View of Lebanon's Sidon Sea Castle (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Persevering Throughout the Ages

Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, September 13

 

The dog days in the Arabian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula are a very difficult time of year, with temperatures rising to record highs, dust storms blinding the eyes, and humidity rising to unbearable levels. While today we have technological solutions that help us deal with these harsh living conditions, those who lived in our region in the old times had to persevere on their own. Just imagine the difficulty of obtaining drinking water at temperatures like those we have experienced this week. This is a repulsive environment that does not attract people, but rather alienates them and pushes them to emigrate. And yet, despite historical facts confirming the strenuous and arduous living conditions of this region, the Arab settlement of the Gulf continued and people came to populate our region. They lived and endured hardships and struggled for survival amid scarce resources. The large number of coastal cities — from Jeddah to Kuwait to other ancient ports — and the documented relations with remote communities in Asia and Africa, are evidence of a vibrant life that existed in the Gulf. People not only survived here, but flourished. They had faith in their community and worked to make the impossible, possible. Therefore, I can confidently say that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision for Saudi Arabia is not an exaggeration. Rather, it is an accurate description of the people in this region and their ability to withstand challenges and persevere. The people of the Gulf are the same people who managed thousands of years ago to dig underground water channels at a depth of tens of meters, to establish communities in the middle of the desert, and to build communities full of energy and enthusiasm – even when others accused them of being crazy.  –Salah Al-Sayer

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