Saturday 20 January 2018

The last giant

• Vaclav Havel was a towering figure who transcended contemporary times to triumph over tyranny. His death comes at a time when the Middle East is passing through a tumultuous period in its history. The rhythm of deterioration of several facets of domestic life has been astounding especially in pockets of inequity, poverty and social injustices.

Decades of rampant corruption, ramshackle institutions, embezzlement and poor governance have invalidated the top-down and bottom-up approaches. Muslim cities were/are cradles of history and the crucible of ancient civilisations. All the monolithic Abrahamic faiths emanate from the arid region of the Middle East.

Regrettably, totalitarian regimes have always persisted in their efforts to monopolise governance, and have forestalled the advent of democratic experimentalism for decades. The Vaclav Havel example stands as an inspiring lesson to those striving for freedom and dignity. It is a testament of the emancipatory power of the powerless over subjugation.

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