By Fahed Khitan

Exceptional Leaders…

Indeed, the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, who left the world a few days ago was exceptional in all the ways a leader can.

He united East and West Germany, and played an invaluable role in the founding of the European Union; he was its foremost pioneer and advocate.

Since then, we’ve known only division, and leaders whom have struck the heart of global alliances to no return.

Rarely do we find leaders throughout history who succeed in capturing the historic moment.

Kohl was one of the few who ventured into history, without fail, upon the collapse of the Eastern camp, realising that it may be Germany's only chance to restore unity.

Not many politicians at the time shared his view, or hope for that matter. Most were sceptical of Germany’s reunification.

Kohl, however, who witnessed the construction of the Berlin Wall, was destined to take that wall down himself, and lead a tireless effort to unite Germany.

A fierce advocate of European unity, Kohl worked hard to realise it; a strong, unified Europe, which he did.

Contrarily, there came leaders divided Europe, instead, like Joseph Tito, whose death brought the fall of the Yugoslav Federation and the collapse of global polarity.

Likewise, Czechoslovakia also fell apart, forming two independent states.

However, the EU has taken a significant strike to the groins with UK’s Brexit.

The Union, to which end Kohl had endeavoured devotedly, has now lost a primary partner and member after the referendum under David Cameron, UK’s premier.

While history will always remember Kohl as the leader who set the aspiration of union in motion, Cameron will be remembered as the one first nailed its coffin.

Leaders who came in after Kohl did not work to preserve his legacy.

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, came to power in the United States with the aim of breaking up most global ties and partnerships. Not to mention revisiting treaties which have brought peoples worldwide closer together.

The Arab World, on the other hand, is drowning in blood and wars.

Many of our leaders will be remembered for trampling all over the Arab League Charter, and their roles in the disintegration of Arab ties and relations.

Seven Arab nations are on their way to be divided, and it is likely that the next decade of the 21st century will see them splintered into new, small, frail states.

The harsh condition of they endured severed everything Germans had in common among themselves, before Kohl.

His arrival reinforced the sense of unity between the people in East and West German.

As a result, the people on both sides of the wall jumped in to tear down the wall, leaving only small parts of it for remembrance.

More so, with the tearing of the wall, the very culture of separation was torn down with it, overcome by years of unity and economic prosperity.

In retrospect, it is understandable that Germany is so keen today to maintain the unity of Europe.

The current Chancellor Merkel’s fierce advocacy of the values of unity and partnership with the world is, to say the least, understandable and appreciated.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.

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