The Middle East is the region which extends from southwestern Asia to northeastern Africa, though its boundaries are not very specific. It is the historic origin of some major religions that we have today. These include Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Yezidi, Bahai faith among others. The Middle East came to be recognized as a single region after the First World War, during which the Ottoman Empire was divided into countries that currently comprise the Middle East. In 1948, Israel was established and joined the group of countries that make up the Middle East.
The countries that are in the Middle East include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Yemen, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates among others (Eur, 2002). The Middle East is however a region that has always been a centre of world affairs both on a positive and a negative note. There have been various ups and downs in the history of the Middle East; some of which recur to date. Some of these events have brought about an international outcry and eventually caused the calling forth of immediate reforms in some of the countries that comprise the Middle East.
Some of the reforms brought to the attention of these countries are issues pertaining community development, which is vital for the growth of these countries. Community development in this region is aimed at mitigating the wrangles and wars that have been there in this region and make its occupants concentrate on issues that would be beneficial to their lives. Community development is the enhancement or the nurturing of some specific values within the society that bring about some positive change in the way that people in this particular society live and co-ordinate their lives.
Community development is very important in any community because any improvement within any given society and mainly comes about as a result of cooperation between the members of these societies. It is through community development that acquirement, exploitation, and equal distribution of resources is accomplished. It is what enables a society to go forward and have all the amenities that are necessary for life (Bayat, 2002). The international community has been on the forefront advocating for community development in the region. This would see to it that the region develops economically and that its ties with other nations improve.
The countries located in the Middle East dominate the world’s list of major oil producers. Most of the economies of these countries are highly driven by oil. The world’s economy is to some extent controlled by the prices of oil and this means that the Middle East bears a hand in whichever way that the oil prices sway. A reduction in oil production or an increment in the prices of oil per barrel would be a major blow to the economies of the world especially those of countries that do not produce oil or do not produce oil that can support their enormous populations.
As a result of this, many of the world’s powers have always tried to have an edge over the countries in the Middle East in order to curb this (Wright, 1999). The United States of America is one of the countries that has always wanted there to be some stability and community development in the Middle East though most of these nations are opposed to its views. Many are even reluctant to cooperate because the United States is not mainly an Islamic state. The Middle East has always been marred by some wars and other cold wars.
The United States itself was behind the 2003 Iraq invasion that saw to the total overhaul of the Iraqi government. Many local and international communities have always pointed fingers at the United States for such a miscalculation and therefore rapid community development in this region would help quench the guilt that the United States feels for doing this. Little else can be done other than trigger community development that would see Iraq have its economic prosperity back. This way, the United States can restore its sanctity too.
The United States of America’s administration has therefore embarked on a plan to bring forth community development in Iraq. This is done through the providence of funds to kick off this process. Terrorism has been one of the menaces that have posed one of the greatest risks to the United States of America and its citizens. The United States government has been doing all within its means in order to eradicate terrorism and bring to book those involved. Terrorism has long been perceived as being endorsed and triggered by some Islamic extremists believed to be trained in some secret places within the Middle East.
Therefore, if the United States figures that if it is able to bring forth some community development in the Middle East, they can be able to control or eventually eradicate terrorism. Some of the most wanted terrorists are believed to be harbored in the Middle East and some are even believed to be under the protection of some Middle East governments. The United States has even offered to train the Afghanistan police and military in order to control the levels of terrorism and fight drug cartels. Afghanistan is believed to be one of the world’s top producers of cocaine.
The advent of nuclear weapons poses a major threat to the world’s population if these weapons are not handled with care. Countries ought to obtain approval from the United Nations before they embark on developing nuclear weapons and war-heads or any similar venture, failure to which some severe measures can be taken. Iran has some nuclear power stations which are operational though the United States and other powerful countries believe that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The United States has taken a firm stand against this and has sought some diplomatic positions with regard to this issue.
Significant community development across the Middle East would see to it that such problems are dealt with easily which would actually be an advantage to the United States on its take on global peace. The Israeli-Palestinian war has been raging for several decades. Israel is located amidst countries which are its sworn enemies. Many of the contentious issues between Israel and its neighbors have eventually resulted in wars that have left many dead and injured. The United States is Israel’s sworn ally and therefore a blow to Israel means a major blow to the United States though indirectly.
As a result of this, the United States has always acted in the favor of Israel. The idea of community development would eventually lead to unity in the region and thus remove the burden of sporadic wars from Israel and promote economic growth in the region. There are various leftist terrorist groups that have been formed in opposition of Israel. These include Hamas and Hezbollah and the return of peace to the region would see to it that these groups cease to exist as they are a threat to peace in the region.
This would further improve the United States’ war against terrorism (Thomas, 1998). Finally, the United States of America envisions economic allies from the Middle East, which hosts some of the fastest growing economies in the world. An alliance between the United States and the Middle East would see to the growth of the economic interests of both parties. Economic enhancement means more power and this is exactly this would translate to the United States. Economic empowerment is of paramount importance especially in this period when the world is experiencing a financial recession.
Economic empowerment would therefore be a major boost to the United States and any other interested parties. The Middle East is one of the regions that the business interests of Americans are not appreciated and therefore mending this would change the equation. Countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan have incorporated tourism into their economies and this is bound to improve their relationship with other countries. Egypt has been one of the key factors that have made peace-brokerage possible in the Middle East.
Egypt is an Islamic state that is not hard lined towards general hatred towards the west. This gives it an edge towards dealing with the Middle East crises and dangerous wars. It is through Egypt that some international communities have voiced their concerns. It is through Egypt that some wars have been stopped through cease-fires; such as the recent Israeli-Palestinian war that was showcased along the Gaza strip. Egypt itself is strategically placed and is allied to many of the nations in the Middle East. They are therefore bound to listen to Egypt when it comes to negotiating a particular situation.
As a result of this, many of the western countries ally themselves to Egypt in a bid to broker peace in the Middle East. Egypt therefore plays a very vital role when it comes to dealing with the nations of the Middle East because of its neutrality and similarity to these nations despite being an Islamic state. It is a peaceful sovereign state that is deemed reliable by many western countries when it comes to dealing with the Middle East. As a result, community development is vital as a solution to the problems that currently affect the Middle East nations.
The Middle East is in a quagmire of woes at the moment and a solution that would bring about peace and stability in the region would all the same transform this region into an economic powerhouse which would be a big boost to the global financial market altogether. Community development, to say the least, is one of the keys to peace and stability in this region. References: Bayat, A. , (2002), Activism And Social Development In The Middle East, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Issue 34:1:1-28, Cambridge University Press, Retrieved on 29th April 30, 2009 from: http://journals.
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