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A Saudi Glimmer of Hope in a Divided Region
(Pixabay)

A Saudi Glimmer of Hope in a Divided Region

Al-Rai, Kuwait, May 6

Science always played a critical role in allowing mankind to battle, and ultimately win over, different diseases. Science allows us to understand the causes of fever, avoid the impact of germs, and deal with bacteria and viruses. Thanks to science, we’ve developed antibiotics and vaccines, and built a world in which communicable diseases are almost extinct. This great role played by scientists throughout history is the reason for which millions of lives have been saved and numerous societies have been protected from disappearing. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic caught us by surprise and stirred things up. But here, too, scientists took it upon themselves to fight the virus and develop both cures and vaccines that would protect humanity from this threat. Last night, I had a dream that the Gulf Cooperation Council decided to build a center for scientific research in one of the Gulf cities. The center drew scientists from all over the world to conduct cutting-edge research on technology and medicine. Unfortunately, the dream was spoiled when I snapped back into reality and heard voices asking: Where are the scientists? How much is each Gulf country paying for this? Why is it based in Bahrain and not in Kuwait? Even though this dialogue was just a dream, its essence is true: We are countries claiming to cooperate with one another, but we spend most of our energy on suspicion and baseless accusations. The skeptical voices I heard in my dream are the same voices that prevent us from achieving our full potential and living in a unified Gulf region. Thankfully, today there is one glimmer of hope in the Gulf; and that glimmer of hope is Saudi Arabia. With a strong and sincere vision of making the region a better place, the kingdom is setting an example for its neighbors by putting its own interests aside and pursuing projects that benefit the entire region. I truly hope that this vision will extend into the field of scientific research, and that we all cooperate until we achieve some of our dreams. The Gulf region has so much potential, but in order to achieve it, we must put our differences and our egos aside. There is no better time to do so than now. – Khaled Ahmed Al-Saleh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

 

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