Middle Eastern History, General
Featured Items
The Bookseller of Kabul
The Bookseller of Kabul
Paperback      ISBN: 0316159417
With The Bookseller of Kabul, award-winning journalist Asne Seierstad has given readers a first-hand look at Afghani life as few outsiders have seen it.

Invited to live with Sultan Khan, a bookseller in Kabul, and his family for months, this account of her experience allows the Khans to speak for themselves, giving us a genuinely gripping and moving portrait of a family, and of a country of great cultural riches and extreme contradictions. For more than 20 years, Sultan Khan has defied the authorities -- whether Communist or Taliban -- to supply books to the people of Kabul. He has been arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned, and has watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. Yet he had persisted in his passion for books, shedding light in one of the world's darkest places. This is the intimate portrait of a man of principle and of his family -- two wives, five children, and many relatives sharing a small four-room house in this war ravaged city. But more than that, it is a rare look at contemporary life under Islam, where even after the Taliban's collapse, the women must submit to arranged marriages, polygamous husbands, and crippling limitations on their ability to travel, learn and communicate with others.
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
Reading Lolita in Tehran
A Memoir in Books
Paperback      ISBN: 081297106x

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi's living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.

The Middle East for Dummies
The Middle East for Dummies
Paperback      ISBN: 0764554832

Demystifies the area's culture, politics, and religions

Explore Middle Eastern history from ancient to modern times

Looking to better understand the Middle East? This plain-English guide explains the importance of the region, especially in light of recent events. You'll meet its people and their leaders, discover the differences and similarities between Arab and Western mindsets, and examine the wars and conflicts - including the Israeli-Palestinian turmoil - that led up to the current political situation.

The Dummies Way
* Explanations in plain English
* Get in, get out information
* Icons and other navigational aids
* Tear-out cheat sheet
* Top ten lists
* A dash of humor and fun

Ally to Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace
Ally to Adversary
An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall from Grace
Hardcover      ISBN: 1557502811

Much has been written about the Iran-Iraq War, Desert Storm, and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but until now no one has chronicled the perilous, spiraling course of U.S.-Iraqi relations from inside the highest military and diplomatic levels. In this revealing firsthand account, career intelligence officer and Arabic linguist Rick Francona takes the reader on an unforgettable odyssey from the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq War, to the top secret tactical decision-making meetings of the Desert Storm coalition forces, to the actual surrender at Safwan by Iraqi officials, many of whom he had worked with previously as allies.


As the point man for the highly sensitive support the United States gave Iraq in 1987-1988, during its war with Iran, Francona walked the streets of Baghdad, toured military facilities, and established close relations with high-ranking Iraqis. Through these activities he gained a unique and valuable perspective of Iraq's military capabilities and doctrine, including its use of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons. Later, as General Norman Schwarzkopf's personal interpreter, he shared in the successes, failures, and frustrations of political and military planning and prosecution during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. From the author's sparkling, informative prose, the reader discovers how the delicate coalition of international forces was developed and maintained despite contentious parochialism that threatened to divide the force and even U.S. services. Francona sheds considerable new light on the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. and coalition intelligence efforts and explodes myths surrounding their methods and results.


Objective, revealing, and often humorous, this unprecedented peek inside the closed doors of U.S. and international military decision-making documents an important epoch of U.S. and Middle East history and offers many lessons and warnings for current and future relations.

The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Paperback      ISBN: 0805208984

Retraces two critical centuries of Middle Eastern history, presents an intriguing chronicle of the Crusades, and offers insights into the forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today

Sevruguin and the Persian Image: Photographs of Iran, 1870-1930
Sevruguin and the Persian Image
Photographs of Iran, 1870-1930
Paperback      ISBN: 0295978457

In this text, five authors explore the life and career of the Iranian photographer, Antoin Sevruguin. The book includes a portfolio of signature works by the photographer whose innovations in lighting, composition and development have contributed to the evolution of photography.

Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror
Torture and Truth
America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror
Paperback      ISBN: 1590171527
Includes the torture photographs in color and the full texts of the secret administration memos on torture and the investigative reports on the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

In the spring of 2004, graphic photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by American soldiers in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison flashed around the world, provoking outraged debate. Did they depict the rogue behavior of "a few bad apples"? Or did they in fact reveal that the US government had decided to use brutal tactics in the "war on terror"?

The images are shocking, but they do not tell the whole story. The abuses at Abu Ghraib were not isolated incidents but the result of a chain of deliberate decisions and failures of command. To understand how "Hooded Man" and "Leashed Man" could have happened, Mark Danner turns to the documents that are collected for the first time in this book.

These documents include secret government memos, some never before published, that portray a fierce argument within the Bush administration over whether al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners were protected by the Geneva Conventions and how far the US could go in interrogating them. There are also official reports on abuses at Abu Ghraib by the International Committee of the Red Cross, by US Army investigators, and by an independent panel chaired by former defense secretary James R. Schlesinger. In sifting this evidence, Danner traces the path by which harsh methods of interrogation approved for suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Guant+namo "migrated" to Iraq as resistance to the US occupation grew and US casualties mounted.

Yet as Mark Danner writes, the real scandal here is political: it "is not about revelation or disclosure but about the failure, once wrongdoing is disclosed, of politicians, officials, the press, and, ultimately, citizens to act." For once we know the story the photos and documents tell, we are left with the questions they pose for our democratic society: Does fighting a "new kind of war" on terror justify torture? Who will we hold responsible for deciding to pursue such a policy, and what will be the moral and political costs to the country?
Princess Sultana's Daughters
Princess Sultana's Daughters
Paperback      ISBN: 0967673755

Reader's of Princess Sultana's true story, Princess, were gripped by her powerful indictment of women's lives behind the veil within the royal family of Saudi Arabia. Now, the princess and Jean Sasson turn the spotlight on Sultana's two teenage daughters, Maha and Amani. During her own youth, Sultana chafed under the harsh social system into which she was born. Today, despite untold wealth and privilege, Princess Sultana cannot buy the rights and freedoms women in other cultures possess, for herself, or for her daughters. Although Sultana lives with a constant fear of retribution--even death at the hand of her own father or brother, her passion to provide her two daughters with a better life transcends her fear and fuels her desire for change.As second-generation members of the royal family who have benefited from Saudi oil wealth, Maha and Amani have known nothing but opulence and wealth from the moment of their birth. Yet, stilled by the unbearable restrictive lifestyle imposed on them, Maha and Amani have reacted in equally desperate ways.Maha is a headstrong beauty driven by fear and isolation due to Saudi Arabia's feudal justice. Described by her father as a girl of brilliant fragments, Maha's gifted mind cannot focus on one goal. When Maha becomes involved in a lesbian relationship, she ends having an emotional breakdown and requires psychiatric treatment in London. Amani, the youngest daughter, rebels in her way during the religious frenzy of Haj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah. Once a sweet and placid animal-lover, Amani emerges almost overnight from her dormant religious faith and embraces Islamic beliefs with unnerving intensity. Amani's fundamental fanaticism threatens to destroy her mother's personal quest to imporove women's lot in her native land. With candor and humility, Sultana shares the joy, frustration, and dark intervals of my fear of Saudi Arabian motherhood and marriage. She details the difficulties inherent in raising d

What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
What Went Wrong?
The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
Paperback      ISBN: 0060516054

For centuries, the world of Islam was in the forefront of human achievement -- the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed. The West won victory after victory, first on the battlefield and then in the marketplace.

In this elegantly written volume, Bernard Lewis, a renowned authority an Islamic affairs, examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to make sense of how it had been overtaken, overshadowed, and dominated by the West. In a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil, Lewis shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry, industry, government, education, and culture. He also describes how some Middle Easterners fastened blame on a series of scapegoats, while others asked not "Who did this to us?" but rather "Where did we go wrong?"

With a new Afterword that addresses September 11 and its aftermath, What Went Wrong? is an urgent, accessible book that no one who is concerned with contemporary affairs will want to miss.

Israel: An Echo of Eternity
Israel
An Echo of Eternity
Paperback      ISBN: 1879045702

A powerful and eloquent statement on the meaning of Israel in our time.