Chapter

The Arab Personality Between Past and Present

Michel Aflq

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
The Arab Personality Between Past and Present

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After obtaining a licentiate in history at the Sorbonne, he taught in Damascus. In 1940 he joined with Salh al-Dn Bitr to form the Bath (Resurrection) Party. He was Minister of Education in 1949 and in 1956 fused his party with the Socialist party of Akram Hourani to form the Arab Bath Socialist party, which ruled in Syria and Iraq. He was expelled from the party in Syria in 1966 but remained in favor with the Iraqi branch.

In this piece from 1972, Aflaqs aim is to reawaken the Arabs to their glorious past in order to show that they can shape a powerful future, not by re-creating the past but by realizing from a study of its accomplishments that they possessed the wherewithal to achieve greatness. The authors romanticist and organicist assumptions appear clearly in this selection, which uses phrases such as authentic blood, the Arab personality, and the Arabs immortality. As Abd al-Rahman al-Bazzaz had done, Aflaq assures his readers that Arab nationalists would never become extremist, because the soul of Arabism is Islam. In the latter part of this selection, Aflaq urges vigilance against European efforts to weaken a revived Islam, whose new form is Arab nationalism. He concludes with an endorsement of nationalist sentiment, without which all social reforms are bound to fail.

Chapter.  3110 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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