x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Upgrading skills for Arab workers

"On Monday the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Wasat quoted a Moroccan official as criticising the general view that his government devotes more attention to Moroccan communities living in Europe than those residing in Arab and African countries," said Shamlan Youssef al Issa in an opinion piece for the Kuwaiti daily Al Watan.

"On Monday the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Wasat quoted a Moroccan official as criticising the general view that his government devotes more attention to Moroccan communities living in Europe than those residing in Arab and African countries," said Shamlan Youssef al Issa in an opinion piece for the Kuwaiti daily Al Watan. According to Mohammed Ameur, minister of the Moroccan community abroad,  85 per cent of Moroccans overseas are based in Europe.

"I disagree with Mr Ameur in his assertions that there is no difference in the treatment of Moroccan workers abroad  by his ministry. Mr Ameur has every right to stress his ministry's special interest in Moroccans in the West because they constitute the majority, plus they enjoy good working conditions." Although in Europe, one can find a distinction in the nature of jobs, this does not prevent foreigners from obtaining such privileges as citizenship and equal treatment in salaries they they cannot have if they work in the Arab world. Generally, Arab workers in the Arab countries and in the Gulf states particularly face many problems, primarily, the tough competition from Asian workers. "So for them to be competitive, their countries need to upgrade their skills to outperform their rivals."

"In Iraq, the transition to democracy was abrupt and targeted first the symbols of the Baath party. That sparked sectarian war and consquently tore apart national unity," wrote Youssef al Kuwailt in the lead article of the Saudi newspaper Al Riyadh.  People were divided over the Baath issue into three sections. Some advocated de-Baathification regardless of who the party members were. Others took a cautious attitude towards Baathists as their role grew in the government and other decision-making circles. A third section took a more moderate position by rejecting over-genaralistion.  

Such a multitude of stances within the Iraqi political landscape may prompt the US to open channels of dialogue with former Baathists as it did with Iran, North Korea and the Taliban. The idea is to engage members of the Baath Party into political life and shows that the US is in  a rush to get out of its present impasse by all means. As such, it has become ready to coordinate with the Baathists, strike a deal with the Iranians, and negotiate with Syria.

All in all, over-reliance on the US is a mirage. "The new Iraq needs to consider all popular movements and resolve sectarian issues. It needs mainly to employs its oil revenues to build a strong infrastructure and streamline the return of the displaced so that they will no longer be the target of sectarian polarisation, either inside or outside Iraq."

"In a press statement in Mecca this week, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, second deputy prime minister and minister of interior, did not rule out coordination between Houthi infiltrators and the al Qa'eda organisation. The question arises whether is it possible that such contact happened between the two parties?" asked Tariq Alhomayed in a comment piece for the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat.

"The answer is yes. This is because both sides have the same goal: to destabilise Saudi Arabia's security. Al Qa'eda works according to the famous  saying: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Now that the Saudi forces have successfully defeated the Houthis, it appeared that the rebels had been planning to hit targets far inland by storing weapons and digging trenches along the Saudi-Yemeni border."

Saudi Arabia uncovered their attempts while it carried out a routine inspection of the border against al Qa'eda intruders and arms and drug smugglers. This explains why the Houthis will not be able to operate in this hotspot area without some sort of coordination with al Qa'eda. In that context, it is hard to deny such a connection, "and beside the coordination between the two groups, Iran is also in the spotlight through its military support. Many reports actually affirmed that some al Qa'eda leaders are still based in Iran."

"As if Yemen has not enough security, political and economic crises, a new movement in Yemen is calling for a form of an autonomous status that includes many provinces," observed the UAE newspaper Al Khaleej in its editorial. "Yemen is already battered with ongoing conflicts. This raises a new and more urgent than ever need to inaugurate a national dialogue that takes into consideration the interests of all parties and aims to achieve a balanced and comprehensive settlement."

Yemen should take the responsibility to achieve peace by addressing the current situation that is ruining the country. This can be done by inviting various political groups, whether in opposition or in the government, to save the country before its crises are blown out of proportion. Any such a solution must come from Yemen. Indeed, it is the duty of Yemeni authorities to coordinate such efforts. 

"Yemen will be strong if it remains unified  and  stable as that would guarantee that its people enjoy civil peace. This can only be achievable through deep reforms and equal distribution of wealth. In case no action is taken to pull the country out from its present situation, Yemen is likely to experience even harder times." * Digest compiled by Mostapha Elmouloudi melmouloudi@thenational.ae