At the other end of the spectrum, independent journalists and many Arab scholars have welcomed the AHDRs, pleased by their explicit condemnation of the post-independence elites' performance in attaining development compared to other countries in the South.
Human rights organizations and non-governmental organizations concerned with development issues and the fight against poverty and illiteracy in Arab societies have also hailed the AHDRs. Many of these organizations have featured the AHDRs prominently in their publications and Web sites.
Thus, while largely ignored by Arab governments, the AHDRs have entered the fray of ideological battles among Islamist, Arab nationalist, leftist, and liberal Arab intellectuals.Aa
Yet these shortcomings in the statistics have not hindered the international reception of the AHDR's data on Arab book publishing.
The AHDR figures were seized upon by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to illustrate the isolation of the Arabs in an increasingly globalized world.
Friedman derived the title of his column from a quote in the AHDR: "The Arab world is at a crossroads.
The authority of the AHDR and The New York Times combined to give these data great weight in public debate.
And so the authors of the AHDR 2003 returned to the subject in some detail.
"but according to many publishers and observers, the bestsellers at the Cairo International Book Fair are religious books, followed by books categorized as educational." (AHDR 2003, p.
"A book that sells 5,000 copies is considered a bestseller." (AHDR 2003, p.
Just as Colin Powell drew on the first AHDR to justify the 2002 "U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative," so the U.S.
When the AHDR claims that only 330 works are translated into Arabic each year, they probably are quoting figures for books whose rights were formally acquired from a Western publisher.