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Should the West Care about its Image in the Gulf?
Last uploaded : Tuesday 27th Jul 2004 at 22:36
Contributed by : Shashi Mahdi


This is an Awards for All new writers' concept.

This week the 'Guardian' newspaper has published results of a poll taken by the Zogby organisation in the United States (Zogby is run by an American of Middle Eastern origin)

Brian Whitaker reports, '...Zogby..interviewed 3,300 people in six Arab countries: Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

'In all six countries, an overwhelming majority of Arabs expressed an unfavourable view of the United States, ranging from 69% in Lebanon to 98% in Egypt, according to the AAI poll...'

To read the report please go to:

Current Viewpoint would welcome our readers' views on this issue (emails@currentviewpoint.com):
Do we care what citizens of countries who still stone women, ban gays and jail intellectuals think of us? Are we being arrogant ostriches with our heads in the sand if we do not care and worry about the views of other cultures?

One of our editors has written this response to Brian Whitaker:

'Dear Mr Whitaker,
'I read with some dismay your report on Arab perceptions of my native USA.

'Tonight I (a delegate to the Democrats' Abroad Convention in Edinburgh) watched with teary eyes the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at the opening of the Boston Convention.

'Despite the fact that I am third generation Democrat and from an incredibly liberal family of civil rights workers; anti-war demonstrators and AIDS activists, I could not care less what Saudi, Morocco, Egypt et al think of the USA. In Philadelphia we have one of the greatest symphony orchestras in the world and Curtis, the fine music conservatory. In Philadephia alone are countless hospitals; universities and scientific centres as well as publishers and historic synagogues and churches, not to mention the locations of the Founding Fathers' work.

'When the countries you name can match even just the merits of Philadlephia, the home of William Penn; Ben Franklin and Rebecca Gratz, then I will worry about their opinion.

'These benighted countries need a massive overhaul and they can start by treating women and homosexuals and intellectual dissenters and, most of all, non-Muslims with respect.


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