Wow. I’m kind of in shock right now. I took an international business class sophomore year that was centered around Dubai and the business, customs, and beliefs of the the UAE and Middle East relations. I kind of became enamored with Dubai and the UAE as it is one of the most modern, innovative cities in the world and their come up in just the last 60+ years on the global stage is really something to admire. It became a bucket list item of mine to travel to Dubai and fully experience that incredible city.
The only problem with that was the UAE, and other Middle Eastern nations’, beliefs in not acknowledging Israel’s existence. I am a strong believer in Israel. I travelled there when I was 10 years old. And if you had an Israeli stamp on your passport, you may not be allowed in to the UAE. This was reciprocated by Israel, and it was deeply troubling to me. After learning so much about it I made it a future goal to fully experience the region’s beauty and history. It was truly unsettling to know that there was little chance I could actually achieve this desire. I knew my Jewish faith could play a hindering factor in making this ambition come true.
This was honestly highlighted this past January when I had a connecting flight in Dubai for my study abroad travels to Australia. (I know, not many people fly east to Sydney, but that’s a different conversation). Anyways, in the Dubai airport I bought a tourist hat. It was unsettling to know I may not have been allowed into the beautiful DBX if I still had that Israeli stamp, but I wanted to get the hat in hope that I would someday return to the city and experience all of its beautiful sights and experiences. I had no clue at the time that this dream could become a true reality in less than a year.
Because today, that relationship between Israel and the UAE changed. In a joint statement between the United States, Israel, and the UAE the nations announced that they will begin to normalize relations between the nations. This includes things like diplomacy, tourism, education, telecommunications, healthcare, and other advanced features these leading countries in the region have tapped. This will also greatly accelerate coronavirus research as Israel and the UAE will collaborate with working towards a vaccine and therapeutics.
This feels like a huge deal. I don’t want to say that it will lead to total peace in the Middle East, but it for sure looks like the right step in that direction. Trump said he believes other Middle Eastern countries will follow suit in similar deals. Also, it’s not a war and that is good. Even though some may think otherwise. Diplomacy in the Middle East is what we have needed for decades and finally these negotiations are being facilitated.
I believe Donald Trump has said, (maybe) jokingly, he could create peace in the Middle East and the media would still find a way to make it bad, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see how they respond.
But seriously, the fact that 2 of the most technologically advanced nations in the region, if not the world, are joining forces strategically in a peace deal is truly historic for all parties. Credit where credit is due.
I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert of Middle Eastern foreign relations, but reading that statement from President Trump, PM Netanyahu, and Sheikh Mohammed sounds like real progress can and will be achieved. The deal may not be perfect but it is an exciting step forward. It will be interesting to see how this trio now handles adversaries in both the region and the world.
The President said that the leaders of these nations will be at the White House in the coming weeks to make this deal officially official. That will be another win and accomplishment for Trump’s foreign diplomatic affairs.
Now, my ambition has slightly changed where I want to travel to both Israel and the UAE on the same trip. I will get my passport stamped at both. I’m looking forward to that.
Cheers. 🇺🇸 🇮🇱 🇦🇪