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Published On: Fri, Mar 20th, 2015

UAE Leads the Near East and Western Reforms

While much of the Middle East is still behind on the times, there are some areas of it that are at least trying to make meaningful reforms. While the region is riddled with poor education, a lack of jobs, social unrest and religious extremism, the UAE has taken steps to address a few of these problems. While they may be far from perfect, one can hope that over time their small reforms will grow, and spread to the regions surrounding them. Many may think that the entire region is all the same, but this is not the case.

One prime example of a leader reforming his area is Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qasimi, leader of Ras al Khaimah, a member of the UAE. During his time, both as Crown Prince and now as the ruler, Qasimi has led unprecedented reforms in the areas of education, social policies, and the economy.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Image/CIA

United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Image/CIA

He has turned his region into a major tourist attraction for the West, along with making it a more favorable place for investors. He has focused on improving the education system in his area, and uses his Western education to steer his decisions. The UAE is also doing its part to combat terrorism, labeling groups it sees as extreme and fighting against them. The results have been a healthily growing area, one that has seen a sharp increase in their GDP.

In comparison, the other Middle Eastern nations are far behind. We hear of stories of bloggers being lashed simply for disagreeing with the government. Other bloggers are hacked to death by machetes in the street just for being an atheist. In much of this area, education means teaching children what you want them to learn, not facts. The infrastructure is poor, and people from Western nations are afraid to travel there. While many can argue about the root causes of these problems, there is no denying that these problems exist, and that serious reforms are needed to make this area more stable, peaceful, and prosperous.

While the UAE may not be the best example of a free and growing country, it is at least making strides in the right direction. By focusing on education, you are helping the people of that area to learn and to think for themselves. When you have a society of people that is not afraid to voice their opinions in hopes of improving their country, you start to see real improvements. The reforms taken by the UAE are small, but they are better than nothing, which the rest of the Middle East seems to be doing.

When you think of the Middle East, and the reforms that are needed there, remember that not every section of that area is the same. While most of it needs a lot of improvement, there are some areas, like the UAE, that have already put those wheels in motion.

Hopefully over time the rest of the area will see the positive results of those reforms, and begin to take them on for themselves. It may take some time, but with the UAE leading, it may happen eventually. Until then we will just have to settle for one part of that region making reforms to improve their country.

Guest Author: Paul Smith

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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