The Arabs Are Coming, the Arabs Are Coming

This just in: General Electric and the government of Abu Dhabi announced an $8 billion joint venture for commercial finance in the Middle East. Through Abu Dhabi’s investment arm Mubadala, the emirate will contribute $4 billion and GE the other $4 billion, growing to $40 billion in the coming years, with the aim of supporting various energy and infrastructure projects in the region, including an aggressive plan to sponsor green, clean and sustainable water and energy plants. As part of that, the fund will support several projects in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, a utopian project to build a carbon-neutral city in the desert.

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The Middle East: Lots of Violence, Not Much Economic Reform

Fifty years ago, the world was plunged into crisis when Egypt’s President Gemal Abd al-Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal in an act of defiance against France and England and an assertion of Egyptian independence in the face of the economic and military strength of the West. The resulting Suez crisis saw the humbling of England and France, the isolation of Israel, and the firm determination of U.S President Dwight Eisenhower not to allow the old powers of Europe to retain their hold over their former colonies in the Middle East.

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