I have said it for decades, ever since being exposed to the Arab world while in high school: The region will never, ever progress until the fever breaks — until the culture of the lie, the culture of nutty paranoia, dies or weakens. More than poverty or anything else, it’s lunacy and lies that hold the Arab world back.
Many Arabs will tell you this, when they think it’s safe to do so.
Quick story — a repeat: On 9/11 or 9/12, I received an e-mail from an Egyptian acquaintance, who lectured at the university in Alexandria. Very well-educated, Westernized woman. She said (in essence), “I hope you’re okay. And please know it couldn’t have been Arabs who did this — it must have been the Jews.”
If she could do no better than that — what hope was there for the man who emptied her trash at the university?
Monday, February 20, 2012