Sipping espresso in an open cafe on Habib Burguieba street, Um Zyiad (as she liked to be called) said she was not surprised. 

 

“Signs were evident that the summit would fail because of the obvious disagreements.”

 

“Postponing a summit or conducting one doomed to failure is the same .It is a reflection of the failure of Arab leaders,” she said before going back to her espresso.

 

Hasan al-Ashi,  40, was also pessimistic. “All the previous Arab summits failed and the Arab citizen never witnessed anything positive coming out of them.”

 

Hope long gone

 

Analysts said the ordinary man on the Cairo omnibus had few expectations of their leaders.

 

“The Arab public never expected any resolution from the Arab summit,” Yunis Awdi, editor in chief of al-Kifah al-Arabi newspaper told Aljazeera.net on Sunday. 

 

“People have been monitoring the performance of the Arab summit for the past 50 years or so and they know nothing has been achieved,” added Awdi.

 

The postponement of the Arab summit was announced late on Saturday by Tunis after Arab foreign ministers who were preparing the summit’s agenda failed to agree on the issue of reforms in their countries. 

 

 

Disastrous reality

 

Established in 1945, the 22-member league has  come under intense criticism for failing to solve major challenges facing the Arab world, primarily the Arab-Israeli conflict. 

 

Editor-in-chief of Amman-based al-Hadath weekly, Nidal Mansur, believes the situation in the Arab world cannot get any worse.

 

“All the previous Arab summits failed and the Arab citizen never witnessed anything positive coming out of them”

Hasan al-Ashi,
Arab on the street, Tunis

“The Arab regimes are merely icons that do not have any real effect in real life,” Mansur told Aljazeera.net 

 

“What happened will not add much to the disastrous reality of an ineffective Arab world leadership.”

 

Mysterious move

 

But Jamil al-Nimri, a columnist at al-Arab al-Yum daily believes the way the summit was halted should arouse suspicion.

 

“The mysterious and unexpected way of postponing the summit seemed very shady and might raise speculation that disagreements were not the main reason for that,” said al-Nimri. “This might shatter the trust in Arab regimes completely.”

 

His comments were echoed an hour later by Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher. In a private meeting with Jordanian reporters, Muasher said he believed the summit was postponed for  “mysterious” and “unknown” reasons.”

 

“The disagreements were usual and they were on their way to be resolved,” said al- Muasher, insisting the decision was not taken by the Arab foreign ministers.