For Yemen and the Arabs:A cultural void [Archives:2006/945/Opinion]

May 11 2006

That some of the Arabs are crying wolf for Iran achieving the ability to enrich Uranium is really amazing, since there is no way that this can be attributed to fear of Iranian attacks on them. In fact there is reason to believe that the Arabs should be pleased with the significance of this development in enhancing their position in the lopsided current of power equation we are now lining in this region.

Notwithstanding the political ramifications cited above, what is obvious from the Arab position is that they are fearful for their cultural setback as the supposed vanguard of the Islamic nation and that is understandable to a certain extent. On the other hand that should remind the Arabs all across the map that indeed they have fallen and are continuing to fall behind in the cultural development that could make them a nation to take note of. The Arabs are not just behind in enrichment of Uranium, they are behind in all the fields of cultural and human development that would make them a nation to be able to face the challenges of the times.

Despite the combined awesome, though unevenly distributed wealth of the Arab World, it goes without saying that this wealth is not being channeled properly towards enhancing the overall welfare of the Arabs and the cultural development that is essential to their inclusion in the sphere of progressing nations. The Arab World probably suffers the highest rates of illiteracy and considerable depressions in the poverty level that bespeak a horrific future to anyone with any capacity to analyze trends. In terms of cultural output, this observer cannot fail but notice that the cultural outputs of the Arabs thirty years ago was probably more visible, if not in numbers then in quality. The output shown that is seen in most Arab states from a cultural standpoint is boring, lacking in color and spirit. With the most beautiful of all languages, our poets are now producing the weakest form of poetic expression and letters. Our newspapers are boring and our songs are sleazily commercial, making even the most uncultured cry for the likes of Um Kulthoum, Mohammed Abdul Wahhab and the many others that highlighted the Twentieth Century.

What has happened to us? The answer is quite simple. Our governments have solely focused intellectual and cultural achievement towards glorifying the icons of the regimes that have our necks under their feet, and any output is either shrugged off or subjects its producer to punishment. We have lots of talent that is forced to beg or undertake menial tasks not related to their talents just to meet the needs of sustenance.

While all will cry because Iran is able to enrich Uranium, what have we been able to enrich in our pride that will give us hope and determination to stay the way, to ensure that a proper place is left for this nation culturally, economically and politically. Most of the political regimes are so backward and corrupt that it is almost shameful to expect that we deserve any meaningful place in this world. We have distorted the whole concept of government to mean the prosperity and the indefinite power of those that are charged with overseeing the interest of the nation, leaving all other considerations aside.

Yes, the Iranian people have a right to be proud of themselves because they have done what we had the ability (together as a nation) to do long ago. But the problem is that our priorities have been rearranged to placate the wishes and aspirations of the selfish icons that make up the regimes we are forced to accept as our leaders. When these regimes start to understand the moral responsibilities that they shoulder, then we can speak to them in another language, other than the language of contempt.