Democracy- Arab Style (2004)

1) Root of the Word
–    Did you know that the root of the word democracy was Arabic?
–    No, I did not, how is that?
–    Well, the word democracy consists of two parts: “demo” and “cracy”, are you following?
–    Sure.
–    The word demo comes from the Arabic word “dayman.” Do you know what that means?
–    Of course. It means “always.”
–    That’s right. The word “cracy” comes from the Arabic word “‘al Corcy.” Do you know what that means?
–    It means: “on the chair.”
–    Exactly, democracy for the Arab government means “Always on the chair!”

2) In Arab countries voting is treated differently.

Some countries allow men to vote, while women are not allowed.

In other countries, the dead vote while the living may vote on a single candidate.

For the rest, it’s simpler. Neither the dead nor the living would ever vote.

3) Throughout the world, governments know the results of the elections after voting. But in the Arab world, governments know the results before voting.

4) Some opposition parties in the Arab world enthusiastically champion democracy. They call for “one man, one vote, one time.”

5) A prominent congressman was addressing a group of Arab-Americans, asking whether their lack of political involvement was due to ignorance or apathy. A voice from the back of the room shouted: “We don’t know, and we don’t care.”

6) While many in the world vote using paper ballots or electronically, many in the Arab world are voting with their lives and blood. Freedom is precious. Real democracy is definitely on the horizon.

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