Arab Summit = Long Weekend

The best part about the coming Arab leaders summit in Riyadh is that the government have decided to give students and employees two days off in order to ensure the smoothness of traffic in the city as some major roads are to be blocked.

Now coming to my expectations of the summit, I would say “not much.” I mean it would be great if our leaders could do something about the political deadlock in Lebanon and the civil war in Iraq, but this seems very unlikely to happen, despite the speculations about a Saudi package engineered by Arabia’s Kissinger. The situation is all too similar to the latest GCC leaders summit: big speeches and big ambitions, but nothing that actually touches the lives of citizens or something they would look forward to.

Most probably I would be leaving Riyadh to enjoy the long weekend in Bahrain or to spend some time with family and friends in my hometown.

10 thoughts on “Arab Summit = Long Weekend

  1. I don’t know if I would necessarily agree with your expectations in regards to the summit of “not much.” I think that Saudi Arabia is beginning to emerge from the background of world negiations and events and be a “real player.” I believe we are entering a new era in which Saudi Arabia as a negotiator and peacemaker will feature prominently. However, we do agree that for those who can, this is indeed an ideal time to get out of Riyadh!
    -American Bedu

  2. Ha Ha Ahmed…just call me a “summit widow” this weekend since my spouse is one of the few who is working! So I’ll be taking it easy in Riyadh and watching the events unfold on tv!


  3. Dear Ahmed

    I was surprised to read one of the commentators that said exactly what was on my mind!!

    Yes, this is not a regular Arab Summit, and I was disagreeing with a lot of people for not noticing the new role of Saudi to be a real player in the Arab world. Wither it succeeds in that or fails that’s another mater, what’s important that it’s trying.

    I agree with you also in that the Arab Initiative will be the main concern in this summit.

  4. I would really like this summit to be held in Khobar instead of Riyadh, at least we will have “a long weekend”..not only in Riyadh which is unfair at all..
    this summit is just like the previous and following ones, meeting to eat and chat, that’s all…

  5. Does anyone forget that the Saudis made this same offer to the Israelis some 20 years ago?

    It will go as far this time as it did last time. I dont think the Arab regimes have any more interest in settling this than Israel or the USA does.

    Think about it, who will they blame for their repression and lack of civil and human rights if they dont have Israel/US to blame?

  6. Regardless of the importance of the summit I would like to draw your attention to the fact that just in order to avoid traffic jams the Government has decided to give a long weekend to public employees and schools. Can you imagine the cost in lost working hours for the country? And what about the loss of productivity? Is it wise to do something like that just because of the traffic jams?

  7. Directed to Crispal: The long weekend was not proposed simply to avoid traffic jams but to further enhance security and logistics given all the dignitaries who are descending upon Riyadh in such a compressed time period. Yes; you make valid points about loss of revenue and profits but I think all will surely agree that noone wants to see any opportunity for an incident of any kind to happen in Riyadh during the Summit. This is the Kingdom’s time to shine and as I said when earlier starting my comments as anonymous, I am optimistic on the outcome of this summit and do not believe it will “lots of talk and food and little action.”

  8. I think this summit was unique for two reasons:
    1. It solidified Saudi Arabia’s role as the newest major mid-east mediator, a role that was traditionally Egypt’s.

    2. The Saudi Peace Initiative is revisited. The first time it was offered a few years ago the political climate wasn’t quite right. Its not exactly perfect right now but, I think, much better. Even Israel has expressed a reserved interest in the offer.

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