In this deeply researched political biography, Ilan Papp#65533; traces the rise of the Husayni family of Jerusalem, who dominated Palestinian history from the early 1700s until the second half of the twentieth century. Viewing this sweeping saga through the prism of one family, the book sheds new light on crucial events--the invasion of Palestine by Napoleon, the decline of the Ottoman Empire, World War I, western colonialism, and the advent of Zionism--and provides an unforgettable picture of the Palestinian tragedy in its entirety. The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty is the history of Palestinian politics before national movements and political parties: at the height of the Husaynis' influence, positions in Jerusalem and Palestine could only be obtained through the family's power base. In telling the story of one family, the book highlights the continuity between periods customarily divided into pre-modern and modern, pre-Zionist and Zionist, illuminating history as it was actually lived.
In his disturbing and timely book Jean-Pierre Filiu lays bare the strategies and tactics employed by the Middle Eastern autocracies, above all those of Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Algeria, that set out to crush the democratic uprisings of the "Arab Revolution.'In pursuit of these goals they turned to the intelligence agencies and internal security arms of the "deep state," the armed forces, and to street gangs such as the Shabiha to enforce their will. Alongside physical intimidation, imprisonment and murder, Arab counter-revolutionaries discredited andsplit their opponents by boosting Salafi-Jihadi groups such as Islamic State. They also released from prison hardline Islamists and secretly armed and funded them.The full potential of the Arab counter-revolution surprised most observers, who thought they had seen it all from the Arab despots: their perversity, their brutality, their voracity. But the wider world underestimated their ferocious readiness literally to burn down their countries in order to clingto absolute power. Bashar al-Assad clambered to the top of this murderous class of tyrants, driving nearly half of the Syrian population in to exile and executing tens of thousands of his opponents. He has set a grisly precedent, one that other Arab autocrats are sure to follow in their pursuit ofabsolute power.
This is essential reading for anyone interested in the collapse of the Middle East, and the devastating role of the West in the creation of this hellish crucible. In Age of Jihad Cockburn exposes the dominant conflict of our time-the Sunni-Shia war, and the subsequent origins of ISIS. As he shows this did not explode suddenly in Syria after the Arab Spring as the conventional view holds, but over several years in occupied Iraq. It is in the sectarian conflict that engulfed Iraq following the war of 2003 that patterns were established that would later spill over into Syria with such devastating results. Since July 2014, the dominance of ISIS threatens the stability of the whole region. Cockburn was the first Western commentator to warn of ISIS, so far ahead of everyone else that last year the judges of the British Journalism Awards advised the UK government to 'consider pensioning off the whole of MI6 and hiring Patrick Cockburn instead.' Age of Jihad will be the most in-depth analysis of the failure of the Middle East to date.
Arafat turns the Western perception of Yasir Arafat upside down, showing how, before he was corrupted by power, Arafat was a heroic freedom fighter. The author also explores the relationship between the PLO, the CIA & the Arab establishment.
In The Siege of Mecca, acclaimed journalist Yaroslav Trofimov pulls back the curtain on a thrilling, pivotal, and overlooked episode of modern history, examining its repercussions on the Middle East and the world. On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. That same morning, gunmen stunned the world by seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca, creating a siege that trapped 100,000 people and lasted two weeks, inflaming Muslim rage against the United States and causing hundreds of deaths. But in the days before CNN and Al Jazeera, the press barely took notice. Trofimov interviews for the first time scores of direct participants in the siege, and draws upon hundreds of newly declassified documents. With the pacing, detail, and suspense of a real-life thriller, The Siege of Mecca reveals the long-lasting aftereffects of the uprising and its influence on the world today.
From Fouad Ajami, an acclaimed author and chronicler of Arab politics, comes a compelling account of how a generation of Arab intellectuals tried to introduce cultural renewals in their homelands through the forces of modernity and secularism. Ultimately, they came to face disappointment, exile, and, on occasion, death. Brilliantly weaving together the strands of a tumultuous century in Arab political thought, history, and poetry, Ajami takes us from the ruins of Beirut's once glittering metropolis to the land of Egypt, where struggle rages between a modernist impulse and an Islamist insurgency, from Nasser's pan-Arab nationalist ambitions to the emergence of an uneasy Pax Americana in Arab lands, from the triumphalism of the Gulf War to the continuing anguished debate over the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords. For anyone who seeks to understand the Middle East, here is an insider's unflinching analysis of the collision between intellectual life and political realities in the Arab world today.
The first major account of the life of an extraordinary soldier and statesman, King Hussein of Jordan. Throughout his long reign (1953--1999), Hussein remained a dominant figure in Middle Eastern politics and a consistent proponent of peace with Israel. For over forty years he walked a tightrope between Palestinians and Arab radicals on the one hand and Israel on the other. Avi Shlaim reveals that Hussein initiated a secret dialogue with Israel in 1963 and spent hundreds of hours in talks with countless Israeli officials. Shlaim expertly reconstructs this dialogue from previously untapped records and first-hand accounts, significantly rewriting the history of the Middle East over the past fifty years and shedding light on the far-reaching impact of Hussein's leadership.
In this classic work, now updated, the author of Culture and Imperialism reveals the hidden agendas and distortions of fact that underlie even the most "objective" coverage of the Islamic world. From the Iranian hostage crisis through the Gulf War and the bombing of the World Trade Center, the American news media have portrayed "Islam" as a monolithic entity, synonymous with terrorism and religious hysteria. At the same time, Islamic countries use "Islam" to justify unrepresentative and often repressive regimes. Combining political commentary with literary criticism, Covering Islam continues Edward Said's lifelong investigation of the ways in which language not only describes but also defines political reality.