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Arab World: What are Arabs waiting for?

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Algeria, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Development, Technology, War & Conflict

Two bloggers on either side of the Arab world are mulling over the condition of Arabs, from the ocean to the gulf. One asks how long we will sit back for while other countries continue to build up and develop their arsenals and weapon stocks – and another wonders why Saudi Arabia doesn't have its own space programme.

Algerian blogger Bilad Talisman [1] [Ar] wonders why Arabs are bystanders in the current “missiles” war:

العرب قاعدون من المحيط إلى الخليج لدرجة أن استثماراتهم في الجزائر أو في أي بلد من بلدان العالم لاتخرج عن دائرة الكباريهات .العرب يتفرجون هذه الأيام على معركة الصواريخ الكورية تماما مثلما جلسوا يتفرجون على الجزيرة وهي تنقل حرب الصواريخ افسرائيلية على غزة وجلسوا قبلها وهم يراقبون مدى الصواريخ الإسرائيلية على لبنان في صيف 2006 ويسخرون من صواريخ حزب الله على إسراائيل. العرب سيجلسون أمام الجزيرة ذات يوم لمتابعة أخبار سقوط الصواريخ الإيرانية على الكويت والرياض وعمان وغيرها . هكذا هم العرب يتابعون مثل أي مشاهد مهذب باهتمام حرب الصواريخ دون حركة.
The Arabs are sitting from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf, investing their money in cabarets, in Algeria and other countries around the world. Nowadays, Arabs are watching the Korean missiles war, just like they sat back, watching on Al Jazeera the Israeli missiles war on Gaza and just like they sat, before that, watching the range of Israeli missiles falling on Lebanon in the summer of 2006. They mocked Hizbulla's rockets falling on Israel. The Arabs will also sit one day in front of Al Jazeera, following the news of Iranian missiles hitting Kuwait, Riyadh, Oman and others. This is how the Arabs are. They sit, like any well-mannered spectator, closely watching the missiles war, without moving.

From Saudi Arabia, American Bedu [2], an American married to a Saudi, asks why Saudi Arabia hasn't embarked on its own space programme:

I am curious why a rich country like Saudi Arabia has not chosen to have its own indigenous space program, instead depending on reliance and collaboration with allies? To date only one Saudi national [3] has made it into space, Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud.


So why do you think Saudi Arabia with its resources and abilities has chosen not to have an indigenous space program of its own? I asked one Saudi for his take on this subject. His response was “Saudis can’t drive on the roads yet so how do you expect them to navigate space?” (of course that was said in jest but does make one wonder…