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5.16.2005

Arab Export

The combined exports of the entire Arab states in 2004 amounted to $379 billion, slightly more than the exports of the Netherlands ($359 billion), and more than three-quarters of Arab exports were oil. Those figures from the World Trade Organization (WTO) indicate that the countries occupying a broad swath of the earth from the Atlantic to the Indian oceans accounted for a paltry 4 percent of world exports.

1 Comments:

At 6:33 PM, Blogger joŇ°ko said...

By the way, I'm reminded of an old pre-Drink-Tank gmail I wrote:

i bring to our attention a UN report that came out in the
summer of 2002, written by a few educated arabs. this report was a
strong polemic against the squalid festering bog that is the arab
world. a few startling statistics:
all the arab countries, spanning about 400M people across many many
timezones (algeria, bahrein, chad, comoro islands, djibouti, iraq,
jordan, kuwait, lebanon, libya, mauritania, morocco, oman, qatar,
saudi arabia, somalia, sudan, syria, tunisia, UAE, yemen), translate
fewer books into arabic in any given year than greece does into greek
(population 10M).

furthermore, in the past 1000 YEARS,
the arab world has translated fewer books into arabic than spain does
into spanish EVERY YEAR.

some other things from the report:
"
The number of scientists and engineers per capita is a third of the
world average.
The number of computers per capita is a quarter of the global average.
The number of newspapers published per capita is a fifth of that of
developed countries, and the little news that is disseminated is
controlled and restricted.
"

one critic of the report says these statistics exist because:
"Islam, rather than knowledge, is currently fervently held to be the 'organizing principle' in all the aspects of human activity mentioned.
Implicit but unstated in this aspiration is the need, at least in part, to replace Islam with knowledge. The authors are no doubt unwilling or unable to state such a message explicitly for fear of adopting a position that may be said to be 'anti-Islam.' Rather, they suggest that the quest for knowledge is compatible with Islam and can no doubt refer to a Qur'anic text for apparent support in this.

Here lies the problem. Inherent in the quest for knowledge, in the
scientific method itself, is the expression of doubt. But in Islam
doubt is forbidden. That this is the real beginning of the problem can
be seen in the authors' treatment of the education system, which like
other aspects of socialization falls 'short of the epistemological and
social environment necessary for knowledge production.' The major
reason for this, unstated by the authors, is that religious and
Qur'anic studies form a significant and compulsory part of primary and
secondary education in all Arab countries, including the so-called
secular ones. This is the major cause of what the report describes as children's 'passive attitudes' and 'hesitant decision making skills,'impairing children's thinking skills by 'suppressing questioning,exploration and initiative."

 

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