The first issue of Tabayyun, a journal devoted to philosophy and cultural studies, is published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Doha, and is now available in most Arab cities. The ACRPS' bold move of publishing Tabayyun comes at a time when the publication of high-quality academic periodicals is receding from the cultural and intellectual life in Arab countries. The risk, such as it is, the ACRPS is taking here is to challenge the dearth of high-quality research, attempting to contribute to the initiation of debates and discussions that encourage Arab writers to produce academic research and undertake serious critique. It is an attempt to unsettle the present state of Arab cultural stagnation; it is a task that has particular importance as the Arab people have begun a new historical era, an era in which they have done away with their previous quiescence and torpor, with the Arab people becoming iconoclasts. It is in the context of these great changes that the ACRPS will be publishing Tabayyun. The Center seeks to move the events presently unraveling, investigate the factors that drive these events, and explore the motives and the philosophical, intellectual, and cultural effects of these events on the Arabs. The fact that the ACRPS has been able to begin the publication of two scholarly periodicals (Tabayyun and Omran), and the soon to be released monthly periodical Arab Policies, in the first two years of its existence is a point of great distinction.
Tabayyun, with an editorial board headed by ACRPS Director General Dr. Azmi Bishara, has devoted its first issue to "Language and Identity". The papers in this first edition include a Foreword by Azmi Bishara; "Identity and Estrangement in Arab Consciousness," by Hassan Hanafi; "The Identity of Classical Arabic: Specificities and Classification," by Ramzi Baalbaki; "Language of Identity, Language of Learning," by Abdelqader Al Fassi Al Faheri; "The Arabic Lexicon and National Identity," by Hassan Hamzeh; "Language and Identity: Intellectual Crisis and Political Dilemma," by Abdulsalam al-Massadi; "The Role of Translation in Bolstering Culture and Constructing Identity," by Bassam Barakeh; "Bilingualism and the Problem of Identity," by Fayez Suyyagh; "Materialism in Anthropology and Cultural Studies," by Leonard Jackson; "The Post-Colonial State and Social Transformation in Libya," by Ali Ahmida; "Modernity: An Unfinished Project," a new translation of the Jurgen Habermas text by philosophy professor Fathi al-Miskini.
In addition to the above research papers, this first edition of Tabayyun will also include a number of book reviews and critical discussions, including "Mark Bloch: From Sad Societies to the Historiography of the Transformation Crisis and its Times, by Wajih Kawtharani; "Why would Abdullah al-Arwi have Translated Rousseau's The Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar?," by Kamal Abdullatif; "A Reading of Amartya Sen's The Idea of Justice," by Ahmad Baalbaki; "A Reading in The Philosophy of World Civilizations: Theories of Truth and Their Interpretation," by Haitham Mazahim; and a review of Azmi Bishara's On the Arab Question by Jad Abdulkarim al-Jabaaie.
Alongside these valuable intellectual contributions, the first print issue of Tabayyun is illustrated with contributions from a number of Syrian artists, including Ali Arnaout, Michel Qarshah, Sarah Shamma, and Gulistan Hamo.