Picking Up The Tab

It’s a complex formula, but nevertheless, it has constantly come up in various political debates on the social level. Let me pose it in the form of a question: with all that’s happening in the Arab world, why don’t the Gulf countries do something with all that oil money they have? From Palestinians under occupation to an unsustainable Iraq that has generated 2 million refugees. To say nothing of Darfur. To say nothing of education, poverty, unemployment, energy, etc.

How many times has someone said that in a conversation you’ve been in?

What I’m forced to wonder about is whether fellow Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman are obliged to do this in the first? These are nations that have long abandoned any notions of Pan-Arabism. Not to mention that at the end of the day, they are nations and they do have to look after ‘number one’ first.

Moreover, is money the solution to all our problems?

What would it cost them?

Would oil revenues from a single day build the best schools in the Arab world? Cover every Arab refugee created by neo-imperialism in the Arab world? Create the strongest and most competitive industries in the whole world? The strongest army in the world? The best hospitals?

Forget about the money. If these countries alone gave away their oil to their non-oil producing Arab brethren, would that solve the energy crisis? Would that make a dent in their own production? How big?

It’s funny, because people in Jordan say this all the time. And this is an issue that is so complex with regards to unity, that it transcends being politically, socially and economically unified. Forget about a single currency or a united army; oil is gold.

So the reason I find this proposition of Gulf-Aid so funny is that the first thing it forces me to think about is the fact that we live in a region where an Arab still needs a visa to visit another Arab country.

But these are all just ramblings at the top of my head on a midnight in September.

What do you think?


  • well.
    the rich brothers are governed with governments/ kings that are loyal to the US.

    If Jordan gets enough money from them, it wont be dependent on the US foreign aid, and then would have a free political will. Jordan being rigth next to Israel, is a country that should never -in the eyes of imperialists- have that.

    The rich brothers won’t support Palestinians “a lot” because that would be against the Israeli best interests that aim to control the life, bread and breathes of Palestinians to weaken their will. So noway on earth US would allow that. They support them just a little bit, enough to keep some public image, but hardly close to enough.

    same goes for all the rest of the countries. Syria on the other hand, is running its own agenda and not “Cooperating” with US. noway on earth its getting anything at all. But it seems to be doing fairly well on its own this far, still until this very moment education is free and for everyone, health care is free for Syrians and until a while ago, it was even free for refugees too. still education is free for refugees though. all levels of education, that is.

    UAE, has done a lot of things, not enough to solve all arabs problems for sure, but enough to be thanked for, who forgets that they built the entire Jineen camp after it was almost completely demolished by israel? and many other mawaqif like that. it’s keeping political neutral and minding it’s own business, but helps when needed, much better than the rest of the gulf, at least kafeen kherhom sharhom. In iraq they had a field hospital for a long time. offering free medical help to large numbers of people and distributing aid. the UAE red crescent did so much good work in Iraq, and in other Arab countries too.

    Let’s not forget also, that the gulf countries although much, much richer than the rest of the Arab homeland, still have their own problems too. They have large areas still lacking even the infra structure, they are still developing countries. And they have American bases in their countries too! so much for soverginity and free political will.

    all in all, its a big shame. for real. all the things that we believe in that we studied in kotob ittareekh wittarbiyih il wa6aniyyih about all the things relate us with them, wi7dat il ma9eer wattareekh il moshtarak o wi7dat il ahdaf o al..etc etc.. its all meaningless on the ground and sounds even childish to talk about it now. what a shame. All these things connecting Arabs we failed to remove the borders, we failed to unite our currency, unite our resources or goals. kollon yabki 3ala laylah. Alla yihdi il jamee3, o kol 3am o into bkher!

  • my 5 pesos:

    1- Most Arab countries do not feel obliged to help other Arab countries. The spirit of Arabism has faded. The 1990 invasion of Kuwait made it worse, and Palestenians are less popular in gulf countries than they are in Israel itself.

    2- People running the rich Arab oil-producing countries do not value education that much, for one good reason … most of them are uneducated themselves.

    How do you explain than 25% of Saudis cannot read or write?

    Those leaders are not very wise themselves. Do not expect them to make rational decisions. They did not become presidents because of their wisdom, hard work or dedication. They were just born to the right parents.

  • I think it would be wiser if Gulf states look after their people instead of worrying about others. In all Arab countries public schools are meant to be horrible. Now that’s where their money should be put.I got to know many Emirati young men and women who went to an all-English private school, I think in two decades they’ll be leading the region.

    It should be noted that Gulf governments and people did actually pay generously to many Arab countries in time of need and distress. Charity in general (helping others,volunteering) is not part of the Arab world culture. Western media were picking on this in the aftermath of Tsunami when Gulf countries did not pay much (considering their income that year, thanks to the USD70/barrel) not even to Muslim Indonesia (when the whole world gives indiscriminately).

    Arabisim is over rated and a myth. Relation between nations (countries) have been always based on money,power,resources,even in religious kingdoms or Caliphates.

    If Syria,Leb,Iraq and Jordan were cool with each others, both countries would be running on hydroelectricity. Heck some stone age train would have made things easier(Wow, 1 hundred years and the Turks are still way ahead of us…seket el hadeed)

    To cut it short : Your country comes first, helping other Arab countries? Through productive projects that would benefit all. It just seems like Arabs in general hate to see their peers succeeding, not talking here about countries only. They would even screw themselves up just to see others getting screwed in their way(sorry about the language,I’m just trying to screw up your blog traffic)

    Ya Zalameh go to bed, damn you and your midnight thoughts…

  • As long as we have 21 little dictators ,they will always screw it up for us,”our” leaders,don’t want to see any kind of integration let alone unity because that will be the end fr their rules

  • After the experience of the Kuwaiti oil grant to Jordan and the countless amount of money stolen by corrupt official I would prefere development investments from Gulf countries instead of money. If they can invest in the newly established Special Economic Zones in Irbid, Mafraq and Ma’an that will be a much better aid than siphoning money to the foreign bank accounts of corrupt officials.

  • alurdunialhurr: that’s an amazing analysis. 21 people have the ability to control over 300 million arabs. these aren’t puppets, they’re supermen.


    i more inclined to believe there is greater disunity amongst the masses than their leaders.

  • Nas your right, the disunity has been trickled down to the people. When I lived abroad I felt more of an Arab I would be identified as one and dealt with because I didn’t blend in, by choice. Now that i am in the middle east I feel much less of an Arab, I get treated better because of my good English, its like instant shine, the attitude of a clerk or a waitress would change once they realize I’m not one of those “damn backward Arabs” I’m an enhanced westernized more intelligent version, so i get treated better i get a better job, i get more privileges, its mind boggling, disheartening and really dangerous. this though has been implemented to maximize the assimilation of the people of the region, Haven’t you stopped to think about “Arab culture” what the hell is Arab culture? Compare what passes as Arab culture today with the image that the Orientalists painted of us in the western psyche. Nightclubs, fancy cars alcohol , idols, public shows of affection, prostitution, western infused music consumer driven markets, real estate boom, materialism, capitalism…these are the main elements that shape Arab life today, can you imagine that? The Arab Bedouin and his dark horse are only found in museums. ( Funny how this caused a stir a year or so ago when a book was banned by the education ministry because it depicted the local Arab as a display in a museum a few years in the future, its really not that much of a stretch, we are almost there). The point is yes the REAL concept of Pan-Arabism has been demolished and uprooted, for ever I think, we fought valiantly to preserve the idea and we lasted longer than the soviet block, so we should hold our heads up high, the opposition was just too brutal and intense. The concerted effort to dissect the Arab nation has gone on non-stop, from the moment the Ottoman Empire handed over the reigns, and the damage that the Ottomans did to our culture left us in no shape to fight back, corrupt officials jumped in the driver’s seat from day on, or actually they were placed in, giving them credit for their vision would be too much, the early leaders of these bits and piece made deals with the devil and his mother, everyone front he British empire to Zionists to Hitler, you name it, who’ve gave them the time of day and a chance to fill their pockets they slept with them, they gave up their honor, their countries, their people and their natural resources to their masters. Search online for the name of a king, a leader a prince a sultan and behold their glorious history, their treason to their people. THERE IS NO EXCEPTION, I dare anyone to find me one. Ill put all my money on it, it ain’t much but hey, its besides the point. Our people were lead into the abyss, the black hole is a reality, its the middle east. I know that this has nothing to do with how oil revenues can be shared, streak that, it has everything to do with how oil revenues can be shared, they cant be, the master does not allow for it. If there is slavery today, it is not more evident than in the real Arab world, its people live in districts, they are made to suffer, and are fed nationalistic propaganda day and night,like rabid dogs we bark at each other whenever the “honor of our countries” is under scrutiny. we forget that we can trace our roots to the same father at some point in history. Even in a music competition a Libyan in Lebanon singing an Egyptian song on a Saudi funded TV station, yet his fans raise the Libyan flag(i hate all icons), because he is competing against an Egyptian, this is proof that Arabs are real, they do exist, their identity, however is under attack, the conspiracy to erase it is also real, and everyone of us should ask him/her-self ” Am I an Arab” if not then you can continue to live your life as it is today, you will be taken to wherever the master wants you to go, if you consider yourself an Arab, well then my friend, life must seem very bleak and tight for you today. What are you going to do about? Where do you start, and where are you heading? Ill tell you one thing, the mere fact that you know who you are, is a sign that you were not defeated……yet…..well you let it happen? I hope not.

    A side note: I don’t like it when people suggest that Syria has bought the franchise rights to Arabism, on the contrary, they are just a different flavor of defeatism, this is the ideology and constitution of the Arab leaderships today.(save for a few individuals, a drop in the ocean of defeatism)

  • BTW , I know many people will argue with me and say, what the hell are you talking about, we should focus on building our countries, education yada yada yada , It can’t be done that way, you need to have free will to go to the bathroom, work, study, think. Its like putting the cart before the horse. Arabs don’t have free wills, they have whips and chains dangling in front of them. That applies with varying degrees from the hajar Mountains to the Atlas Mountains.However, the more assimilated you are, the looser the noose.

  • Good ques Nas…. re:why don’t the Gulf countries do something with all that oil money they have?

    Let’s take the Islamic Republic of Iran which is also in the Gulf,but not Arab.There under Ahmadinejad,”fat cats” especially the Revolutionary Guards Leaders drive around in their latest model of BMW or Mercedes Benz are sucking the economy dry with their corruption and diversion of resources whilst the Iranian population suffers.Oil revenue is high,but inflation is around 17 percent and 10 million Iranians live below the poverty line. Yet Ahmadinejad wants to blow up the World with his support of terrorism against the West.

  • Ya nas,,21 dictators with huge intelligence, police and security apparatus ,top it off with huge military ,that main tasks are to suppress ,quell, and jail any legitimate opposition movements to those Arab puppet regimes that for long time worked hand in hand with CIA to delay any meaningful change.
    For example,Jordan employ over 90,000 army personals,Syria with over 200,000,SA with over 300,000, Egypt with over 500,000 and the list goes on and on and on.
    Is that enough troops for you Nas along with 21 puppets ???????

  • One more question for you Nas,,Just for the sake of the argument ,if the people of Syria and Jordan decided to unite,do you think the government of those two countries along with their dictators would agree to that ????

  • alurdunialhurr: lol troops? this is your main concern? If you’re looking at overthrowing the government, any Arab government, then you should know that some of the greatest revolutions in human history have originated from within the army itself. The majority of revolutions or coups in this past century were mainly military.

    if the people of syria and jordan decided to unite…

    heck, if the people of any two arab nations decided to unite, and i mean truely unite.

    then the leadership in those two countries would be rendered obsolete in the process.

Your Two Piasters: