Literature as Media that Still Matters

Jadaliyya continues its series on Arab writers and bloggers with and interview of author Esam Al-Amin, author of “The Arab Awakening Unveiled.” Al-Amin’s book is an analysis of the Arab spring and the effects of history in its beginning, as well as the potential effects in the short and long term. Al-Amin intends the book to be directed at both the well-informed and not, to educate anyone with a curiosity about becoming more informed on the region.

Al-Amin’s book and its content are not the primary point of significance  here, as there are many such titles and authors out there since the Arab Spring. However, the fact that in the face of all the talk of new media, a book still generates attention, is significant. Many have said that print media is dying a slow death – that newspapers will become completely digital, that with the close of chains such as Borders there is little demand for physical books since the inception of the tablet/ereader, yet the continuing release of such works seems to indicate the opposite. Authors are not writing exclusively for the digital audience, and seem to recognize that claims of societal degradation from the shorthand of twitter and texting are alarmist at worst. The written word is not going anywhere, and there will continue to be a wealth of literature available to those who choose to take advantage of it. Print media, and even digital forms of the written word, will not go anywhere, and the fact is that the Arab world, with its long history of high importance placed on this medium, will likely be a source of such for a long time to come.


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