Urban planning model in Dubai

Abad Baru bagi Timur Tengah

NEW YORK – Amerika Serikat, Uni Eropa, dan beberapa lembaga yang dipimpin negara Barat seperti Bank Dunia berulang kali bertanya mengapa Timur Tengah tidak bisa memerintah sendiri. Pertanyaan ini sifatnya jujur namun diajukan tanpa kesadaran diri yang tinggi. Bagaimanapun juga, satu hambatan terbesar bagi terbentuknya tata kelola pemerintahan yang baik di kawasan tersebut adalah rendahnya self-governance: lembaga-lembaga politik di kawasan ini telah lumpuh akibat intervensi Amerika Serikat dan Eropa yang berulang dimulai sejak Perang Dunia I, dan bahkan lebih awal di beberapa tempat.

Satu abad sudah cukup. Tahun 2016 harus menandai awal abad baru politik homegrown (dalam negeri) Timur Tengah yang berfokus langsung pada tantangan-tantangan pembangunan berkelanjutan.

Nasib Timur Tengah selama 100 tahun terakhir ditentukan pada bulan November 1914 ketika kekaisaran Ottoman memihak pada pihak yang kalah dalam Perang Dunia I. Hasilnya adalah kekaisaran pun dibubarkan, dengan kekuatan kemenangan lalu Inggris dan Perancis meraih kendali hegemoni atas sisa-sisa peperangan. Inggris, yang sudah menguasai Mesir sejak tahun 1882, memegang kendali efektif atas pemerintahan sekarang di sejumlah negara seperti Irak, Yordania, Israel dan Palestina, dan Arab Saudi, sementara Perancis, yang sudah mengendalikan sebagian besar Afrika Utara, lalu menguasai Lebanon dan Suriah.

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