If Saghieh is branded today by fans and detractors alike as the dean, or grand old man, of Arab liberalism, he certainly did not begin his intellectual journey in that vein. It was only after 30 years of espousing every stripe of radicalism that he met with an insurmountable crisis of faith and “recovered,” as he puts it half-jokingly, from the “fever” of political extremism that would otherwise have killed him.
The current wave of emigration presents an agonizing catch-22: The political thinkers and artists best equipped to analyze, criticize and hold up a mirror to the dictatorship can now see their country only from the outside and don’t know when, or if, they will be able to return.
A group of dissident historians once offered a remedy to the nationalist populism resurgent today: a pluralism that respects the legitimacy of multiple political currents and the rights of minorities at home, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring states abroad.
Award-winning novelist Mai Al-Nakib joins New Lines magazine’s Lydia Wilson to talk about how James Joyce’s vision of early 20th-century Ireland resonated during her youth in Kuwait.
Martin Heidegger was one of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers. He was also a Nazi. Intellectual historian Richard Wolin joins New Lines magazine’s Danny Postel to break down his influence on the post-war New Right, whose ideas are inspiring far-right populists from Russia to Tunisia.
In these dark days of Muslim history — awash with torture states, corrupt ruling elites and repressed civil societies — the election of a democratic dissident who is both a devout Muslim and a global thinker has the potential to embolden other democratic forces in Muslim societies.
What if you discovered that everything you knew about the world was wrong? As a teenager in Albania, that’s exactly what happened to political philosopher Lea Ypi when the communist regime collapsed in the ‘90s. On The Lede, she joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about how to see the gap between ideology and reality, where people look for certainty in uncertain times and what it actually means to be free.