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Being Arab

Dear fellow members,

I recently read this book. I found it very interesting in the sense of reading an arab author s opinion about the "arab world"...It s not a large book so it s quickly read. Would be interesting to have your thoughts and comments..especially from arab members.

Being Arab is a brilliant exploration on what Samir Kassir 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.

“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 Pilger

“One of the leading progressives in the Middle East, and one of its bravest voices: an unflagging advocate of democracy, an opponent of Arab dictatorships and of Western double standards, a champion of Palestinian rights who was also a scathing critic of anti-Semitism.” — Adam Shatz, The Nation

“One of Lebanon’s most prominent journalists and one of the most vociferous and bravest critics of the Syrian regime.”— Robert Fisk, Independent

Samir Kassir Protected content was one of Lebanon’s best-known journalists and historians. A columnist for the daily newspaper An-Nahar, he also wrote regularly for Le Monde Diplomatique. Among his books are A History of Beirut and Lebanon: An Unfinished Spring. One of the most prominent voices on the Arab Left, Kassir was a strong campaigner for the Palestinian cause, and a vocal critic of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon. He was assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut on June 2, Protected content .