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Discuss why there has been such a lack of economic integration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Do you think that the lack of integration is a result of MENA nations noninvolvement with the World Trade Organization? In addition, discuss the largest Christian community in MENA and whether its community is increasing or decreasing. The Middle East and the respected countries in North Africa have been through some tough times in the past not to mention the linguistic, cultural, ethnic and religious barriers which they hold between each other. Ever since World War 2 this specific region has been unstable due the civil war in Lebanon which lasted through 1975 – 1990, multiple threats against Saudi Arabia, the Gulf War which happened in 1991, the current war in Iraq, Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the Iraq-Iran war of 1980 – 1988 and Israel fighting in full on war on multiple occasions in 1948 – 1985 not to mention the relentless Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In result economic integration has been very difficult to achieve in a large scale. In addition, the most prominent reasons for the lack of Arab economic integration are underdeveloped (non-pluralist) political systems, high levels of protectionism and a lack of liberalization within the regions’ economies, continued political and security divisions among and within the regions states and regional economies that do not complement one another. (Lynch, 2010) It’s important to know that out of all the democracies in the Middle East, and Islamic world none of them are Arabic. These Arabic states are very corrupt in nature and in result their hierarchical structure bans the formation of most independent civil societies. Also, due to their arrogance of being open to integration such governments like the one found in Saudi Arabia find it easy to falsely report information regarding the royal families. Such a bureaucracy is so foul that “trials and executions combined sometimes take one day” (Lynch, 2010). That’s nowhere near enough time to gather evidence for most cases! Who would want to be part of that corruptness!? Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) which is a strategy that focuses on achieving true independence from the industrial nations in respect to countries who just gained their independence (Staff, 2018) helped many nations industrialize but soon wore off for the nations in the MENA region, specifically the Arab countries. In addition to this, due to the political-economic structure of many Arab states revolving around individuals and groups such as families with nothing in common in business and politics economic integrations is nowhere to be found. Even though ISI became ineffective, strong state intervention became so infused into the Arab culture that many believed it benefited their political-economic relations. “it is often private companies that press for regional integration in other regions, in the Arab world they are less well developed, relative to
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