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Opinion: 2013 was a year of storms | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Muslim brotherhood members and ousted president Mohammed Morsi supporters light up flares during a demonstration against the military backed government on September 10, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt. (AFP/Mahmoud Khaled)

Deemed unlucky in Western cultures, the thirteenth year of the new millennium is now drawing to a close.

Away from superstitions about numbers, 2013 was a tough and costly for everyone. However, at the same time it was useful in shattering the delusions and dreams of the Arab Spring’s false promises.

In this year the masks fell, politicians’ eloquent perorations evaporated and slogans fell flat in the face of harsh new realities.

In just one year the Muslim Brotherhood, the leading Islamist organization, lost all that it had accumulated over the past 80 years. I can imagine the Brotherhood’s founder Hassan Al-Banna observing in his afterlife how his disciples wasted the project whose seeds he painstakingly sowed, planted and tended.

Hezbollah threw off the last fig leaf, uncovering its sectarian agenda and exposing an identity that is completely alien to the Arabs.

The administration of Barack Obama proved ignorant, reluctant and driven by a mixture of obstinacy and weakness. Arabs lost hope in the White House, not the US as a country—that has been nothing but a burden to Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, on all political fronts, from its recklessness in Egypt, cowardliness in Syria, to humiliating rapprochement with Iran.

Saudi Arabia and those who share its vision made up their minds, depending on their abilities, and demonstrated their absolute determination.

The Egyptian military also carried the banner of steadfastness in the face of the chaos created by Islamists and half-baked activists. Gen. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, his companions, the elite civilian figures in Egypt and more prominently the Egyptian people themselves are determined to overcome the vortex of the Brotherhood.

As for Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad, he showed himself to be no more than the leader of a gang.

At the end of last year I wrote that with 2012 being more agitated and turbulent than the one that preceded it, 2013 would have major surprising events. I wrote that 2013 would be a year of storms.

Well, we have made it through the bottleneck this year. The Arab world has not settled yet, but it has gone through a critical phase in its history.