Some of the challenges facing Arab countries could be solved if their economies were industrialized. They have made much progress in some fields, but have failed so far to industrialize. While this is obviously a complicated issue, there are, at the same time, many countries that have been very successful in doing so. Speculating about such complex issues is nothing new. A reader of Western literature is daily confronted with speculative articles on the rise or fall of American power. A number of writers appear to be concerned that China will soon displace the United States as the number 1 superpower. (For a review of three books by Edward Luce on this subject, see Financial Times February 2, 2014.) Some thoughtful writers propose various possibilities on some countries’ readiness to assume roles that may lead to a new political world order. Other writers frequently speculate on China possibly lacking sufficient creativity to displace the United States from its privileged position. There are no simple answers to such complex issues. Concern for the rise and fall of nations is of constant interest in Western literature, but by contrast concern in the Arab world is limited in scope and depth to the ultimate development of their own region. What is surprising in the Arab world is that despite the prevailing conditions the Arabs enjoy through their enormous assets, they seem oblivious to the rich possibilities that these resources provide. Arab countries are confronted with expanding populations, education, emigration and unemployment. It seems that unless they adopt a more serious interest in the challenges they face, they will be unable to escape from a state of permanent crisis. The purpose of this article is to speculate on the feasibility of utilizing the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) railway system – estimated at approximately US$200 billion – as a tool for achieving industrialization. The railway system will be 1940 km long and include all GCC countries.

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