Dear Readers, he lived most of his life in his home land, but his work was effective in the entire Arab world … he died secluded in exile in Berlin where he lived the last few years of his life. Sadiq Jalal al-Azm is considered as one of the pioneers of Arab Modernism and an […]
On this occasion, I have to admit here that despite my studies of philosophy and Immanuel Kant at the Humboldt University in Berlin, I read Sadiq’s dissertation on Kant’s Theory of Time as one of the black copy books in Damascus – but I never understood it as much as I tried. This immensely increased my respect for the author, of course. But more remarkably, although I was a bit disappointed about myself, it did not matter at all. Not for him, and not for me, because most of the intellectual exchange with him took place orally, in hour-long and night-long conversations, interrupted with witty humour, laughter and human warmth.
Many of you are here to honour Sadik, the thinker, the public intellectual, the philosopher, and the teacher. Others are here in memory of a friend. I am here to honour my father.
I would like to start by saying that Sadik lived his life as he saw fit. He described his life’s journey as “prolific, full and rich, a journey which I enjoyed tremendously, a life with no regrets”. In other words, he did it his way. Just like the Frank Sinatra song.
he lived most of his life in his home land, but his work was effective in the entire Arab world … he died secluded in exile in Berlin where he lived the last few years of his life.
Sadiq Jalal al-Azm is considered as one of the pioneers of Arab Modernism and an outstanding scholar of critical thought in the Arab world.
Al-Azm achieved great fame in 1968 and 1969 with the publishing of his works “Self-criticism after the defeat” and “Critique of Religious Thought”, in which he radically attacked central dogmas of political and religious-cultural discourse within Arab society.