Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Disillusionement and the Arab Spring

One of  most interesting Arab intellectuals on the blogging scene, Rami Zurayk, Professor of Ecosystem Management in the American University of Beirut, wrote a  piece on why he is not disillusioned with the Arab spring.

Now, it is only natural that I find his post intriguing. After all, disillusionment was one of  my most common states of mind--guess the hapless romantics all know what I am talking about.

There comes the time when you realize that there is no place for disillusionment, because all your worst fears are true. Utopia is truly nowhere, and happinness is more fleeting that a cigarette's wick.

This was precisely where I stood right before the Arab spring worked its magic on me. 

But then, like spring always does, the Arab spring gave way to a cruel and harsh summer--with bodies all over the place and hope no where in sight.

Zurayk argues that disillusionment is a natural state of affairs that one should embrace, as a part of the circle of life, rather than worry about it. He also firmly asserts that disillusioned with the Arab spring he is not and will never be. Why? because the Arab spring has remolded our societies perceptions and ended the infamous acquiescence of Arab people for all time. 

You cannot really argue with that. But the way I see it, oil monarchies are poison to the Arab's freedom springs. Rich corrupt kings do not freedom for their people--or their people's neighbors. They would like to see the dictator-free countries in a perpetuel state of chaos. So that they serve as cautionary tales for the people of the gulf--lest they dare seek freedom for themselves.  

This brings me back to the question: are YOU disillusioned with the Arab spring? Or do you see a dim light at the far end of the tunnel?

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