It is neither strange nor new for many Arabs to support a foreign or regional leader for various reasons. There have been Egypt’s late president Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iraq’s late President Saddam Hussein and others. There is current enthusiasm over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Some Arabs support foreign leaders as a silent protest against their own governments, about which they dare not speak out. They wrongly think these figures will fight their battlesAbdulrahman al-Rashed