Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The generalised picture of the Arab World portrayed by Albert Hourani looks gloomy but accurate. “The link between the regime and the dominant social groups,” writes Hourani, “might also turn out to be fragile. What could be observed was a recurrent pattern in Middle Eastern history. The classes which dominated the structure of wealth and social power in the cities wanted peace, order and freedom of economic activity, and would support a regime as long as it seemed to be giving them what they wanted; but they would not lift a finger to save it, and would accept its successor if it seemed likely to follow a similar policy."
 Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, Faber and Faber Ltd, United Kingdom, 1991, p 454

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