Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Pseudo- intellectuals! | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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If you want to know the true value of a so-called “Arab intellectual” you need only look at the state of Arab culture!

Arab culture is in the gutter thanks in no small part to our intellectual elite!

Our cultural output in recent years, according to human development reports, confirms that in a single day, American publishing houses produce the same number of books as all publishing houses – both private and public – in the Arab world in one year.

Illiteracy in general, Arabic cultural illiteracy in particular, reveals the state of cultural deterioration in the Arab world.

Arabs under 21 years of age receives 68 percent of their information from television, the rest from the internet, and only 3 percent from the press!

We are a people who do not read; we watch, listen, and forward rumors, rather than relying on available knowledge and scientific research.

In order not to add insult to injury, I will refrain from addressing the issue of the education system in the Arab world, which has no relation whatsoever to the job market or the requirements of the modern state, as this is based on knowledge and scientific research.

Anybody who watches these “prankster” television shows on Arab TV will find themselves confronting some frightening facts which cause them to “fear for the future” of the Arab world.

In one of these programs, the presenter carried out a cultural trick with people in the street who have gotten used to giving their viewpoint on any issue, despite ignorance on the issue.

The presenter asked: in what year did the month of Sha’aban [eight month of the Islamic calendar] come after the month of Ramadan [ninth month of the Islamic calendar]?

This question was asked to 20 different people, the majority of whom failed to understand the prank that was being played upon them, not recognizing the relative impossibility of this. One man even postulated that Sha’aban follows Ramadan once every ten years!

In answering case, the presenter asked the audience [another impossible question]: when does Hajj take place during Eid al-Fitr rather than Eid al-Adha?

I remember that Amr Adeeb once conducted a similar test of intellect and general knowledge to new presenters who were working at the F.M. channel in Cairo. He asked them the following question: in what year was the 1973 October war take place?

I ask you to think about this question for a minute, for you will be shocked that more than 85 percent of those who answered this did not know the answer; they had failed to even concentrate on the details of the question being asked to them, which contained the answer!