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By Samir Kassir

Ahead of his assassination in 2005, Samir Kassir was once certainly one of Lebanon’s most well known public intellectuals. In Being Arab, a thought-provoking overview of Arab identification, he calls at the humans of the center East to reject either Western double criteria and Islamism so that it will take the longer term into their very own palms. Passionately written and brilliantly argued, this rallying cry for swap has now been heard by means of thousands.

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Example text

But even in the face of the irresistible rise of the industrial, colonial West, the Muslim East was not slow to respond, albeit in imitation. In Egypt Muhammad Ali, nominally the Ottoman governor but in practice an autonomous head of state, set about modernizing the administration, for the purposes of which he sent scholars to be educated in France, rationalizing agriculture and instigating a preliminary phase of industrialization.

2 At least he initiated the country’s modernization and set in train decisive reforms, the effects of which were felt for over a century. His successor shows no such ambition, nor, oddly enough, does he even portray himself as a hero, unlike his predecessors – perhaps because he knows that the real power lies with the military, from which he came, which is itself another sign of the impasse. Such ‘modesty’, however, hasn’t prevented either the personalization of the regime or the extensive practice of nepotism: accusations of wheeling and dealing have been levelled at the president’s elder son for years, while certain political and economic circles openly lobby for his younger son to inherit office.

2 At least he initiated the country’s modernization and set in train decisive reforms, the effects of which were felt for over a century. His successor shows no such ambition, nor, oddly enough, does he even portray himself as a hero, unlike his predecessors – perhaps because he knows that the real power lies with the military, from which he came, which is itself another sign of the impasse. Such ‘modesty’, however, hasn’t prevented either the personalization of the regime or the extensive practice of nepotism: accusations of wheeling and dealing have been levelled at the president’s elder son for years, while certain political and economic circles openly lobby for his younger son to inherit office.

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