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Moderation Wins! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Syrian capital is preparing to receive the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz amid a new atmosphere of comprehensive Arab reconciliation as promised by the Saudi King during the recent Arab Summit that was held in Kuwait.

This visit will aim to achieve a number of strategic objectives, the most important of which perhaps is bringing the issue of Saudi-Syrian disagreement to a close. This issue overshadowed others, most importantly inter-Palestinian reconciliation and of course the complicated Lebanese file.

The initial outcome of Saudi-Syrian rapprochement was evident in the results of the recent parliamentary elections in Lebanon and how the experience passed peacefully and successfully without any real problems for the first time. The whole world is heading towards the path of moderation and balance after having witnessed years of tension, trouble and constant concern whether that is due to terrorism, its discourse and violent ways, or because of the administrations of extremism, which rule with tense agendas and ideologies that have resulted in nothing but suffering in the world and the severance of ties. There are real example of this in George W. Bush, Israel and others.

For Syria to return to the unified Arab front is an important demand. The historical evidence of the significance of a Syrian presence among other Arab countries and Syria’s agreement to use the same discourse as others is an extremely positive result.

There are still centres of tension and concern in the Arab world, but the discourse of moderation has also gained a competitive foothold. Patriotic speeches and religious commandments that play on people’s emotions in a blind and reckless manner and push people towards their unknown fates are no longer sufficient. Moderation is the new language that balances between self-determination and the development of nations, between the truth and life, and between communication with the world and creating a place for nations within it.

Moderation is the language required for communicating with oneself before communicating with others. Those who fail to reconcile with themselves will fail to engage in dialogue with others. The old language and old slogans are no longer acceptable. We should now be relying on science and hard work to improve our countries.

For many years, emperors of extremism managed to falsely and ignorantly portray moderation as weakness and surrender. The truth of the matter is that moderation is the highest degree of reality; it represents wisdom in the way to deal with situations and how to effectively make the most of potential without exaggeration, pride or ignorance.

Perhaps the two follies of the Six Day War in 1967 and the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq known as the ‘mother of all battles’ in 1990 are still vivid in our memories enough to remind us that enthusiasm, arrogance and pride never served as means to victory, glory or pride.

Generally speaking, it is not difficult to ‘promote’ moderation and convince people of it because it is one of the most important forms of ‘soft power’. The revenues of moderation include improving education, developing economy, reforming laws, strengthening infrastructure, and developing and motivating development in general all of which should result in stronger countries and nations that are capable of confidently and rationally confronting challenges whatever they may be. There is no better achievement than this. These days have proven that moderation wins!

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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