MENA and Iran activities

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The word MENA is an abbreviation for the Middle East and North Africa region, which extends from Morocco to Iran and includes all Middle Eastern Mashriq and Maghreb countries. This paper discusses how Iran and the MENA perform their endeavors and how they are related to one another, such as Reflexive Water Management in Arid Regions. Other events that bind these countries together include drug policies and human rights, as well as the effect of oil prices on the region's economic growth and development, to name a few. Women and Information Technology in the MENA countries is also generated an interesting reflection, and it is playing an important role in creating a sense of accountability in state decisions and policies. Other NEMA countries include; Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar being Arabs countries and oil producing.

Water crises affect the countries as they are all semi-arid, thus making them vulnerable due to lack of water for both personal and irrigation purposes. On the same note, petroleum products production is a shared and primary economic activity in these countries. For example, in Iran, oil and gas income play strategic roles in their economy as it holds 10% of the world total oil reserves and MENA countries are the major exporters and importers of oil. So there is need to come up with measures and strategies to eradicate problems these countries and also make improvement where they are doing best.

Reflexive Water Management in Arid Regions

To irradiate the problems and perceptions of water management in Iran compared to semi-arid countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the traditional, industrial and reflexive paradigms can be discussed in detail. Currently, there is no agreement on the question of the causes and consequences of rising water crisis in this region. Most of the time people think the leading cause of water crisis is an increase in population and global climate change and high evaporation (Mohammed, Keulartz & Korthals 92). As a result, technical solutions have come up to make it possible to increase the amount of water sufficient to supply to people. With advanced technology, dam building, well drilling and pump technology have been introduced in many places. Also, drip irrigation, rainwater capture, and technologies such as purification and water-free toilets have been put in place. Despite this effort, increase in demand and desire for goods that require a significant amount of water demand that this problem is dealt with directly and physically.

The development of sustainable water management is crucial for this region as all countries in this region are facing severe water crisis (Mohammed, Keulartz & Korthals 94). The water crisis is expected to rise with an estimated fall by half by 2050 per capita water availability due to high population growth and climate. To address this, traditional and modern technological infrastructure will have to be deliberated as the main line of instinctive water resources management in Iran and other countries of the MENA region (Mohammed, Keulartz & Korthals 95). An example of tradition water management is building of Qanats irrigation system where a sloping tunnel is constructed directing water from a penetration section underneath the water table to the ground surface by gravity flow. This irrigation system has canals which can provide a reliable water supply for centuries. Electric and diesel pumped wells is an example of modern water management and give advantages over Qanat Irrigation as it allows water to be brought to the surface on without the use of gravity. Qanat Irrigation system can do well with the help of modern technology, for example, modern mining techniques when used to enhance the water efficiency of the system. When Qanats and modern irrigation systems are combined, water productivity is improved thus getting enough for irrigation thus improving yield production (Mohammed, Keulartz & Korthals 105).

The Impact of Oil Prices on the Economic Growth and Development in Iran and MENA Countries

Instabilities in oil prices have great effects on the macro economy of developed and developing countries such as the cost of production, consumer spending and exchange rate which as a consequence affect international trade. (ATTIA 2). Some member countries in MENA being major producers and exporters of oil, changes in oil prices can affect their economy as their main source of revenue come from importation and exportation of oil. The same case applies to Iran where its economy is highly affected by oil price fluctuations because there is a strong relationship between oil price changes and industrial output growth (Farzanegan & Markwardt 137). Oil and gas income play strategic roles in the Iranian economy which hold 10% of the world total oil reserves. As a result, within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iran affects the international oil market and in a bigger margin affected by it (Farzanegan & Markwardt 138). In Iran economy crude oil export income represent about 90% of the total export earnings.

Oil being an important commodity it affects the world economy, importers and importers of oil feel the effects when the prices change. Oil price fluctuation is not only main cause of crises in oil exporting countries but the main source of government income and a crucial input in the production function. Consequences of decline in oil prices have an impact on economic growth, trade in exporting economies, for example, Saudi Arabia and Arab importing countries such as Egypt and Morocco which are in MENA. It also affects inflation in the world, international economies such as China and USA, Europe are also affected. It is a clear indicator that changes in oil prices do not only affect the MENA and Iran but the whole world market too.

The main causes of the plunge in oil prices in MENA and Iran is an increase in the production of oil thus weakening global demand and an appreciation of United States dollar. When the supply of a commodity is more than its demand, it contributes so much towards the plunge in the oil prices. It is also important to note this in the Middle East, an increase in crude oil prices caused by oil supply disruptions as a result of political disturbances. The truth is that there is no agreement on how to control global market for crude oil. Supply of oil have little impact on the price of oil, but global business cycle mainly affects the real price of oil (ATTIA 6).

Understanding domestic demand for petroleum products in MENA countries, namely Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar (which are oil-producing countries) is crucial due to the existence of subsidized supply. This also causes the reduction of foreign exchange revenue and environmental effects of oil use. (Bhattacharyya & Blake 1552). Some of the petroleum products are gasoline, diesel, kerosene and fuel oil. Demand for these products has grown quite fast as fuel price has been kept low compared to the rise in income resulting in high demand. The best of all is the gasoline which is better than the other products, but on the other hand, kerosene performance is not too satisfactory. Crude oil is the primary export product for these countries, but it is sold in the domestic market hence it is not priced at the border price equivalence. Local products are sold at a subsidized price thus increasing the demand for crude oil which results into a loss (Bhattacharyya & Blake 1555). Dependence of fuel oil for electricity generation lead to high fuel oil demand. In brief, petroleum product demand in NEMA countries has domestic demand in the region has increased quite much since early 1990 (Bhattacharyya & Blake 1559). At the same time, local fuel prices were maintained at low levels over an extended period. In Iran, oil price changes highly influence the welfare and subsidization programs of the government. Besides the effects of oil price fluctuations in Iran, the other crucial aspect of weakness in their economy is exchange rate during oil price booms. This lead to contraction of the tradable sector (Farzanegan & Markwardt 138). Given that MENA countries highly depend on oil income, a comprehensive analysis that considers the main transmission channels of oil price shocks on their economy is vital.

Women and Information Technologies in the MENA

Women in NEMA countries have not been left behind when it comes to using of Information Technology. New communication technologies for example internet is create a sense of accountability and transparency in state decisions and policies (Skalli 35). A lot of women in MENA countries are coming out courageously to stop legal institutions and politicians constraining them. By use of media, they give a different image of womanhood and political participation in their societies. Gone are the days where women could not have full access to the public sphere. Despite the many challenges they are facing, by use of old and new communication technologies, they are in a position to participate fully in the production and dissemination of alternative knowledge bases. Emerging trends show that women in these countries have involved themselves in publishing, filmmaking and they are using the internet and satellite communication (Skalli 37). An example of female efforts in publishing is Shahla Lahiji who founded Rashangangaran Publishing making her the first Iran woman publisher. Shahla Lahiji is a creative writer, activist, and director of this famous publishing house and she has printed over 200 titles (Skalli 44). She has mentored over 400 women publishers who contribute so much in disseminating knowledge to others concerning production.

In many MENA countries, women access to the public sphere does not mean there is gender equality or that they have achieved their political structure and legal rights. Journalist’s women in MENA are more confident, competent and are contributing to breaking the culture of silence in women such as domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and female genital mutilation (Skalli 40).

Lastly, talking about the use of drugs and its effects in the MENA countries at large and how these countries are using the drug policy to reduce harm is important. Most of these countries are wealthy, so many people can afford to buy even when sold at a high price. Countries like Iran, Morocco, Syria, and Tunisia have put harm reduction measures in their strategic plans (Hakima, & Madani 169). It is a very clear indicator that there is a problem when it comes to stopping this behavior in these countries. Heroin is the most commonly reported abused drug in this region. Limited research has been conducted towards the reduction of harm of this drug. As a result, this has increased the spread of HIV spreading in MENA with the highest number of cases reported. Harm reduction policies have been put in Afghanistan, Iran and other countries in MENA region (Hakima, & Madani 169). The NEMA countries have many resources one of them being petroleum products, but all these can be of no significance if they indulge themselves in drug abuse. It is Crucial for these countries to put in place tough strategies to curb this act.

Works Cited

Reza Balali, Mohammed, Josef Keulartz, and Michiel Korthals. "Reflexive water management in arid regions: the case of Iran." Environmental Values 18.1 (2009): 91-112.

ATTIA, Sayed Moawad Ahmed. "Middle East Economic Association 15 th International Conference The Impact of Oil Prices on the Economic Growth and Development in the MENA countries."

Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza, and Gunther Markwardt. "The effects of oil price shocks on the Iranian economy." Energy Economics 31.1 (2009): 134-151.

Bhattacharyya, Subhes C., and Andon Blake. "Domestic demand for petroleum products in MENA countries." Energy Policy 37.4 (2009): 1552-1560.

Skalli, Loubna H. "Communicating gender in the public sphere: Women and information technologies in the MENA." Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 2.2 (2006): 35-59.

Himmich, Hakima, and Navid Madani. "The state of harm reduction in the Middle East and North Africa: A focus on Iran and Morocco." International Journal of Drug Policy 31 (2016): 184-189

October 25, 2022

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Politics Middle East

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