The difference between Arabs and Europeans [Archives:2004/739/Opinion]

May 20 2004

By Ahmed Ibrahim Almass
[email protected]
For the Yemen Times

Last week the European Union celebrated very happily in Brussels, where the headquarters of the European Union are located. And the reason for their celebrations was the joining of the countries who were in the past within the circle of the Soviets. They are Poland, Romania, etc., etc. It is a fact that these new members to the Union are quiet different from those who have been before, such as France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, etc.
They are quiet different from the social structures, languages, beliefs, standards of living and many other things. But, the European Union accepted them with joy and pleasure, although the Union is very much aware and realises, in advance, the great difficulties and the great problems it would face with these new members and in particularly in the agriculture policies. But, they know that by their unity together – in understanding and cooperation, they could solve and overcome all problems whatever they are, earlier than if they were not together. It was noticeable that Poland had special welcome in that occasion, mainly of its big population. This is one side of the Europeans. Now let us have a look or rather a quick look on the other side, the Arabs. Let us take, just for simple example, the Gulf Cooperation Council. This Council consists of
countries who have the same language and almost the same habits and culture and traditions.
What have they done among themselves that any citizens of these countries could be proud of? The Republic of Yemen, which is a part of the area – from every angle, has applied and requested to be a member to the Gulf Cooperation Council earlier than Greece and Spain did to the European Union, but , fortunately, they (Sp. Gk.) were accepted, despite their great differences from economic point of view and many other things. But, if we look at them now , we would see that they have reached the full conditions and exceeded in most cases the standard in the rest of the countries of the Union.
But, we, as Arabs, we are full of Nos, Yeses, Ifs and Buts. I am asking myself, sometimes, when will we be so thoughtful and think 20 years in advance for planning? Or at least for 10 years in advance.