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Al-Ahram, Egypt

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2013: Lucky for Gulf Arabs - Perhaps Not for the West! (Akhbar Al Khalij, Bahrain)

 

"The year 2013 is considered an ominous one to Europeans and Americans, as many associate the figure with crises and catastrophe. But while people in the West are pessimistic about the number 13, in our Arab and Islamic world we have no such belief. ... Unlike Europeans and Americans, we have a saying in our region: 'Be optimistic about good times, and they will come.'"

 

By Abdul Munim Ibrahim

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Translated By Nicolas Dagher

 

January 6, 2013

 

Akhbar al Khalij- Bahrain - Original Article (Arabic)

Like a reader of tea leaves, I reviewed the news headlines on New Year's Day. The year 2013 is considered an ominous one to Europeans and Americans, as many associate the figure with crises and catastrophe. But while people in the West are pessimistic about the number 13, in our Arab and Islamic world we have no such belief. And the headlines I read New Year's Day confirm this, such as, Saudi Arabia Discovers Huge Oil Reserves in Tabuk, and Prepares to Launch Two Communication and Data Gathering Satellites in Collaboration with Russia in 2013; Dubai New Year's Eve Celebrations Confirm Economic Crisis is Over; The United Arab Emirates Begins Second Economic Boom in a Decade; Emirates Airlines Doubles Flights of Jumbo Airbus to New York and Paris; Young Entrepreneurs from 38 Countries Gather in Bahrain to Promote Investment Flows Among Nations; and Talks Held to Establish Joint Arab Stock Market in Bahrain Financial Harbor.

 

News like this at the beginning of a year in which Europeans are pessimistic clearly illustrate that the nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are not concerned with such negative thinking. In GCC countries, the situation is getting better and better, both economically and politically. Even the United Arab Emirates, which some considered to be an economic bubble destined to burst during the 2008-9 global financial crisis, has, as it turns out, fully recovered, and is once again on its feet in better shape than before.

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Bahrain, which was targeted by a political and sectarian conspiracy to topple the government and establish Iranian Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists, and where the economy and trade sectors were also targeted, has also recovered its economic vitality. For New Year's Eve, 80,000 Saudi automobiles flowed in, and experts forecast that Saudis would spend approximately 50 million Saudi riyals [$13,300,000] in movie theaters, restaurants and hotels. And there are expectations that total investment in Bahrain would reach $45 billion by 2017.

 

Unlike Europeans and Americans, we have a saying in our region: "Be optimistic about good times, and they will come." But that doesn't apply to some countries in Europe (For example, Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias launched a scathing attack last week on the tough austerity measures imposed by the European Union on its members in financial distress, among them Cyprus, which is facing a bleak year).

 

So it seems that the figure 13 brings doom for those who believe it will. So let us not copy the practice. The optimistic shall find success!

 

CLICK HERE FOR ARABIC VERSION

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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Jan. 6, 9:19pm]