Who Am I? Dilemmas of an Arab Intellectual

Who Am I? Dilemmas of an Arab Intellectual

The following is an excerpt from Kanan Makiya’s forthcoming book, Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World, which we reprint with the permission of W.W. Norton & Co. The book is a remarkable examination by a dissident Iraqi intellectual of the Gulf War and the debates surrounding it, both in the West and in the Arab world. Makiya, using the pen name of Samir al-Khalil, is best known as the author of Republic of Fear, perhaps the most important study of the fate of Iraq under the rule of Saddam Hussein and the Ba`th party. This chapter opens the second part of Makiya’s book. In previous chapters he explores, among other things, the impact of the events of 1990-91 on the lives of several Iraqis—Kurds, Sunnis, and Shi`ites —and Kuwaitis (their names will be found scattered throughout the selection, for example, Taimour, Abu Haydar, Omar, Mustafa, Khalil). —EDS.

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