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The green Saudi Arabia, planting the seeds of hope for neighbors and citizens

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

In his speech at the closing ceremony of the Green Middle East Summit held in Riyadh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched inspiring, practical, and visionary initiatives that Arab and non-Arab Middle East leaders rallied around. The Summit was marked by an extensive international participation, with many world leaders, presidents, heads of state, and decision-makers attending.

In his speech at the large event, the Crown Prince said: “We, in the Middle East, are fully aware that there is a challenge and that there are great opportunities for our countries, so we are holding a summit today with clear goals for our countries, and we will work seriously” to achieve them.

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He added: “Similar summits will be held in succession to follow up on the objectives that have been achieved and what needs to be achieved in the future. We will stand before the world with achievements we are proud of in the Middle East.”

We are standing before a project that encompasses major initiatives relating to the creation of a sustainable and pure developmental, human-centered environment. The quality of the environment and the launch of a green revolution that eradicates darkness and drought in all their senses are but the grand headline of this major project, which envisions a lively, interactive, inspiring, effective Middle East, instead of a battleground for actions and counteractions.

While the Kingdom leads this lively project fueled by renewable human energy, we find groups, entities, and states in the Middle East investing in projects of destruction, chaos, and drought in every sense of the word.

Let us look at the impact of one of these destructive projects, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Wilayat al-Faqih’s project targeting water in Iraq of all places. Iraq, the Mesopotamian land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where Basra and Samawah suffer today of many a water crisis.

In Yemen as well, there are water, food, and energy crises. In Lebanon, the only Arab country with no desert and plenty of forests, rivers, hills, and snowy mountains peaks, is hungry, thirsty, and scared today, only because the dominating power in the country is Iran.

The Kingdom was often ostracized by some ignorant people for being the country of camels and sand dunes, which is not only a naïve and unscientific portrayal, but also a vulgar, immoral, prejudiced one. Yet here it is today planting the seeds of hope in this debilitated Middle East and opening the doors of hope to let the floods of purity and light wash over the drained and wearied people of the region.

All of this would not have been possible without the Kingdom’s wise leadership and the state’s determination to move forward and disregard the words of disappointment, misery, gossip, and hypocrisy.

Saudi Arabia’s eyes are turned toward the bright horizon, and there is no time nor intention to look back. That would be troublesome and futile. There is no time in Saudi Arabia today for competitions for lost opportunities.

The Saudi vision is indeed inspiring. It’s a vision that represents, in the words of the UAE Ambassador to Riyadh Nahyan bin Saif Al Nahyan, “the true embodiment of what we call today ‘investing in humanity,’ as this vision in its entirety goes beyond oil and funds and uses them instead to achieve a better life for man.”

This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia: A partner in development and in tackling challenges

The Riyadh summits and the Green Middle East

Iranian influence and the green Middle East

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.