ayoon wa azan i hope that he will be honoured as he deserves
Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Last Updated : GMT 13:26:15
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Ayoon wa Azan (I hope that he will be honoured as he deserves)

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ayoon wa azan i hope that he will be honoured as he deserves

Jihad el-Khazen

I once nominated Professor Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the World Economic Forum, for the Nobel Peace Prize. I still do. Today I ask the Municipal Council of the Swiss ski resort Davos to name a square after the good professor with a statue of him in the middle, as he remains committed to improving the state of the world. For one week every year, usually the last week of January, a backwater ski resort becomes capital of the world with the international media giving it daily yards of coverage and hours of transmission. Scores of heads of state and government, ministers, academics and artists of all kind descend on Davos, creating an atmosphere similar to that of the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting in September every year. Last year, about mid-February, I went with my daughter for a weekend of skiing in St Moritz. I suggested to her that we pass through nearby Davos to show her the town I have been visiting once a year for the past twenty years. I was surprised that the town I know as hub of the world has gone back to being a minor ski resort with a few visitors in its beautiful Promenade. The week of the WEF in Davos must represent half the economy of the town, or the equivalent of the other 51 weeks of the year. This is why I insist that Davos reward its adopted son with a square and a statue. I will be the first contributor to the project. This year the theme of the meeting was Resilient Dynamism. The atmosphere was positive, certainly better than the tensions following the financial crisis of 2008. Participants felt the worst was over and I attended sessions about China Growth Context, Global Energy, Latin America, G-20 Outlook, Eurozone Crisis, as well as several sessions on Arab affairs. A session for Nobel prize laureates was made up almost exclusively of economy prize winners. There were sessions about women, young people, values and art. I even attended a session on the Happiness Index. More seriously, I heard speeches by King Abdullah of Jordan, British Prime Minister David Cameron who wants a referendum of his people on whether to stay in the European Union, German Chancellor Angela Merkel who criticized Japan’s monetary policy and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde who warned one and all against thinking the international financial crisis is over. Ehud Barak spoke, but I did not attend his session. While Arab sessions were fewer than our golden age of the nineties, there were many Arab friends. I saw Abdullah Al Dardari on the first day and lost him afterwards. He was Bureau Chief of Al Hayat in Damascus and later Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy. I was happy to join my old friend Amr Mousa throughout the days of the conference. His wife, Layla, accompanied him and we were joined by Mrs May Mikati, wife of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati. She is my favourite neighbour in Beirut and together we tried to convince Mrs Layla Mousa to visit us in Lebanon. She accepted our invitation. My family away from my immediate family includes many participants in the meeting. I call them brothers and sisters, Jamil El Khazen and his wife Carol, Samir Lahoud and his wife Laura, Emirates Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad Al Gergawi and his wife Mona, Arab businessmen Hamza El Kholi, Shafiq Jabr, Amr Al Dabbagh, Khaled Al Juffali who was accompanied by his wife Ulfat Al Mutlak, Ayman Asfari and his wife Sawsan, Ahmad Haikal and his wife May, Mrs Hind Khouri, the former Palestinian envoy in Paris. My friend Ibrahim Dabdoub, Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Kuwait, was there for one day then disappeared. I hate to be that busy. The leading Arab businessman Samer Khouri, President of CCC, invited over a hundred Arab and foreign participants to a dinner which included 10 speeches. This is unfair even if the dinner menu was solely foie gras and beluga caviar. It was another highly successful annual meeting of the WEF. I thank Professor Schwab and hope that he will be honoured as he deserves. --- The views expressed by the author do not necessarily represent or reflect the editorial policy of Arabstoday.  

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ayoon wa azan i hope that he will be honoured as he deserves ayoon wa azan i hope that he will be honoured as he deserves

 



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