Dr. Shafeeq Ghabra, president of the American University of Kuwait who is both a classical liberal scholar and an electrifying speaker, has become a regular columnist for the Lamp of Liberty. His columns are in Arabic, but readers of English can find some of his excellent writings in English online, including “Toppling the Arab Berlin Wall”. His latest column (“Arabic Violence and Self-Destruction“) on www.misbahalhurriyya.org starts with the following:
Since independence the Arab countries have been living in a world of violence. It goes without saying that the origin of violence in this part of the world comes from the Ottoman period and western imperialism. But after that independence that came after long sacrifice, most Arabic countries moved toward violenceÃ?Â?Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â?Ã?Â¦ The new Arab regimes installed by military coups in the 60’s and 70’s (e.g., Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya) initiated socialism, meaning the nationalization of private property and the confiscation of land. With that, a kind of violence was initiated against wide groups within society. At the same time, violence was initiated against the foreign communities which had come to Arab lands decades and centuries ago. Thus, the Arab world lost the Italian, Greek, and many other communities that were vital for the national economy.*
Dr. Ghabra offers a powerful voice in the Arab world for freedom, for toleration, for peace, and for justice.
*A quick and rough-and-ready translation (not, I hasten to add, by me).
UPDATE: My colleagues are working hard to improve the site. It should soon have a number of new scholarly articles on the relationship between economic freedom and prosperity that include numerous charts and other graphic devices, as well as footnoted scholarly articles. So far there are 28 articles or books on the site. The authors include Adam Smith, Voltaire, Ibn Khaldun, Leonard Read, John Stuart Mill, Hernando de Soto, Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, Fareed Zakharia, Reuven Brenner, Raja Kamal, F. A. Hayek, Shafeeq Ghabra, Mario Vargas Llosa, and myself (with two short essays in defense of globalization through free trade and of individualism). A substantial number should be added in the next week.