box are all missing.

Though it is a critical situation, our condition is not hopeless. One can catch a glimpse of hope floating on the horizon however, they require a lot of effort and organization. We must remember that what is established upon corruption is itself corrupt. What we need is even more patience.