This article is a broad and sober assessment of the state of the Arab world. The writer draws a grim picture about prospects for improvements. The Arabs have not benefited from the changes that have swept the world because of the high cost attached to them. Current conditions in the Arab world are the main obstacle facing Arab reformers. In grappling with a civilizational challenge in which Arabs apparently have no choice or role, they suffer from an identity and cultural alienation crisis which impairs their ability to deal with the changes needed.

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