By Nissim Rejwan
What's an Arab? even though many within the West might resolution that query with simplistic stereotypes, the truth is much extra complicated and fascinating. Arabs themselves were debating Arab id for the reason that pre-Islamic occasions, coming to various conclusions in regards to the nature and quantity in their "Arabness." Likewise, Westerners and others have tried to investigate Arab identification, attaining in most cases unfavorable conclusions approximately Arab tradition and potential for self-government. To deliver new views to the query of Arab id, Iraqi-born student Nissim Rejwan has assembled this interesting choice of writings by means of Arab and Western intellectuals, who try and outline what it capability to be Arab. He starts off with pre-Islamic occasions and maintains to the final a long time of the 20 th century, quoting thinkers starting from Ibn Khaldun to fashionable writers corresponding to al-Ansari, Haykal, Ahmad Amin, al-'Azm, and acknowledged. via their works, Rejwan indicates how Arabs have grappled with such major concerns because the effect of Islam, the increase of nationalism, the hunt for democracy, women's prestige, the more youthful new release, Egypt's position within the Arab global, Israel's position in heart japanese clash, and the West's "cultural invasion." through letting Arabs communicate for themselves, Arabs within the reflect refutes a well-known Western stereotype--that Arabs are incapable of self-reflection or self-government. to the contrary, it unearths a wealthy culture of self-criticism and self-knowledge within the Arab global.
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Additional resources for Arabs in the Mirror: Images and Self-Images from Pre-Islamic to Modern Times
Man must be guided by them in his life and in his striving (12–13). t h e isl a m fac t or Despite this sincere display of enthusiasm for science and the scientiﬁc method, however, it can hardly be said that Touqan’s own writing is quite free from the traditionalism and mental confusion he so eloquently deplores. This is especially the case when he deals with Islam as a religious faith and tries to apply to its study the premises of science and reason to which he so passionately adheres. It must be pointed out here, however, that this is a shortcoming common to all works written by Muslims on Islam.
This, again, has two sides to it. indb 33 11/14/07 11:14:56 AM a r a bs i n t h e m i r ror other hand, when eﬀective action requires patience and diligence, the daring and enthusiasm soon peter out. This is one reason why Egyptian craftsmen, for instance, are often criticized for the lack of ﬁnish apparent in their work. It is easy enough to rouse people like this and ﬁre their imagination for a time about a certain cause or goal, but it is often highly diﬃcult for them to carry on with the care or perseverance to match their initial display of passion.
Jews from Arabic-speaking countries who traditionally spoke Arabic as their mother tongue. ’ All Arabs are not Muslim. ” Indeed, al-Husaini adds, “the Arabs have not comprehended these elements suﬃciently well to make the Arab nation a well-cemented entity with its own laws, culture, literature, and ideals” (Azmat al-cAql al-cArabi; quotations in this paragraph and the next several are drawn from pages 116–117). Arabizing the Arabs entails bringing them nearer to these elements. indb 21 11/14/07 11:14:47 AM a r a bs i n t h e m i r ror This is all very well as far as it goes.
Arabs in the Mirror: Images and Self-Images from Pre-Islamic to Modern Times by Nissim Rejwan