” At least since the early part of the 20th century, aside from oil, the Arab world has produced and exported two products.
It has produced essentially no technology, medicine or anything else in the world of science. It has almost no contributions to world literature, art or to intellectual development.
According to the most recent United Nations Arab Human Development Reports (2003-2005), written by Arab intellectuals, Greece, with a population of 11 million, annually translates five times more books from English than the entire Arab world, population 370 million. Nor is this a new development. The total number of books translated into Arabic during the last 1,000 years is less than Spain translates into Spanish in one year.
ArabianBusiness.com reports that about 100 million people in the Arab world are illiterate; and three quarters of them are between the ages of 15 and 45.
As for Arab women, the situation is even worse. Nearly half of the Arab world’s women are illiterate, and sexual attacks on women have actually increased since the Arab Spring, as have forced marriages and trafficking. And the exact number of women murdered by family members in “honor killings” is not knowable. It is only known to be large.
In Egypt, the largest Arab country, 91 percent of women and girls are subjected to female genital mutilation, according to UNICEF. Not to mention the number of women in the Arab world who must wear veils or even full-face and full-body coverings known as burkas. And, of course, Saudi Arabia is infamous for not allowing women to drive a car.
So, then, is there anything at which the Arab world has excelled for the past two generations? Has there been a major Arab export?
As it happens, there are two.
Hatred and violence. “