Today’s piece (300+/- Words) is an excerpt from: Hamid Dabashi. “The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism, 222-224” A thoroughly analytical book of the “Arab Spring.” I chose this excerpt because it is very much aligned with the message of the anti-orientalist project: Information is best when reflected by people with comprehensive understanding of it and its context, when knowledge is manufactured to suit a certain narrative it breads anomalies such as Orientalism. I encourage you to read this book, critically of course (Ask if you can’t find an accessible version). hope you enjoy the excerpt, and looking forward for your comments.
“Who cares what ‘the media’ say — what does the term mean today? Globalized media must now compete with Egyptian bloggers, Syrian tweeters, Tunisians on Facebook, Yemenis on YouTube, Bahrainis writing opinion pieces for Al Jazeera. And now Arab scholars and activists have come together to create Jadaliyya, by far the most progressive site for information and analysis on the Arab and Muslim world.
‘The mainstream media’ (the figment of a tormented imagination) have no power or authority to misrepresent anything. Do Bernard Lewis or Thomas Friedman have more power to misrepresent Egyptian realities than the millions of Egyptians and other Arabs in their streets and squares, and the thousands of highly educated, bilingual, eloquent Arab intellectuals, journalists, and scholars with access to the gamut of global media. The very notion of ‘Western media’ is a sham. Aren’t Al Jazeera and Jadaliyya also ‘media’ — are they not also ‘Western media’ if they are read in ‘the West’? ‘Western’ representation no longer has the authorial power to misrepresent anything. We who are resisting power and tyranny have, by virtue of the new media and by virtue of our numbers, more agility to represent than those in power do. If phantom fears of an all-powerful Western media are not abandoned, these fears will themselves ended disposition of the Arab Spring requires abandoning these unfounded anxieties and commitment to listening carefully to the new language that people are singing from Tahrir Square and around ‘the Arab and Muslim World’ — for if we listen carefully, we will soon discard that term.”