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The 20th Century was par excellence the century of nationalisms. It is sufficient to remember that the causes of the two world wars were directly linked to the consequences of nationalist doctrine exalting all that belongs to one’s own nation..

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The Armenians

The Armenians descend from Indo-European populations who, between the 7th and 6th century B.

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“Pan-Arabism” is a movement the objective of which is the unification of Arab peoples and nations. This is a modern cultural trend with political finalities, arising as an answer to colonialism and the West’s involvement in the Arab world..

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In the Greek polis the meaning of the term “democracy” implied the government of a vast majority of the people, the “plebs”, as opposed to the aristocracy.

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This is an ambiguous word.

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding

Dialogue of Cultures


«I, a liberal philosopher, have been refused entry to Kuwait»

Nasr Abu Zayd talks to Ernesto Pagano

The Egyptian intellectual Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, a member of Resetdoc’s Board of Directors, has no doubts; the worst enemy of freedom of thought in the Arab world is “the Catholic marriage between Islam and politics.” It was this marriage that last December induced Kuwaiti authorities, under pressure from Islamist members of parliament, to refuse him entry at the border after previously giving him a visa. “This is the first time it has happened,” said Abu Zayd. On the day he was refused entry, the liberal theologian was obliged to get back on a plane at Kuwait City’s Sheikh Saad Airport, where he had earlier landed to speak at the Women’s Cultural Social Society about the manner in which women are seen in Shari’a and in the Koran and the reform of the Islamic school of thought.

IT After Copenhagen

The European Union: a “non binding” power

Emanuela Scridel

The European Union has confirmed its characteristic of being an “economic giant” and a “political dwarf” and its weakness – that should decrease thanks to the Lisbon Treaty – in speaking effectively with “one voice”, only way to weigh in the renewed international context. How can we explain its marginal role?

IT Minarets

«This is what the majority of Europeans think»

Stephane Lathion talks to Marco Cesario

For Stephane Lathion, a specialist in European Islam and a religious history professor at the University of Freiburg, the outcome of the referendum is an indication of disquiet in Swiss society, and a symptom of the desire of citizens to start a public debate on European Islam. Lathion, who is also a member of Switzerland’s religious research group at Lausanne University and President of the GRIS (Group of Research on Islam in Switzerland), deplores a campaign based exclusively on emotions and above all the small-mindedness of a political class that literally took no interest in the problem, with the results we can all see.


Our readers' comments

«Gay sexuality is a basic human need and is universal and is not related to Orientalism or any other fancy terms – writes Ali Timaji – Massad’s philosophy is more in favor of bringing the East back to the Islamic imperialism by using the definition of Orientalism.» «The highly constructed, normative, and exploitative view of sexuality (both hetero- and homo-) that is dominant in America - Jack Fertig adds – is not one I want to see foisted on other cultures with copy-cat same-the-world-over discos and gay bars proliferating like McDonalds. But saying that Westerners are “creating homosexuality” is perhaps taking Foucault a little too seriously.». Antoon Veenstra explains why - according to him - Massad is wrong.

IT Homosexuality

The West and the Orientalism of sexuality

Joseph Massad (Columbia University) talks to Ernesto Pagano

Homosexuals in the Arab world? They have been “invented” by the West. In his book Desiring Arabs, Joseph Massad, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin and an associate professor at Columbia University, attempts to follow the process through which the gay movement, born in the USA, has resulted in and tried to impose a homosexual identity on those Arabs who entertain relations with people of their own sex. A process that according to Massad, follows the tracks of western imperialism.

IT Homosexuality

Lot’s sin and that “extreme solitude”

Amara Lakhous

The roots of the difficult coexistence between the gay and the Muslim worlds are deep-rooted in the Koran, which defines homosexuality as “Lot’s sin.” In Muslim countries gays are obliged to live their lives in secret not only for religious reasons but also due to social contempt, just as happens in the west. Thus homosexuals continue to be the most persecuted minority in the world.

IT Homosexuality

The “dream” of Helem

Beirut’s gay community has ‘come out’ and started to make its voice heard. This slow revolution has made the Lebanese capital the only city in the Arab world in which it has become possible to publicly acknowledge one’s homosexuality, also thanks to the NGO Helem (in Arabic this word means “dream”), the acronym for the “protection of Lebanese who are gay, lesbian and transgender.” An article by Ernesto Pagano.

IT Homosexuality

«From Teheran to Riyadh, this is how we are discriminated against»

A conversation with Hossein Alizadeh

Turkey and the Lebanon are the countries most tolerant of gays; Iran and Saudi Arabia are the most homophobic. The picture painted by Hossein Alizadeh, a young Iranian who is the spokesman for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHTC) with headquarters in New York, is that of a patchy Middle East, where on the one hand embryonic gay movements appear while on the other sentences against sodomy are ferociously applied. An interview by Ernesto Pagano.

IT DE FR 1989

«It was my question that brought the Wall down»

Riccardo Ehrman talks to Marco Cesario

The question “that brought the Wall down" was posed at 6.53 P.M. on November 9th 1989 by Riccardo Ehrman, the ANSA correspondent in Berlin. The answer, provided live on TV by the then DDR government spokesperson Günter Schabowski, resulted in the borders being opened and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The East Germany correspondent for ANSA from 1976 to 1982, and then from 1985 until the Wall fell, Riccardo Ehrman is now 80 years old and lives in Madrid. ResetDOC contacted him and asked him to retrace the events of those memorable days. This is the clear and exclusive testimony of a journalist who played a leading role in one of the 20th Century’s most significant events.

IT Middle East

Why the West needs Syria

A conversation with Sami Moubayed

“Obama realizes that Syria plays a key-role. Damascus could be the backbone of any future agreement in the Middle East. Syria could establish a new equilibrium between the US and Iran as well as between Iran and Saudi Arabia.” Sami Moubayed, a political analyst and lecturer at the Faculty of International Relations at al-Kalamoun University in Syria, comments for Resetdoc, Syria’s new foreign policy and its overtures to the West. “Syrians now have a multitude of alliances on the table: France, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the US as well.” The editor-in-chief of Forward Magazine underlines that “Although Syria is allied with old friends as well as secular states, Damascus will never renounce its national interest: the liberation of the Golan Heights.”

IT Philosophy

The courage to welcome immigrants

Carlos Thiebaut

Tolerance – accepting the others differences within the same political space – has become a problem because we do not know how to manage settlement requests. What happens when a visitor want to extend his status, when he does not accept to become part of our family or our country and in spite of this demands hospitality? In Europe we experience this situation when groups of immigrants are not prepared to accept aspects of our culture we consider fundamental for social and political integration.

IT Middle East

«If the peace process were in the hands of entrepreneurs...»

Jacob Burak talks to Sara Hejazi

The son of Jews who survived the World War II Holocaust in Europe, inventor of the Evergreen Investment Funds, with head offices in Tel Aviv, entrepreneur Jacob Burak is now one of the richest men in Israel. His book “Do Chimpanzees Dream of Retirement?” was one of the best-selling books in Israel in recent years. In this interview he speaks of his work, of the need to humanise the world of finance and the peace process between Israel and the Arab world.

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