Thursday, January 05, 2006

On self-hate and mortality!

It has been quite frustrating and depressing to be Palestinian these days, the scenes of anarchy and absolute chaos on TV is revolting, screaming out to the whole world “these people are not worthy of independence”, sitting here in Dubai, I can only fume and occasionally call home and scream at my poor dad, who is part of the political establishment.

I was at friend’s place yesterday, and he was sick with anger at what transpired 2 days ago in Rafah, where the Fatah gangs (under one of there multiple and interchangeable names) took over the crossing into Egypt, and then breached the barrier into Egypt, and were firing on Egyptian security (they killed 2 of them!). All of that was done to force the Palestinian Authority to release a lowlife who was responsible for kidnapping the three UK pro-Palestinian activists. The blackmail worked, he was released yesterday!

I am almost speechless, what kind of mockery is this? we are going into parliamentary elections in scene rivaling Liberia, absolute absence of any security, and in Gaza at least, we only have ourselves to blame. Nobody will be surprised when Hamas wins the elections. As secular man, I dread that outcome, but I cannot be democratic in name only, if the people choose them, then they deserve to rule, nobody expect them to do any worse than this.

To a related subject, Sharon’s medical condition, I never cared for the man, but there is no reason to be happy that he is finished. The situation will get even more complicated, if our Palestinian house was in order and we don’t interfere in the Israel elections (via suicide attacks), then the Israelis might choose “pro-peace” government that we can negotiate with and reach a long-due settlement. However, with our internal chaos and the idiotic rockets telling Israelis that even if they leave us alone, we won’t, I am not optimistic. Again, I am not very proud of being a Palestinian right now.

Also on mortality, the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, and the Ruler seat, along with the Premiership of the UAE, has passed to Sheikh Mohammed. The transition was seamless, the funeral very simple, all affairs were taken care of extremely efficiently. I can only admire that.

I was raised in a Marxist family with great disdain for royalty everywhere, yet, here in the UAE, and especially in Dubai, I am amazed by how high-quality the leadership is, Sheikh Mohammed & the family has been working relentlessly to make this place world class, his leadership not only ahead of his own people’s expectations, it is also ahead of the performance of any other leader in the Middle East, elected or not. If I had a vote and they have elections here, I will vote for Sheikh Mohammed without a doubt.

The reforms he instituted in the government sector, his relentless campaign to make Dubai even more attractive to investors, and the sure way in which he encourages UAE citizen to take leadership by working rather than talking are a testament that good governance pays off handsomely. It is not a surprise that Dubai has not seen any indigenous extremist organizations, the people are well led and well fed, when democracy comes, they will be more ready than most.


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