What stalled progress in North Africa and the Middle East?
This is not meant as a racist or religious rant and I urge all who answer to avoid using it as such. What is puzzling me is what went wrong in the Arab world. It was the center of knowledge, with much of the world’s leading literature, architecture, enlightened government, science and medicine coming from there from the 8th to the 13th centuries. Much of the wisdom that sparked the Age of Enlightenment in the Western World came from the Middle East as Europe began to reach out and learn from Arab universities.
But something derailed all that progress. Today the area is home to repressive governments and has one of the world’s highest illiteracy rates. What went wrong? What can the Arab world today, and the rest of the world, learn from that tragedy?