مصر تكتب ولبنان تطبع والعراق يقرأ
Egypt writes, Lebanon prints, Iraq reads – famous Iraqi aphorism
Islamic and Arab history is a major part of the school curriculum. I used to memorize the history homework through all high school years. I was inculcated with all aspects of Islamic civilization from the rise and expansion of Islam, Arab military conquests, science, literature, poetry and architecture, to the climax of the Islamic world at Andalusia.
From the Islamic and Arab perspective, Europeans were the barbarians and infidels outside the Islamic world. Arab Muslims were proud of their heritage and saw Islam as a light for the Europeans while Europe was sleeping through the Dark Ages. Arabs were even despised to learn European languages, because they spoke Arabic – the language of God.
The Arab/Islamic world became an economical power during that time. The Middle East connected East and West, moving goods from China to Europe, exchanged all type commodities both ways, and even transported the numerals from India, which became known as the Arabic numerals we use in the English world today. The Arab/Islamic world enjoyed their rise for centuries.
Islam was expanding maybe because Allah was on its side.
The first curse was poured out on the Arabs. Europe disrupted the Arab/Islamic world by surprise. Europeans developed their naval power and were getting stronger in commanding the sea while Arab forces remained powerful only on land. Europeans bypassed the Middle East through sea and sailed directly to the East, ending the Arab monopoly on commerce routes. Arab revenues and taxations dropped significantly. Arab countries were occupied and subjected to Ottoman rule for years.
Then came the second rise of Arabia with the discovery of oil.
The Arab world received their liberation from the Ottoman Empire by European nations. They gave Arabs autonomous countries to rule themselves. Arabs enjoyed their rise with a dream of uniting the Arab nations with oil money for the past 100 years. For example, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt promoted Arab Nationalism throughout the Middle East. Saudis promoted Islam and built mosques around the world with oil revenue.
Then suddenly oil prices have dropped sixty percent since June 2014. And if it is true what the analysts say that oil prices will continue to drop for years to come, then I am wondering: Is it a second curse on Arab Nations? Is ending world dependency on Arab oil equivalent to ending the Arab monopoly on routes of commerce?
Take for example Iraq, once known as a Nation that reads became on the verge of financial collapse. The Iraqi government might not have money to pay government employees. Iraqi Army soldiers are not receiving their salaries. Many government salaries are reduced 50% in a country rich in oil. The only thing Iraq is able to innovate organically is boiling water for drinking hot tea. As for the rest of Arab countries, I let the reader be the judge of that.
As oil glory is ending, the Arab glory is ending with it.
Once Islam was a tool that united the Arabs and Islamic world. Today, Islam became self-destructive. The division between Sunni and Shia is destroying the Arab nations one after another, and in the name of Allah, ISIS is invading same Islamic Arab countries. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Libya are at war. ISIS recently conducted attacks in Egypt and Lebanon. And who knows, Islamic Terrorism might strike in Gulf countries.
Allah has either abandoned the Arab world or switched sides. Human death became the cheapest commodity in the Arab/Islamic world, cheaper than Chinese made product at dollar stores.
What the world is witnessing today is European countries liberating Arab countries from their Arab regimes, the concave of Arab history.
When the Islamic World was the center of science, the idea of Arabs studying under the infidel teachers was ludicrous. But for centuries, Arabs stopped producing knowledge. It is coming back to haunt them – benighted under the summit of the Dark Ages.
I wonder if the war on ISIS will enter the history books in Iraq, because the Gulf War and the Iraq-Iran war were removed from Iraqi educational history curriculums. The only Arab narrative taught is victory. The Arab defeats are missing and obviated from the history books.
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