Beyond the Arab Disease represents the worst coming together of East and West: an inept Arab writer finding a negligent Western publisher. This unedited manuscript is a hodgepodge of six unrelated segments that have no discernible objective, methodological plan, or even conclusion. Nourallah is so unconcerned with meeting the requirements of a book that he fails to tie its assorted parts into a cohesive whole, or even to call them chapters. On page 6, he calls chapter one an "essay," and on page 124, he identifies chapter six as a "presentation." This text, a book only by virtue of its ISBN, is a brief summary of Arab history, Islamic diplomacy, Sufism, the role of Arab literature in promoting peace with the Jewish state, and even a quick overview of George Bernard Shaw's writings on Arabs and Islam.
Nourallah sounds his disaffection with the "Arab disease," which he defines as "the present state of affairs" of the Arabs. Determining that Arabs desperately need a cure, "however elusive or radical," Nourallah opts for a triple-pronged treatment with a like number of pills for achieving the following: (1) an effective form of Arab unity, (2) living with U.S. hegemony or partnership, and (3) genuine and comprehensive peace and partnership with Israel. The pills do not come with dosage instructions.
However, his treatments are ineffective. What he proposes—collective vision, will, effort, education, and aspects of development pertaining to legal, civil, democratic, and scientific matters—has previously been rejected by the Arab world. His recommendations for the relations between the United States and the Arabs seem unlikely to appeal to either side, and his remedy for the Arab-Israeli conflict would require Arabs and Israelis to undergo a most unlikely process of mental transformation and abandonment of any delusions of superiority.
With his mission accomplished in chapter one and his graphomania apparently in advanced stages, Nourallah waxes philosophical on various topics that are unrelated to the "Arab disease." This irrelevant material rehashes what students of modern Arab history and literature already know.
The reader is distracted from the so-called "Arab disease" by Nourallah's unhealthy dependence on parentheses and his ill-administered commas and dashes. This work is unfit as a textbook, has no value for researchers and experts on Arab politics, and its awkward style renders it a difficult pill for the general reader to swallow. Its only place in a serious library is in the reference section; it is a cogent manual for how not to write a book. A second opinion on the Arab disease is now needed.