* Sanjib Kumar Das, senior page editor at UAE Gulf News wrote an article about Emirati poet Dr. Shihab Ghanem who linked UAE and India culturally on the 158 anniversary of Nobel laucreate Tagore. “Dr. Ghanem showed how poetry links cultures. His translations of myriads of works by well-known poets from the world over and across diverse cultural landscapes bear testimony to his quest for literary excellence in general and his pursuit of poetic genius in particular.”
Read the article here.
* A book entitled "Fear" Trump in the White House was circulating in PDF by Bob woodward. The book raised reactions by Aden College alumni.
Dr. Mohd. Ali AlBar commented that "There is no doubt that Trump is a strange phenomenon of political life in the United States and the world. He responds to the millions of white fanatics against immigration, muslims, blacks and free trade among the world and globalization that led to the flight of many American businesses and industrial enterprises to China and thus the loss of jobs of many white US workers. Trump represents the new populist and extreme right in the Western world, a movement which began to crawl from the United States to Europe. This right-wing alliance is also based on Christian Zionism, which is closely linked to the Christian religious groups, especially the Anglican Church, whose number exceeds 100 million in the United States. To your knowledge, 35 million of them pay annual contributions to the demolition of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the construction of the Jewish Temple."
Dr. Adel Aulaqi commented by saying "I loved Dr Mohammad Albar’s comment on Bob Woodward’s book. As usual he is spot on and has spotted these issues so long ago as did most of the average Arab since 1947.
Essentially the Arabs are weak and their leadership (since after Nasser) don’t want to change things for the better because of utter dependency and reliance on the very forces that ultimately want the perpetuation of Arab weakness. AND they are good at disliking, distrusting and fighting each other only.
Arabs at the moment and for sometime now are the greatest architects of their own weaknesses.
But all this is well known. In other words We know the Diagnosis.
Do we know the cure?
Yes we do, but do we have the courage to change? Not at the moment. Some do.
I would love for Arab intelligentsia and Mr Average Citizen to really start producing solutions to this Arab malaise.....shed off the load of crap we heaved upon our backs for a mighty long time.
One possible approach is to stop Dependency and Reliance on others. No begging bowls please. Plan for it and just do it. Others have.
Another, is for Arabs to stop blaming the others for Arab misfortunes. Every Qat session I attended, highly intelligent and influential people NEVER looked at the Arab role in their perceived misfortunes. They reiterated ‘Not me Gove: he did it to me/us’, to explain all Arab “Misfortunes/Nakba’s/Failures to develop and modernise etc etc”. So plan discuss and educate New and Old generations to look at what you can do to move on from the shit we are in.
Why wait for Government to do everything for you. Clean your own street even with a maknus."
Reza Yousef commented by saying "Thank you for this book, Ashraf. I read the book Fire and Fury on Trump which was unbelievable. This looks similar. I will certainly read it."
To download the PDF file of the book
* Pietro Marzo and Francesco Cavatorta wrote a paper which was published in the website Academia entitled "The demise of Arab strongman? Authoritarianism and the future of the Middle East".
In its abstract the authors wrote "The figure of the Arab strongman is often associated with the political culture of the region and has been central to explanations for the resilience of authoritarianism despite processes of democratization taking place across the globe since the mid-1970s. The Arab uprisings have challenged both the paradigm of authoritarian resilience and the grip of the strongmen on political power. The demise of a number of Arab regimes seemed to highlight that ordinary Arab citizens had finally seen the merits of democratic governance and had eschewed their reliance on firm authoritarian leadership. Post-uprising politics, however, did not lead to the democratic promised land, and the figure of the strongman has since reappeared forcefully. In some countries, the strongman never left the scene, in some others it made a comeback following a period of democratic instability, and in others both domestic and international forces still hope for its emergence in order to end civil conflicts. This chapter reflects on the resilience of authoritarianism in the Arab world and how it links with arguments about the necessity of strongmen to rule over complex and divided societies. At the heart of the chapter is the examination of an interesting paradox. On the one hand, surveys and empirical studies suggest that ordinary Arab citizens have a very favorable opinion of democracy and believe that democratic governance is the best system to solve the socio-economic problems facing their countries. On the other hand, the same citizens believe that security concerns can only be dealt with through the strong hand of a ruler. In addition, international pressure also periodically shifts from supporting democracy to buttressing strongmen, complicating the domestic game even further."
Read the paper here.
* Hussam Sultan wrote "Should banks be worried about the liberalisation of finance? Or should consumers be delighted that banks will be no more in the near future, apparently?
With facebook strongly moving into another area of privacy, finance, after completing the dominance in the main area of privacy, that is social life, relationships and connectivity, how would the financial sector look like? What are the perks that consumers should expect with the most notable fintech of all moving in now?
From a distance the libra looks very liberating, just like facebook, with no fractional reserve banking or the heavy regulation of central banks and the seemingly free movement of funds. Facebook will also be able to lend a lot more easily having profiled every single customer accurately and also able to verify where the money is going to and how it will be utilised and who is involved.
Interesting development or inevitable next chapter in the liberalisation or de-liberalisation of societies? Will see."
Read more here.