Bunker Diplomacy: An Arab-American in the U.S. Foreign Service

by Nabeel Khoury

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Nabeel Khoury has written a remarkably cogent memoir.  He not only details life in the Foreign Service in a highly entertaining and engaging style, but also provides provocative and telling insights into many of the crises in the Middle East…From Egypt, to ‘The Magic Kingdom’ to Iraq, Morocco and Yemen — Dr. Khoury undertook his duties with a flair that was both bold and unique. I only wish that American policy makers would read his chapters on Morocco and Yemen in particular, and benefit from his general policy recommendations – It might induce some humility and second thoughts on some important “lessons learned.”
Mark G. Hambley
Former Ambassador to Qatar and Lebanon 
This is a gripping narrative that fuses two stories in one.  The first is the academic and political journey of a fascinating man standing between two worlds — Beirut and Washington, Arabness and Westerness, the State Department and the Middle East…The second narrative is a story of America itself as a great power casting a long shadow over the Arab world. The bureaucratic battles described as occurring inside different presidential administrations over four decades reveal a foreign policy often caught between conflicting personalities and demands. Major events like the Gulf War, Iraq War, and Arab Spring are trenchantly retold from the perspective of policymakers, diplomats, and intelligence officers. That these two stories come from the same book is reason enough to read it, but that they come from the career of the same individual will make readers never forget it.
Moulay Hicham el-Alaoui
President Hicham Alaoui Foundation
Nabeel Khoury – an accomplished Arab-American diplomat – offers readers a searing personal journey through America’s trials and tribulations in the Middle East.
William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Former Deputy Secretary of State

After twenty-five years in the Foreign Service, Dr. Nabeel A. Khoury retired from the U.S. Department of State in 2013 with the rank of Minister Counselor. He taught Middle East and US strategy courses at the National Defense University and Northwestern University. In his last overseas posting, Khoury served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Yemen (2004-2007). In 2003, during the Iraq war, he served as Department spokesperson at US Central Command in Doha and in Baghdad.

Follow Nabeel on Twitter @khoury_nabeel

 

 

 

A Strategy for Implementing the Reconciliation Process Between Israel and the Palestinians

by Alon Ben-Meir PhD

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The most puzzling aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that after 69 years of mutual violence, enmity and suffering, it remains unresolved even when coexistence is inevitable and a two-state solution remains the only viable option. Although there are many contentious issues that must be specifically addressed, it is the psychological dimension of the conflict which directly impacts every conflicting issue and makes it increasingly intractable. To mitigate the conflict, we must first look into the elements that inform the psychological dimension and how to alleviate them as prerequisites to finding a solution.

Dr. Alon Ben Meir is a professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute. Dr. Ben- Meir is an expert on Middle East politics and affairs, specializing in international negotiations and conflict resolution. In the past two decades, Ben-Meir has been directly involved in Track II diplomacy related to various conflicts in the Middle East, including numerous negotiations between Israel and its neighboring countries and Turkey.

 

 

Israel’s Future Wars: Military and Political Aspects of Israel’s Coming Wars

by Ehud Eilam

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This book examines Israel’s possible future wars in the upcoming years. It analyzes the strategic background and the nature of operations of those wars and concentrates on feasible future battlefields of Israel in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Sinai.

 

“Eilam’s work provides valuable context to the political and military issues that may shape Israel’s future wars. His analysis helps us understand the complexity of the conditions surrounding potential future confrontations in the Mideast. This well-informed study is a must read for those who wish to learn more about the challenges and risks facing Israel.”
David A. Deptula, Lt Gen USAF (Ret.) Dean, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies

 

“Israel’s Future Wars is a remarkable work in the field, noteworthy for both its subject matter breadth, and its corollary command of very complex facts and materials. Each of the author’s chapters deals with a particular military threat to Israel, but Eilam still correctly understands the possible intersections and prospective synergies between them…There is no doubt that Israel’s Future Wars will quickly become essential reading for both academic strategists and Israel’s military policy-planners and makers. This recognition will be well-deserved.”
Louis René Beres, Emeritus Professor of International Law, Purdue University.

“Read this book if you are interested in the future of the Middle East as Dr. Ehud Eilam takes the reader through a fascinating tour of Israel’s possible conflict scenarios… The insightful book will take you into the future of the most volcanic region in the world.”
Dr. Thomas Parker worked for the U.S. government in the past thirty years. He currently teaches security studies at George Washington University.

“In “Israel’s Future Wars,” Ehud Eilam, a veteran analyst of Israel’s security and defense policy, provides readers with a glimpse into the future with an expert analysis of Israel’s possible military operations against Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Syrian front, and Egypt. It is a must read for those interested in a better understanding of how Israel survives and thrives in one of the world’s most complicated threat environments.”
Matthew Kroenig is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University

 

“Israel’s Future Wars by Dr. Ehud Eilem is a compelling and thought-provoking discussion on the shape of the most likely wars or armed conflict Israel will plausibly face in the near future. Based on his extensive and exhaustive research and analysis Dr. Eilem has written an authoritative, comprehensive and fascinating book on the challenges Israel would face if it should go to war against a range of potential adversaries from terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas to Iran, Syria or Egypt or combinations thereof.
He combines his thorough research and analysis on the defense capabilities of Israel and the capabilities of its adversaries to create a highly believable and authoritative vision of what future wars in the Middle East could look like. This is also a useful book for military planners, policy makers and the concerned public.
As a starting point for defense planning the assessment of the future security environment is essential and Dr. Eilem’s assessments, worse case planning, and recommendations are important contributions to understanding and preparing for these threat scenarios.”
Guy B. Roberts, Colonel USMC (Ret.) Former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General

 

Iran: Who Is Really In Charge?

by Camille Verleuw, Introduction by Alain Bauer

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Born in a country with three official languages, and an acquaintance with Latin during high school, it was no surprise that author Camille Verleuw became interested in Indo-European linguistics, discovering the Persian language and its local Afghan or Tajik forms. Verleuw graduated from two schools of the Department of Letters, Translation & Communication of the Université Libre of Brussels (Belgium) before moving to the University of Teheran to specialize in iranistics while working as a writer for the French-language daily newspaper Le Journal de Téhéran. After the closure of the newspaper at the beginning of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Verleuw worked as a translator, a correspondent for European media, a media officer and an expert on Iranian affairs, including Shia Islam. Verleuw also spent long periods in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

iranThe present study is aimed at explaining the realities of a country which is only presented in the media for the sensational statements of some of its leaders or its deep involvement in the Middle East affairs. The image has been mostly negative for years, especially since the takeover of the American embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, although the Iranian clerics’ antagonism towards the United-States dates from the 1950s.

The recent signing of agreements between Iran and some Western countries carries many hopes for a restoration of better relations and a return to the international scene of a matured Iran. Many businessmen will head back to Tehran: the country is in fact extremely thirsty of procuring new technologies or materials to meet development capabilities in all areas. However, thirty-seven years of isolation has led Iran to become self-sufficient in many areas thanks to its young people who have never been forbidden to study in Western countries. The reader will be impressed by the intellectual level of the authorities as shown by the included biographies of the government members.

The land offers many opportunities, and this work highlights some of these areas. However, this study also cautions foreigners regarding their behavior and business opportunities while visiting Iran.

. The conference photography shows her as the lone woman. Secreted in the Semiramis Hotel, she and the other ‘forty thieves’ laid out policies whose failures (and Lawrence’s disillusionment) are well known.

Therein lies the tragedy of her life, perhaps more of a tragedy that than of Lawrence. Almost none of the undertakings to the Arabs to which she was an enthusiastic participant were realized. There were a number of these promises, although they were less publicized than those made in the famous McMahon letters. For example, the assurances at the 1916 durbar at Kuwait were equally dishonored: the shaikh of Kuwait received a CSI and Ibn Saud got the KCIE along with pledges that with the defeat of the Turks: “The dream of Arab unity … has been brought nearer fulfillment than dreams are wont to come, but the role of presiding genius has been recast.”


Instead of an Arabian viceregality that would justify the wonderful title of ‘Viceroys of the Gulf,’ or of a ‘final’ resolution of the region’s conflicts, British Imperial administration be- tween the world wars became a long and unsatisfactory interlude in which little was accomplished. Hobson remarks in Imperialism about the use of ‘masked worlds’ and an Imperial Genius for inconsistency: “Most of the men who have misled … have first been obliged to mislead themselves.” This was the case with Gertrude Bell, who committed suicide in 1926. After she and her friends departed the scene, the air went out if the balloon, and the ‘countervailing disadvantages’ of being misled became apparent to the Arabs. This little-known book is one key to heady days at Basra when the Middle East empire seemed likely.

 

Invasions of the Gulf: Radicalism, Ritualism and the Shaikhs

by Paul Rich

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The Gulf was ruled for a good part of the 19th and 20th centuries from India, and those who served there constituted a unique, small foreign service of their own. Their public (private boarding in American usage) school backgrounds taught them to believe in elitism and snobbery, which they passed on to their sheikhs who became obsessed with their own positions, their wealth, and rituals surrounding their majlis and the pompous titles of Highness and regal monarchy.

As Dr. Rich asks, if the British had come from ordinary schools would they have thought less about elitism and more about providing good education for their charges? Would the sheikhs have paid for education instead of thoroughbred racehorses? Would they still have treated Indians as houseboys?

The Residents did not see any incongruity between their own privileged education, and the lack of attention they paid to often appalling local conditions. If accused of neglect, the colonial rulers could reply that without them the Arabs of the Gulf would have been even worse off.

Dr. Rich’s verdict on the years of British rule is far from favourable. His conclusion is that British achievements were decidedly modest, and that a legacy was left behind which combined the worst features of Indo-British and Arab tradition. The rulers of the Gulf need to take crash courses in history, pluralism and constitutionalism if they are to survive. If the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq had brought the Gulf to its senses, then some good might have come from it. Obviously not. Perhaps the world is reaping the results of British policy that left a system in the Gulf which could not adapt, burdened by frontiers which are now questioned. Stability accompanied by social inertia was what the century and a half of British rule provided.

 

The Arab of Mesopotamia

by Gertrude Bell, Introduction by Paul Rich

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One very determined woman incontestably held her own and more with the great figures of the Middle East in the early twentieth century. That was Gertrude Bell. Highly strung, petulant, aggressive, and gossipy, she occasionally provided tea but rarely sympathy to the extraordinary group of British imperial administrators whose adventures centered on Basra at the head of the Gulf in 1914–1916. Not enough has been made of the Barra cabal as a group rather than individuals. Nor have the machinations of the ‘Basra gang’ had the attention given to figures such as Lawrence of Arabia and General Allenby, individuals who when all is said and done were not deeply involved in Gulf and Iraqi affairs.

The Arab of Mesopotamia is a collection of once confidential briefing papers that Bell helped to produce for British army officers new to the Mesopotamian theater, published in Basra by a military printer. The tone confirms views that Gertrude Bell and her colleagues were interested in the possibility of playing on the world stage and wanted quiet in the shaikhdoms while they pursued notions of a Middle East empire that would rival the Indian empire. Heady plans were made for an Imperial service that would include Arabia, Iraq, the Trans-Jordan, and even the Sudan. While exiting, this ‘mega outlook’ was opposed to Arab concerns.

arabThe apotheosis for Bell was reached in 1921 when Winston Churchill called a famous meet- ing of forty Middle East experts in Cairo. The conference photography shows her as the lone woman. Secreted in the Semiramis Hotel, she and the other ‘forty thieves’ laid out policies whose failures (and Lawrence’s disillusionment) are well known.

Therein lies the tragedy of her life, perhaps more of a tragedy that than of Lawrence. Almost none of the undertakings to the Arabs to which she was an enthusiastic participant were realized. There were a number of these promises, although they were less publicized than those made in the famous McMahon letters. For example, the assurances at the 1916 durbar at Kuwait were equally dishonored: the shaikh of Kuwait received a CSI and Ibn Saud got the KCIE along with pledges that with the defeat of the Turks: “The dream of Arab unity … has been brought nearer fulfillment than dreams are wont to come, but the role of presiding genius has been recast.” 


Instead of an Arabian viceregality that would justify the wonderful title of ‘Viceroys of the Gulf,’ or of a ‘final’ resolution of the region’s conflicts, British Imperial administration be- tween the world wars became a long and unsatisfactory interlude in which little was accomplished. Hobson remarks in Imperialism about the use of ‘masked worlds’ and an Imperial Genius for inconsistency: “Most of the men who have misled … have first been obliged to mislead themselves.” This was the case with Gertrude Bell, who committed suicide in 1926. After she and her friends departed the scene, the air went out if the balloon, and the ‘countervailing disadvantages’ of being misled became apparent to the Arabs. This little-known book is one key to heady days at Basra when the Middle East empire seemed likely.

 

The War in the Cradle of the World

by Eleanor Franklin Egan, Introduction by Paul Rich

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This book is an outstanding example of how the highly subjective and the autobiographical dominated writing about the Middle East in the first half of the twentieth century. Serious political analysis was thin on the ground. Egan was fortunate in the quality of her contacts in the area, including Lt. General Sir William Raine Marshall, who was General Maude’s successor, Brig. General Robert Hughes and Admiral Sir Drury St. Aubyn Wake. 


cradleWartime in Baghdad raises questions about the relationship between the British and the Americans in the Middle East. Early in the nineteenth century the British were apprehensive about American ships trading with the Arabs, and this suspicion of both the Arabs and the Americans continued through the years. After World War I British doubts grew. Unquestionably some of the American institutions in the Middle East were breeding grounds for Arab nationalists. 


Eleanor Egan’s book should not be read for what it tells about Baghdad during a war, but as a reminder that the United States in many ways has inherited the British position in the Gulf. The American military retains a considerable respect for British military traditions.

 

The Ins and Outs of Mesopotamia

by Thomas Lyell, Introduction by Paul Rich

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This highly opinionated book, written by a British officer in occupied Iraq, first appeared in 1923. Thomas Lyell was completely convinced of the necessity of the British presence in Iraq, and felt his book would help to enlighten Westerns as to the “true” nature of Iraqi life, complicated as it was by the various religious and political factions that existed within the country. Bigoted and prejudiced, though intensely pragmatic, this book is a truly startling expose of the attitude taken by British officers towards the indigenous peoples of the Gulf region, over whose day-to-day lives they were given charge.

insandoutsAgainst a background of the British invasion of the First World War and the subsequent civil war, Lyell presents a portrait of life as he saw it. He explodes in detail the influence of religion on Arab life, both in its domination of everyday affairs and in the antipathy between orthodox Sunnis and unorthodox Shias, believing an appreciation of this to be crucial to any understanding of the area. Although his experiences as a criminal judge may have coloured his views towards the Arabs (whom he considered lawless and unfit for self-government), he is equally castigating of British, Jewish and Kurdish peoples in the region (bemoaning British folly in placing a Sunni of the throne of largely Shia Iraq, and referring to the Kurds as “untrained savages”).

Commenting, in the final section of the book, on the possible future of Iraq, Lyell has grim warnings. He foresaw the influence of the Red Army in the area, the threat of a Kurdish revolution and, in the event of the British pulling out and leaving the Iraqis to govern themselves, a bleak future for the minority elements in the country: “… no conceivable guarantees in the world ensure their safety … All modern civilization and progress would be wiped out.”

 

A Woman Tenderfoot in Egypt: 1920s Travel Recollections

by Grace Thompson Seton

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The author, Grace Gallatin Seton Thompson (1872-1959) was a remarkable voyager to distant places. Her first work, A Woman Tenderfoot (1900), offered a detailed, illustrated guide for women to traverse, hunt and explore the Rocky Mountain area. She was an outspoken leader in the women’s suffrage movement and other causes advancing women’s rights both in the United States and around the world. She played a major part in directing aid to France during World War I, began the Biblioteca Femina, served as president of the Connecticut Women Suffrage Association and Pen and Brush, among numerous other activities.

This work, A Woman Tenderfoot in Egypt, details her experiences in Egypt. She also explored China, India, Japan, parts of South America and numerous other places throughout her life, but particularly during the 1920s-30s. She wrote accounts of some her travels in works like Chinese Lanterns (1924) and Yes, Lady Saheb (1925).

This new edition is dedicated to Professor Marianne Marchand of the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, another traveler of note and a teacher of distinction.

Two Years in Kurdistan: Experiences of a Political Officer, 1918-1920

by W. R. Hay, Introduction by Paul Rich

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Kurdistan does not exist as a country, yet it certainly does exist as a nation. A people of great number and antiquity, united by a shared heritage, the Kurds are primarily scattered over five countries—Turley, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia. For a great many years they have played the unenviable role of pawns in the Middle East’s turbulent power struggles, manipulated by governments using Kurdish troubles as a means of outmaneuvering their opponents.  


William Rupert Hay was a British political officer who was in charge of the largely Kurdish district of Arbil in northern Iraq from 1918 to 1920. He was given the task of establishing and maintaining British rule in the area in the wake of the invasion of the First World War.  
kurdistan


Two Years in Kurdistan is a detailed personal account of Hay’s time in Arbil. It traces his progress from the initial warm welcome given by the Kurds (who were, in the wake of a war, living in terrible conditions and believed that British rule heralded the dawning of a new and better age) through disillusionment at stiffer taxes, tighter laws, and the failure of the British to significantly improve the quality of life to the eventual rebellion of 1920. Through all these events, Hay paints a vivid portrait of the people and places of northern Iraq and many extraordinary experiences, whether it be hunting the outlaw Nuri Bahil (“a patriot and a hero…a sort of Robin Hood”), conversing with the gregarious tribal chief Hama Agha (who claimed to be 130 and fathered a child when 90) or describing attempts on his own life.  


The most important aspect of the book is that it explains the feelings held towards the region by a man who, many years later, was, as British Political Resident, to play a crucial role in shaping the modern Gulf. As Hay noted in 1921, with remarkable relevance to today, “Poor people, I am afraid they must have been bitterly disappointed of the high hopes for the future which they entertained.”

 

The Land of the Date

by C. M. Cursetjee

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In December 1916 the SS Zaiyanni left Bombay bound for the port of Basra, at the head of the Persian Gulf. On board was C. M. Cursetjee, a 69-year-old Oxford-educated Indian Parsee, on his way to see his nephew who was serving in the Indian forces. The boat, carrying much commercial cargo, stopped at all the major ports on the voyage, and the author kept a diary of this remarkable journey upon which this book was based.  

date
The Land of the Date is an exceptional study in that it provides important information in two areas. On the one hand, it furnishes a unique and highly entertaining record of life in the Gulf ports in the heady days of the First World War. Cursetjee brings the feel of the times vividly to life: from the pearl divers of Bahrain to the street traders of the bazaars of Basra, all are discussed and described, often with a dry humor.  


The book also, however, serves to bring an Indian perspective to bear on the situation in the Gulf which, considering the large Indian involvement with the Empire’s ventures in the region, has been greatly overlooked. Cursetjee emerges as a stanch imperialist, referring throughout to the greater potential for the future offering to the inhabitants by British rule and fully believing that the Gulf should be British after the war. He also encouraged Indian entrepreneurship in the region, seeing considerable commercial opportunities.  


The author clearly foresaw strategic importance of Kuwait, due to its geographical relationship to the prime port of Basra, as well as the power that oil would have in the area’s future. Whilst fully supporting the British in their Middle Eastern endeavors he was tellingly critical of their attitude in occupied areas, “if only British rule were impressed…with less of that overweening self-importance, haughty aloofness and mischief-brewing superciliousness with which the Britisher makes himself obnoxious in many lands.”

Hadji in Syria, or, Three Years in Jerusalem

by Sarah Barclay Johnson

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Sarah Barclay Johnson (1837-1885) traveled throughout the Middle East as a missionary in the hadjiCampbellite church. Her father, James Turner Barclay, was a minister in the
same church and wrote narratives about his missionary attempts in the region. Further solidifying her links to the area, Johnson married the US consul to Syria, Augustus Johnson.

Johnson’s work, Hadji in Syria, is different from her father’s writings because she focuses on the present day issues and her differing viewpoints from other travelers, notably J. Ross Browne. Still, the focus is largely Christianity in the area, as she examines the Church of the Holy Sepulcher controversies and battles ideas of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox religious traditions. She also critiques the precarious role of women in the region from an American perspective.

This new edition is dedicated to Cheryl Walker, with hopes she travels far with distinction.

 

The Middle East: New Order or Disorder?

Edited by Mohammed A. Aman, Ph.D. and Mary Jo Aman, MLIS

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This book brings together edited papers contributed to this volume by presenters at the most recent Middle East Dialogue (MED Conference held annually in Washington, DC, and sponsored by the Policy Studies Organization (PSO), the Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES), and supporting universities and organizations such as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the American Public University System, the Next Century Foundation, Capital Communications Group, among others. Additional papers were invited from scholars and experts in Middle East and North African studies. Collectively, these contributions aim to enrich the literature and dialogue on issues affecting policy, diplomacy, and socioeconomic studies dealing with this volatile region of the world. Collectively, the authors of the book’s 21 chapters bring to the reader a wealth of expertise and contributions to the broader scholarship on the Middle East, and the much hoped-for understanding and solutions to the region’s conflicts.

Mohammed M. Aman, Ph.D. is Professor and former Dean of the School of Information Studies and Interim Dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) and the online journal, Middle East Media & Book Reviews (MEMBR). Professor Aman is the author of more than 200 articles, book chapters and is author or editor of 15 books, among his latest are Post-Arab Spring: Review of the Literature; The Middle East Conflicts & Reforms; New Directions in the Middle East. Professor Aman consults for the USAID, USIS,  UNESCO, UNIDO, and UNDP. Among the national and international honors he received: The P. N. Kaula Gold Medal Award, The American Library Association’s OCLC—James A. Humphrey Award, the Wisconsin Library Association, and the Association of Library & Information Science Education, along with honors by governments and universities in Egypt, Libya, Kenya, Kuwait, among others.

Mary Jo Aman, MLIS is Associate Editor of the Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES); Middle East Media & Book Reviews (MEMBR); Post-Arab Spring: Review of the Literature; The Middle East Conflicts & Reforms; and New Directions in the Middle East. Ms. Aman has also served on the boards of such organizations as the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY); the Wisconsin Library Association, and has taught at St. John’s University in New York, Cardinal Stritch
University, and UWM in Milwaukee, WI. She is the recipient of the Wisconsin State Senate Recognition Award; Citation of Merit from the Milwaukee Board of Supervisors; and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Ernest Spaights Award for Outstanding Contributions to UWM.

Post Arab Spring: Middle East Reviews

Edited by Mohammed M. Aman PhD and Mary Jo Aman MLIS

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The book brings together reviews of books published between 2012 and 2015 about the Middle East and North Africa. The subject coverage spans the humanities, arts, and social sciences but excludes books on science and technology. Reviews are written by experts in the respective subject area and offer detailed, informative and critical information designed to assist scholars, as well as librarians. These published reviews are supplemented by regularly published reviews that appear on the Middle East Media & Book Reviews web site, membr.uwm.edu. About the Editors Mohammed M. Aman, PhD is Professor and former Dean of the School of Information Studies and Interim Dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Wiley-Blackwell/Policy Studies Organization (PSO) peer reviewed journal Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) and the online journal Middle East Media & Book Reviews (MEMBR).His academic experience includes teaching and senior administration at St. John’s University and Long Island University in New York and since 1979 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Professor Aman is the author of more than 200 articles, book chapters and is author or editor of fourteen books. Mary Jo Aman, MLIS is Associate Editor of the Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) and the Middle East Media and Book Reviews (MEMBR) and former Editor of the Newsletter of the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY). She is the co-editor of Middle East: Conflicts & Reforms; and New Directions in the Middle East. (PSO/Westphalia Press, 2014). Ms. Aman held a number of academic teaching and administrative positions. Ms. Aman has taught at St. John’s University in New York; Cardinal Stritch College and UWM in Milwaukee, WI. She is the recipient of a number of awards among them: Wisconsin State Senate Recognition Award; Citation of Merit from the Milwaukee Board of Supervisors; and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Ernest Spaights Award for Outstanding Contributions to UWM.

Egypt: The Death of Philae

Egypt: The Death of Philae

by Pierre Loti, Translated by W. P. Baines

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egypt

Louis Marie-Julien Viaud (1850-1923) adopted the pseudonym, Pierre Loti, while in Tahiti. He served in the French military, ultimately becoming a naval officer. His service led him to travels around the world, and his keen eye for observations was quickly recognized. He was encouraged by fellow officers to publicly share his travel accounts. He wrote detailed views of cities like Jerusalem, Istanbul and Algiers, and overall examinations of countries such as Senegal, Vietnam, Iceland, Japan, India and Egypt. His writings tied a deep appreciation for recounting vibrant details of life in regions around the world to stories of deep emotion, often blurring the line between fact and fiction.

The Death of Philae is a travelogue of Loti’s visit to Egypt, in which he is quite aware of the imbalance of power in the region. He offers a sympathetic view of Egyptians and Islam, and notes the imposition of the British Empire on the region. The title comes from a description of the island of Philae, which was submerged after the development of the Aswan Dam by England across the Nile River.

Syria the Land of Lebanon

by Lewis Gaston Leary, Preface by Paul Rich

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BookCoverImage-14This emphatically is not a book about the territory now constituting Syria but about an era when the terms Lebanon and Syria were used in a politically incorrect inept way even by the foreign powers dominating the region. Leary’s son, Lewis Gaston Leary Jr. (1877-1951) carried on the family literary tradition and was the William Rand Kenan Professor English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Extensive family papers are in the archives there.

Leary taught at what is now the American University in Beirut and during that time traveled extensively in the Middle East. He is a reminder that despite their troubles what are now Lebanon and Syria are full of visual joy.

 

Toward the Abyss: Israel and the Palestinians

by Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict does not appear to be any closer to a resolution, even after decades of continuous struggle. Since the signing of the historic Oslo Accords, the divide between the two sides has devolved to its lowest point yet, which has made the opportunity for peace ever more elusive. The disregard of the psychological dimension BookCoverImageof the conflict, continuing occupation, rancorous public narratives, settlements enterprise, use of force, and failure of various peace negotiations over the past twenty years have glaringly demonstrated that the responsibility for the deadlock and the diminishing prospect of reaching a peace agreement any time soon falls squarely on both sides.

In this compelling series of essays, Dr. Alon Ben-Meir examines the various underlying issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ultimately argues that the Israelis and Palestinians must take a hard, critical look at their current situation and decide what they want their future to be: a continuation of violent confrontations, or sustainable peace and security.

Dr. Alon Ben Meir is a professor and Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs and at the World Policy Institute. Ben-Meir is an expert on Middle East politics and affairs, specializing in international negotiations and conflict resolution.

Ben-Meir hosts “Global Leaders: Conversations with Alon Ben-Meir” with top policy-makers from around the world, held at NYU. He writes a weekly article that appears in scores of newspapers, magazines and websites, and has been featured on networks such as ABC, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, al Hurra, CNN, and NBC. Ben-Meir has authored eight books and is currently working on a new book about the psychological dimension of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dr. Ben-Meir holds a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University.

Egypt and Its Betrayal: Personal Recollections by Elbert Farman

by Elbert E. Farman

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Elbert E. Farman was a diplomat, jurist and author of two works, Along the Nile and Egypt and its Betrayal. BookCoverImage-7The works were highlight influenced by Farman’s perspective as the United States Ambassador to Egypt, where he served from 1876-81. During this time, he traveled with Ulysses S. Grant and his family after Grant had finished their time in the White House. Farman showed them around Egypt, visiting Cairo, Alexandria and the Nile. In Betrayal, Farman sharply criticizes the many labor, architectural and financial issues that the English occupation had caused in Egypt.

Baghdad and Points East

by Robert J. Casey

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Robert Casey belonged to the generation of foreign correspondents who outdid Hollywood in their adventures. Cited for bravery in World War I, he then spent twenty-seven years as a columnist for the Chicago Daily News. His search for stories took him to Indochina and Cuba, the Pitcairn Islands and London during the Blitz, the D-Day invasion, and the liberation of Paris. Widely admired for his prose style and facility for anecdote, he had a particular fondness for this volume. His papers are at the Newberry Library in Chicago, waiting for what could be an exciting biography.

 

Spring or Cruel Winter?: The Evolution of the Arab Revolutions

by Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

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The Arab Spring, sparked by Tunisian university graduate turned street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi’s act of self-immolation, is an ongoing, integral part of global transformation, ushering in a new era in which no ruler can deprive his citizens of their basic rights. However, this idealism was misjudged in certain areas, specifically evidenced in the violent backlash against the peaceful protests in Syria, a tragedy which is still ongoing.

In this book, Dr. Ben-Meir evaluates the countries involved in the Arab Spring and their varying responses to the widespread calls for equality and social and political reforms across the Middle East. In particular, he examines the cultural, religious, political, and socioeconomic backgrounds of each of the affected countries and how these play a role in each country’s interpretation of the Arab Spring.

A Trip to Palestine and Syria

by John P. Hackenbroch

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In 1913, the same year that this nuanced and colorful account of the Middle East was published, a group of Arab students living in Paris proposed an international meeting about Syria and Lebanon to A Trip to Palestine & Syria COVER FRONT ONLYdiscuss the decay of the Ottoman Empire, the part the European powers were playing in the region, Zionist settlements in Palestine, and the signs of growing crisis in the region. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs agreed to be the sponsor. The congress was held June 18-23 and there were delegates representing all the major faiths, as well as a spectrum of political positions, and a hopeful discussion that looked to the future. Of course World War I began in July 1914 and the Arab Congress of 1913 was not replicable. Nor of course were the travels of John Hackenbroch in this volume. A hundred years have passed and the problems remain.

New Directions in the Middle East

Edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman

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This book presents essays based on papers at the annual Middle East Dialogue held in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) and the Policy Studies Organization (DOMES Book 2 Cover FRONT ONLYPSO), and at the Conference of the Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration (AMEPPA) held in Ifrane, Morocco. The authors suggest much needed and even radical reforms amidst a series of conflicts that include the standoff between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the role and impact of social media as empowered by technology, and the citizens’ shrill demands for political, economic, and social change. Those interested in crisis management and conflict resolution will find this a must read. The contributors represent an unusually wide variety of political and religious views and include a number who enjoy considerable standing in the Arab world.

“This exceptional work, composed of two volumes, ‘Middle East: Conflicts & Reforms’ and ‘New Directions in the Middle East’ is a magnum opus.  In this book, edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, the reader is introduced to a comprehensive and integrated erudite work addressed by a number of distinguished scholars from different disciplines dealing with the Middle East and North Africa, a most sensitive region of the world.  The book identifies significant academic and public policy approaches as well as socio-economic, cultural, and political paradigms that bind together such timely topics as democracy, Islam, Islamism, sectarianism, secularism, globalism, modernity, Arab Spring, social justice, social media, leadership, women’s rights, and peace. The book offers a unique and compelling assessment of the future of the Middle East. Objectively written and eloquently presented, this book will enhance the scholarship of the Middle East and assist in the understanding the ability of political systems, government or state and non-government or civil society, in handling and managing current challenges facing the region.”

el-Sayed el-Aswad, Ph.D.
Prof. of Anthropology and Chair of Department of Sociology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
United Arab Emirates University


 

“Many books have already been published about the complex nature of the Middle East region and North Africa in the wake of the Uprisings of 2011, however the uniqueness of “New Directions in the Middle East” is its in-depth analytical study of the new conceptual themes which the book argues in a detailed transdisciplinary  manner to show-case the overbearing factors that are impacting the MENA region and taking it to new directions such as the ‘public square dialogue’ and the rise of ‘digital democracy’ which is becoming ‘public democracy’ as well as the social media which will all lead to accountability and transparency. The book articulates the new definition of leadership by exploring the many challenges facing the MENA region by addressing the need for adopting the ‘complexity paradigm’ based on realistic solutions to the economic and public policy challenges facing the countries and the people in the region. As a professor of Islamic and Middle East studies, I highly recommend the book as an important scholarly multi-disciplinary narrative for all those who are interested in de-codifying the realities emerging in the new Middle East.”

Ambassador Sallama Shaker, Ph.D.
Full Clinical  Professor of Middle East & Islamic Studies
School of Arts and Humanities
Claremont Graduate University

Middle East Conflicts & Reforms

Edited by Mohammed M. Aman, PhD and Mary Jo Aman, MLIS

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Since its inception, the annual Middle East Dialogue conference sponsored by the Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) journal and the Policy Studies Organization (PSO), has become a major international event that brings together leading scholars, diplomats, and policy makers, seeking DOMES Book 1 Cover FRONT ONLYpossible solutions to persistent and often horrendous issues in the Middle East and North Africa. In this book, the events of the Arab Spring and its aftermath are very much on the writers’ minds. Included are essays based on papers and debate at the Dialogue in Washington, D.C., and the Conference of the Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration held in Ifrane, Morocco. The authors were charged with presenting fair and balanced treatment of the controversies involving democratic aspirations, delayed reforms, strained governance and leadership, escalating economic challenges, bitter sectarian conflicts, and gross gender inequities. The fresh and sometimes startling approaches are a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the Middle East and North Africa.

“This exceptional work, composed of two volumes, ‘Middle East: Conflicts & Reforms’ and ‘New Directions in the Middle East’ is a magnum opus.  In this book, edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, the reader is introduced to a comprehensive and integrated erudite work addressed by a number of distinguished scholars from different disciplines dealing with the Middle East and North Africa, a most sensitive region of the world.  The book identifies significant academic and public policy approaches as well as socio-economic, cultural, and political paradigms that bind together such timely topics as democracy, Islam, Islamism, sectarianism, secularism, globalism, modernity, Arab Spring, social justice, social media, leadership, women’s rights, and peace. The book offers a unique and compelling assessment of the future of the Middle East. Objectively written and eloquently presented, this book will enhance the scholarship of the Middle East and assist in the understanding the ability of political systems, government or state and non-government or civil society, in handling and managing current challenges facing the region.”

el-Sayed el-Aswad, Ph.D.
Prof. of Anthropology and Chair of Department of Sociology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
United Arab Emirates University

 

“This volume is the most comprehensive and lucid collection to appear since the eruption of the so-called Arab Spring at the end of 2010. It provides “what everyone needs to know” about Middle East politics. Highly recommended to students, policymakers and academics. “

Khalil al-Anani, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University

Eight Decades in Syria

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by A.J. McFarland

The Reformed Presbyterian Church is a very small denomination of about six thousand members that at one time had a presence in the Middle East. This scarce record of its activities amongst the Arabs was compiled by Andrew James McFarland, 1869-1952, a missionary clergyman who spent most of his life in Syria despite all the upheavals in the region. In fact, during World War I when the Ottoman Empire was at war with the Allies and most non-Muslims fled, Eight Decades in Syria COVER FRONT ONLYReverend McFarland remained in Mersine, billeting a German officer and helping treat wounded Turkish soldiers.

 Those interested in Syrian history will find the list of clergy valuable as their papers can be located in archives such as those at two of the sect’s institutions, Geneva College and its theological seminary, for insights about the Syrian situation in their time. Of course the 1919 peace settlement meant the dismemberment of the Ottoman territories and the French suzerancy over present day Syria, but the missions stayed on for many years.

 Eventually the churches and schools that McFarland established disappeared, but the diaries, correspondence, and reports of nearly a century of Reformed Presbyterian activity are an underused and important resource. This is one of a number of scarce Middle East titles that Westphalia has published to promote interest in neglected archives.

View the book’s Original Cover.

Gunboat and Gun-runner

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by T.T. Jeans

Admiral T.T. Jeans was a decorated British Naval officer with considerable experience in the Middle East.  He wrote this fast-moving novel based on his experiences and those of his comGunboat and Gunrunner COVER FRONT ONLYpatriots.  The plot turns on efforts of Iran to stir trouble by providing arms to Middle Eastern insurgents. While published in 1927, it could as well have been written about arms smuggling in the 21st century, which makes policing the waters of the Gulf a present priority.

War in Syria: R. M.P. Preston’s The Desert Mounted Corps

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War in Syria COVER FRONT ONLYDuring World War I, some of the most daring military excursions were carried out in the Middle East by the Desert Mountain Corps during 1917 and 1918. The Corps included substantial numbers from Australia and other parts of the then British Empire. Much of their activity was in what is now Syria.  Given the later problems of the region and the current civil war in Syria, albeit today a Syria with different boundaries than then, the battles fought by the DMC have considerable interest.

The original printed volume of The Desert Mounted Corps contained two fold-out map inserts, which have been reproduced in miniature in this new edition. The links below lead to full size, full color scans of those inserts.

MAP 1, between pgs 122 & 123

MAP 2, between pgs 294 & 295

Making Trouble for Muslims: A. Rawlinson’s Adventures in the Near East

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Edited and Introduced by Paul Rich

Sir Alfred Rawlinson, the son of a famous Orientalist and envoy to Persia, was himself a pioneer aviator, celebrated sportsman, and important British intelligence officer. As a colonel in the British intelligence corps, he played a significant role in the Middle East. His capture, imprisonment, and unhappy deprivations at the hands of the Turks was in its time a celebrated incident.

Since the concept of Orientalism was popularized by Edward Said, the notion that views of the Muslim world were colored and slanted by Western prejudices has revised attitudes of the British imperial cadre that were such an influence on the region. Lawrence of Arabia and his contemporaries have been much more closely scrutinized than they were by earlier generations of scholars.  So Sir Alfred’s book can be read both as an eyewitness account of a highly formative era and for his attitudes so candidly expressed in this still exciting book.