Nobel Prize and Democracy: a Saudi King, a Gulf Banana, and a Good Lebanese Singer………..


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“Many Saudis have started to cast votes on a website to nominate King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Website has asked people from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) to nominate the person whom they think most deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, with King Abdullah currently receiving more than 100,000 votes, which is more than any other candidate. Five nominees have been chosen from different MEA countries: King Abdullah, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Misned, Chairman of Qatar’s Board of Education, Science and Community Development and the wife of the Emir of Qatar; Dr. Albert Dagher, Professor of Economics at Lebanese University; Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, and Majeda Al-Roumi, well-known Lebanese singer who has recorded many popular songs on the theme of peace. Many Saudis and non-Saudis have sent e-mails to their friends asking them to vote for King Abdullah, and a number of Internet forums have posted links and have invited people to vote for him…………….”

So most Saudis split their votes for the Nobel Prize between King Abdullah, a Lebanese singer, and the wife of the Emir of Qatar. Clearly they go for ‘looks’, or maybe entertainment, rather than knowledge and wisdom.
Based on this I now believe that the Saudi people are absolutely not ready for democracy and probably will not be for another generation. Speaking of Shaikha Mozah: I believe this is the first and only time a banana, even a ripe one, was nominated for a Nobel Prize. If I had to choose among those three, I’d choose Majda Al Roumi: she has a great voice and is highly entertaining, besides looking good (which is why all these Saudi men voted for her rather than their king). Besides, Lebanon has not had a Nobel Prize winner yet and is unlikely to have one anytime soon (especially now that Hariri has emigrated to Riyadh, the Bulgarians are helping the Israelis deny Nasrallah the prize, and Jumblatt seems still stoned out of his head).
I would have thought most Saudis would vote for the chubby shaikh (now self-appointed king) of Bahrain or maybe his ancient but nastier uncle Khalifa Bin Technocrat Al StickyFingers. But that is okay, some Europeans are nominating the next best thing in Bahrain: the Al-Khawaja family. (No, those Euros I mentioned are not David Cameron or William J Hague bin Yoda). As for the king of Arabia, nothing personal but I wouldn’t nominate him for a dogcatcher in Najran.