‘Fear of Small Numbers’ translated into Arabic

Abu Dhabi - Kalima, the translation project of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), published the Arabic translation of the book ‘Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger’ written by Arjun Appadurai.

By (WAM)

Published: Sun 15 Aug 2010, 6:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:11 AM

The book deals with the theme of violence whose practices have spread extensively in our time, explaining the close relationship between violence and terrorism discourse with the phenomenon of globalization and its role in the regulation of policies, markets and ideas.

It seeks to understand what makes an era dominated by the free flow of capital, liberal ideas and the vigorous expansion of human rights to produce new forms of hatred, ethnic cleansing and genocide ideology.

The book also highlights the new types of political organizations which are not governed by the traditional laws of policies and countries, suggesting that globalization could reveal a dangerous flaw in ideologies. It analyses the close connection between the concept of the state and the idea of belonging to a national ethnicity, and the link the latter has to generate social mistrust. It also shows how globalization sparks this uncertainty between ‘us’ and ‘the other’ and undermines the borders of the sate-nation and its influence.

Through his studies for the development of Muslim minorities in India and other small groups in the world, the book asks the question over anger toward minorities, whose small number did not save them from being the subject of suspicion, fear and anger. It is normal for the few to fear the many, or for the weak to fear the strong. But it is odd how the most violent, aggressive, and far-reaching events are those triggered by the fear by the strong of the weak, and fear by the majority of the minority, which is also based on the notion that a nation cannot be perfect when there are differences between ‘us’ and ‘the other’.

What distinguishes this book is the keenness of the author to use sociological and anthropological tools whose concepts are derived from a different discipline, namely the medical field to develop a new theory which explains social phenomena (such as terrorism and mass violence), which until recently seemed difficult to explain.

The author, Arjun Appadurai, is a specialist in social sciences, a professor at the New School University, and Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives. He is one of the founding editors of the journal ‘Public Culture’. He has worked as a consultant for a wide range of public and private organizations, including UNESCO, the World Bank and the National Science Foundation.

The book was translated by Mufida Mnakiri Labyadh, a professor of English at the National Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology at the University of Carthage in Tunisia. She is a researcher in Applied Linguistics, and an expert translator at legal and international bodies.

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