ملک عبدالله فقط پادشاه عرب نبود بلکه پیامبرترقی وتحول درمنطقه بود

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ملک عبدالله اولین دانشگاه  دختران، دانشگاه ” شاهزاده نورا”، را که اولین، در عربستان و احتمالاً بزرگترین، در دنیاست را تأسیس کرد که ظرفیت آن ۴۰٫۰۰۰ دانشجو میباشد و بسیاری دانشجویان خارجی هم در آنجا تحصیل میکنند. چه دانشجویان دانشگاه علوم و تکنولوژی و چه  دانشگاه دختران از تضمین شغلی پس از تحصیلی برخوردارند و تمام هزینه تحصیلی هم از سوی دولت تأمین میگردد.

رهبر آنها و رهبر ما

بامداد دیروز جمعه ۲۳ ژانویه ملک عبدلله بن عزیز پادشاه عربستان در سن ۹۲ سالگی درگذشت. در مراسم ختم او تقریباً همه سران دولتهای بزرگ و معتبر دنیا شرکت میکنند. اوباما سفر خود را به هند نیمه کاره میگذارد تا در ریاض در این مراسم شرکت و با پادشاه جدید آن کشور ملک سلمان بن عبدل عزیز دیدار کند .پرنس چارلز به نمایندگی از سوی ملکه الیزابت  در این مراسم شرکت خواهد جست .در قاهره یک هفته و در اردن یک ماه مراسم سوگواری ملی اعلام شده است. رئیس جمهور افغانستان اشرف غنی، محمود عباس رئیس جمهور فلسطین، طیب اردوغان،  دیمتری مدودیف، رئیس جمهور فرانسه هولانده و بانکی مون دبیرکل سازمان ملل، از جمله شرکت کنندگان این مراسم خواهند بود. بیشک این مراسم به یکی از بزرگترین تجمع رهبران سیاسی دنیا در چند دهه گذشته و در حد مراسم نلسون ماندلا مبدل خواهد شد. تمامی پیامهایی که بمناسبت در گذشت ملک عبدالله به ریاض و پادشاه جدید  آن؛ ملک سلمان ارسال شده است به  شخصیت برجسته، رهبربیت قابل ستایش (Leadership) و نقشِ صلح و ثبات آفرین ملک عبدلله در منطقه اشاره کرده اند.

از جناحهای حکومتی خودمان که همواره با توهین و اهانت  از این شخصیت بزرگ سیاسی و حتی تاریخی منطقه نام برده و میبرند بگذریم، زمانی که مدعیان اصلاح طلبی  در مملکت ما برای محمد مرسی اسلامگرای، عرض حال نویسی** میکردند و در تصوراین بودند که چهره بزرگ اسلامِ ناب درعرصه سیاست منطقه  ظهور کرده است و فرجی برای گفتمان زمینگیر شده آنانست، و هنگامیکه طیب اردوغان رهبر کراوات پوش ولی تا عمقِ وجود؛ دینگرا و “دین کاسبِ”  سیاسی از اخوان المسلیمن و سلفیستهای مصری و تونسی و لیبیایی حمایت میکردند، این پادشاه روشن بین و مترقی از جنبش مدنی و سیاسی مردم مصر،علیه اسلامگرایی حمایت کرد و نه در حرف، بلکه با کمک ۱۸ میلیارد دلاری به دولت پسا مرسی و حمایت عملی از قیام مردم مصر عیله اخوان المسلمین. ملک عبدالله در برابر سکتاریانیسم( فرقه گرایی) شیعی عراق که مانند ایران دست به سرقت قیام مردم عراق علیه صدام زده بودند ایستاد، بدون اینکه در کنار تروریسم و القاعده  که آنها هم با حکومت انحصاری شیعی میجنگیدند قرار گیرد. شاه عبدالله  بن عزیز،علیه رژیمِ تا مغز استخوان فاسد و رشوه خوارِ نوری المالکی، در کنار جریانات مترقی و سکولارعراق ایستاد.

از شمال آفریقا تا یمن، جایی نبود که این پادشاه خردمند و مترقی، از جریانات ضد اسلاگرایی و ضد تروریسم اسلامی حامیت نکند. عربستان سعودی تحت رهبری این شخصیت بزرگ تاریخی به سنگر ضد بنیاد گرایی و فرقه گرایی دینی و ترورسیم، اسلامگرایی، بنیاد گرایی شیعی  تبدیل گردید.

ملک عبدالله در کشور خود نیز تا آن میزان که جامعه قبیله ـ عشیره ایی و سنتی عربستان اجازه میداد، به اصلاحات سیاسی،فرهنگی و اجتماعی دست زد. به تشویق غیر مستقیم او زنان و پشتیبانی مستقیم وی جوان برای زیر و رو کردن روابط سنتی جامعه عربستان در عرصه های مختلف اجتماعی و سیاسی فعال شدند. او تا آنجا که ممکن بود راه مشارکت سیاسی زنان را در امورسیاسی کشور با تعین سهمیه برای نمایندگان آنان  در شورای مشورتی حکومتی  باز کرد.

آخرین گام بزرگ او شکستن ستون فقرات استبداد برخاسته از دلار نفتی بود که پس لرزه های آن از تهران تا مسکو را به لرزه افکنده است.

مانوئل المیدا*** نویسنده، محقق و متخصص امور خاور میانه، در یاداشتی؛ از سیاست ملک عبدالله و شخص او بعنوان ” انقلاب مداوم ملک عبدالله” نام میبرد و از گامهای بزرگ او در دگرگون کردن جامعه عربستان سخن میگوید. المیدا مینویسد که عربستان در سال گذشته رکورد اختصاص بودجه به تعلیم و تربیت و آموزش عالی را با ۵۶ میلیارد دلار در جهان شکست که  ۲۵% بودجه عربستان بود. در زمان بوش پسر،ملک عبدالله قراردادی با وی امضاء کرد که اعزام دانشجویان عربستانی را به دانشگاههای آمریکا تسهیل میکرد. پس از امضای آن قرارداد، اعزام دانشجویان عربستانی با ۵۰۰۰ نفر شروع  شد که در ادامه این سیاست،  اینک تعداد دانشجویان مشغول به تحصیل در خارج از کشوربه ۱۳۰٫۰۰۰ رسیده است که همگی به هزینه دولت تحصیل میکنند. ملک عبدالله دانشگاه علوم و تکنولوژی  را ساخت که  نخستین دانشگاه مختلط  درعربستان میباشد  ودر آن بسیاری دانشجویان خارجی هم تحصیل میکنند.

King Abdullah’s University for Science and Technology (KAUST)

ملک عبدالله اولین دانشگاه  دختران، دانشگاه ” شاهزاده نورا”، را که اولین، در عربستان و احتمالاً بزرگترین، در دنیاست را تأسیس کرد که ظرفیت آن ۴۰٫۰۰۰ دانشجو میباشد و بسیاری دانشجویان خارجی هم در آنجا تحصیل میکنند. چه دانشجویان دانشگاه علوم و تکنولوژی و چه  دانشگاه دختران از تضمین شغلی پس از تحصیلی برخوردارند و تمام هزینه تحصیلی هم از سوی دولت تأمین میگردد.

در پایان اضافه کنم که عربستان، امارات متحده عربی  و مصراز نظر سرمایه گزاری در زمینه تولید انرژی سبز( انرژی بادی و خورشیدی ) در ردیف های نخست در جهان قرار دارند.( و شاید در این زمینه یدادشتی بنویسم .)

در لحظه اتمام این یادداشت اِ ـ میلی* از یکی از دوستان گرفتم که قطعاً  او نمیداند در آن لحظه، مشغول نوشتن چنین یاداشتی هستم . عنوان ای میل او: ” قبر ملک ملک عبدالله و قبر خمینی” با دو عکس ضمیمه است . اِ  ـ میلی بسیار گویا و دو عکسی که معنا و رسایی آن کمتر این این یادداشت دو صفحه ایی من نیست. عکسها را با دقت ببینید!

من بسهم خود، دستاورد های امروز و فردای منطقه را در زمینه ترقی و دموکراسی و نجات از فرقه گرایی دینی مدیون این شخصیت برجسته و رهبر سیاسی میدانم و درود خود را نثار روح او. یادش جاودان باد!

*

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/01/23/Simple-burial-for-late-Saudi-king-Abdullah.html

Khomeini_Mausoleum

King Abdolah

**

در آغاز روی کار آمدن مرسی که خیز استقرار حکومتی شبیه جمهوری اسلامی ما را کرده بود اقای تاج زاده یک نامه بسیار ستایش انگیز برای وی نوشت و تمام رسانه ای اصلاح طلب و سبز هم  به تحسین حکومت اخوان در مصر پرداختند. پس از سرنگونی اسلامگرایان و رژیم مُرسی هم به فریاد افتادند که :” این وای! دموکراسی در مصر از بین رفت!” بدون اینکه به آرای آن ۳۰ میلیونی نفری که زیر طومار جنبش تمرد علیه اسلامگرایان امضاء انداخته و علیه اخوان و مرسی بخیابان ها آمده بودند توجه کنند.

***

King Abdullah’s sustainable revolution

While a few facts and figures can hardly provide a complete idea about King Abdullah’s rule of Saudi Arabia, the country’s budget for 2014 offers an indication of what is likely to be his most important legacy: 25 percent of the budget (56 billion U.S. dollars) spent on education last year alone.

An avid reader and a keen traveler, King Abdullah became the de facto regent of the country on January 1996, after his half-brother King Fahd suffered a stroke in November of the previous year that left him physically debilitated. King Abdullah assumed the throne in 2005, the same year that the first municipal elections since 1960 were held.

Among his initiatives in his first year as official ruler was the launch of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program. It started with an agreement he made with George W. Bush during his visit in April 2005 to the U.S. President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, to increase the number of Saudis studying in the U.S.

This agreement has more significance when put against the backdrop of 9/11 and its aftermath. The fact that the majority of the perpetrators of the attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were Saudi nationals had opened a wound in the key relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Having young Saudis living and studying in the U.S. was, in King Abdullah’s perspective, a chance for Saudi and American youth to tackle some pre-conceptions on both sides.

Education reform
The scholarship program, opened to undergraduate, masters and PhD students, covers full tuition fees, plus healthcare and a living allowance. It started with 15.000 students going abroad in its first year. In 2013, there were more than 130,000 Saudis studying abroad with scholarships from the program, the majority in the U.S. and 20 percent of them young women. The program was also extended to support local students looking to pursue their studies within Saudi Arabia but having to move to another city to do so.

The greatest merit of King Abdullah was both to understand the pressing need for reform in the kingdom

Manuel Almeida
If these numbers do not raise the eyebrows of those unfamiliar with Saudi Arabia or looking at it from a Western perspective, consider that a little more than a decade ago it was unthinkable for many Saudi families to send their kids abroad to study especially at undergraduate level. It was not only, perhaps not even mainly, a financial issue. For the conservative mentality and traditionally strong family values of the great of majority of Saudis, it was a revolutionary thing that many did not see with positive eyes.

Saudi Arabia has a very young population. Approximately 60 percent is under 25 years old. Foreign economists and some local ones often pointed out that one of the flaws of the Saudi education system was the shortage of high-skilled workers the Saudi economy desperately needed. Another one was the absence of women from the workforce.

The education reforms were seen simultaneously as a key economic measure to tackle the kingdom’s over-reliance on oil, and the way to provide young Saudi men and women with the intellectual and practical tools to meet the demands of the modern world.

The bold education reforms were not limited to the ever expanding scholarship scheme. Big changes were also introduced with the evaluation of schools and teachers and at the curricular level, with many natural and social sciences that came to balance the dominance of religious teaching.

A look at the exponential growth of schools and universities provides an idea of how fast things were implemented. In all of Saudi Arabia’s major cities, there were 15 public universities and 5 private ones in 2005. Last year, the number had gone up to 25 public and 33 private ones.

Most prominent among the new universities is King Abdullah’s University for Science and Technology (KAUST) some eighty kilometers north of Jeddah, the first mixed gender university also with many foreign students, and Princess Noura University in Riyadh, probably the world’s largest university for women with over 40.000 female students.

This investment is already showing results. Since then in most years, more women than men enrolled in university. If in 2010 there were 55,000 women with full time jobs in the kingdom, that number had already reached 216,000 only two years later.

The greatest merit of King Abdullah was both to understand the pressing need for reform in the kingdom, and to be able to identify the vehicle that could deliver that change in a way and a pace that the majority of Saudis could assimilate. For what is known of his successor, this legacy of King Abdullah will not only be valued but build upon by King Salman.

_________
Manuel Almeida is a writer, researcher and consultant on the Middle East. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London of Economics and Political Science and was an editor at Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He can be reached on @_ManuelAlmeida on Twitter.

Obama heads to Saudi Arabia to meet new king

Reuters

24 Jan

U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to meet its new King Salman after the death of his predecessor Abdullah on Friday, testimony to Riyadh’s important role in energy markets and the fight against Islamist militancy.

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito will visit on Saturday and Sunday to offer condolences.

Obama will cut short a visit to India to pay his respects instead of Vice President Joe Biden, who had been scheduled to fly in from Washington, the White House said on Saturday.

Muslim leaders paid their respects on Friday at Abdullah’s funeral in Riyadh.

Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Fayez Nureldine | AFP | Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Some international human rights groups, meanwhile, have called on Western leaders to condemn Saudi Arabia’s record of crushing dissent and depriving women and foreign workers of rights instead of praising its late king.

Read MoreIt’s downhill for US after Saudi king dies: Experts

Salman takes charge in Saudi Arabia at a time of deep uncertainty in the kingdom, surrounded by a region in tumult and nervous about both Iranian influence and the spread of Islamist militants.

The kingdom’s role in orchestrating Arab support for joint action with Western countries against the Islamic State group has won praise in Washington, while its role as biggest oil exporter is particularly important at this time of market instability.

Saudi jets have bombed IS targets in Syria, its top clerics have issued repeated denunciations of the militant group despite similarities between its ideology and Wahhabism, and the police have detained thousands of militant suspects in the past decade.

Salman pledged on Friday to maintain the kingdom’s policies and kept most of Abdullah’s cabinet, including the oil, finance and foreign affairs ministers, in place.

Read MoreAlwaleed: No more $100 oil, but we won’t blink

Western countries also value the kingdom as an important market for their defence industries and Salman quickly moved to appoint his son Prince Mohammed, 35, as his own successor as Defence Minister, responsible for big arms contracts.

Saudi Arabia observes no official period of mourning, in keeping with the ascetic traditions of its official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam, but the royal court has announced that it will receive condolences and pledges of allegiance until Sunday.

Late on Friday state television showed princes, Wahhabi clerics, tribal chiefs, military leaders, major businessmen and other dignitaries crowding the royal palace to kiss King Salman’s shoulder or hand.

The king’s rapid appointments of half-brother Muqrin, 69, as Crown Prince and nephew Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, as Deputy Crown Prince, appeared to resolve for many years to come speculation that succession disputes might destabilize the ruling family.

Essay contest billed as tribute to ‘life and leadership’ of Saudi king Abdullah

The Gaurdin

Competition will be hosted by the National Defense University and seek to foster ‘scholarly research’ on US national security interests in Arab and Muslim world

book of condolence king abdullah
 A message written by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in the book of condolence for the late King of Saudi Arabia on Monday in New York City. Photograph: Handout/Getty Images

 in New York

@rayajalabi

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a “man of remarkable character and courage” according to some, will be honored by his US military admirers – with an essay competition.

The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Martin Dempsey, announced on Monday the creation of a research and essay competition, to be hosted by the National Defense University. The competition will seek to foster “scholarly research on the Arab-Muslim world”, Dempsey said in a statement.

Billed as a fitting tribute to the “life and leadership” of the Saudi monarch, the competition and award was the brainchild of General Dempsey himself.

“General Dempsey saw this as a good opportunity to honor a key Arab partner,” said Richard Osial, the spokesman for the joint chiefs of staff. “He had a personal relationship with the king, this was somebody he knew; General Dempsey and his wife both lived in Saudi Arabia.”

The essay competition is the latest act of flattery directed towards the kingdom and the reigning al-Sauds in recent days by the US, echoing the heavy praise heaped on the deceased 90-year-old monarch by western leaders. British prime minister David Cameron praised Abdullah for his “commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths”, as US secretary of state John Kerry called him a “man of wisdom and vision”. IMF head Christine Lagarde even called Abdullah a “strong advocate for women”.

President Barack Obama, who will shorten his trip to India and divert to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects to the leader of the US’s staunchest Arab ally, saluted the king’s commitment to maintaining close ties with the US, offering effusive condolences. “As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions,” Obama said in a statement.

Praise for the king’s courage was echoed by Dempsey, who called the leader “a man of remarkable character and courage”. He first met Abdullah in 2001, when he was serving as US advisor to the Saudi Arabian national guard.

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In a string of fawning obituaries, the king has been described as a “reformer” and “modernist”, despite the country’s atrocious record on human rights under his reign.

“Any evaluation of the king’s reign should consider what happens from a human rights perspective,” said Adam Coogle, a Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. “There’s been a lot of eulogizing of the king, and certainly for the department of defence he was a great ally, but we should remember what actually took place during his reign.”

Abdullah’s reign saw a general crackdown on all forms of domestic criticism, epitomized by the flogging of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi; a continuation of the guardianship system which gives women an almost absolute lack of independent rights; and mass campaigns of arrests and deportations of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who reported abuse by Saudi authorities.

But praise for the king from the Obama administration is “the least surprising thing in the last year”, Coogle said. “The US has always been incredibly reluctant to criticise the KSA; and while [the US administration] certainly understands and knows what is going on in the kingdom, the US just privileges economic and regional security concerns and puts human rights on the back of the line. It’s pretty much par for the course.”

The competition will be administered during the upcoming academic year at NDU and will be open to all students. The competition will likely have a broad focus, and will call for an examination of US national security interests in the Arab and Muslim world, according to the Mark Phillips, a communications officer at NDU.

More details on the competition were not yet available. But several Twitter users started a hashtag to highlight the absurdity of the competition, using #KingAbdullahEssays.

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