Culture in the age of apathy [Archives:2005/837/Opinion]

April 28 2005

By Dr. Amr Adel Jawi
Will future be anything different from the present? And are there people who still believe in this?

This is the question that poses itself and which is the subject of this brief article. In the beginning, let it be the talk of the end. This does not contradict the nature of this era which we are trying to sketch here. An age where thoughts fall apart right from the beginning.

It is an age where things get twined with their opposites. Knowledge is force and force by the same token is knowledge. The opposites in this age are galore. Some of them are passed from successors to predecessors as forefathers' knowledge is degenerated much faster than it was acquired by them.

Can I ask about the whereabouts of logic in a time where what you know is less than whom you know. Many are entrapped in the absolute thinking: either this or that while computer itself is getting less strict about this binary inflexibility. It has become inevitable for man to go back searching for his primitive mind, the mythical mind, hoping that its illogicality would help decipher its modernism's secret.

What a big challenge lying ahead of the Arab nation in this ever-changing fast-paced world as most life aspects have become sources of challenge, technological, scientific, economic, etc. It is clear to many people that we are facing a problem much made by our hand than it is destined by our fate. We have been so familiar to this problem since it has been amidst us for a long time, and we boringly know its reasons, and disdain to gauge its consequences. To cope with problems, we, Arabs, resort to questioning words such as: What (commonest), why (most frequent), and how (the most profound). This article addresses the link between culture and our Arab communities, and its social conditions. Undoubtedly, the contemporary age has witnessed tremendous revolutions in all respects which -no doubt- have re-shaped the world's maps, broadened its significance, and modified its systems and patterns. This opens the door for us to a vision alien to the Arabic culture.

In conclusion, we may write about the futuristic hope of this nation. I put it candidly at the end that history deceives even the most industrious of his students and history may conceal many things in the short-term future.