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  • March 2011
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Why Arabs Will Not Intervene

Dialects in the Arab World

Dialects in the Arab World

A recent article in English Al Jazeera asks the question, ‘Where are the Arabs?’ This article, which you can read below, refers to the Arab countries’ historically sluggish intervention in its own area, if it intervenes at all.

When I read about the Arab world, here are several points that I try to keep in mind. I hope you will feel free to correct me if I am wrong in my understanding.

•1 It is a matter of shame to criticize another Arab publicly, especially when it might appear to dishonor the Arab/Muslim world. Honor and shame are the fundamental values on which the Arab world lives.

•2 I always check to see who wrote the article. This article seems to be written by a foreign/non-Arab. I think this is very important to remember. His point of view is Western.

•3 I’ve been told by my Arab/Muslim friends that English Al-Jazeera is geared toward the West. There is an Arabic version which has a very different point of view (implied more biased against the West).

•4 The Arab world is united by variations of  Semitic languages and traditions. Proverbs and poetry are an important part of these cultures. Unlike the West where logic and individuality rule; in the East Ummat (community) and feelings carry much more weight.

(In my opinion) These cultural values are just that, cultural values. They are not right or wrong. In fact, Biblical values are much closer to the Eastern/Arabic values than are our Western values of Logic and individuality.

•5 Friendships between Arab countries and rulers have more influence than less intimate relationships with Western countries.

One well-known Arabic proverb ends, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” If the West declares war on an Arab/Muslim state, it is counter intuitive to expect the Arab world to pile on with the West against their brother, regardless of their personal opinion of these dictators.


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