In the Middle East, turmoil has spread quickly. Oppression, inequality, and violence have been keyed in to the very makeup of its society. But what causes a culture to emerge and prosper or stagnate and fail? How can the people take charge of their own inalienable rights to growth, freedom, and life—to keep from backsliding into the grasp of old, unhealthy ideologies and meet their need for ascendance?
In Elza Maalouf’s groundbreaking new book Emerge! The Rise of Functional Democracy in the Middle East, we are introduced to a new paradigm for governance based on Clare Graves’ theory of Spiral Dynamics. Maalouf, the founder of the Center for Human Emergence and the Build Palestine Initiative, is an expert on the application of Spiral Dynamics in the Middle East. By placing democracy in an evolutionary, values-system context that is specific to unique, Middle Eastern characteristics, Emerge pioneers the foundations for necessary change.
Where the West’s approach to conflict resolution has failed due to lack of memetic understanding, Maalouf’s framework for decoding the complexities of the Middle East succeeds. By weaving together the threads that make up the pattern of each culture, Emerge shows the crucial role memes play in creating a system of governance that truly fits. Not only does Emerge ask us to seek understanding before we structure and create, it shows us the necessity of teaching our youth to build their own sustainable, indigenous constructs.