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Arab Concerns… from Art to Crime
Arab Concerns… from Art to Crime
Once again, an incident occurs and dominates everything having to do with the world of "politics," proving that the concerns of the average Arab when it comes to politics are no longer at the levels they were a few years ago. If one browses through web
Wednesday, August 13,2008 10:20
by Mohammed Salah Dar Alhayat.com


Arab Concerns… from Art to Crime


Once again, an incident occurs and dominates everything having to do with the world of "politics," proving that the concerns of the average Arab when it comes to politics are no longer at the levels they were a few years ago. If one browses through web pages on the internet, especially those that give visitors the opportunity to comment and freely express their opinions about what is taking place around them, one discovers how much Arabs have paid attention to the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai at the end of last month. They have followed the details of the investigations by the Dubai Police and relayed the rumors that have sprung up in all directions with regard to who was involved in the crime. The same thing applies to the media, which have devoted considerable space on pages, screens and microphones to following up and analyzing the murder, and searching for the secrets of the case, chasing after every piece of information, even if it is not logical. The news of the murder has moved to the politics sections of newspapers and magazines, to the news bulletins of satellite stations and dominated internet sites, and even chat rooms. The participation by website visitors has been substantial when it comes to commenting on the incident, outstripping the interest in Arab political events, or events that involve the Arabs. This proves that Arabs have become fed up with politics and bored with politicians. They have lost hope in any reform that opposition politicians talk about and advocate in a given country. Arabs have come to search for a way to secure their daily bread, or are trying to live their lives in a way that they choose, and not the way that their governments, regimes, political parties or other groups would have them live.



When one reads the comments by Arabs about Arab political issues, one finds some that contain logical questions: how can we be concerned with Palestine, when the Palestinians themselves are fighting each other? Why do we follow the struggles of Israeli political forces and the race between Livni and Mofaz, when history has proven that Israeli leaders are not different from one another, from Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan and Menachem Begin, to Livni and Mofaz? How does it benefit us if we follow the developments and events in Iraq, while there is nothing new here, except the difference in the number of people killed and wounded from one day to the next? How can we sympathize with Iran as it faces a western campaign over its nuclear issue, while Iranian officials make statements every day that anger a given Arab country, or people? What is new in Sudan, except the conflict of the south, the killing in Darfur, and the challenge of the International Criminal Court? The Arabs have become used to all of these issues and become involved in them, without changing anything.



The mystery behind Tamim"s murder will certainly be revealed, and the perpetrator will be tried. We will one day learn the reasons behind the crime and the Arabs will await another topic to occupy their time. It might be from the world of entertainment and the arts, or a criminal matter. Or, it might come from the world of sports, where each Arab competition in an Asian or African championship becomes a struggle for survival, in which the masses of each country try to outdo themselves in hostility toward the people of another country. But if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice comes to the region to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, Ehud Olmert or Tzipi Livni, if an Arab leader visits another Arab country, if meetings are held to bring the Palestinians together, or if a given leader picks up the telephone to talk things over with his Arab counterpart with regard to an Arab issue or the state of bilateral ties, the event is no longer worthy of attention, except by those directly involved or by those who believe that such events mobilize the Arabs who cannot sleep until they learn the details. In the world of arts, as in sports, or even crime, the Arabs are concerned with the details; they are not the only people in the world who have such a "distinction." But the difference is that the other peoples of the world are also concerned with other matters. In the rest of the world, the citizen is part of the state, and is not present on the margins. In these countries, citizens have an impact on decision-making, and are not just affected by it. There, citizens realize that they make the future, and have not reached the point, like the Arabs, in which they search the pages of history as a source of pride, after becoming fed up with the present and losing hope in the future.


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