I have always worn my Arab identity with great pride. As a young man, I used to say that had I not been born an Arab, and knowing what I knew, I would have wished to be an Arab. I am sure other people feel the same way about their own identity, but the fusion of my Arab identity with my pan-Arabist and Saudi identity, as well as my Islamic spiritual identity, really did provide me with incalculable meaning on a cultural, a political and a spiritual level. The historical and civilizational significance that Arab lands and the Middle East represent for the world are simply overwhelming to me. I think of the cultural and technical, the intellectual and the spiritual endowments that the Middle East and Arabs in particular gave to humanity and I believe that everyone can understand why this region is so special.
An aerial view of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock)
A mass rally outside the Mohammad al-Amin mosque and the nearby Maronite Cathedral of St George in the downtown district of Beirut's Martyr's Square, Lebanon.(AFP)
A view of Cairo, Egypt. (The Associated Press)