This is the third year in a row that I’ve written my sarcastic predictions/resolutions for the Middle East. Either these nations’ governments are not listening to me or making resolutions is not a regional tradition because I seem to be repeating myself! 2014 was no better than 2013 on issues of peace, and with the emergence of the Islamic State it’s reached incredible levels of tension. Alas, life goes on, and the people of the Middle East are resilient. Yella!
Egypt: Congrats Egyptians, you’ve officially erased the January 25th Revolution! Former General Al-Sisi is leading the country; Hosni Mubarak has been acquitted of killing protesters; and the Muslim Brotherhood is considered a terrorist org. Since you are unofficially anti-democracy once again, I am not going to bother predicting your politics. Make it a resolution to stamp out Bayt al maqdis in Sinai before they take on Cairo, and please improve the economy because your people are suffering.
Libya: What happened in Benghazi? Anyone? Libya has dissolved into nothing but warring factions, with Tripoli International Airport out of order since July and Europe recently banning all Libyan airlines from landing in Europe or crossing its airspace.
Algeria: Alas, Algeria still rarely pops up on my Middle East radar. It seems to be going neither backward nor forward. Perhaps 2015 will be the year Algeria has its own Arab Spring?
Tunisia: Way togo, Tunisia! Setting a positive model for post-Arab Spring nations. Hey, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, take note on your older brother’s class.
Morocco: Morocco is not hosting the Club World Cup anymore, because it didn’t want players from Ebola-stricken African countries coming within its borders. Bad diplomacy, but not morally wrong. I miss Morocco so much and I hope to go back in 2015, if not 2016 inchallah! I hope the country continues to progress.
Jordan: Your work as member of the non-permanent 10 in the UN Security Council has been impressive, although I am not so impressed at the way it comes together beforehand. Nevertheless, I hope one day nepotism doesn’t play such a major role in your government, I’m sorry kingdom.
Lebanon: Lebanon seems to be stuck in a quagmire, its political leadership slogging along with its sluggish economy. The country just seems regionally irrelevant, which is a shame since it continues without fail to produce the entire Middle East media sector’s beautiful actresses and singers. When I hear Lebanon I think: former Paris of the Middle East, Conflict with Israel and Beautiful Performers. These facts are decades old. Let’s get something new to talk about, aywa?
Israel/Palestine: “My wish last year was for Israel to “please, please, please” finally admit that it “should stop being a 21st-century imperialist and withdraw from Gaza.” Note that I wrote this sentence last year. Three years of predictions and resolutions and Israel has gone through what, two mini war-catastrophes? I have nothing to say. What Israel is doing is blatantly wrong, and the rest of the world is firmly asserting that. I just wish my own country would come to its senses too, because I think EVERYONE is over the Palestine Question.
Syria: Another year has passed, and Bashar Al-Assad is still in power. I don’t know how there still is a ‘Syria.’ Is there anywhere that hasn’t been bombed? Weirdly, the emergence of the Islamic State might be just the thing Syria needs to end the war, if not the conflict.
Saudi Arabia: It was reported recently that women are going to be allowed to drive in the Kingdom (finally!) with restrictions (of course). Yet the also-recent arrest of two Saudi women who tried to drive into KSA from Bahrain casts doubt on the rumors. Come on guys, let the girls drive your SUVs!
Yemen: Good old Al-Qaeda, which looks positively warmhearted in comparison with the Islamic State in Iraq, are still hanging strong in Yemen. Fractured by warring tribal conflict, poverty, and officially ranked the worst place in the world to be a woman, I don’t imagine things radically turning around in 2015, which is a shame because there’s so much more to this country than the Western media let’s on.
Oman: I want to hear more about Oman! I honestly cannot make a prediction or resolution unless I look the country up, because I don’t know what the hell is going on over there. *Note: this is the exact same resolution I wrote last year. Because nothing has changed.
UAE: Please change your rape laws. It is a complete mindf*ck that Dubai looks way, way more pleasurable and better than any city in the United States and yet rape victims are jailed. I know development is an uneven process, but it show’s that money can’t buy good manners.
Qatar: Qatar, once the Muslim Brotherhood’s safehouse, has recently reinstated its support for the Egyptian military government. Good international diplomacy, but I’d like to see someone stand by their convictions and not be dictated by politics (oh wait…)
Bahrain: Turns out Bahrain is actually progressive in turns of women’s rights. Let’s here it for Women’s Crisis Care International opening up the first rape crisis center in the Middle East in 2015, inchallah!
Kuwait: Search Kuwait in Google News and its 95% fluff pieces. What I want to know is: are things really that hunky-dory in Kuwait? Can you guys do something positive in 2014 for the world with all that oil money? *Note: this was also the same resolution as last year. Tut, tut.
Iraq: “I would love to see Iraq gain peace and stability in 2014, but this seems highly unlikely,” I wrote last year, and boy was I right. The Islamic State popped out of nowhere and has become a Menace of Foreign Mercenaries. I pray that the Yazidi and Christian Iraqi populations will survive this disgusting genocide.
Afghanistan: A woman walks down a street in Kabul baring her legs, and it’s akin to Kim Kardashian’s bare behind on the cover of Paper magazine. Different amounts of skin are being shown, but the reaction is still the same. Forget Afghanistan, can the entire WORLD stop caring about women’s bodies?!?
Iran: Iran got “happy” for about a minute, with local fashion and women’s resistance reaching the global social media stage, and Rich Kids of Tehran giving the middle finger to the government (which happens to be run by their parents, how ironic). Now, Tehran is finally cracking down on these Nouveaux Kids. Hopefully we see another Cultural Revolution in Iran.