Why intellectuals are detested in the Arab world?

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Statistics show that the population of the Arab world is somewhere between 280 and 300 million.

 Of these, UN experts estimate that at least 70 million are illiterate! This staggering proportion represents twice the number of all illiterate men and women across the globe. 

We are of course referring here to alphabetical illiteracy, The figures quoted show only those who cannot read and write.  

 Perhaps even more catastrophic is the fact that there are 200  million Arabs who are culturally illiterate. Indeed, these Arabs can read and write, but the vast majority have in point of fact never read a book or paged through a newspaper since their schooldays. 

But the fact that 90% of All Arabs are illiterate in the ways of the IT and use of the Internet, Is a tragedy of apocalyptical proportions. 

In searching for the factors or causes which have led to this abominable situation, one cannot but point, above all else, to the responsibility of  Arab rulers, most of whom seem determined to keep their people ignorant in order that they may continue to manipulate them. 

The Arab individual is no less culpable, Sociologists have for long identified crippling traits among the Arabs of today, who have grown unmindful and quite blasé about the rapidly changing world around them.

Gratification of basic instincts, worship of consumerism and  total preoccupation with material wealth seem to the pillars of  their social culture. 

Then comes the responsibility of the Arab intellectuals, who have failed to crystallize their ideas  into a popular movement for change.

They continue to stand aloof, content to live in their own world of haughtiness, although they, of all social strata, hold the key to a better world. 

This perhaps explains why the Arab intellectuals are hated by their authoritarian regimes.,For it is the intellectuals who are capable of influencing and mobilizing the masses against their rulers. 

On the other hand, the populace have no sweet words for the intellectuals, simply because of the intellectuals’ arrogance towards what they regard as illiterate rabble.   

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One Response to “Why intellectuals are detested in the Arab world?”

  1. slimaneboussoufaenglish Says:

    Laila Jazayeri Says:

    May 16th, 2007 at 11:35 am edit

    Interesting website Slimane, I’ll try to follow your articles.
    The figure you gave about the high number of illiterate Arabs is indeed shocking and you are right in that the Arab rulers use people’s ignorance in order to continue manipulating them.
    The fact is that most Arabs are Moslem too. I believe that it is the Islamic fundamentalism that has kept people in darkness. Ignorance exists in the heart of this ugly phenomenon.
    I think it is the duty of intellectuals in the Arab world to challenge Islamic fundamentalism and educate people about the historic impact and consequences of this phenomenon.
    Best,
    Laila Jazayeri

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