• Monday, December 9, 2019

The unification of the Arabian Peninsula?

Discussion in 'Arab Defence Forum' started by al-Hasani, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Al-Andalus

    Al-Andalus BANNED

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    It is indeed off-topic, however I will reply to your post nevertheless.

    Djibouti is a small Horn of Africa country that borders the Red Sea. With a population numbering some 850.000 people. You are actually wrong as Arabic is an official language of Djibouti along with French. There are no other official languages than those two.

    However the locals in Djibouti are mostly Somali and Afar. Arabs contribute about 5-10% of the population. Moreover there have been long-standing Arab migrations and ties to that part of Horn of Africa and Horn of Africa/East Africa in general. As well as the Sahel which is why you can even find Arab minorities as far Southwest as Nigeria or why Chad's second largest ethnic group are Arabs.

    Same story with Somalia. The two only official languages of Somalia are Somali and Arabic. Somalia too is home to a significant Arab minority and many Somalians have Arab ancestry. Several Arab dynasties ruled modern-day Somalia and Djibouti. Arab presence in Horn of Africa is also almost 3 millennia old in fact. Arabic was and remains the language of business, learning and the liturgic language of Islam in those two countries. So I guess those are the reasons for them being a part of the Arab League. Another more exotic example is the Comoros which is a island nation in the Southern Indian Ocean that Arabs first discovered and settled. The locals are a mixture of Arabs and local Africans from mainly the Swahili (itself an Arabic name) coast which itself has an ancient connection to the Arab world. The Omani Empire had a very long presence in that part of Africa. For instance Zanzibar was owned by Oman until 1964.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There once were an Chinese Arabist on PDF ( @Wholegrain ) who had an extensive knowledge about the Arab world and Arabs.

    He created this informative thread that contains at least 50 references to books and articles.

    https://defence.pk/threads/arabs-in-sub-saharan-africa.285301/

    Anyway here is the former Royal Omani residence and palace complex of the Sultan on Zanzibar:

    [​IMG]
    the sultans palace
    by _pollux, on Flickr

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Stone Town from Beit el-Ajaib
    by khowaga1, on Flickr

    [​IMG]


    The Stone Town of Zanzibar was founded by Arabs and is today a World UNESCO Heritage Site.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Town

    The current Omani Royal dynasty in power has intermarried with locals from Swahili. The current Omani Sultan (the only remaining sovereign reigning Sultan in the world) is a descendent.

    Another "curiosity" is the fact that most of our Afro-Arabs are originally from Horn of Africa (Habesha people mainly) and the Swahili coastline. So I am actually content about the addition of those 2 countries that you have mentioned as there are plenty of reasons for them being a part of the Arab League. I believe that Eritrea and Chad should join in the future due to even much larger Arab minorities and similar close historical ties. I for once consider everyone, regardless of what their ancestry might be, for an Arab if they identify as one. I mean how otherwise should I treat for instance 10% of the Saudi Arabian population who happens to be Afro-Arabs? As lesser Arabs because they are not full-blooded, whatever that means? There is no such thing in the first place as we are all mixed especially in the Arab world which is literally the center of the planet.

    Besides, some Afro-Arab girls are seriously good-looking. Another plus, if you ask me. Google Habesha girls, you likely won't regret it.:cheesy:

    Feel free to ask further questions. I will try to answer them as best as I can. Maybe other Arabs (a dying breed here) will answer as well. I am currently bed-ridden (thanks to European autumn weather) so I have plenty of time.

    EDIT: Gwadar was formally owned by Oman until 1958. Anyway Oman and Southern Pakistan (Sindh, Baluchistan) have had historically very close ties. Dating back to ancient times (the time of Magan and IVC). As did much of geographic Arabia from Southern Iraq (Sumer), Dilmun, Gerha etc. (in Eastern Arabia) down to Magan in Oman. No wonder that this close relationship continues to this day in the form of migration and other ties. Although today it is a one-way highway however that was not the case previously.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Arabia#History
     
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  2. Khanate

    Khanate SENIOR MEMBER

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    1. Federation is the gold standard of integration but its also not easy to forge, or manage for that reason. For Khaleej, a more pragmatic solution would be an economic union while leaving individual state structures in place. There is already defence cooperation in the form of Peninsula Shield Force. Essentially, the aim should be to ensure peace and continuity on the Arabian peninsula. If you can manage that for another 200 years, a federation would emerge naturally as a by product.

    2. Admire your idealism for Arab unity however every time I hear it, I'm reminded of Nasser and we all know how that experiment ended. Look I grew up in KSA, about 18 years, so I can see GCC leading into an economic union, similar to how EU started out as EEC, but Arab unity is a different kind of fishbowl altogether. Accounting for generational shifts alone makes the marriage a non-starter. You have to help yourself first before you help the Arab world.
     
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  3. Al-Andalus

    Al-Andalus BANNED

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    A federation would definitely be the most sensible and realistic solution. However such a federation should cover the entire Arabian Peninsula and possibly neighboring Arab states that have large areas of their territory within the geographical and historical region of Arabia. Such as Jordan (entire territory) and Iraq (half of the territory). However it should start with the existing GCC and afterwards incorporate Yemen before possibly moving further to incorporate Jordan or and Iraq.

    In my perfect world such a federation should have a large degree of local autonomy however the federal government should be modeled after the US model.

    The model would thus not only be economic, political and military in nature as today but incorporate all societal fields as in any state. By the way the proclamation of such a federation would multiply the economic, political, military etc. bonds at least tenfold.

    However I fully agree that regardless of what will happen the GCC, including Yemen and Jordan, Iraq etc. will emerge naturally by product. In particular the GCC and Yemen.

    However the people should be consulted and preferably decide their own future. In say 30 years or 50 years, I suspect, that absolute monarchy will be a thing of the past and that the GCC states would become constitutional monarchies or even republics. Giving the people a much bigger say. The people all across the GCC, according to all polls and opinions on the street, favor much closer integration. So if people had anything to say, I suspect that we would have seen such a federation today even.

    Many laws would also look differently.

    Anyway I find the topic very interesting as I consider such a federation as an actual realistic option rather than utopia.

    As for a united Arab federation (United Arab States for instance), I do not see this as a realistic option currently or in the near future. However the Arab League turning into something alike the EU (with an military aspect as well) in say 1-2 generations, is something rather likely to happen given the moves towards that even today when much of the Arab world is in its worse state in years and autocracies dominate. Once the necessary social and political reforms emerge in the Arab world, which they naturally will eventually, the entire discussion will look very different but we the people of the Arab world, should already be working towards such goals. Especially the youth. There are over 250 million Arabs (if I am not wrong) below the age 35. This number will only grow as the populations in the Arab world will continue to grow significantly in the next, at least 100 years. Not to forget immigration to the Arab world, in particular the GCC. We are a vibrant component although we lack the decision power for now. We will after all shape the future.

    Anyway, I do not know if you are familiar with the Saudi Vision 2030, I suspect so given your past in KSA, but this is a very ambitious and necessary project that I personally hail. It would transform KSA greatly. This time around they appear to mean business as aspects of the vision have already been incorporated here less than 6 months after. In fact KSA is transforming below the surface. Today most citizens (youth in particular which makes up 2/3 of the population) call for people of non-Saudi Arabian background (Arabs as non-Arab) who have been born in KSA and lived in KSA all their lives, to become citizens. This is an example of how times are changing. KSA is a very different country under the surface in particular, from what it was just 2 decades ago and the changes will occur at an only faster rate by each year. You won't hear much about this in the Western media of course, except the occasional serious in-depth article that the average Joe has no time reading or will not understand of course. Today there is a propaganda campaign aimed at KSA but I personally do not care about this as long as that propaganda campaign will help kickstart changes faster in KSA.





    Anyway a pleasure meeting you here.
     
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  4. Khanate

    Khanate SENIOR MEMBER

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    I should clarify the comment I made and provide some context.

    One reason why Middle East is in turmoil is because there is no strong Arab state that can shape the region and enforce a Pax Americana. Prior to the rise of US, Europe was fragmented into feuding states always on the cusp of all out war. Case in point, WW2. The rise of US as a strong Western state provided order to the chaos and shaped Europe into what it is now, a peaceful entity with robust economic growth.

    Keeping in mind the above paradigm, if GCC, with or without Yemen, can forge peace and continuity for another 100 years, it can possibly emerge as a state that transforms MENA. Imagine MENA with no armed groups, like Hezbollah, territorial disputes or foreign interference. This is far more important for the region than Arab unity. Ergo, I stated that in order to help your fellow Arabs, you first have to help yourself become a strong state capable of enforcing Pax Khaleejiya. This is for the greater good of MENA. Arab unity, from Morocco to Oman, would come about organically as a by product of this paradigm.

    Observe how a natural force creates order from chaos




    Credit for this insight goes to @Kaptaan, I assumed more people would know about it.
     
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  5. Al-Andalus

    Al-Andalus BANNED

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    Well, I don't agree about there not being a strong Arab country in the MENA region. I would dare to claim that KSA is a regional power (there is a consensus about that at least) with just as much political clout and influence, if not arguably more, than anyone in the MENA region. Not to forget the GCC block itself which is likewise arguably the strongest regional bloc in the MENA. Well, it definitely is as I cannot think of any other.

    The problem should rather be found in ineffective and outdated political systems and regimes as nobody has ever questioned the human potential of the Arab world if the right environment is provided for them. Nor is the Arab world a poor region in terms of resources. Rather the opposite, it is one of the richest in the entire world. Nor is the strategic location of the Arab world a problem as it is basically the center of the world connection/bridging the 3 main continents in the world (historically and economically wise) in the form of Asia, Europe and Africa. it's previous success as being the home of the oldest civilizations in the world and the leading center (or one of the centers in lesser dominant periods) of the world for millennia (most of the recorded history in fact) can neither be questioned.

    The above (main reason and not something that is solved overnight but something that will take generations - a process that neighboring Europe underwent themselves not that long and other developing regions of the world will go through) and more recently the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and most recently the "Arab Spring" are obviously very big challenges that require time in order to be changed for the better. However I am hopeful.

    Anyway the Arab world and South Asia face similar problems so we should IMO work much closer on solving common challenges. At least the GCC and Pakistan as neighbors. Well, we are practically neighbors across the Arabian Sea.

    I do not disagree and my main focus is likewise on the GCC and the most immediate sphere as explained previously in post 97. Starting with KSA itself. Much is needed on this field.:cheers:
     
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  6. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    When people talk about a possible unification of the GCC/Arabian Peninsula into a single federal state, a great and relatively recent example, is the proclamation of the UAE which was/is composed of 7 emirates. Prior to 1971 those 7 emirates were independent. Nowadays nobody in the UAE let alone the GCC is doubting the logic/sanity of such a decision. I think that this could/should/will eventually be copied just on a much larger scale this time around (GCC/Arabian Peninsula).

    A nice report about this event:

    https://www.uaeinteract.com/uaeint_misc/pdf/perspectives/06.pdf

    GCC states can unite to become the sixth largest economy: Mohammed bin Salman

    Wam/Riyadh
    Filed on November 11, 2016

    [​IMG]
    Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz
    (AFP)​

    The UAE's delegation, led by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, attended the meeting.
    [​IMG]
    GCC countries as one bloc have the opportunity to become the sixth largest economy in the world if they worked properly in the coming years, said Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence, at the first meeting of the GCC Economic and Development Affairs Authority in Riyadh on Thursday.

    "Today we are trying to take advantage of these opportunities, especially as we are in an era marred by a lot of economic fluctuations in the world. Therefore, we need to work together in the era of blocs," the deputy crown prince, who chaired the meeting, said.

    The UAE's delegation, led by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, attended the meeting.

    The meeting discussed the latest economic and developmental trends regionally and globally and reviewed the progress in implementation of resolutions, recommendations and agreements regarding these two areas.

    The authority was set up at the 16th GCC Summit, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with the mandate to expedite work towards co-ordination and integration among the GCC countries in the economic and development areas.

    "It is time to make a paradigm shift in the economic development of the GCC countries that will improve quality of life, energise the GCC economy and sharpen its competitive and negotiating power, and increase its role in the global economy," a statement issued at the end of the meeting said.

    The statement stressed the need for empowering existing economic sectors so as to stimulate growth.

    "The oil sector must be highly flexible and attractive to woo more investment and become more competitive," the statement added.

    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/...the-sixth-largest-economy-mohammed-bin-salman

    @Khafee
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  7. Solomon2

    Solomon2 BANNED

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    Umm, depends what you mean by "independent". They were British protectorates. The Brits announced in 1968 that Britain would abrogate their treaties with them as part of Britain's withdrawal from "East of Suez". One can argue that rather than opt for individual independence the Trucial States chose to remain united much as before, but without the Brits on top.
     
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  8. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    British presence in the UAE lasted between 1820-1971 (Trucial States) but the history of today's UAE began millennia before. All the 7 current emirates that are composed of UAE and their ruling families ruled those territories BEFORE British presence in the region. Which is the case with ALL ruling dynasties in the GCC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trucial_States

    Anyway none of that changes what I wrote or renders it inaccurate. Those emirates were self-governing but under British protectorate. Before British presence they were independent emirates. The point should/can not be missed.

    Aha, just saw that you have edited your post. Fair enough.
     
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  9. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    “We can create a unified Arabian Peninsula, an elected Shoura Council, a unified armed force with a unified defense industry. We can also achieve an economic system with a unified currency, set up a unified space agency, a unified IT industry, a unified aerospace industry, an automotive industry, an educational system with a unified curriculum, a unified energy and petrochemical industry and a unified justice system,” Prince Turki was quoted as saying by the Arab News.

    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/12/06/181050.html





    Economic Reform in the GCC: A Vision for the Future

    May 3, 2017
    Ihsan Ali Bu-Hulaiga, Fahad Al-Kuwari, Omar Al-Ubaydli, Karen E. Young (Moderator)

    The past 50 years have seen unprecedented modernization and growth among the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council countries, which today rank among the world leaders in per capita income. However, GCC leaders recognize that oil resources alone cannot sustain economic prosperity over the long term, and are thus seeking to create diversified economies that generate income from a variety of thriving industries.

    What are the major challenges and roadblocks facing Gulf policymakers as they seek to diversify their economies away from oil revenue? What are the most promising opportunities for private sector growth and innovation? Are the GCC countries able to create a national workforce to meet the needs of a diversified economy? How does the introduction of new taxes and fees, however incremental, change the relationship between citizen and state in the GCC?

    This AGSIW panel addressed these issues and more, with a distinguished group of experts from across the GCC.



    Iraq and the GCC: New Realities in Gulf Security

    February 14, 2017
    Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, Luay al-Khatteeb, Denise Natali, Mohammed Alyahya, Toby Dodge, and Hussein Ibish

    As part of its Gulf Rising series, AGSIW hosted a panel discussion on the state of relations between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Iraq. How do Gulf countries view Iraq’s evolving regional role? What role might they play in reshaping Iraq’s domestic landscape, particularly the crucial struggle against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and bolstering its political stability? Besides counterterrorism and trade, what other opportunities for cooperation and strengthened ties can be explored? Can Iraq reassure GCC states regarding its relationship with Iran, or even use them as a counterweight to Iranian pressure? Could Baghdad help mediate between Tehran and its GCC rivals? What is the Gulf interest in the Kurdish question, and its impact on other regional concerns, including Syria? How does American policy factor into these and other questions?

     
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  10. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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  11. EgyptianAmerican

    EgyptianAmerican FULL MEMBER

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  12. Saif al-Arab

    Saif al-Arab BANNED

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    Here 14 months later, with the "Qatar crisis" (although I consider it temporary for natural and obvious reasons) continuing (albeit with lesser dynamism) it once again became plainly obvious that a unification process can only occur democratically (populations actually having a direct say - in such a case a federal state would be realistic) or if met by an truly existential threat from the outside that would require a genuine full-scale unification process led by the modern-day regimes and bureaucracies.

    I believe that the GCC should reform and incorporate neighboring nations like Iraq (which should and would have been a member state today if not for being a republic after the monarchy was abolished in 1958, at least this is my clear conviction), Jordan, Yemen and why not neighboring Egypt as well?

    Naturally from then on Syria, Palestine and Lebanon would be natural steps in case of an enlargement. Basically creating a historical bloc that has always been intervened very closely for the past 12.000 + years (Neolithic period). Supposedly this would have also been the fully independent Arab nation that Sharif Hussein and Arab nationalists back in the day (100+ years ago) were envisioning and dreaming about until the powers of the world back then (UK and France) wanted it differently.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Current day rulers are not doing what is in the best interests of the region and the people. This has been the case for way too long (decades) regardless of ideologies pursued. This is completely idiotic and unnecessary behavior that only leads to negativity, meddling from the outside and internal meddling.

    Is it really so hard to take the good elements of the European Union next door (common market, free movement of people, easier exchanges of goods, investments, pan-Arab cooperation when it comes to security, military, economy, environment, science, education etc.) and implement it? The Arab League while older than the UN (!) has achieved very little in comparison (not that the UN is perfect) due to those reasons above.

    The GCC has done a lot of those things well but it's not perfect and it needs to expand and become more than a club of monarchies. Neighboring Arab countries cannot be ignored. It's not in the interest of the GCC countries nor those neighboring Arab countries.


    Democracy (in this region of the world) has its faults as well. Not sure what the perfect solution is.
     
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  13. ArabianEmpires&Caliphates

    ArabianEmpires&Caliphates FULL MEMBER

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    The small GCC states have no long-term future as truly independent states or even semi-independent states. Their fate will be that of living in a united/semi-united Arabian entity like throughout millennia.

    Bahrain is de facto the 15th province already. Should be incorporated at one point in time. Make the Al-Khalifa family vassals and governors of Bahrain. They are from Najd anyway. Similarly with the Al-Thani's in Qatar. Exact same story. The current rulers can stay and potential federalism as well, but the strongest and biggest (KSA) should naturally take the lead for the benefit of all.

    Either that or just unify everything in a post-monarchy era.

    Should continue in all other regions of the Arab world as well in order for large and powerful regional Arab entities to emerge.

    As of 2019, the economy of the GCC is larger than that of all Russia. GDP (nominal). Food for thought.