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The cultural question in the Arab world

I often receive e-mails to ask for my signature on a statement by intellectuals on political and social issues, Palestinians and Arabs, and through a quick glance at the names of the signers of the "intellectual" declaration, where I find names of all walks of life and categories of doctors, engineers, traders, business men, writers, journalists, ministers and members of parliament. Etc., Which stopped me and pushed me to evoke the decades of debate and debate on the definition of culture and intellectual, which requires the need to move from the theoretical debate to the reconstruction of conceptual frameworks, which helps to neutralize the concepts of culture and intellectuals of the social and political transformations of the community V.

Before digression on the subject of the intellectual it is not enough to briefly know the concept of culture, "culture" as a result of the intellectual and the carrier, and express them, and make a change and modernization, or so must be the relationship between them, and then summarize our position through the reality of culture and intellectuals in Arab societies and in its relation to power

I. Definition of culture and difference between culture and civilization:

Culture simply refers to the patterns of behavior, thinking and life of food, drink, clothing, customs, traditions and religious rituals that distinguish a society from other societies or as defined in the World Conference on Cultural Policies in Mexico City, 1982, are all material, spiritual and emotional characteristics that allow a society to stand out from society, or allow a class to distinguish these characteristics from other groups in society.

It is worth noting that most of the culture is acquired through social and political education, from home and school to media and parties. Since culture in most of its components is acquired, it is in a state of transformation and movement: the rigidity of culture means its propensity without ignoring the so-called cultural heritage.

Even within the cultural space of the whole society there may be subcultures and countercultures, but it is also possible to talk about political culture, religious culture, social culture, culture of resistance, the culture of submission, the culture of love. , culture of image, culture of suspicion, gender culture,

Civilization goes to the material aspects of the life of societies, such as architecture, technology, etc. The difference between culture and civilization can be perceived even if some of the first anthropologists did not differ between them.

The overlap between the two terms may be due to the fact that civilization is an advanced stage of cultural development, or is the material cultural heritage, since this last was once a cultural reference point and a substitute for the civilization of society.

We are talking about the civilization of the West and Japan, for example, and we have already talked about Arab and Islamic civilization, but today we are talking about Arab and Islamic culture and not about civilization. Arabs and Muslims: this civilization was in the past when Arabs and Muslims superior to others, also spoke to the past of the Pharaonic civilization and the civilization of Mesopotamia and the Inca civilization and the Maya civilization, etc.

Since the subject is problematic and complex, the distinction between culture and civilization can lead to the derivation of new definitions, such as saying that civilized civilized and civilized intellectuals exist according to the cultural level of the intellectual country: in other words, the intellectual is educated according to the standards of his company. In some forms of culture, it may not be considered an intellectual in a European country or in Japan and China.

Second: for the definition of the intellectual:

In order to avoid misunderstandings, so that some do not explain the ambiguity of the definition of the intellectual as a projection on a specific category mentioned above in the introduction to the article, I will give an example of myself , am I caught to be an academic? Is every academic educated? Every journalist, media person, writer, singer, composer, politician, director of a research center, etc., acquires the intellectual status of an intellectual? Is the intellectual profession or a social role to achieve an objective linked to national culture and to the concerns of the public community, starting from the awareness of the historical moment experienced by the nation or the homeland?

Who determines the role of the intellectual in society? Is it the intellectual that ranks as an intellectual and imposes a role? Is he the mother of society that classifies him as intellectual and gives him the role? Is it a specific social or political reference to the title of intellectual? C & # 39; is it the difference between the intellectual, the writer, the writer, the artist, the thinker, the scientist, the scholar, the philosopher, etc.? Is it true that the intellectual loses his status and the role of intellectual if he takes official political actions? Is not the intellectual just so in the case of his position as an opponent of political power?

Despite the fact that in my writings more than once on the culture and intellectuals and multiple readings of thinkers and theorists have written on the subject, I always find myself in the uncertainty of control of the terms of culture and intellectuals, the reason may be that the concept of culture and intellectuals are concepts of different facets whose functions vary vertically through Time and horizontally in the diversity of societies, but the definition of identity at the same time and in a society by an author at the same time. other, and can be accepted relatively because the two concepts belong to the human sciences and these sciences are terms of relevance and value and not scientific as the terminology of true science.

If the concept of intellectual refers to the concept of culture and these are often acquired and inherited, the intellectual and cultural product are inseparable from the prevailing culture in the society to which it belongs and lives. The value of the intellectual and his cultural work derives from his ability to prove his existence and to train him as an educator in his society, not only by distinguishing him in his habit and behavior, but through his profound knowledge, without ignoring a segment of intellectuals who reached the world and whose universality was obscured by their universality. The presence or the emergence of the characteristics of cultural creativity at the local level or as a result of their ability to express their own national culture with different tools of cultural expression: poetry, novel, art, etc., And taste and the 39. acceptance of other companies, especially if translated into foreign languages.

III – Culture and intellectuals in Arab societies between confusion and absence:

Regarding the reality of intellectuals in our Arab societies and their relationship with power, the status of intellectuals and their roles has been greatly reduced by the decline and dissolution of national culture. The cultural situation has recently declined the culture of societies pre-state tribes, clans and sect. Culture, marginalization or marginalization, such as the clerics and jurists of the Sultan and Islamic groups on the cultural field in the measure of confiscation and solutions of the preacher and intellectual intellectual place.

Political and social instability has produced satisfactory models of culture, such as the culture of fear, the culture of suspicion and the culture of exclusion or rejection of the other, within society. even among the intellectuals themselves. The cultural sphere is fragmented by society, sectarian and sectarian, and the intellectual is no longer the conscience of the nation, but Ma has turned to the consciousness of the Shaykh community its cognitive and cultural weapon to strengthen the his sect and his sub-culture or even counter at the expense of the country and its national culture, which should be the university.

With the decline of the national state and the dissolution of the social contract implicit in national culture, and with the state of chaos and sectarian and ethnic civil war became the same intellectual experiencing a crisis and quartered and loyalty of loyalty between the loyalty of the nation and the nation in which the intellectual must be the conscience of the nation and the defender of total prizes, and in this case or become a cultured sectarian and a partisan, who loses his position as an educator, or is forced to migrate out of the house and out of the cultural environment.

Finally, we must reconsider the thesis on the argument that a true intellectual must always be opposed to power and away from politics, because the decision on this depends on the definition of power and any intellectual discourse and any historical moment that passes through the nation where the intellectual becomes in some phases and circumstances politically He did not want to do it, but be fired as intellectual if he does not clash with the political situation, as happens when the intellectual people are subject to occupation, and the relationship it is determined by striking the culture in which the intellectual works.


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