Are the Arabs missing an opportunity they have been waiting for for centuries?
A few ages have passed since the Arab caliphates were global centres of power. They were succeeded by the Ottomans, who dominated Middle Eastern politics for centuries, sometimes in competition with the Safavids. This was followed by the rule of the European nations, the English and the French, and finally the American eagle reared its head over the region.
But what about now, when the eagle is moving away again, slowly but abundantly clear?
Turkey under Erdogan has undergone impressive economic development, despite its current problems, and is emerging as the new leader of Sunni Muslims.
Iran, inspired by its mission of Islamic revolution and equipped with the self-confidence of a millennia-old state, has succeeded in building the bridge from Basra to Beirut and controls large parts of the region through a network of allied militias.
And Israel, which inflicted its greatest defeats on the Arab nations, is now the ally of the Saudis and all the small emirates. On the West Bank, the state sits more stably than probably ever before.
And where are the Arab nations?
At present, there is no sign of how far they can keep up with the new, old powers. In general, only two countries, Egypt and Morocco, seem to have the necessary prerequisites to be such a power. But Egypt is in a phase of deep stagnation and Morocco is simply too far away from the action to credibly claim a major leadership role.
How long do they have before this opportunity has passed them by?