LANNY J. DAVIS I'm not an architect, but I've read about the brilliant design and construction of Burj Dubai. I'm struck by the similarities of architecture as a metaphor for a successful global economy and peaceful international relationships in the 21st century. Let's start with the sheer, almost incomprehensible size of the building - comparable, albeit in a different context, to the incomprehensibly tens of trillions of dollars of debt that the world has accumulated in the last decade or so that some day our children, grand children, great grand children, and so on, must be responsible for paying. As we know, the Burj Dubai Tower is by a good margin the tallest building in the world- 160 stories, and 2,685 feet in the air. The weight of its aluminium alone used in the construction is equivalent to five A380 aircrafts and the total length of stainless steel built nose fins is 29 times the height of the Eiffel Tower (Paris). Whereas the Egyptian pyramids took 80 years to build, the Burj Dubai took six years from the beginning of excavation to the official launch ceremony. The quantity of materials alone to build such a building and the logistics of raising the building rivals mankind's greatest engineering "wonders of the world." Ms Clinton saw the connection between today's dedication of the Burj Dubai and tomorrow's launch of The Dubai Forum, and the core pre-requisites for a stable and peaceful world when she sent her greetings to His Highness Shaikh Muhammed: "Your efforts to create international cooperation in the global economy is an important goal, and I wish you, my friend, the very best in this endeavour." Her reference to "international cooperation" is of course, metaphorically speaking, no different than the brilliantly conceived mutual dependence and relationships within the Burj Dubai that keeps it stable and enduring: a "triple-lobed footprint, an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower, composed of three elements arranged around a central core. The modular, Y-shaped structure, with setbacks along each of its three wings, provides an inherently stable configuration for the 160-story structure...26 helical levels decrease the cross-section of the tower incrementally as it spirals skyward." Similarly, without a multiple and diverse group of nations, with a central core based on cooperation and mutual support, the edifice of the global economic inter-related and inter-dependent economic infrastructure can be seriously destabilised. We learned that when USA's real-estate melted down and credit markets froze in the spring, summer and fall of 2008, the ripple effects were virtually immediate and devastating, from UK to France to Germany to eastern Europe to Russia to the Far East and, yes, to the Gulf States - and Dubai in particular. The financial cycle of boom and speculative bubbles followed by crash and disaster, then followed by recovery and regaining balance has just happened...for the first time in the 21st century. But I dare say that the dreadful cycle will reoccur just as it happened in 1930s. Whether it is the temporary economic distresses experienced in the US, EU or ME, we now all know that the answer is that we are all in this together. We have realised that cooperation and mutual respect and construction of national and international economic institutions to regulate the excesses of the speculative markets are among the more important lessons to be learned from the unpleasant developments of the last two years. We can learn important lessons from real architecture - and from the Burj Dubai. With planning and international cooperation, mutual respect among nations with different cultures, histories, religions, and traditions, we can achieve stability and security and a victory for civil society - no matter how mammoth and complex and different are the country-by-country economic infrastructures. But we need that core - the core of civilised values of civil society - to make it work; and unity of purpose in the war against those who war against civilisation and innocent civilians. - Khaleej Times