Author: Samir Kassir
Translator: Will Hobson
Original language: French
Published by: Verso, 2006
A passionate meditation on contemporary Arab identity. Before his assassination in 2005, Samir Kassir was one of Lebanon’s foremost public intellectuals. In Being Arab, a thought-provoking assessment of Arab identity, he calls on the people of the Middle East to reject both western double standards and Islamism in order to take the future into their own hands.
Being Arab explores what Kassir describes as the 'Arab malaise': the political and intellectual stagnation of the Arab world. Passionately written and brilliantly argued, this rallying cry for change has now been heard by millions.
'Part historical essay and part political pamphlet... This is a genuine cry against the forces of Islamic extremism.'
Being Arab was launched in December 2006 at the Frontline Club with a screening of Samir Kassir: What are you writing? followed by a Q & A with filmmaker Ephrem Kossaify and Gisele Khoury. The book was also presented at the French Institute in an event titled 'The Middle East, Gateway to World Peace?'
Being Arab won the 2007 Index on Censorship Book Award for freedom of expression.