The Great Betrayal: Jean-Paul Sartre and the Arabs

From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy, and his political recipes for self-emancipation, guided the project of Arab liberation. From the very beginning, Middle Eastern intellectuals considered Sartre’s ideas rich, meaningful and appropriate for their needs. Their goal was ambitious: the invention of a new type of Arab man and woman: sovereign, authentic, self-confident, self-sufficient, proud, willing to sacrifice and therefore, existentially free.