Poverty in the Middle East

May 2017
6
New Jersey
What would you think it would take for the poor middle eastern economies to become rising world contributors each year?
 
Last edited:
Jan 2016
611
United States, MO
Are there any particular countries you have in mind? I mean UAE and Saudi Arabia are not exactly poor countries.
 
Apr 2017
750
Lemuria
Are there any particular countries you have in mind? I mean UAE and Saudi Arabia are not exactly poor countries.
Saudi Arabia has a GDP per capita of only 20k. It's PPP is high but since the country trade a lot this means GDP is more significant. Saudi Arabia economy is undeveloped except for the petroleum sector. That country is basically a time bomb. It has squandered the capital from the oil boom. Saudi Arabia has a very weak economy actually.
The only thing keeping that country from becoming like Yemen is that it has a resource rich countries want.
 
Jan 2013
48
They probably have to become more pragmatic and less religious and ritualistic. Travelers to Saudi Arabia have reported on how the five prayers per day really disrupt business life, because the business must close for 30 minutes to an hour each prayer as workers go to pray and then go back. Sharia law also bars interest-bearing loans. They do find workarounds, but it is still a hinderance. They basically need to become more like the Chinese.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,675
Europix
Are there any particular countries you have in mind? I mean UAE and Saudi Arabia are not exactly poor countries.
Only that it's plenty of poor people living in a rich country …

I agree it's a time bomb: the incomes weren't invested in insuring a future without oil.
 
Jun 2012
1,780
chandigarh
Saudi Arabia has a GDP per capita of only 20k. It's PPP is high but since the country trade a lot this means GDP is more significant. Saudi Arabia economy is undeveloped except for the petroleum sector. That country is basically a time bomb. It has squandered the capital from the oil boom. Saudi Arabia has a very weak economy actually.
The only thing keeping that country from becoming like Yemen is that it has a resource rich countries want.
comparing GDP per capita without PPP does'nt make sense. If you really want to look at how well off people are in a region you need to take into account how much they pay for stuff too.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,224
Lisbon, Portugal
They probably have to become more pragmatic and less religious and ritualistic. Travelers to Saudi Arabia have reported on how the five prayers per day really disrupt business life, because the business must close for 30 minutes to an hour each prayer as workers go to pray and then go back. Sharia law also bars interest-bearing loans. They do find workarounds, but it is still a hinderance. They basically need to become more like the Chinese.
They tried to become less religious and ritualistic during the 20th century and it was an utter failure, their countries didn't became more prosperous because of it.

People around this thread keep always espousing the argument that the Middle East should try secularism and religion is the cause of all evils in their respective societies, by the thing is, they already tried the secularist alternative, and they utterly failed to deliver on their promises, and that's precisely why Islamism is a popular ideology in the Middle East.
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,733
Secularism that was attempted made so many compromises and faced hostility from all sides and had uneven leadership. No surprise it 'failed' though I can't see how Islamism has succeeded, if anything its worse now than in the 1950s in many places.

Education and relaxing of some traditions seem the only way forward. Alot of what is custom isn't strictly from the Quran or even Hadith or found in words of the Sahaba.

Still even if education at a high level started immediately its already too late for 2 or 3 generations. Many countries have nearly 70% of their population under the age of 30 and most of those still have women bearing nearly 3 children each which means population growth is unlikely to slow hugely which is particularly sensitive because most of this region is relatively resource poor. Wars and migrations seem sure to continue for the next 30-50 years which doesn't bode well for stable economies though there are spots of relative stability.
 

robto

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,224
Lisbon, Portugal
Secularism that was attempted made so many compromises and faced hostility from all sides and had uneven leadership. No surprise it 'failed' though I can't see how Islamism has succeeded, if anything its worse now than in the 1950s in many places.
But the thing is, the most religious observant and the most sharia-law abiding nations in the Middle East - KSA, EAU, Qatar, Iran - seem to be among the most prosperous and the most stable, both politically, economically and socially. Whereas the ones that had the most secularist regimes seem to be embroiled on revolutions, civil wars, stagnated economies, etc, etc.

Of course that the success of the Gulf countries and the relative success of Iran had nothing to do with Islamism - in other words, they developed despite of Islamism, not because of it.
But I think the average Muslim in the Middle East doesn't see things that way, I think they see countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran as examples to follow.

But of course, I really want to think that the ISIS blunder and chaos would make Muslims see that fanatic Islamism and Jihadism is a failed ideology and should not be copied. ISIS Jihadist ideology is both morally abhorrent and completely ineffective to create a prosperous and stable society. Afghanistan under the Taliban has already proved to the world of how a failure and evil that type of ideology is.
But the thing is, there are many forms of Islamism and not all of them are like ISIS. We have the Erdogan's form of Islamism for example, and that brand seems quite popular among the educated Muslim elite.

Education and relaxing of some traditions seem the only way forward. Alot of what is custom isn't strictly from the Quran or even Hadith or found in words of the Sahaba.

Still even if education at a high level started immediately its already too late for 2 or 3 generations. Many countries have nearly 70% of their population under the age of 30 and most of those still have women bearing nearly 3 children each which means population growth is unlikely to slow hugely which is particularly sensitive because most of this region is relatively resource poor. Wars and migrations seem sure to continue for the next 30-50 years which doesn't bode well for stable economies though there are spots of relative stability.
But we see a curious trend in the Middle East - the more educated a population is, the more they tend to support Islamism... This is a more complex issue besides education....