Kramer's chutzpah

Martin Kramer writes in his blog, Sandbox:

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, held a conference on the fate of the ancient library of Alexandria. To the organizers' credit, they invited Bernard Lewis, who couldn't attend, but who sent a paper, read in his absence. The correspondent of the Ahram Weekly, Amina Elbendary, tied herself in knots about it. The invite to Lewis was "bewildering," since Lewis's name is "controversial, to say the least, and often associated with the negative connotations of Orientalism." Well, quite obviously the organizers accomplished Egyptian historians -- haven't been corrupted by post-Orientalist orthodoxy and its blacklisting militancy. There's hope.


This is pretty laughable from the guy who, along with fellow traveler Likudnik Daniel Pipes, founded an institution whose blacklisting militancy against Middle Eastern studies professors is reminiscent of anti-communist witch-hunts. Not to mention that the likes of Pipes and Kramer, who style themselves as Middle East experts, are really policy advocates, not real scholars like the professors they like to criticize.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.