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?