Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian TV host Tamer Amin, which aired on Abu Dhabi TV on May 15, 2011:
Tamer Amin: I'm sad to say that we in the Arab world have invented a new form of dialogue. In all other countries and cultures throughout the world, dialogue takes place between two parties. We, in the Arab world, have invented the "unilateral dialogue." I talk, therefore I own the truth, I know what is right, and you must learn from me.
As you said at the beginning of the program, this has to do with upbringing within the family. The father has patriarchal authority, he knows and understands everything, he gives advice, he commands, and he must be obeyed. When did any one of us as a child begin to have a dialogue – not an argument, but a dialogue – with his father? If you recall, you will see it was at a more advanced age. That is what's wrong. What is taught at a young age becomes set in stone. Unfortunately, this is not how we have been brought up.
In addition, as you mentioned before, the Arab regimes have deliberately denied us this. Besides, do you know any Arab individual – someone with an Arab passport – who possesses the capacity to listen?
Interviewer: You are saying that we do not excel at the art of listening to one another?
Tamer Amin: We don't excel?! We lack this capacity altogether.