"My identity is Iraqi and I am Iraqi in origin, soul and inclination," Sabah Matar wrote in an opinion piece for Iraq's Al-Sabah newspaper, part of the Iraqi Media Network.
No minorities under Iraqi citizenship
"My identity is Iraqi and I am Iraqi in origin, soul and inclination," Sabah Matar wrote in an opinion piece for Iraq's Al-Sabah newspaper, part of the Iraqi Media Network. "I was raised to think that each grain of sand in it is equal to the other all over the nation and that each Iraqi citizen is equal to his brother regardless of his religion, belief, sect, national belonging and colour."
All Iraqis suffered under the former regime, which favoured certain groups to spread the seeds of division and sectarianism among the people. "These bad seeds it had scattered started appearing following the fall of this regime, which imposed a bitter reality that did not please our friends or upset our enemies, with the emergence of sectarianism and regional discrimination," Matar wrote. Iraqis can no longer move to live in a different region by choice. "This situation raised the following dangerous question: What is the value of the nationality held by the citizens, if it does not grant them the right to full citizenship over every inch of the nation?"
The UAE's independent newspaper Al-Khaleej ran an opinion piece by Atef al Gomari saying that Barack Obama's choice of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state shows his determination to choose the right people.
"No one disagreed, even those who criticise Hillary within Obama's team, with the fact that she is strong, serious, intelligent and determined and is knowledgeable about the world and an expert on foreign policy," he wrote. "Everyone knew that Obama selected her for these characteristics and for her confidence that she will restore the brilliance to the State Department, which represents the face of America."
According to knowledgeable sources in the Democratic Party, Clinton is ambitious and she wants to leave her mark on foreign policy over the next four years, though she will not be able to override the president. "Both are close to the so-called 'realistic school' in foreign policy, the philosophy that calls for dealing with reality as it is, instead of having the US impose what it wants by any means within reach, as the Bush administration did."
End Male Chauvinism in Saudi Arabia Ahmad A'il Faqihi, a regular columnist for Saudi Arabia's pro-government newspaper Okaz, wrote that Saudi women should be valued in order for them to play a role in society. "As citizens, Saudi women must be present in all manifestations of national, social, and cultural work," he wrote. "She is not merely a citizen or mother or sister or wife, she is not merely a female to be treated by society as a body filled with lust or as a symbol for seduction, while ignoring her brain or her ability to innovate and work and improve."
Since women constitute half of society, marginalising them detracts from the value of society and therefore of men. "Isn't it high time for us to give women a role in our society, whose conservative identity has become a restraining factor and not a motivational one?" Faqihi wrote. "While Islam honours women and gives them a high position, why have our customs and traditions, which go against Islam in this regard, become a creed in our society?"
Qatar's pro-government daily Al Raya ran an opinion editorial saying the International Conference on Financing for Development, which convened in Doha over the past four days, was a turning point concerning financing developing countries in order to fight poverty. "This international accomplishment witnessed in Doha yesterday is new proof of the magnitude of contribution offered by the state of Qatar to support development," the paper said.
The meeting gave the 192 participating countries a chance to meet and discuss how to provide the minimal level of aid, finance development and establish a new international financial system to overcome the flaws of the current financial system. "As the President of the UN General Assembly Miguel D'Escoto Brockman said at the end of the conference, 'Qatar has made a large contribution, which the whole world appreciates, by embracing these historical moments of the procession of mankind so that the world can eventually manage to defeat poverty."
* Digest compiled from www.mideastdigest.com