The United Arab Emirates: "Americans Are Our Friends"

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November 3, 1991 | Go to article overview

The United Arab Emirates: "Americans Are Our Friends"


Even before leaving Qatar, we had encountered some young men from the United Arab Emirates who politely asked our nationality. Informed that we were Americans, they broke into smiles and exclaimed, "That's good. Americans are our friends."

Beguiled at this almost forgotten echo of the century that preceded the creation of Israel, we didn't ask whether this was a reaction to Desert Storm, which saved the UAE from eventual Iraqi attack almost as surely as it saved Kuwait, or whether it resulted from President Bush's victory over "the one thousand lobbyists on Capitol Hill." In fact, both battles are intimately related.

If the US had joined with its Arab friends to roll back the illegal Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and then continued to support the illegal Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, the US soon would have had no Arab friends left. Nor would some of those Arab rulers who joined the United Nations coalition have ruled much longer.

President Bush's action was essential to vindicate the Arab rulers of Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE as well as rulers of the many non-Arab Muslim states of Africa and Asia who joined the US-led coalition to liberate Arab Kuwait from Arab Iraq.

The young UAE government representative who meets us at the airport looks almost blank when we mention the smoke from Kuwaiti oil fields. His country, it seems, is now out of range. They've seen the smoke, but mostly shortly after the Iraqi withdrawal in which the oil wells were torched.

When we awake the next morning the sun is shining in a cloudless sky. The beaches that ring the island capital soon are full, as Abu Dhabi residents take advantage of the first days of fall when the air begins to cool enough to tempt people to leave their air-conditioned homes, and the water in numerous pools and the sea still is warm enough for pleasant swimming.

The United Arab Emirates, whose president is Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who also is ruler of Abu Dhabi, hosted both US Air Force and Naval personnel during the Gulf war. Being well out of range of Iraqi Scuds, however, and with the population centers in its seven associated emirates widely dispersed, it seemed less traumatized by the event than its Gulf neighbors. Its armed forces participated, on land, sea and in the air, but this September its officials seem more interested in talking about the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, with transactions worldwide of more than $1 billion daily, BCCI's management was largely Pakistani. Its charismatic Pakistani director had first come to Abu Dhabi in affiliation with the Bank of America, an association that ended many years ago. The appeal of BCCI, founded in 1972, to Muslim depositors was that of "Islamic banking," designed to comply with the Qur'anic injunction against usury--collecting interest on capital.

It was only in May 1990, however, that Sheikh Zayed was persuaded to invest sufficient state and personal funds in the bank to give Abu Dhabi a 77 percent ownership of BCCI. Bank officials told him that, although they had become the fastest-growing bank in the world, and certainly the largest Third World financial institution, they were in deep but temporary financial trouble. His intervention, they assured him, would protect jobs and economic development throughout the Third World, and the savings of Muslim depositors.

After assuming financial responsibility, Abu Dhabi authorities sought Bank of England approval for restructuring BCCI with three separate banks based in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and London. The plan envisioned dismissing top BCCI managers and closing down many international operations.

No one, therefore, was more stunned than Abu Dhabi authorities at the July 5 Bank of England closure of BCCI in England, thereby putting at risk BCCI operations in 72 countries. One by one, officials in other countries have closed these down, freezing the accounts of small depositors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The United Arab Emirates: "Americans Are Our Friends"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.