Guide Landing Home (Love and life challenges, Post 9-11)

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While events in Palestine, Kosovo, and Bosnia formed the staple diet of past Friday sermons, more immediate concerns now take priority. Educated Emiratis began to form independent political views rather than being influenced by government-controlled media. Democracy, human rights and Islamic identity are issues of growing interest.

To the average Emirati, Israelis can commit excessive acts of violence while the United States turns a blind eye towards the plight of the Palestinians. This has caused resentment towards the West and the United States, in particu lar. More serious still is the fact that a substantial percentage of people have come to identify many of their grievances, including against their rulers and circumstances, with the West.

The political authorities, aware of such developments among the masses, seem unable to control them. In fact, by giving people the space to voice such opinions, they deflect the anger away from themselves. September was a turning point. They highlighted the type of heated debate that had long been conducted in private among Gulf elites. While the United States blamed the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, for being a breeding ground for the radicals who carried out the attacks, people in the region blamed Washington for its double standards in policy.

With their multicultural, multiethnic societies and booming economies, Gulf states became a melting pot. Prosperity and a peaceful environment provided many immigrants with safe-havens where they could live and work. The region was no longer seen as peaceful and tolerant. More dangerous still is the undeniable fact that many Gulf residents have come to identify their grievances with the United States.

Arab Gulf communities have become breeding grounds for discontent. This discontent usually originated within Islamist groups that wished to see an end to any Western domination or influence over their societies. The political authorities sought to respond to these challenges by organizing the Islamic establishment in such a manner as to further co-opt the religious authorities ulema and to attempt to control appointments and sermons delivered by clerics. Therefore, while Washington was raising a battle cry against terrorism in the international arena, Gulf authorities were struggling with their own Islamist agenda at home.

UAE political authorities sought to crack down on the activities of militant Islamic organizations. A small group of UAE citizens who had expressed anger towards the United States and evinced some sympathy for militant Islamists, posed more of a challenge for political authorities. Despite their public support, the UAE could not risk displaying any mercy towards them, and a series of measures were taken to curtail their activities.

Fatwas were issued to the effect that it was un-Islamic to call people infidels or to incite people because it leads to violence and is contradictory to Islamic teachings. Secondly, preachers who did not abide by these regulations were secretly punished. Friday sermons were carefully written to deal only with theology. No politics were allowed from the pulpit. Measures to restrict Islamic fundamentalism increased to include nonreligious institutions.

Three UAE university professors, known for their conservative Islamic views, were banned from writing their weekly columns. The ban was not limited to the widely circulated al-Khaleej newspaper, but was extended to include all other UAE publications. This move was seen as a step towards clamping down on the activities of militant Islamic groups to prevent them from spreading their influence.

The measures taken by the UAE government were a response to what it regarded as a sign of the increasing strength of Muslim militancy. Almost immediately, elected and municipal councils were set up, intended to function as forums for democ racy.

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Even if they are marginal and cosmetic in nature, these steps represented a dramatic change for the Gulf monarchies. Although democracy required prerequisites that are scarce in the Arab Gulf, any imposition of democratic trappings is a radical step. Washington claims that incompetent militants using poor textbooks produced a wide circle of radicals and fanatics among the younger generation.

Moreover, the products of these educational systems are ill-prepared to deal with the outside world. This is, in part, true. Despite the heavy resources lavished upon them, critics maintained, the educational system failed its constituencies. Students were unable to compete in the technological age or global economy.

With gender inequalities especially pronounced, it was clear that the educational system had failed to produce positive results. Without implementing educational reform, economic prospects for the country seemed bleak. The Ministry of Education was fully aware of the deficiency within its system. September 11, , highlighted the urgency for such reforms.

Washington was so anxious to see these reforms implemented that the U. Congress authorized a commission to look into school textbooks in Saudi Arabia and what is taught to young children there. The commission issued a disturbing report that stated that the Saudis violated religious rights.

The report showed that official government textbooks published by the Ministry of Education included offensive and discriminatory language, and in some cases promoted intolerance and hatred of other religious groups. This step, it was claimed, would reduce the chance of making schools breeders of radicalism. Thus, in the spring of , the UAE Ministry of Education unveiled another plan to form local committees to oversee reforms. Their aim was to review school textbooks published by the government and eliminate any materials that might include offensive and discriminatory language.

Work on revising school curricula started in earnest, although this step was not welcomed by the public at large. In fact, it was regarded as a secular attempt by the government to foster an un-Islamic identity. Public criticism grew, but the Ministry of Education remained committed to its agenda. Civil society is important because it offers alternatives to autocratic rule and radicalism. By opening new space for local actors, positive developments might well be generated from the ground up. Yet political authority had never developed a sense of confidence in civil society or thought it was mature enough to play a positive social role.

The September 11 tragedy, however, changed this attitude. Strengthening civil society became a major priority for the government of the UAE. By giving the public the space where they could air differences and voice concerns, the government allowed society to strengthen vital institutions and draw people away from radicalism. The government was aware that this was a prime area in which to promote positive change. The United States was watching events in the Gulf with trepidation. It encouraged the Gulf states to strengthen civil society, and promised to provide help.

The United States believes that by supporting civil society in the Gulf, it is building reservoirs of goodwill. September 11 had an impact on the UAE economy as well.

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Oil prices held strong; business and consumer confidence were buoyant; much-discussed and keenly anticipated privatization programs had begun to gather pace; and the introduction of legislation aimed at attracting increased foreign investment was on track. Tourism, a sector the UAE, with its geographical diversity, is actively promoting, was among the first industries to be hit. Within days of the attacks the number of European and Western visitors had plummeted. Money flowed in and out with ease as the estimated three million expatriate workers transferred financial assets to their families, mainly on the Asian subcontinent.

Accusations that Muslim terrorist organizations have used the UAE as a hub to transfer money throughout the world flourished. These allegations hit the money market hard and discredited the UAE as a major financial center. They were fueled by the fact that one suspected al-Qaeda supporter was arrested in the UAE. Although he was immediately extradited to France, his case raised great concern about possible links between al-Qaeda and the UAE.

According to authorities in Abu Dhabi, Beghal confessed to having planned to bomb the U. UAE authorities, however, downplayed this link. Beghal is said to have made his confession after Emirati religious scholars convinced him that terrorism was against Islam. This ratio is the highest among core OPEC producers. Today each individual emirate is pursuing separate development strategies, based on natural resources.

Although the status of foreign immigrants has long been a subject of discussion among the United States, the United Nations and the Gulf states, it was never an urgent issue. In the past, Gulf states have placed strict limits on granting Palestinians citizenship. They attributed these restrictions to the nature of the tribal society, in which a person has to trace his or her lineage to a particular ancestor. In such surroundings, newcomers needed more than citizenship to be accepted into society.

Irrational naturalization would eventually alter the nature of Gulf societies. As the pressure on Gulf states to naturalize Palestinians rose, so did the complaints.

Post-9/11 Changes in the Gulf: The Case of the UAE | Middle East Policy Council

Nonetheless, hundreds of Palestinians who were living and working in the Gulf states were granted citizenship. The U. There is a growing awareness among Gulf elites that the presence of U. Gulf political elites, once known for their close relationships with the United States, are facing increasing difficulties in convincing their own citizens of the benefit of such close relationships.

The task is made harder when American policies towards Muslim and Arab causes remain unchanged, thus contributing much to the ill feeling towards Washington. Many predict a move towards more fanaticism, radicalism and anti-Americanism throughout the whole region. Gulf states are also aware that public support for the Palestinian cause will continue to be an obstacle towards normalizing relations with Washington.

The UAE shares with the rest of the Arab and Muslim world a concern for the plight of the stateless Palestinians, who lack the means to regain part of their homeland. In fact, the UAE does not hesitate to publicly criticize the American double standard towards the Middle East conflict. Despite the international shouting match over terrorism and its root causes, the UAE remains committed to its agenda for internal reforms.

There is a genuine belief among political elites that these reforms will help transform the lives of their subjects and work toward the betterment of society. Great public interest was exhibited towards participation in policy-making mechanisms, and political elites were quick to exploit this interest to further legitimatize their rule.

In Dubai, for instance, the newly formed Dubai Executive Council DEC decided to form district municipal councils, covering different areas in the emirate. This development has several implications. It indicates the expansion of public participation by providing citizens with a degree of meaningful collective control over public policy. It also indicates that Gulf societies have reached an appropriate level of development to support the process of democratization.

Being in the eye of the storm has helped UAE and other Gulf societies to push through extraordinary reforms and establish a more open society. In the last 30 years, the UAE has succeeded in becoming the model of a prosperous, stable and politically viable society. This success could be attributed mainly to its economic openness and international trade links, an adaptable political culture, abundant oil wealth, and a wise and well-counseled leadership, factors that have been the source of its economic and social comfort.

September 11 changed many dimensions of the close relationship between Gulf political elites and the United States as terrorism and counterterrorism became of great concern for both. The United States became more interested in a show of solidarity by its allies and friends. The Gulf monarchies, which initially aired their deeply felt differences with Washington, are now openly cooperating with the United States.

The campaign against terrorism means that Gulf states are being forced to make strategic calculations based on which way the American winds are blowing. The future of the area will be deter mined to a great extent by the interplay between internal and external factors, between regional stability and the ability to survive amidst these rapid changes, be tween geopolitical realties and external pressures from the West. To move forward along the desired path of modernization, the UAE will continue to concentrate on two main areas — further diversification away from oil dependency and increased democratization.

If all goes according to plan, the success of one will fuel success for the other. The others included Egyptians, Lebanese and some other nationalities. It is one of the few ship repair yards in the world designed to handle super tankers. Since it began operations in September , it has shown an impressive record of success.

Thus, the crisis that erupted in April over disputed islands in the Gulf seemed unexpected. They might interfere in the domestic affairs of the Emirates by calling on their nationals to claim their full rights, as expressed by the U. Human Rights Declaration, or to go on strike if state-to-state relations deteriorated.

Such steps would paralyze the whole country, which would be forced to do what those outside powers demand. City Council member Margaret Chin is mobilizing local support for an effort at the federal level to restore funding and make permanent the Victim Compensation Fund, which offers financial awards to responders and survivors of the terrorist attacks of September 11, The Memorial Glade acknowledges those whose illnesses and deaths have come years after the towers collapsed. Family members of World Trade Center recovery workers who died after digging through its smoldering ruins took part in dedication ceremony Thursday for a new section of the Sept.

May 30, , saw the Last Column reverently carried out from the World Trade Center site, marking the end of the recovery phase at Ground Zero. May 29, — silive. In the days and weeks following September 11, , an estimated , people were in lower Manhattan breathing in the deadly dust and debris. May 23, — northjersey. Clifton Fire Lt.

May 23, — silive. May 22, — NJ May 21, — Healio — High-intensity dust exposure linked to airway abnormalities in World Trade Center firefighters. May 18, — silive.

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May 18, — nj. We must help him, legislator says. When September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Special Master Rupa Bhattacharyya saw the ever-growing numbers of people felled by illnesses caused by exposure to the toxic air at the World Trade Center, she had no choice but to reduce the monetary awards, especially with the fund due to expire next year. A bill aimed at helping September 11th first responders has passed unanimously in the U.

Peripheral neuropathy can result from numerous conditions including metabolic disorders, inflammatory disease, or exposure to environmental or biological toxins. The workers who spent their time helping with recovery efforts at ground zero are being commemorated on special-issue transit system MetroCards. Starting on Wednesday, , of the limited-edition MetroCards will be available largely in stations near the World Trade Center.

The new names represent the largest addition to the Sept. May 9, — NCBI — Comparing life satisfaction and functioning 15 years after September 11, among survivors with and without injuries: a mixed-method study. Behind chain-link fences, just steps from the World Trade Center reflecting pools, teams of workers assemble a new memorial. Carolyn Maloney D-N. A special ceremony was held Monday to remember Washington-area law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. May 4, — northjersey. The World Trade Center Health Program WTCHP provides mental health services through diverse service delivery mechanisms, however there are no current benchmarks to evaluate utilization or quality.

April 28, — northjersey. The political bickering that consumes Washington, D. April 24, — Broadsheet — The Good Fight. Tomorrow Thursday, April 25 , Congressman Jerry Nadler, who represents Lower Manhattan in Washington, will host a public information session on the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund VCF , which recently announced massive cuts in awards, as a result of a shortfall in funds allocated to the program. April 23, — Asheville Area Alternative — Rev.

Frederic Bradford Burnham. The Rev. Keever Jr. We examined whether time to onset of paresthesia was associated with indicators of severity of World Trade Center WTC exposure. On Sept. As a citizen and in my official capacity as secretary of health for Louisiana, I have experienced both the World Trade Center terrorist attacks and the floods in South Louisiana.

John McArdle was about to retire, using up accrued paid time off when two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. April 19, — Andrew M. Cuomo — Statement from Governor Andrew M. September 11, was one of the darkest days in the long history of this state and this nation.

The Suffolk County Police Department will add three names to its police memorial in Yaphank on May 10 — our first line-of-duty World Trade Center-related cancer deaths. April 19, — centralmaine. In , a Republican House and a Republican Senate, working with a Democratic president, provided medical coverage and financial support to the heroes and victims of the terror attacks of Sept. April 15, — Carolyn B. Representatives Carolyn B. April 15, — northjersey. Under the arched ceilings of a majestic red-brick church where the stained glass windows bathed the sanctuary in a pastel glow, New York bid farewell on Friday to another firefighter who died in the line of duty.

The families can choose to pick up the newly identified remains. If relatives wish not to receive updates, the remnants are kept in a repository, according to Odien. Then there was the Staten Island man who was identified because he had been tangling with an aquarium-installation project the day before the tragedy.

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Some remains, however, will never be identified — either because the DNA has degraded too much or because about families have declined to provide DNA samples. Read Next. Success Academy touts its 'voluntary diversity'. This story has been shared , times. This story has been shared 44, times. This story has been shared 38, times. View author archive email the author follow on twitter Get author RSS feed.

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