|Denial is not only pointless; it's no longer possible without becoming downright delusional. (AFP Photo/STR)|
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]
Hisham, Hope and Despair
Hisham Melhem is correct about the collapse of "Arab civilization," but hope remains
On 18 September, Hisham Melhem – the distinguished Arab journalist and de facto "dean" of the Arabic-language press corps in Washington – published a brilliant, ringing and profoundly significant cri de coeur in the American news magazine Politico. Its impact has reverberated powerfully throughout the Middle East-related commentariat, particularly in the United States. Surveying the wreckage of Arab culture and civilization as normatively understood over most of the past 100 years or so – in other words, what most Arabs thought we knew about ourselves, and which now lies largely in ruins – he conducts an unflinching, overdue and merciless autopsy of what he declares to be, at least for the rest of his own lifetime, a social, economic and political corpse.
All serious observers who care about the Arabs and the Arab world must either immediately acknowledge an instinctive and heartbroken identification with Melhem's anguish, or continue kidding themselves. Denial is not only pointless; it's no longer possible without becoming downright delusional. The profound crisis in the contemporary Arab social order and political culture is simply a fact. It can, and must, be analyzed and interrogated. But it cannot be dismissed or even downplayed.
Details aside, it's just impossible for any serious or honest person to take issue with the essence of Melhem's grim analysis. Many once-promising Arab societies have ...READ MORE