After the publication of the first issue of Tabbayun, announced earlier on its website, the ACRPS announces the first publication of Omran, a social sciences and humanities quarterly periodical. The head of the editorial board is ACRPS Director General Dr. Azmi Bishara. Omran was born to address the functional and methodological impasse facing the fields of enquiry in the social and human sciences in the Arab Homeland, particularly as the critical nature of these disciplines was suppressed throughout the Arab region some time ago, forcing scholars active in the field to become functionaries of the authoritarian states in which they lived. This need becomes ever more pressing with the dramatic changes sweeping across the Arab countries.
The name Omran stems from the concept coined by Ibn Khaldun, and is not just another periodical; rather, it is one that seeks, as a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, to be a project that regains the practices of periodicals that produced scholarly trends, intellectual movements, and schools of thought. Omran represents a qualitative shift in the curricula of social sciences and humanities to reinvigorate not only the academic nature of the broad umbrella of disciplines concerned, but also to place them at the heart of the presently underway Arab social transformations. In this sense, Omran will aim also to enshrine freedom of thought and the liberty of the individual at its core.
The first issue, printed in Beirut in September 2012 and illustrated with paintings by a number of Syrian artists (Sarah Shamma, Michel Qarshah, and Ahmad Madoun), was devoted to "Stagnated Growth and Sustainable Development," with contributions from a wide number of noted Arab scholars, including: "Exploratory Remarks on Sustainable Growth and Development in the Arab States," by Ali Abdelqader Ali; "The Three Spaces of a Productive State," by Taher Kanaan; "The Developmental Role of the State," by Mohammed Abdulshafie Issa; "On the Concept of Civil Society," by Ahmad Baalbaki; "Poverty in Three Arab States," by Karima Karim; "Poverty: Plurality of indicators and degrees of poverty in Rural Morocco," by Hassan Dayedh; "The Risk of Sectarian Strife Afflicting the Arab Revolutions," by Wajih Qansoo; "Coptic Specificity and the Exclusion of the State in Egypt," by Mai Masaad; "The Arab Opinion Index Poll," by Adib Nehme; and
"Public Opinion Surveys: Where does opinion fit into the public?," by Hazem al-Bassam.
In addition to the above articles, the first issue of Tabayyun also contains a number of book reviews, including reviews of Azmi Bishara's The Glorious Tunisian Revolution, by Abdullatif al-Hannashi, Timothy Mitchell's Rule of Experts by Hani Awwad, and Ussama Makdisi's The Culture of Sectarianism: Community, History and Violence in Nineteenth Century Ottoman Lebanon by Neyrouz Satik.
Finally, this first issue of Tabayyun also contains a report on the ACRPS' own First Annual Conference on the Social Sciences and Humanities held in Doha in March 2012.