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Being Arab


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An exploration on what Samir Kassir - who was assassinated by a car bomb in 2005 - describes as the 'Arab malaise,' the political and intellectual stagnation of the Arab world. In searching to understand how the region arrived at this point Kassir turns to the past, revisiting the Arab 'golden age' - the extraordinary nineteenth-century flowering of cultural expression that continued into the twentieth as, from Cairo to Baghdad and from Beirut to Casablanca, painters, poets, musicians, playwrights and novelists came together to create a new, living Arab culture. Investigating the huge impact of modernity on the region, and the accompanying shockwaves that turned society upside-down, Kassir suggests that the current crisis in Arab identity lies in the failure to come to terms with modernity, instead embracing false solutions such as pan-Arabism and Islamism. Being Arab is a clarion call, urging Arabs to confront their own history, to reject Western double standards and Islamism alike, and to take the future of the region into their own hands.

Translation by Will Hobson, and including an introduction by Robert Fisk.

Product Code: 5276

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