There is a yearning for a more organic solution, one in which the governments and the people of the region have equal stakes. And, indeed, there is a model rooted in the region’s history that could be a solution. It enabled nearly four hundred years of peace and prosperity in the Levant. At its core is economic integration, with the free movement of goods and people across a broad swath of territory. Such an approach contrasts sharply with the present-day reality, to put it mildly. But the region is approaching a point of exhaustion, and the United States will have a new opportunity, as it did after the first Gulf War, to advance this model. It will find a receptive region. The habits of integration are deeply ingrained in Levantine culture and reside just beneath the surface, waiting to be tapped.
"All these wars have left deep wounds on society and individuals, destroyed conscious social thinking and ruined the principles of coexistence, solidarity, tolerance and accepting others; thus entrapping the Middle East in a cycle of poverty, which in turn bred extremism and spurred growing crises.
“Any solution must be accompanied by economic and social measures capable of achieving growth and improving living conditions for the people of the region, guaranteeing for them a decent and stable life. I am therefore calling for serious consideration to be put into the establishment of a common Levantine economic market to ensure people can make a living in an atmosphere of freedom.”
“Jamal Daniel, in a recent article for the National Interest, offered an original approach to rethinking the Levant based on economic integration and shared values and heritage.”
"What we are tasked with inventing - or reinventing, or helping to reinvent - is what we'd call today an inclusive model, it's the rediscovery of an ethnic and religious pluralism in those regions. It's the Levantine model…But in this region - this region you know by heart, the Levant region, which today is being toppled by either armed conflicts or refugees - this region carries our very own history within it. The region is a palimpsest of all of our religions and cultures. And we must be able to restrengthen those who have known to find, through its history, true political ingenuity."