New Book: What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East

by mgopin on December 15, 2009 · 3 comments

This book is a strong critique of the Middle East from an astute observer who has been a passionate critic of the West’s policies in the Middle East, no neocon. Worth reading.

What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East?
By Patrick Seale

[Brit Whitaker, author of What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East] has travelled widely in Arab countries and was Middle East editor of the Guardian newspaper for seven years. He evidently knows the region intimately. His strength, in researching this book, is that he has not restricted himself, as most journalists do, to seeking the views of political leaders and government officials, but has instead moved outside the strictly political sphere to interview a great many thinkers, academics, students, opinion-formers, bloggers, and ordinary people in many countries across the region. He has looked beyond Arab regimes to society as a whole. That is the originality of his book.

So, in a word, what does he say is wrong with the Middle East? In chapter after chapter, he dissects the “stultifying atmosphere where change, innovation, creativity, critical thinking, questioning, problem-solving… are all discouraged.” And that is not the end of it. To this list he adds “systematic denial of rights that impinge on the lives of millions: discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or family background; inequality of opportunity, impenetrable bureaucracies, arbitrary application of the law; and the lack of transparency in government.”

You can read the entirety of the article here.

© Marc Gopin

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