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What's Really Wrong With The Middle East

af Brian Whitaker

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241964,968 (3.67)1
"A passionate call for political and social change in Arab countries . . . and a stern critique of the status quo."Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor The problems in the Middle East are always someone else's fault. While the West blames dictators and extremists, Arabs often blame centuries of foreign interference. For many, both in the East and West, the root problem is a lack of freedom. Looking beyond the turmoil reported on our TV screens,Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker examines the "freedom deficit" that affects Arabs in their daily lives: their struggles against corruption, discrimination, and bureaucracy, and the stifling authoritarianism that pervades homes, schools, and mosques as well as presidential palaces. Drawing on a wealth of new research and wide-ranging interviews, Whitaker analyzes the views of Arabs living in the region and argues that in order to achieve peace, prosperity, and full participation in today's global economy, Arabs should embrace political and far-reaching social and cultural change. Brian Whitaker was Middle East editor at theGuardian for seven years and is currently an editor for the newspaper's Comment is Free website. He is the author ofUnspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East (Saqi Books, 2006; also published in the United States by the University of California Press, 2006). His website, www.al-bab.com, is devoted to Arab culture and politics.… (mere)
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This is an important and sweeping book. Despite one or two annoying generalisations about Arabs, this book ought to be read by all Arabs, secular and religious, to understand the kind of change needed in order to bring about prosperity and greater freedoms to the Middle East. The book is published by an Arabic, progressive publisher (Saqi books). I hope they will come out with an Arabic translation and make it widely available in the Arab world (particularly in Egypt). ( )
  abdulrazzak | Dec 13, 2009 |
Everyone agrees there is something wrong in the Middle East. To western eyes it is a troubled region of dictators and extremists. Arabs, on the other hand, often blame centuries of western interference. To many - both east and west - the root problem is a lack of freedom, but what exactly does that mean?
 
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"A passionate call for political and social change in Arab countries . . . and a stern critique of the status quo."Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor The problems in the Middle East are always someone else's fault. While the West blames dictators and extremists, Arabs often blame centuries of foreign interference. For many, both in the East and West, the root problem is a lack of freedom. Looking beyond the turmoil reported on our TV screens,Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker examines the "freedom deficit" that affects Arabs in their daily lives: their struggles against corruption, discrimination, and bureaucracy, and the stifling authoritarianism that pervades homes, schools, and mosques as well as presidential palaces. Drawing on a wealth of new research and wide-ranging interviews, Whitaker analyzes the views of Arabs living in the region and argues that in order to achieve peace, prosperity, and full participation in today's global economy, Arabs should embrace political and far-reaching social and cultural change. Brian Whitaker was Middle East editor at theGuardian for seven years and is currently an editor for the newspaper's Comment is Free website. He is the author ofUnspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East (Saqi Books, 2006; also published in the United States by the University of California Press, 2006). His website, www.al-bab.com, is devoted to Arab culture and politics.

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