“We’ve been defeated, and now we have to pay the price. We should leave the rest of it for the future.”

“The Arabs’ worst enemy is themselves.”

“Their rulers, you mean.”

“The entire government system, more like it.”

“Everything depends on the Arabs being able to work as a unified entity.”

“On the fifth of June 1967 at least half the Arabs won.”

“Start on the inside, that’s what we have to do.”

“Fine! Religion then. Religion’s everything.”

“No! Communism’s the answer.”

“No! Democracy is what we need.”

“Responsibility should be taken away from the Arabs altogether.”

“Freedom … freedom!”


“Let’s call it democratic socialism.”

“Let’s start off with war. We’ll have time for reforms later.”

“No, the reforms have to come first, then solutions can be worked out some time in the future.”

“No, the two must go hand in hand.”

And so on and so on, ad infinitum.

Naguib Mahfouz, Karnak Café, 75 


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