Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 1 May 2017
It might take the Arab World 15 years to rebuild from the destruction caused by the Arab Spring, experts said at the Arab Media Forum on Monday.
“It might take the countries at least 15 years to rebuild their economies and societies affected by the so-called Arab Spring – or what I call the Arab Destruction – that caused US$833 billion (Dh3 trillion) and 1.3 million human lives,” Dr. Fahed Al Shelami, President of Gulf Security and Peace Forum, said, citing examples of the reconstruction of Kuwait and Lebanon.
“What caused the Arab Spring is 30 years of corruption, incompetency and lack of good governance and transparency. Building human capital is perhaps the best solution. Before the Arab Spring, 40 per cent Yemenis were living below the poverty line while its president Ali Abdallah Saleh was presiding over a $53 billion wealth pool.
“Egypt was never a poor country. It has been rich and it has everything to feed all the people with its resources. Yet there was unemployment, hunger, poverty… because some had too much while others did not have basic rights. That was the problem and Arab Spring was the net result,” said Dr. Fahed.
“The Arab World is continuously facing mounting social, political, economic and regional challenges in addition to the challenges of external influences.
GCC’s Positive Influence
“The balance of power has changed in the Arab World. Social media is playing its part in empowering people and giving them a voice in how the countries are run.
“I believe, the GCC countries are in a position to influence the region positively, by creating funds and offering opportunities to young entrepreneurs,” Dr. Fahed said.
The Arab World post-Arab Spring is completely different from pre-Arab Spring. The question frequently asked is – is the region better off? Of course not, except for the Gulf countries who have largely remained out of the crisis, he added.
The panelists said GCC governments are in a position to assist the rest of the Arab World in helping develop human capital and build roads and bridges to support economic growth – the way they have grown their economies.
Build Human Capital
Emadeldin Hussain, an Egyptian journalist and a panelist, said, building human capital should be the first line of defence for Arab countries to prevent any further occurrence of Arab Spring or insurgency.
“The Arab Spring uncovered many social, economic and political issues and exposed these, rather than inventing these problems,” he said, countering allegations that Arab Spring created many new problems.
“It is difficult to predict the future of the Arab World. The sectarian divide is being promoted by Israel, while Iran is benefitting from this. The Arab World needs to develop a system to counter these external influences and focus on empowerment of the people and job creation.”
Arab Media Forum
Since its launch in 2001, the Arab Media Forum has cemented its position as the leading platform to discuss key topics related to the Arab media landscape and its future by attracting prominent speakers and experts from the region and around the world. The event is organised by Dubai Press Club and held under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The Forum aims to stimulate constructive dialogue between Arab media professionals and encourage positive communication between Arab and Western media players to further enhance understanding as well as contribute to the development of Arab media content. Over the years, the Forum has published a number of comprehensive reports about the Arab media scene covering both traditional and new media. These reports were published in collaboration with prominent Arab and international academic and research organisations.
Every year, the Forum hosts prominent media figures and government officials. For more information, please visit: www.arabmediaforum.ae
Dubai Press Club
Dubai Press Club (DPC) was launched in 1999 under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of DubaiHH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. DPC serves as a platform for media professionals to network and discuss key political, social and economic issues. DPC also plays a key role in developing and supporting the media sector regionally through initiatives such as the ‘Arab Media Forum’, ‘Arab Journalism Award’, ‘Arab Social Media Influencers Forum’, and ‘Emirati Media Forum’.
For more details, please contact: Basel Abdulkarim, Dubai Press Club: Tel:97143833417
Mobile: +9710551904595 or email: [email protected]
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