What ails the Arabs?
They are a dynamic and inventive people whose long and proud history includes fabulous contributions to art, culture, science and, of course, religion.
The score of modern Arab states, on the other hand, have been impressive mainly for their consistent record of failure.
In a special report this week on the Arab world they argue that behind the political stagnation a great social upheaval is under way. Fertility is in decline; more people, especially women, are becoming educated; businessmen want a bigger say in economies dominated by the state; a revolution in satellite television has broken the spell of the state-run media and created a public that wants the rulers to explain themselves as never before.