A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hisham Melhem's Gloomy Prognosis on the State of Arab Civilization

My very old friend Hisham Melhem  ("very old" in the sense of friends for a very long time, since graduate school, not in the geriatric sense, since he's a couple of years younger than I am), the Washington Bureau Chief of Al-Arabiya, is a veteran Arab journalist in Washington; in fact, the very first post on this blog dealt with his interview with President Obama just days after his first inauguration, the first granted to an Arab journalist.

He has had a series of rather gloomy columns of late at Al-Arabiya, including one that has drawn US attention because it appeared at Politico: "The Barbarians within Our Gates: Arab civilization has collapsed. It won't recover in my lifetime."

It's a grim prognosis and I hope he's wrong but fear he's right. He calls himself a Cassandra, but of course, Cassandra turned out to be right. He's addressing the Arab world from within. I urge you to read the article, but here's a capsule version from an MSNBC interview.

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