Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was recently struck by some photos and reports I saw on the al-Arabiya network, the most respected news outlet in the Middle East. There was a starving child in Yemen, a burnt-out ancient souk in Aleppo, Syria, car bombs in Iraq and destroyed buildings in Libya.

What links all these images is that the destruction and the atrocities were not perpetrated by an outside enemy. The starvation, the killings and the destruction in these Arab countries were carried out by the same hands that are supposed to protect and build the unity of these countries and safeguard their people. Who, therefore, is the real enemy of the Arab world?

Many Arabs would say it is Israel — their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they have never recognised. From 1948 to today there have been three full-scale wars and many confrontations. But what was the real cost of these wars to the Arab world and its people? The harder question that no Arab wants to ask is: what was the real cost of not recognising Israel in 1948 and why didn’t the Arab states spend their assets on education, healthcare and infrastructure instead of wars? But the very hardest question of all is whether Israel is the real enemy of the Arab world and the Arab people.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPovertyViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaMiddle EastEgyptIsraelJordanLebanonQatarSaudi ArabiaSyriaThe Palestinian/Israeli StruggleUAE (United Arab Emirates)

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Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It has become common in the West to express remorse or pessimism about the course of events in the Arab world since the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions a year ago. Tunisia, in fact, does not present a cause for general pessimism. Egypt’s xenophobic Islamism is alarming, but it is too early to judge that revolution’s outcome. In any event, the Arab revolutions never were conceived to conform to the West’s expectations, goals, or principles. In settings long influenced by nationalism and political Islam, the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, and Syrian revolutions seek justice, the dispatch of autocrats, a reduction of corruption, the restoration of dignity and equality to ordinary citizens, and the development of new constitutional experiments involving rights and accountability.

These experiments must unfold in divided societies with weak economies and unresolved—perhaps never to be resolved—tensions between mosque and state. Arab democrats who struggle in these settings are not seeking to imitate Western liberalism; they are reinterpreting it, as Turkey has done successfully, and as India’s British-educated independence leaders once did. In sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America, democratic change in low and middle-income countries has evolved as a synthesis of local and global ideas, lurching through disruptions, failures, and recoveries. The Arab awakening is no longer an adventure park for bored emirs or a televised spectacle that inspires Western viewers. But its transformational power has not yet ebbed, and the liberalism within it is far from expired.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaTunisiaMiddle EastEgyptQatarSyria

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Posted February 22, 2012 at 11:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican Centre in Doha's church complex will be fully operational by the end of next year, the church rector has said.

According to Father Bill Schwartz, the 35 million Qatari riyal complex, under construction since 2008, will be ready by the end of 2012 and will offer Christian Protestant denominational groups a location to worship.

"Building is moving ahead apace, and moving ahead in line with our expectations. The building should be usable by Christmas next year," he said, quoted by Qatari daily Gulf Times.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastQatar

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Posted September 6, 2011 at 11:23 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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