Temperament and Character of the Arabs

Temperament and Character of the Arabs

Temperament and Character of the Arabs

Temperament and Character of the Arabs

Excerpt

States do not exist without the people that constitute them. Actions taken by statesmen are made by individual human beings, each with his own specific psychological make-up. In international relations we have to consider not only the men of power who decide the fate of nations, but also the people whom the nations comprise. In both cases, however, the "human" in us enters into the scene. Both the statesmen and laymen of a nation normally partake of a set culture that distinguishes them from the rest of the world. It is true that mankind shares several universal traits, yet culture seems to use the raw material of human nature and to give special emphasis and expression to one while suppressing another. People who are reared in the same culture normally show common characteristics typical of their personality structure.

In view of the fact that in the final analysis we always find the "individual" hidden behind the decisions of nations, an understanding of the general temperament and character traits of their constituents becomes not only an important task but a necessary step for any successful mutual interaction.

With this in mind I undertook the difficult task of studying the character of the Arabs. The attempt is audacious, yet the venture is justified by the magnitude of the crisis in the Arab Middle East, and the dire need to get acquainted with the behavior of a people whose moves carry great significance in the international balance of power.

The character that I am presenting derives its source only from what is "common" among the Arabs and therefore . . .

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