Monday, December 08, 2008

There is only one way to leave the 7th century behind - Read about so you don't have to live it.

Sometimes is makes seeing things in the black and white world of print to drive home a point. I found this story at Arutz Sheva:
( The average Arab in the Middle East reads approximately four pages worth of literature a year, according to a RIA Novosti Russian news service report published in November.

The Syrian newspaper Tishreen, commenting on a recent survey conducted by the United Nations, said that according to the study, Americans read an average of 11 books a year, with the average Briton reading eight books.

The Arab Thought Foundation, which reports on cultural development in Arab countries, concluded that only a little more than 8 percent of Arabs aspire to a higher education.

The U.N. survey reported that every year, one new book title is published per 12,000 people in the Arab world, as compared with one per 500 people in Britain. Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says Israel publishes more than 4,000 books a year, making Israel the second highest per-capita publisher in the world, after the People's Republic of China.

The United Nations Development Programme Literacy Report for 2007-2008 listed Israel in 56th place for world literacy, with the Palestinian Authority coming in 80th, Jordan 84th, Lebanon 97th, Iran 114th, Syria 120th, and Egypt in 132nd place.

There can be no modern nation state where education and literacy is only the aspiration of a less than 10% of any given population. Want a revolution in the Arab world? Teach them to read and then send in the books. Let their minds feast on Locke, Smith, Mills, Paine. Counter bin Laden with Voltaire and let their imagination soar. Free their minds, and their nations will follow.

The alternative is more of this and this, and this foolishness:

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