As the Swedish intellectual Nima Sanandaji argues in his book “The Birth of Capitalism: The Middle East” private enterprise, market economy and ideological support for free exchange are often assumed to have a Western origin. The true root of these practices and ideals are however found in the pre-Islamic and Islamic Middle East. Market practices, economic theories and even industrialization in Europe evolved not independently but as a continuation of the Middle Eastern market tradition. Nima presented the crux of his book through a video-recorded message for the conference.

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