City on a Hill

AS THE WORLD’S bankers gathered last September in the Persian Gulf city of Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), for the annual International Monetary Fund/World Bank meetings, talk inevitably turned to the economic stagnation of the Arab world. The statistics are grim: The 280 million people of the 22 Arab countries have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) less than that of 40 million Spaniards, some 25 percent of Arabs live below the poverty line, and some 20 million are out of work. The region’s economic growth—an insipid 0.5 percent over the past 30 years—is among the lowest i

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