Tunisian poet Anis Shoshan, speaking in a Sky News Arabia interview on April 21, said that "the whole world continues to make progress, whereas Arab society continues to decline and does not criticize itself." Shoshan said that pan-Arabism is "the notion that most warrants eradication from our history" and that he supports a humanistic identity, which would unite Arab society.
Anis Shoshan:"The main problem is that we, in the Arab societies, have become accustomed to a lack of self-criticism. We are always right, and everybody else is always wrong. The whole world continues to make progress, whereas Arab society continues to decline and does not criticize itself. That is why we have reached these terrible circumstances in which we live. And the worst catastrophe is that we, in the Arab societies, continue to kill one another, to destroy one another, and to accuse one another of heresy, while the West makes progress. The West is always making progress. The West views us in a very negative way, and in fact, we view ourselves in a negative way, although we don't admit it.
"I categorically do not support pan-Arabism. Absolutely not. I am against it. Pan-Arabism is the notion that most warrants eradication from our history."
Interviewer: "Why is that?"
Anis Shoshan: "Because not a single person can tell me what pan-Arabism really means. Is it a geographical notion, a political notion, an historical notion, a notion pertaining to faith, or what?"
Interviewer: "You support humanity... "
Anis Shoshan: "I support a humanistic identity. It is this identity that will unite us."
Interviewer: "So you consider pan-Arabism to be an ideology like that of an extremist religious person?"
Anis Shoshan: "It is a political notion. It is a notion that was exploited by certain leaderships under certain historical circumstances. Those leaders are gone, but the concept remains and continues to be exploited. But this is not good enough for us anymore. It pushes us further apart, rather than bringing us closer."