Hope and life beyond the storm

Hope and life beyond the storm

Ibn Khaldun, the 14th century Arab founding father of social sciences, was the first thinker to theorize ideas about demography, economic growth and human society that remain relevant until this day. Just as he noted cycles in the history of civilization — where all empires eventually decline to be attacked by barbarians, who in turn contribute to the renewal of civilization and are themselves eventually attacked by the new barbarians — he observed similar cycles in nature and in human society.
As the violent sandstorm sweeps everything away, it also cleanses the Earth for a new period of life and growth. As the forest fire consumes everything in its path, it also readies the Earth for renewal and a dramatic resurgence of life. While these events may appear deadly and destructive, they are also harbingers of a new beginning.
The death and destruction wreaked by revolutions and wars in the Middle East over the past decade will soon give way to hope, renewal, and a fresh opportunity to build something better.
Saudi Arabia has been lucky not to be exposed to all the dangers faced by other countries. However, our role as protector of Arabs and of Islam has put upon us momentous responsibility to tackle the disturbances and intrusions in our region. Five years ago, many analysts would not have put their money on Saudi Arabia countering Iranian intervention in the region so unequivocally, but we took on them head-on. In Bahrain, we made it clear to Iran and the world that we would not tolerate any Persian interference or agitation in Arab lands.
Our role as the vanguard of the protectors of Arabism and Islam was unambiguous, and the Arab world reposed its trust in us. We have followed up in Syria and in Yemen, where we have again told the Iranians that while we are ready to accept them as respectful Muslim neighbors, we will not tolerate them as Persian occupiers.
It has been a dangerous and deadly period, like Ibn Khaldun’s metaphorical sandstorm or forest fire, but Persian influence is now on the wane and there is a chance to rebuild anew. Yemenis have suffered, Syria has been reduced to rubble, but we will rebuild and our country will play an important role in the emergence of a new hopeful Syria and Yemen, with governments respectful of their populations.
If the Iranians want to build bridges of trade and cooperation, we are ready; if they are interested only in raising tactical military bridges, we will repel them. We Arabs have fought and repelled every occupier in our history, and we will continue to do so long into the future — it is part of our Arab identity and integrity.
In Yemen, the negotiations on the horizon are allowing us to prepare for a winding down of the war and a new era for the Yemeni people. In Syria, Saudi Arabia has a clear role to play in ongoing talks to ensure the future well-being of a vast majority of Syrians who oppose the murderous Assad regime and its Iranian enablers. We are there after the sandstorm and the forest fire, ready to rebuild, ready to recreate the opportunity for life again to flourish, providing peace and stability to the people of Yemen and of Syria.
As we take a short breather and prepare for this task of rebuilding, our government is already busy coming up with fresh ideas, discussing them, and seeking input for a new era of peace and stability in the Arab world. We have seen what does not work, and we are ready to establish the foundations of a new Middle East for the good of the Arab and Muslim people. We are in control of our future and that of our region, ready to sow the seeds of new life, of peace and stability once more.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view