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Being Arab

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Being Arab.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Samir Kassir(Author) Robert Fisk(Author)

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In the years before his assassination in 2005, Samir Kassir became one of Lebanon's foremost public intellectuals, a fearless critic of tyranny and an inspiring advocate of democracy. In Being Arab, his last book, he calls on the peoples of the Middle East to reject both Western double standards and Islamism in order to take the future of the region into their own hands. With the Arab Spring, millions have now answered that call.

This is an unusual book of such fluent and searing honesty that I almost wanted Samir Kassir to be kinder to himself. I salute his memory. --John PilgerOne of Lebanon's most prominent journalists and one of the most vociferous and bravest critics of the Syrian regime. --Robert Fisk

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Review Text

  • By Saed on 9 May 2010

    This is the best short book written about the Arab malaise. Samir Kassir, father of the Cedar Revolution, dissects all the factors that lead to the downfall of the Arab world, and reminds the reader that the good times of the Arabs were not limited to the years under the Islamic dynasties. He asks the Arab intellengtia to look back at the years of the modern Arab Enlightenment (Al-Nahda) and the modernization and reform efforts that followed suit. Samir points out that the true beginning of the Arab demise began in the 80s whereas the years before were still rich in Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and even Political Activitism in the Arab world.In this book Samir Kassir presents the alternative to both models of the Socialist Arabism which had failed, and the anti-modern Islamism that prevails today.This book is a brilliant preview into the mind of an Arab intellectual, an assassinated activist, and a journalist that the World will most certainly miss.

  • By Brian Griffith on 5 August 2016

    I thought that Kassir was going to revel greatly in deploring his people's abysmal malaise. But once he said how bad things are, he launched into a passionate review of the whole Arab past, and I was surprised how much hope he has in the power of memory. Kassir argues that the malaise of impotence and rage in Arab society stems from an impoverished self-story. In that truncated tale, the Arab Islamic "nation" was once the light of the world, as it's founding fathers established a society of true greatness. Since then, however, it's been downhill all the way to the present state of weakness and depravity. The only way to make the "nation" great again is a complete return to the original practices of Islam's founding fathers, rejecting all innovations that have led the people astray. Does this sound familiar?In response to this popular tale of moralistic self-loathing, Kassir calls for a bigger story that includes the whole range of accomplishments and setbacks down the centuries under all Arab or Islamic states. He argues that the past efforts in art, literature, republic-building and internationalization have not been failed experiments, but learning experiments. Kassir sees a vast wealth experience to be learned from rather than trashed. His answer to despair is not to dump history, but recall it more fully.


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