Under Western Lies
The popular uprisings in Arab nations should bury some long-standing Orientalist myths.
With the recent wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East, Western observers have had the chance to face up to an important realization: that the oldest of clichés about Middle Eastern politics, "the Arab street," is both a pernicious myth and a dynamic reality. For decades, Orientalist stereotypes about Arab culture and attitudes imbued this so-called street—a crude and monolithic metaphor for Arab public opinion and popular political sentiment—with almost uniformly negative connotations, which would then segue into dire warnings about the consequences of its eruption. Now the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and antigovernment protests in many other Arab states have demonstrated that the Arab street most certainly does exist—but it bears no resemblance to the bogeyman so long cultivated in the Western
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