Urban planning model in Dubai

Een nieuwe eeuw voor het Midden-Oosten

NEW YORK – De Verenigde Staten, de Europese Unie en door het Westen geleide instellingen als de Wereldbank vragen zich herhaaldelijk af waarom het Midden-Oosten zichzelf niet kan regeren. Dit is een eerlijke vraag, die echter getuigt van weinig zelfkennis. Het belangrijkste obstakel voor een goed bestuur in de regio is immers het ontbreken van zelfbestuur geweest: de politieke instellingen van de regio zijn verlamd als gevolg van het voortdurende ingrijpen door de VS en Europa sinds de Eerste Wereldoorlog, en op sommige plekken zelfs nog langer.

Eén eeuw is wel genoeg. Het jaar 2016 zou het begin moeten markeren van een nieuwe eeuw van zelfbestuur voor het Midden-Oosten, waarbij de aandacht dringend moet uitgaan naar de uitdagingen van duurzame ontwikkeling.

Het lot van het Midden-Oosten in de afgelopen honderd jaar werd in november 1914 beslecht, toen het Ottomaanse Rijk de verliezende kant koos in de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Het gevolg was de ontmanteling van het rijk, waarna de triomferende machten, Groot-Brittannië en Frankrijk, de controle over de overblijfselen ervan naar zich toe trokken. Groot-Brittannië, dat sinds 1882 al het bewind over Egypte had gevoerd, nam de macht over in het hedendaagse Irak, Jordanië, Israel, Palestina en Saoedi-Arabië, terwijl Frankrijk, dat al een groot deel van Noord-Afrika in handen had, het bestuur ging voeren over Libanon en Syrië.

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