ArDO: Yes we want Lebanon to be the Switzerland of the East and Beirut the Paris of the East


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Parameters for Arabian Unification

by Daniel Bart

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Unification of the Arabian peoples is a key Shi段 Arab interest because of the moral imperative to liberate the Shi段 Arabs of al-Hasa along with Islamic holy cities. This can only be achieved if patriotic and pro-democratic Shi段 and Sunni Arabs join hands against neighbouring totalitarian regimes and must be done in a manner that is consistent with and sensitive to Shi段 Arab interests. A Jordanian-Iraqi merger consistent with democratic interests would be the first step in such a process. Israel has in the past handed over control of al-Aqsa mosque to the government of Jordan and would have no problem doing so once more.

The most appropriate way to resolve this issue is through Arabic-language federalism on the model of federal Germany. This means that Shi段 federal subjects would run their own affairs in most matters. The federal government under the guidance of King Abdullah II would intervene in the event of serious attempts to impose Taliban-style forms of regional government and this would protect the interests of Shi'is and others. The status quo for the Shi段s of Iraq would essentially be retained as far as self-determination is concerned and the process of democratization would be continued. This model means that comprehensive democratization would first happen on the level of federal subjects and later on the federal level.

Druze, Alawi and Shi段 regions would need to have more autonomy than other federal subjects. Such regional governments should even have the right to limit migration into their federal subjects on the basis of the ナland model. Gulf emirates could opt for confederation with this unified state on a purely voluntary basis. The Maronite region would not be part of the Arabian state as its national heritage language is Aramaic and Lebanon would be consensually reduced to its original proportions. It is true that Jordanian authorities have in the past made unhelpful comments regarding Shi段 Arabs and dialogue between denominations and religions would be an important dimension of Arabian unification. Linguistic states and federalism are interests shared by Kurds (many of whom are Shi'is) and Arabs along with other peoples of the region. The liberation of Arabistan (Khuzestan) and other Arab regions on the northern coast of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf is an achievable key Arab interest.

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