Tuesday, August 05, 2008

MEMRI causes Kuwaiti to self-reflect

From the Kuwait Times:
It is funny how it takes a foreign entity to repertoire and sample numerous clips that were aired on public TV here in the Middle East, and to further add subtitles to them; clarifying them for every one's viewing pleasure. Memritv.org, better known as "The Middle East Media Research Institute TV Monitor Project," albeit could be claimed to be biased with the explicit aim of pin-pointing the outrageous comments made by certain individuals. This is nothing more than showing actual clips that were aired, nothing more nothing less.

For instance...we can perhaps turn to a Friday sermon made by a Palestinian Sheikh, whereby he claims, "With the establishment of the State of Israel, the entire Islamic nation was lost, because Israel is like cancer that spreads through the body of the Islamic nation. This is because the Jews are viruses that spread like AIDS, the which the entire world suffers from." This is only an excerpt of the sort of rhetoric that is not unfamiliar in our part of the world, and is a rhetoric that only proves our inherent weakness and lack of self-esteem.

When we place our very own miseries in the hands of others, we are externalizing our problems that we are not able to solve, not because we cannot with some will and desire do so. Rather, we put our problems in the hand of foreigners because as such we can allow ourselves to do nothing about it for whatever reason we wish to ascribe to such act.

It is an undeniable fact that we in the region, have a great potential to create an Arab Union, which would mimic the European Union and would ensure that every country gets a chance to prosper and develop. It is unlikely to happen if we are unable to be honest with ourselves. We need to reform our respective countries; we need to stop externalizing our troubles, and to take a deeper look at our malaises, noting that we will not be able to fix them in a year or two. If we start a process of self-examination, in the near future, we would be able to start bringing forward solutions. One solution that has served many Arab States is the external threat, and that will only work for a short period.
It is fascinating that for this Arab writer, the outrageous things said daily on TV in Arabic don't make an impression on him, but seeing them in English - where such rhetoric stands out so much more - allowed him to be more conscious of his own culture and its shortcomings.