Arab Cultural Distinctiveness (Abd al Rahman al Kawakibi &Butrus al Bustani)

Abd al Rahman al Kawakibi was born in in 1854 in Aleppo, Syria. He was of the belief that the Ottomans had corrupted Islam and that the Arab Islam was the only true and pure Islam. He said that the glory achieved by the Ottomans was built upon the foundations that were set by the Arabs and that they owed their success to the Arabs. He also believed that the center of the caliphate should be the city of Mecca. He believed that Islam declined due to the false practices introduced, by the ottomans and he even showed remorse that the Turks had ever accepted Islam.

Butrus al Bustani was born a Maronite Christian in Lebanon. He later converted to Protestantism and started teaching in missionary schools, later on opening his own school, the national school. He was impressed by the idea of Arab distinctiveness and compiled an Arabic dictionary and produced eleven volumes of an Arabic encyclopedia. He was of the believe that Arabs should become more educated in science and contemporary subjects and that it was the key to re-establishing Arabs as the dominant states. He was also responsible for reviving the Arabic language that would allow it to be used in the modern world. He grew up in the period of nahdah, in which Arabs started to distinguish themselves from the ottomans.