The Arab Quest for Freedom and Dignity: Have Arab Thinkers Been Part of It?

Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab

Abstract


The recent Arab uprisings have been an unprecedented time of dramatic social and political movement. It has also been an intense time of debate between participants and witnesses of these historic events. Among the many questions raised in the debates is that of the role of the intellectuals, or the lack thereof, in predicting, contributing to, and participating in these momentous changes. Have Arab thinkers, and particularly the critical thinkers among them, been in tune with these movements? Or have they been totally disconnected from what has been brewing in their own societies for many years, if not decades? What connections, if any, could be noted between contemporary Arab intellectual critique and contemporary Arab protestation?


Keywords


Arab Revolts; Role of Intellectuals; Intellectual Critique; Political Protestation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17192/meta.2013.1.1038

Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab is a scholar based in Beirut. Trained as a philosopher at the American University of Beirut and at Université de Fribourg in Switzerland, her work is focused on the philosophy of culture, both Western and postcolonial, with a particular interest in contemporary Arab thought. Over the course of her academic career, she has taught at several universities in Lebanon, the USA, and Germany. Her latest book Contemporary Arab Thought: Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective (2009) has been translated into Arabic and was recently awarded with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2013 in the category “Development of Nations.”