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Saudis preserving their unique, Gulf, Arab and Islamic identity
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 08 - 2021

Saudis were not known as people of the Gulf until after the year 1980 when the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) came into being. The GCC was established in extraordinary circumstances to confront the rapid and dangerous changes that suddenly swept the region.
This was when the region witnessed three major incidents in the year 1979 — the Soviet Union occupied the Afghan capital Kabul, and became closer than ever to oil deposits on the Gulf coasts; Saddam Hussein turned against President Ahmad Hassan Al-Bakr, seizing the presidency of Iraq; and Khomeini overthrew Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and inherited the dreams of the Persian Empire.
What a leap year was 1980, after which major events and developments took place.
Saudi Arabia is located almost in the middle of the world, with a wide view of Africa in the west; Persia, India and Pakistan in the east; the Turks in the north and the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean in the south, in addition to its proximity to three straits — Al Mandeb, Aden, and Suez.
This geographical location featuring vast areas of land and diverse resources of wealth with educated and ambitious people, remarkable achievements in development, a modern administrative system that keeps pace with technology and even excels in it, and membership in the most important and largest economic blocs in the world.
The Kingdom shoulders dossiers and issues; and had it left or ignored them, the region would have collapsed, and we would have become just like Lebanon, say for example.
Therefore, it is not logical to shorten Saudi Arabia to the coast of the Arabian Gulf, which does not represent even 10 percent of the total beaches and borders of the Kingdom, and it is not logical to delve into interpersonal differences and small issues that have no weightage in international politics.
Saudi Arabia is much greater than this unfair abbreviation in its geographical and economic position and its great and amazing legacy.
It may be necessary for there to be an economic bloc between countries that share or are similar in some of their economic and social interests, but to remain captive to the waves of the Gulf and its fluctuations, whims and tactical interests, we have narrowed it too much.
This issue opens up other questions. Are we part of the Arab Ummah with its modern national concept that emerged a hundred years ago, and developed in its Nasserist, Baathist, and even Socialist, Communist and leftist forms, forming a stumbling block and a rocky mass that fell on the chest of the Arabs and fragmented their nationalism and paralyzed their capabilities.
Arabism here does not mean root and lineage. This is undoubtedly an issue. Rather, the Saudi tribes are purely Arab, and they have neither been occupied nor any other nation has influenced their culture.
The so-called advocates of Arabism are those who preferred to be hostile to us, and this is because of the fact that we preserved our ethos that we cherished and did not respond to the advocates of coups.
This is also because we discovered oil that we turned into a blessing, while the envy of enemies turned into a curse that haunts us everywhere, with their throats filled with grief, and their souls filled with despair.
Some Arabs did not remember us until after the occurrence of disasters and setbacks that they made with their own hands from 1967 until the Gaza war two months before 2021, for otherwise we are just Bedouin tribes living in the desertified Arabian Peninsula, south of the Fertile Crescent and east of the Nile Valley.
Pan-Arabism in its Umayyad concept, which glorified the Arabs and gave them their true position among the nations, disappeared with Turkification and the Persianization of rule at the hands of the Abbasid Caliphs, and this extended to the Ottoman Empire, which established racism and Turkification.
They neglected our ancestors and our territories for 1400 years. We lived poor with sweat and toil but still preserving our modesty and as such we did not ask for a penny, nor did we ask anyone to fight for us. And today they want us to pay the bills for their failures, calamities, and mismanagement of their wealth and countries under the name of Arabism.
I think that Saudis, whose first state was founded 300 years ago, and continued to build their homeland and consolidate a true social and religious pact that gave Al-Saud family the honor of rulers, and whose state remained stable with security, safety and development. And eventually, now, it has become a unique and distinguished nation with its own characteristics.
Saudis are Arabs with a Muslim identity, but they are certainly not confined to a coastal identity whose heart is either in London or Washington or Tehran or Ankara and whose sword is upon you. They also do not have the whims of the kidnappers of Arabism from the remnants of the nationalists, the left, and the Baath from Saada in the south to Gaza and the Dahiya suburbs in the north.

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