Agence Global - Article by Rami G. Khouri
...All these sources suggest that the Nabataeans flourished for several reasons, of which I would single out the following that may be relevant to the Arab world today:
1. They used diplomacy wisely to avoid conflict whenever possible, including entering into agreements with the great powers of the day -- Greece and Rome -- that acknowledged prevailing political realities while allowing the Nabataeans to pursue their critical commercial trading activities.
2. They struck a sensible balance between the spiritual and the secular, acknowledging the power of their deities but also making sure to enjoy life and not focus all their attention on religious matters.
3. They were masters of environmental protection and management, especially the harnessing and use of scarce water resources in an arid region.
4. They generated wealth and security from a balanced economy, not relying too much on one source of income that would be vulnerable to disruptions, but rather balancing their dependence on agriculture, minerals, manufacturing and trade.
5. They apparently governed themselves well, with a combination of an efficient judicial system (where even Roman foreigners could expect a fair trial) and a service-oriented monarchy that behaved humbly before its citizens, and shared meals and drinking bouts with them.
6. They interacted widely and deeply with other cultures, self-confidently absorbing foreign technology, art and even religious values and symbols, a process that enriched their own culture and allowed it to evolve into a strong, rich blend of indigenous and imported norms -- one that would be recognized two millennia later by a still awed world.
Powered by ScribeFire.