Why did the Red Sea Project provoke this academic?

It seems that prominent translator and academic Abou Yaareb Marzouki who is into philosophy and logic and its methods has been unfortunately destroyed by political analysis. It seems his delusional strategic prophecies and wrong political bets have backfired on him and on his followers. His permanent tension and egocentrism destroy the value of knowledge. I actually met him once. He’s skillful in philosophy regardless of his approaches and results. However, he failed miserably when he entered the world of political analysis. Some attribute the wrath which Marzouki feels towards moderate Gulf countries to the Arab Spring phase. Others, however, think his wrath is linked to Donald Trump’s Riyadh visit. Those observing him though know that his rivalry towards Gulf countries is racial.

On July 31, Saudi Arabia announced the Red Sea Project which will cover an area of 34,000 sq. km and include more than 50 islands between the areas of Umluj and Wajah.

Following the announcement, Marzouki, in his usual superior tone and reckless and vile approach, gleefully said: “Tourism does not suit the country of the two holy mosques unless it’s cultural and religious but it seems to me that this is the first phase of secularization.”

His statement actually exposes exactly what I want to criticize about him as he always speaks with absolute certainty and he is also self-centered and behaves like he is superior to others. He sits on his couch and uses Twitter to tell the Saudis what suits them and what doesn’t. He previously addressed us, the Saudis, and lectured us on how to spend our money and how we can master development and set the basis for renaissance.

The Tunisian academic thinks Saudi Arabia does not have consultants, skilled experts or elites whose opinions are taken into consideration in institutions and governments across the world. He thinks Saudi Arabia is about few oil wells in a desert and some camels!

Abou Yaareb falls within the category of intellectuals we’ve been familiar with since the phase of nationalism – a category which is soft with enemies but which adopts a poisonous rhetoric against the Gulf. Many of these intellectuals who oppose and advise the Gulf have actually competed over awards in Gulf countries and rushed to benefit from the generosity of their governments and institutions. Gulf countries which are rich in oil and gas have always included their Arab partners in their wealth via offering educational and practical facilitations. This wealth was not exclusive to the people in the Gulf.

It is clear that Marzouki fell victim to dangerous political bets that are the opposite of moderation and stability as his slogans are related to the nation and the revolution and not to the homeland and development. Add to all that his chronic tense relation with Saudi Arabia and moderate Gulf countries. His analyses are most of the time vengeful as he desires to harm Gulf states for no reason whatsoever. His exultation, superiority and overconfidence are unjustified.

Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran


Arabs have until today considered working in a Gulf country a great opportunity to secure a future. Therefore, this superiority which some Arab intellectuals display when talking about “petro-Islam,” “Bedouins,” “oil culture,” or “cement states” reflect their spite.

Cloning the ‘Arab Spring’ experience


Following the measures which some Gulf countries took to combat terrorism, Marzouki, the man who raised the slogan “Arab awareness in the nation’s causes,” wrote a blog post entitled “Gulf’s tsunami or the folly of the Arab counterrevolution.”

In the post published on June 5 on his Facebook page, Marzouki said: “The blockade on Qatar is due to two factors which are Al-Jazeera and hosting some Arab opposition figures.” Marzouki wrote this expecting to clone the “Arab Spring” experience in the Gulf.

He thus sided with Qatar in its support of terrorist groups like the al-Qaeda organization, the Popular Mobilization, the Revolutionary Guards, ISIS, al-Nusra Front and Taliban. He supports mobilization in Syria for the purpose of “jihad.”

Tunisians believe Marzouki’s statements led some Tunisian young men to go to Syria where they fought and died. In a famous statement, he said: “I understood the slogans of revolution. These slogans are the reason jihad is necessary. I am proud there are Tunisian youths fighting across the world for the values of dignity and freedom which they believe in. If I were a young man, I would be fighting with them. In all cases, I am fighting according to what suits my age. I will not keep silent over the villainies which the heroes of the future are being accused of. These heroes will restore glory to our nation, and they will not only do so via direct jihad but also via educational and humanitarian excellence. I am ashamed that some think this is a crime. I am surprised how some support the atrocities happening in Syria and think those aiding the weak and the helpless are criminals!”

It is clear that Marzouki fell victim to dangerous political bets that are the opposite of moderation and stability as his slogans are related to the nation and the revolution and not to the homeland and development. Add to all that his chronic tense relation with Saudi Arabia and moderate Gulf countries. His analyses are most of the time vengeful as he desires to harm Gulf states for no reason whatsoever. His exultation, superiority and overconfidence are unjustified.

We wish he looks after his own matters and after his country’s affairs and leave countries that are more successful to be managed and advised by their own people. The supporters of failed states are not very qualified to advise states that are among the world’s most powerful economies.

This article was first published in Arabic.

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Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. His writings have appeared in pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Alarabiya.net, among others. He also blogs on philosophies, cultures and arts. He tweets @shoqiran.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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