My friend Sharif and I have a (perhaps unhealthy) infatuation with the League of Arab States. In some ways we can’t let the pan-Arabist in us die, despite a really lame official website. I have always wanted to show up at a rally proudly waving the flag of The League, or put one on my wall at home (of course I think there are maybe 3 are in existence and they are quite ugly).
We would stay up late into the night puffing on narghiles playing backgammon and scheming of ways to bring the “ideals” of The League to fruition. We quickly agreed that the best way for the League to gain power was through expansion and quickly started looking for possible additions. With the bar for “Arabness” being rather low (Somalia, Djibouti and Comores Islands anyone?) we identified many possibilities. By the end of our discussion a good bit of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas had been swept into a glorious union through some tenuous link or another with the Arab world. We always thought that if the Gulf States would give out a little subsidized oil, Malta would surely join The League. And how awesome would that be?
Sharif and I had to hold back the tears as Eritrea was denied membership due to a land dispute with Yemen. The risk was too great that an armed conflict might happen over the tiny islands in the Red Sea, which would activate the mutual defense clause the charter of The league of Arab States. If both countries were members of The League this would obviously present a huge problem, and as we know the mutual defense pact has been copiously adhered too.
Recently I was overjoyed to learn that not only was Eritrea being considered for “observer status,” but so was Iran, Turkey and Ethiopia. Chad has already attained this coveted position as the worlds countries rush to align themselves with perhaps the only legitimate inter-governmental organization left. Unfortunately, the short-sighted delegations of Sudan and UAE have raised objections to some of these countries.