Recommended reading on Defining Arab Identity:

“The history of the ‘Arab’ is a history of cultural encounters with others: in no particular order or chronology, the Greeks, Aristotle, Byzantines, Persians, Indians, Romans, Jews, Amazighs, Kurds, Africans, Turks, Chinese, Paganism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sufism, Aramaic, Hebrew, Napoleon, Europe, European colonialism, Empire, Marxism, socialism, capitalism, liberalism, Rock’ n’ Roll and much more; yet, it seems, all this common cultural universe, this cosmos of encountering has never stopped people from searching for that one thing they call a pure ‘authentic’ Arab identity. It’s like a continuous search for a lost mythical city, the Atlantis of identities, a chimera that will prove forever illusive. What they’ll find, if they ever find it, is a mélange or metis of all those things, or/and the different discourses of becoming disguised in ‘ideological intoxications of the past’, nothing more and nothing less. This book is not a search for the certain pure, absolute or any kind of origin/essence; it is rather a search into encountering in its liminal and translucent state, the transient, the intersectional as well as the ironies, and let’s add, the contradictions and possibilities that they bring.”

– Tarik Sabry in Cultural Encounters in the Arab World (2010)

Image: Qatar Desert and Sea. Inland Sea, Qatar.

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