Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

The UAE’s Hope in Mars, Iran’s Hopelessness in Cooking Oil and Gas Queues

The UAE’s Hope in Mars, Iran’s Hopelessness in Cooking Oil and Gas Queues

Tuesday, 9 February, 2021 - 19:30
Camelia Entekhabifard
Editor-in-chief of the Independent Persian.

The United Arab Emirates celebrates its 50th anniversary by launching the “Hope” probe. Meanwhile, in the several-thousand-years-old land of Iran, people are queuing up for vegetable oil on the revolution's commemoration days.

This week, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the world is on the verge of entering another stage of scientific and spatial achievement. The “Hope” probe from the United Arab Emirates and two other Chinese and American space crafts will orbit Mars, respectively, on Tuesday night, Wednesday and the coming week.

The Hope probe is a major effort, looking beyond terrestrial concerns, as it reached Mars' magnetic field, making the UAE the fifth country whose spacecraft enters that orbit.

The Emirati Hope spacecraft was launched last July from Japan to Mars on a seven-month journey, taking advantage of an opportunity that happens only once every two years and minimizes the distance between Earth and Mars.

An earlier mutual attempt in 2011 by China and Russia failed and their spacecraft could not pass the Earth's orbit.

The construction, implementation, and success of this ambitious project on the 50th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates' founding is a great achievement for the country and its people. It is an honor for the UAE that Amal (Hope) spacecraft was designed and built by its citizens, scientists and engineers. The probe was built in collaboration with the University of Colorado and other institutions in the United States. However, that does not mean that they simply bought a spacecraft; in fact, 200 Emirati scientists were involved in the project.

The UAE has demonstrated its approach and vision to the world and this effort is the most outstanding achievement.

The Hope probe will orbit Mars for two years or more (if its mission is extended) and send data to Earth's scientific institutions. The probe's primary purpose is to study the possibility of human life on the Red Planet in the next hundred years.

The Chinese-American spacecraft will be launched on Wednesday (one day after the UAE) and the NASA spacecraft on February 18. The Chinese-American spacecraft will land on Mars to bring back samples of rock and soil from the Red Planet to investigate any life traces.

The $200 million project makes UAE the fifth country to send a spacecraft to Mars and the seventh probe to orbit the planet and send data to Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center.

In the 50 years since the founding of the UAE, significant changes and many achievements have made this small country, especially the Emirate of Dubai, stand out globally; a Muslim country that welcomes Western tourists, is at the peak of prosperity and technology, highly secure, with great potential to cooperate with other countries and advanced public work programs that distinguish it from the other Gulf countries.

The UAE has celebrated its 50th anniversary by launching the Hope probe to Mars. Meanwhile, beyond the Gulf's warm waters, in the thousands-of-years-old land of Iran, people are queuing up for vegetable oil on the days commemorating the revolution. Despite their great wealth, Iranians are jobless, and poverty, despair and suppression have become the fate of this country's peoples with its great history and fortune under the republic.

Compared to neighboring countries, none of which have Iran’s climatic conditions and more than half of their land is covered with sand, the UAE, for instance, has managed to reduce the heat level several degrees by creating extensive vegetation in urban areas.

Gardens and open-air breathing spaces in Iranian cities were destroyed for more profit and land grabbing by giving permissions for demolition and construction, which has resulted in severe air pollution, change of soil texture and climate conditions in the entire country.

Tomorrow is the 42nd anniversary of the Iranian revolution. The current situation, people's approach and evidence show what they and the country have gone through in the past 42 years.

Over 40 years ago, the Iranian people had far better livings conditions than their neighboring countries. Respect, prestige, power, wealth and peace, all things that today seem like nothing but a dream!

Iran has made so little progress in the past 42 years that people's greatest hope is to have food on the table, peace and relative welfare. But many around the world still value us through the late Mohammad Reza Shah and remember him for his greatness and virtues. The Iran they knew and remembered was the Iran of 45 years ago.

The generation that saw Iran before the revolution is quite old now and their memories will be forgotten once they are gone. What will remain in people's minds is present-day Iran.

In a few years, the collective memory will only know an angry Iran. Its morose ruler, continuously looking for the enemy and giving ultimatums on war and death. A country whose writers and intellectuals are overshadowed by the fear of execution and imprisonment and people desperately looking for a way to escape poverty, hopelessness and how to flee from home.

Why has looking at pictures and reading about Iran before the revolution become so popular? In the new generation's eyes, it is calming and hopeful and they see the "other" Iran that existed. But these memories will soon vanish from everyone's minds, everywhere, and people will only remember the things they have seen and felt.

What we see today, Tuesday, February 9, is the Arab countries along the Gulf entering into a new era of progress and technology. They will open a window that faces prosperity, credibility, peace, security and honor for their citizens. In Iran, though, tomorrow we will witness angry people marching on the streets, whose sole concern is still enmity with the world, absurd "Death to America" slogans, burning flags and spreading hatred.

We embrace tomorrow and the possibility of human life on the Red Planet of Mars. We are proud of human beings for taking such valuable steps and sincerely congratulate the Emirati people for such a valuable and great effort.

Other opinion articles

Editor Picks