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    My personal mind-set and opinion about the Middle East

    February 2019

    It is not a puzzling question and I will not review it much to answer it, but the answer will be “No”. The Arab world is not poor, it is richer than many countries, whether compared to numbers and resources, or to skills and minds. And my proof to that answer is in some of the figures that I have compiled from several reliable sources such as the World Bank, the IMF and some international research centres accredited in this regard.

    The economies of countries are measured not only by their output and growth rates – so called positive growth rates – but also by the challenges and risks they pose, which may hinder their growth and may create areas of waste of money, skills and resources – so called negative growth rates – leading to a decline in their positive growth rates.

    The gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States is 19.49 trillion US-Dollars, the European Union counties is 18.8 trillion US-Dollar, and China is 10.43 trillion US-Dollar. The 22 Arab countries, with their many conflicts, and their fighting on more than one front, the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of the Arab countries to approximately 2.469 trillion US-Dollar, according to the estimate of 2017.

    While the combined Arab countries’ exchange reserves nearly stands at 1.35 trillion US-Dollar for 2017, according to IMF figures and official government figures, to come at the second rank globally after China which has 3.125 trillion US-Dollar, and Japan comes third with 1.256 trillion US-Dollar.

    The Arab economies are economies of crises and conflicts. Every Arab country fights or disputes on at least one front. There are countries that fight on more than one front, both inside and outside. There are huge terrorist organizations that are supported by countries like Iran, to exhaust the forces of other Arab countries by sabotage and destruction.

    In 15 years – for example – from the occupation of Iraq in 2013 until the end of 2018, the Arab region suffered crisis, wars and conflicts costing billions of dollars that may equal the losses of Europe in the Second World War, or losses incurred by America during the same war which was nearly 4 trillion US-Dollar.

    Over the last 15 years, some Arab countries have been torn apart, production in more than five countries have stopped completely, and growth rates have fallen down more than half in some other countries, more than 15 million Arabs have been killed, displaced or counted among refugees and missing people. Arab unemployment rates have increased to more than 20% among young people. Immigration to foreign countries rates has increased significantly, as a result of the deteriorating political situation in some countries.

    All these obstacles and disasters and still a movement of growth and progress in the Arab region, still minds that insist on success, push for the Arab growth. There are young people working hard and planning for the future.

    The United Arab Emirates for example competes globally in the forefront of designing the future technology industry and its technologies to serve humanity. The UAE made many examples of the successes, which has made it in the ranks of countries currently.

    Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans, insistence on growth and progress despite the attempts of some countries to block its march, but there is a clear vision and conscious leaders.

    Egypt is fighting and progressing, fights on the terrorism front led by organizations targeting the state, its security and stability. On the other hand, it has been growing and developing over the last four years. Egypt has made great strides towards growth and has started to return strongly to its international ranking in terms of attracting foreign investments and economic growth rates.

    Syria, despite the current political imbalance and confusion, has begun to set its steps towards stability, and the talks about the reconstruction of cities and villages have begun.

    Iraq overcame Daesh but needs a stronger political will to establish a transparent political and economic system, which contributes to the growth of the state and return it strongly to the Arab leadership.

    Jordan has a Gulf-backed economic programme that will help to overcome current crises and return to normal growth rates before 2020. In Tunisia, the political system needs ambitious economic projects to regain the state’s glory as an economic power in North Africa.

    The Arab world isn’t poor, and it doesn’t lack resources.

    The truth in my opinion is … We just need to plan for the future. Sharpening and relying on youth more. Giving up deadly sectarian conflicts. The Arab world must fight for development and prosperity.