The Middle East sheikhdoms awoke to the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden in the early hours of Monday, May 2, 2011. The general populace heading out of their homes to begin their days seemed already up-to-date on the very sensational piece via Twitter and other social media networks even as Al Jazeera English Television channel, which is considered to have a mild pro-Taliban stance, was relaying the images of the Taliban leader and the compound where he had taken refuge in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The oil-rich region has rarely seen more than a decade of stability and peace and since the turn of this year has been experiencing more than its fair share of political upheaval. The disequilibrium was sparked by the Egyptian Revolution on January 25, 2011. Similar fights against existing governments fueled by social media networks spread like wildfire to Bahrain where many were killed in an uprising against the current Emir. What with the insurgence in Syria, the ongoing Palestine-Israel issue, the newly added Yemeni public resistance to their present administration, the Omani revolt, etc., the residents of the region are living in constant state of uncertainty about their future and are anxious to get on with the new reforms for a better life.
Though there has been no official response from the Middle East region heads yet, its residents are cautious and are wary of the fallouts of the killing in the land. The regimes and their public are not sure on how things will turn out in the weeks that follow. The public is left guessing on the continuance of America’s war on terror and the protective shield it offers the Gulf Cooperation Council states against terrorism and invasion from more powerful neighborhood nations.
On the streets, men and women are divided in their response to the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist. Khaleej Times, one of the leading English dailies from United Arab Emirates, published a Reuters report yesterday stating that public sentiment was divided.