John Casson is a British diplomat and former UK Ambassador to Egypt, a post he served from 2014 to 2018. During this time, he connected with millions of Egyptians through his Twitter account, gaining more than 250,000 followers—about one in three of all Twitter users in Egypt.
In the midst of all this turmoil, Arab diplomacy has been strangely absent. Some Arab countries have been providing military support for different protagonists in different conflicts, notably in Libya, Yemen, and in the war against terrorism in Syria and Iraq. Where, however, is Arab diplomacy? What diplomatic efforts are being made in every one of these cases are being led by non-Arabs or non-Arab organizations.
Although water scarcity is the Arab region’s most pressing challenge, it gets little diplomatic attention, HRH Princess Sumaya said on Sunday. She urged Arab countries to work together in order to solve the growing water crisis in the region, highlighting that water is the essence of life. “We must establish the underlying truths that neighbouring states which share water resources should work together,” Princess Sumaya said at the opening of the 2nd Arab Water Week.
In one of her last acts as America's top diplomat, Clinton launched the Open Book Project (OBP), which will make high-quality educational resources freely available online in the Arabic language.
In 1994, Bashar al-Assad was appointed chairman of the Syrian Computer Society. It was the only official title he would hold before landing the country’s top job, president, in 2000, but the appointment seemed to speak volumes about the direction in which his country was headed. This was six months into President Bill Clinton’s first term, in the same year that Tony Blair was elected as the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. Modernization was all the rage.
For nearly two hundred years the measure of a nation’s progress has been its capacity to Westernize. Today, to a great extent, China has shifted this narrative. In the last three decades, China has lifted over 500 million of its people out of poverty according to the World Bank. The scale and speed of China’s growth are unprecedented. The world has never seen anything like the rise of China according to Martin Jacques, author of bestseller ‘When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order.’
After days of anti-American violence across the Muslim world, the White House is girding itself for an extended period of turmoil that will test the security of American diplomatic missions and President Obama’s ability to shape the forces of change in the Arab world.
The study also revealed that Arab media was helping to define the issue for Westerners and was expected to be more open and free. It also highlighted that people in the West view Arabs more favourably and ascribed recent activism to familiar aspirations.