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The Middle East and southwest Asia--cradle of some of the world's key civilizations, religions, and empires--have also seen more than their share of conflict and turmoil. These books speak to that history and should help Western readers put current events into context as well as provide jumping-off points for further investigation

The Palestinian Right of Return Under International Law [Paperback]
Francis A. Boyle (Author) Clarity Press

The just resolution of the Palestinian right of return is at the very heart of the Middle East peace process. Nonetheless, the Obama administration intends to impose a comprehensive peace settlement upon the Palestinians that will force them to give up their well-recognized right of return under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194(III)) of 1948; accept a Bantustan of disjointed and surrounded chunks of territory on the West Bank in Gaza; and even expressly recognize Israel as "the Jewish State,” as newly demanded by Benjamin Netanyahu. All this will fail for the reasons so powerfully and eloquently stated in this book. For the past three decades, Francis A. Boyle has provided the leadership of the Palestinian people with advice, counsel, and representation at all stages of the Middle East Peace Process. Here, he elaborates what the Palestinians must now do to realize their international legal right of return, in keeping with his startling perception of Israel as itself nothing more than a Jewish Bantustan bound for failure. While an enormous amount of scholarly literature has been generated affirming the Palestinian right of return under international law, none is as authentic, powerful, personal, or convincing. Boyle has gone to the heart of the solution.

The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction [Hardcover]
William A. Cook (Editor)

The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction is a collection of voices from around the world that establishes in both theoretical and graphic terms the slow, methodical genocide taking place in Palestine beginning in the 1940s, as revealed in the Introduction. From Dr. Francis A. Boyle’s detailed legal case against the state of Israel, to Uri Avnery’s “Slow Motion Ethnic Cleansing,” to Richard Falk’s “Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust,” to Ilan Pappe’s “Genocide in Gaza,” these voices decry in startling, vivid, and forceful language the calculated atrocities taking place, the inhumane conditions inflicted on the people, and the silence that exists despite the crimes, nothing short of state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians.

Edward Said: A Legacy of Emancipation and Representation [Paperback]
Adel Iskandar (Editor), Hakem Rustom (Editor)

Edward W. Said (1935-2003) ranks as one of the most preeminent public intellectuals of our time. Through his literary criticism, his advocacy for the Palestinian cause, and his groundbreaking book Orientalism, Said elegantly enriched public discourse by unsettling the status quo. This indispensable volume, the most comprehensive and wide-ranging resource on Edward Said's life and work, spans his broad legacy both within and beyond the academy. The book brings together contributions from thirty-one luminaries--leading scholars, critics, writers, and activists--to engage Said's provocative ideas. Their essays and interviews explore the key themes of emancipation and representation through the prisms of postcolonial theory, literature, music, philosophy, and cultural studies.
Contributors: Bill Ashcroft, Ben Conisbee Baer, Daniel Barenboim, Timothy Brennan, Noam Chomsky, Denise DeCaires-Narain, Nicholas Dirks, Marc H. Ellis, Rokus de Groot, Sabry Hafez, Abdirahman A. Hussein, Ardi Imseis, Adel Iskandar, Ghada Karmi, Katherine Callen King, Joseph Massad, W. J. T. Mitchell, Laura Nader, Ilan Pappe, Benita Parry, Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, Jahan Ramazani, Jacqueline Rose, Lecia Rosenthal, Hakem Rustom, Avi Shlaim, Ella Habiba Shohat, Robert Spencer, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Anastasia Valassopoulos, Asha Varadharajan, Michael Wood

"Evil" Arabs in American Popular Film: Orientalist Fear (Paperback)
by Tim Jon Semmerling (Author)

The "evil" Arab has become a stock character in American popular films, playing the villain opposite American "good guys" who fight for "the American way." It's not surprising that this stereotype has entered American popular culture, given the real-world conflicts between the United States and Middle Eastern countries, particularly since the oil embargo of the 1970s and continuing through the Iranian hostage crisis, the first and second Gulf Wars, and the ongoing struggle against al-Qaeda. But when one compares the "evil" Arab of popular culture to real Arab people, the stereotype falls apart. In this thought-provoking book, Tim Jon Semmerling further dismantles the "evil" Arab stereotype by showing how American cultural fears, which stem from challenges to our national ideologies and myths, have driven us to create the "evil" Arab Other.
Semmerling bases his argument on close readings of six films (The Exorcist, Rollover, Black Sunday, Three Kings, Rules of Engagement, and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut), as well as CNN's 9/11 documentary America Remembers. Looking at their narrative structures and visual tropes, he analyzes how the films portray Arabs as threatening to subvert American "truths" and mythic tales—and how the insecurity this engenders causes Americans to project evil character and intentions on Arab peoples, landscapes, and cultures. Semmerling also demonstrates how the "evil" Arab narrative has even crept into the documentary coverage of 9/11. Overall, Semmerling's probing analysis of America's Orientalist fears exposes how the "evil" Arab of American popular film is actually an illusion that reveals more about Americans than Arabs.

The Axis of Evil Cookbook
Gill Partington

 Did you know that Gaddafi has his own herd of camel to supply milk wherever he goes? Or that Kim Jong-Il flies in chefs from Japan to cook live fish?
Terrifyingly delicious recipes from the ‘Axis of Evil’ and ‘the ‘Axis of Somewhat Evil’
Including dictators’ favourite dishes, fascinating facts, colour illustrations

When they’re not actively attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction, ‘Axis of Evil’ countries such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea are busy enjoying their region’s finest dishes. And their ‘Axis of Somewhat Evil’ cohorts, such as Cuba and Syria, are at it too.

With over one hundred recipes, from soups and salads to meat dishes and desserts, this unique cookbook includes snapshots of each country as well as profiles of famous leaders. Regional recipes appear alongside dictators’ favourite dishes – from Kim Jong-Il’s ruthless appetite for shark fin soup to Saddam’s celebrated rack of fresh roasted gazelle.

Full of cultural anecdotes, political insight (eg. there’ve been around 637 assassination attempts on Castro, including bombs disguised as underwater molluscs) and delectable recipes (dog stew, for example, and its vegetarian quorn substitute), The Axis of Evil Cookbook is an intriguing and forbidden treat.

Palestine Peace Not Apartheid (Hardcover)
by Jimmy Carter

Following his #1 New York Times bestseller, Our Endangered Values, the former president, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, offers an assessment of what must be done to bring permanent peace to Israel with dignity and justice to Palestine.

President Carter, who was able to negotiate peace between Israel and Egypt, has remained deeply involved in Middle East affairs since leaving the White House. He has stayed in touch with the major players from all sides in the conflict and has made numerous trips to the Holy Land, most recently as an observer in the Palestinian elections of 2005 and 2006.

In this book President Carter shares his intimate knowledge of the history of the Middle East and his personal experiences with the principal actors, and he addresses sensitive political issues many American officials avoid. Pulling no punches, Carter prescribes steps that must be taken for the two states to share the Holy Land without a system of apartheid or the constant fear of terrorism.

The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known, the president writes. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy, and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since
the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal of a just agreement that both sides can honor.

Palestine Peace Not Apartheid is a challenging, provocative, and courageous book.

The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People's Struggle
by Ramzy Baroud  

 'Masterful prose. ... (A) scathing but heartfelt portrait.' Norman G. Finkelstein

'Few are spared his perceptive eye, and only the morally callous will fail to respond to his pleas to act to remedy the injustice that he exposes to our view, as we surely can.' Noam Chomsky, Professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology '[Baroud] presents a compelling narrative of Palestinian victimization without being defensive, and with no attempt at disguising internal shortcomings. In the same way, Baroud exposes Israeli culpability and international abrogation of responsibility with candor and uncompromising integrity.' Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Legislator for the Jerusalem District

'[Baroud] enables readers to see through the distorted image provided by a biased pro-Israeli Western media of the Middle East as a whole, and of Palestine in particular.' Ilan Pappe Ramzy Baroud is a veteran journalist and former producer for Al-Jazeera TV. This is his comprehensive account of the momentous events of the last five years which shaped the political landscape not only of Palestine and Israel but of the entire Middle East region. Addressing the most controversial issues, including the alarming escalation in suicide bombings, and the construction of the
Separation Wall, he reports on the huge rate of unemployment and hunger in the Occupied Territories -- statistics so critical that NGOs compare their magnitude to African nations such as the Congo. From the brutality of the Israeli army to the ever-compromising nature of the Palestinian Authority, few are spared Baroud's thoughtful critique. The book is clear and concise, with one chapter dedicated to the major events of each year, and includes a comprehensive timeline.

The Road Map to Nowhere: Israel/Palestine Since 2003
by Tanya Reinhart

DAn urgent and searing exposé of the "peace process" by a prominent Israeli thinker.

The Road Map to Nowhere is a devastating and timely book, essential to understanding the current state of the Israel/Palestine crisis and the propaganda that infects its coverage. Based on analysis of information in the mainstream Israeli media, it argues that the current road map has brought no real progress and that, under cover of diplomatic successes, Israel is using the road map to strengthen its grip on the remaining occupied territories.

Exploring the Gaza pullout of 2005, the West Bank wall and the collapse of Israeli democracy, Reinhart examines the gap between myth—the Israeli leadership's public affairs achievement that has led the West to believe that a road map is in fact being implemented—and bitter reality. Not only has nothing fundamentally changed, she argues, but the Palestinians continue to lose more of their land and are pushed into smaller and smaller enclaves, surrounded by the new wall constructed by Sharon.

About the Author Tanya Reinhart is a professor of linguistics and cultural studies at Tel Aviv University and at the University of Utrecht. She has had a regular column in the biggest Israeli daily, Yediot Aharonot, and is the author of Israel/Palestine: How to End the War of 1948..

The Power of Israel in the United States by James Petras

This book is a chapter-by-chapter analysis and documentation of the power of Israel via the Israeli, Jewish or Pro-Zionist Lobby on US Middle East policy. It raises serious questions as to the primary beneficiary of US policy, and its destructive results for the United States. The extraordinary extent of US political, economic, military and diplomatic support for the state of Israel is explored, along with the means whereby such support is generated and consolidated. Contending that Zionist power in America ensured unconditional US backing for Israeli colonization of Palestine and its massive uprooting of Palestinians, it views the interests of Israel rather than those of Big Oil as the primary cause of the disastrous US wars against Iraq and threats of war against Iran and Syria. It demonstrates and condemns US imitation of Israeli practice as it relates to conduct of the war on terrorism and torture. It sheds light on the AIPAC spying scandal and other Israeli espionage against America; the fraudulent and complicit role of America’s academic “terrorist experts” in furthering criminal government policies, and the orchestration of the Danish cartoons to foment antipathy between Muslims and the West. It questions the inability in America to sustain or even formulate a discourse related to the subject of Israeli influence on the United States. It calls for a review of American Mid East policy with a view to reclaiming US independence of action based upon enlightened self-interest and progressive principles.This book is the first and only book so far which tackled the aftermath of 9/11 and how it impacted the lives of millions of people in the US negatively. It tells the untold story to the average reader about the plight of millions of people in the US and even in the West who have been suffering silently after 9/11. The book is an attempt to educate the nation on these issues, as an effort to heal and reconcile our communities. More than eight hundred of the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 happened to be Arab and Muslim Americans. Arab, Muslim and Mid Eastern communities in the United States have been the collateral damage of 9/11.

Biowarfare and Terrorism
by Francis Anthony Boyle - Foreword by Jonathan King

This book outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup. Most significantly, U.S. expert Francis A.

Boyle reveals how the new billion-dollar U.S. Chemical and Biological Defense Program has been reorientated to accord with the Neo-Conservative pre-emptive strike agenda--this time by biological and chemical warfare.

Linking U.S. biowarfare development to the October 2001 anthrax attack on Congress--the most significant political attack on the constitutional functioning of democracy in the United States in recent history--Boyle sheds new light on the motives for the attack,
the media black hole of silence into which it has fallen, and why the FBI may never apprehend the perpetrators of this seminal crime of the 21st century.

Biowarfare and Terrorism should raise public concern at what the vastly expanded US biowarfare research and purported civilian preparedness programs hold in store for America. Will the American people allow the Bush administration to pursue these programs, despite their incitement to a global biowarfare arms race, and the risk of accidents and reprisals? This book provides a unique tool for understanding the magnitude of the danger, and for countering it.

Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts
By Samar Dahmash-jarrah

Howard Zinn Wrote:
"It is an important book, because Americans do not really know what people in the Middle East are thinking, and these voices are heartfelt and cannot fail to move any reader. I hope the book gets wide distribution."

Paul Findley, Member of Congress from Illinois for 22 Years, and author of Silent No More confronting America's false images of Islam And They Dare To Speak Out People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby, Wrote: "This book should stimulate a powerful movement down the road to a just peace.

It is a must read, especially for the Americans who have no Arab ancestry. Through fascinating personal interviews with Arabs in private life in the Middle East, this book identifies shocking made-in-America Ground Zero that Arabs resent deeply. In remarkable candor, the interviews explain the critical steps the U.S. government must take before America will once again be revered throughout the region.

The Great War for Civilisation
The Conquest of the Middle East

Robert Fisk

U'One of the outstanding reporters of his generation.
As a war correspondent he is unrivalled'.
Financial Times

Rarely have first-hand reporting and history been so powerfully combined as they are in Robert Fisk's epic story of tragedy and betrayal in the Middle East. As his narrative of bloodshed and cruelty unfolds in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Palestine and other battlefields, the carnage of 11 September 2001 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime take on a new and frightening meaning.

Fisk, who has met Osama bin Laden three times, has been on the battlefront of the Middle East's conflicts for 28 years, and his devastating accounts of human suffering are now read around the world. In the tradition of all foreign correspondents, his eyewitness testimony of the horrors of modern warfare - like that of the great reporters of World War II - is laced with
both suspicion and anger.

This is no chronology of Middle East history but, rather, a passionate outcry against the lies and deceit that have sent soldiers to their deaths and killed tens of thousands of men and women - Arab, Christian and Jew -
over the past century. It is also a chronicle of journalists at war, of the rage, humour and frustration of the correspondents who spend their lives reporting the first draft of history, of their occasional courage - and,
sometimes, their deaths. It is also a deeply personal memoir which moves from Fisk's own presence on the front line in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s to the experience of his father, 2nd Lt Bill Fisk, in the trenches of the Somme in 1918. In the months that followed World War I, the victors drew the borders of Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and much of the Middle East; Robert Fisk has spent his entire career watching people within these borders die.

The Great War for Civilisation - the legend on the back of Fisk's father's 1914-1918 campaign medal - is a masterpiece of adventure and tragedy, softened with both humour and compassion. It is the story of the violent world that is shaping our lives - and our future.

Understanding Arabs A Guide for Modern Times (Paperback)
by Margaret K. Nydell

Understanding Arabs is a handbook, intended to be read easily and quickly, by people who are not specialists. Written by highly-esteemed Arabist and academic Margaret Nydell, Understanding Arabs will bring about understanding about modern-day Arabs for foreigners—especially Westerners in America and Europe—without pushing a political agenda.

Updated to reflect the complex events that are playing out on the world stage, new chapters include: Islamic Fundamentalism—This political and social issue is not a part of the mainstream Islamic religion. The efforts to follow and understand evolving Islamic social/religious thought have been completely overwhelmed by the notorious emergence of fundamentalism.

Anti-Americanism—It needs to be made clear that Middle Eastern Muslims and Arabs do not “hate” America. Nor do they hate American people. But they are very angry at America’s government and a perceived unfairness with the American foreign policy. Between 1980 and 2001, the United States engaged in fifteen direct military operations in the Middle East, all of them directed at Muslims.

There were an equal number of non-military actions such as imposing punitive embargoes, threats through military build-up, policies in support of some regional states against others, support of selected opposition groups, and providing weapons (sometimes secretly). What matters here is not the diplomatic issue of who we supported or why, the result has been that these actions are seen by local people as American interference in their region, and resentment has continued to build.

Sharon and My Mother-in-Law
By Suad Amiry

Translated in more than a dozen languages, and just published in the United States and Great Britain, Sharon and My Mother-in-Law is already a bestseller in France. In August, Dr. Amiry was awarded the Viareggio Literature Prize for International Writing in Italy.

Irreverent, darkly funny, unexpected, and very unlike any other writing on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Sharon and My Mother-in-Law describes Palestinian architect Suad Amiry's experience of living in the Occupied Territories. Based on diaries and e-mail correspondence that Amiry kept to maintain her sanity from 1981 to 2004, the book evokes, through a series of vignettes, the frustrations, cabin fever, and downright misery of daily life in the West Bank town of Ramallah, with its curfews, roadblocks, house-to-house searches, and violence.

Beyond Chutzpah : On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History
by Norman G. Finkelstein (Hardcover)

In this long-awaited sequel to his international bestseller The Holocaust Industry, Norman G. Finkelstein moves from an iconoclastic interrogation of the new anti-Semitism to a meticulously researched expose of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Bringing to bear the latest findings on the conflict and recasting the scholarly debate, Finkelstein points to a consensus among historians and human rights organizations on the factual record. Why, then, does so much controversy swirl around the conflict? Finkelstein's answer, copiously documented, is that apologists for Israel contrive controversy. Whenever Israel comes under international pressure, another media campaign alleging a global outbreak of anti-Semitism is mounted.
Finkelstein also scrutinizes the proliferation of distortion masquerading as history. Recalling Joan Peters' book From Time Immemorial, published to great fanfare in 1984 but subsequently exposed as an academic hoax, he asks deeply troubling questions here about the periodic reappearance of spurious scholarship and the uncritical acclaim it receives. The most recent addition to this mendacious genre, Finkelstein argues, is Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz's bestseller, The Case for Israel.
The core analysis of Beyond Chutzpah sets Dershowitz's assertions on Israel's human rights record against the findings of the mainstream human rights community. Sifting through thousands of pages of reports from organizations such as Amnesty International, B'Tselem, and Human Rights Watch, Finkelstein demonstrates that Dershowitz has systematically misrepresented the facts.
Thoroughly researched and tightly argued, Beyond Chutzpah lifts the veil of contrived controversy shrouding the Israel-Palestine conflict, enabling readers in search of a just and lasting peace to act on the basis of truth.

The Other Side of Israel : My Journey Across the Jewish/Arab Divide (Hardcover)
by Susan Nathan

In 2003, Susan Nathan moved from her comfortable home in Tel Aviv to Tamra, an Arab town in the northern part of Israel. Nathan had arrived in Israel four years earlier and had taught English and worked with various progressive social organizations. Her desire to help build a just and humane society in Israel took an unexpected turn, however, when she became aware of Israel’s neglected and often oppressed indigenous Arab population. Despite warnings from friends about the dangers she would encounter, Nathan settled in an apartment in Tamra, the only Jew among 25,000 Muslims. There she discovered a division between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs as tangible as the concrete wall and razor-wire fences that surround the Palestinian towns of the West Bank and Gaza.

From her unique vantage point, Nathan examines the history and the present-day political and cultural currents that have created a situation little recognized in the ongoing debates about the future of Israel and the Middle East. With warmth, humor, and compassion, she portrays the daily life of her neighbors, the challenges they encounter, and the hopes they harbor. She introduces Arab leaders fighting against entrenched segregation and discrimination; uncovers the hidden biases that undermine even the most well-intentioned Arab-Jewish peace organizations; and describes the efforts of dedicated individuals who insist that Israeli Arabs must be granted the same rights and privileges as Jewish citizens.

Through her own courageous example, Nathan proves that it is possible for Jews and Arabs to live and work peacefully together. The Other Side of Israel is more than the story of one woman’s journey; it is a road map for crossing a divide created by prejudices and misunderstandings.

The Question of Zion (Hardcover)
by Jacqueline Rose

Zionism was inspired as a movement-one driven by the search for a homeland for the stateless and persecuted Jewish people. Yet it trampled the rights of the Arabs in Palestine. Today it has become so controversial that it defies understanding and trumps reasoned public debate. So argues prominent British writer Jacqueline Rose, who uses her political and psychoanalytic skills in this book to take an unprecedented look at Zionism-one of the most powerful ideologies of modern times.

Rose enters the inner world of the movement and asks a new set of questions. How did Zionism take shape as an identity? And why does it seem so immutable? Analyzing the messianic fervor of Zionism, she argues that it colors Israel's most profound self-image to this day. Rose also explores the message of dissidents, who, while believing themselves the true Zionists, warned at the outset against the dangers of statehood for the Jewish people. She suggests that these dissidents were prescient in their recognition of the legitimate claims of the Palestinian Arabs. In fact, she writes, their thinking holds the knowledge the Jewish state needs today in order to transform itself.

In perhaps the most provocative part of her analysis, Rose proposes that the link between the Holocaust and the founding of the Jewish state, so often used to justify Israel's policies, needs to be rethought in terms of the shame felt by the first leaders of the nation toward their own European history.

Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle   
by Mazin B. Qumsiyeh (Paperback ) $16.07 click on title to buy

There is no more compelling and dramatic unfolding story, with more profound international ramifications, than the conflict in the Middle East. 
Sharing the Land of Canaan is a critical examination of the core issues of the conflict that dares to put forward a radical but logical solution: that a shared state is the best way to achieve justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians. 
Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, a human rights activist based at Yale University, offers an overview of the issues at stake, and outlines his vision for a lasting peace based on upholding the principles of human rights for all. Tackling taboo subjects, myths and obstacles, he argues convincingly that apartheid in the form of a two-state solution is no longer a feasible way to achieve enduring peace. 
At this critical t ime, when the 'road map' to peace looks more uncertain than ever, this book provides a refreshing counterpoint to the failed strategies of the past. It is a direct and accessible account of the history - and mythology - of the fabled 'Land of Canaan', which lays out hopeful ideas for the future of this truly multiethnic and multicultural region.

The Intelligence Files: Today's Secrets, Tomorrow's Scandals
by Olivier Schmidt Price: $10.17 Click on title to buy

This collection of the decade's "best-of" from the online journal, Intelligence, offers a shocking glimpse into the frequently illicit and routinely immoral undertakings of states, whose harm to individuals, groups and countries is seldom recognized or understood by the public at large.

Fifteen thoroughly researched and documented chapters probe the clandestine workings of the world's intelligence services . . . from the CIA and the FBI in the US, MI5 and MI6 in Britain, the DGSE and DST in France, the Sûreté d'Etat in Belgium, all the way to the DINA in Chile and its ties with both the CIA and with the international "Black Orchestra" and its neo-Fascist assassins in Italy and Portugal.

Islam: A Short History

The picture of Islam as a violent, backward, and insular tradition should be laid to rest, says Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of Muhammad and A History of God. Delving deep into Islamic history, Armstrong sketches the arc of a story that begins with the stirring of revelation in an Arab businessman named Muhammad. His concern with the poor who were being left behind in the blush of his society's new prosperity sets the tone for the tale of a culture that values community as a manifestation of God. Muhammad's ideas catch fire, quickly blossoming into a political empire. As the empire expands and the once fractured Arabs subdue and overtake the vast Persian domain, the story of a community becomes a panoramic drama. With great dexterity, Armstrong narrates the Sunni-Shi'ite schism, the rise of Persian influence, the clashes with Western crusaders and Mongolian conquerors, and the spiritual explorations that traced the route to God. Armstrong brings us through the debacle of European colonialism right up to the present day, putting Islamic fundamentalism into context as part of a worldwide phenomenon. Islam: A Short History, like Bruce Lawrence's Shattering the Myth and Mark Huband's Warriors of the Prophet, introduces us to a faith that beckons like a minaret to those who dare to venture beyond the headlines. --Brian Bruya


Holy War : The Crusades and Their Impact on Today's World

Karen Armstrong, bestselling author of A History of God, skillfully narrates this history of the Crusades with a view toward their profound and continuing influence.

In 1095 Pope Urban II summoned Christian warriors to take up the cross and reconquer the Holy Land. Thus began the holy wars that would focus the power of Europe against a common enemy and become the stuff of romantic legend. In reality the Crusades were a series of rabidly savage conflicts in the name of piety. And, as Armstrong demonstrates in this fascinating book, their legacy of religious violence continues today in the Middle East, where the age-old conflict of Christians, Jews, and Muslims persists.


Refugees in Our Own Land : Chronicles from a Palestinian Refugee Camp in Bethlehem

"For four days, I haven't been able to write. The headaches, the nausea, the pain in my eyes finally caught up with me ... I couldn't write, just as I couldn't keep any food down, or escape the persistent nightmares whenever I tried to sleep. I've been dreaming of friends getting injured, of blood, and of people seeking shelter from falling bombs. Even when we sleep, there is no escape." Muna Hamzeh

This remarkable book is a gripping eyewitness account of what it is like to live in Palestine as a refugee in your own homeland. Born in Jerusalem, Muna Hamzeh is a journalist who has been writing about Palestinian affairs since 1985. She first worked as a journalist in Washington DC, but moved back to Palestine in 1989 to cover the first Palestine Intifada - the war of stones. She then settled in Dheisheh, near Bethlehem, one of 59 Palestinian refugee camps that are considered the oldest refugee camps in the world.

The first part of the book consists of a diary which Hamzeh wrote between October 4th and December 4th 2000, telling the story of the second Intifada. Facing the tanks and armed guards of one of the best equipped armies in the world, the Palestinians have nothing. The anguish and terror that Muna and her friends face on daily basis is tangible. Who will be the next to die? Whose house will be the next to burn down?

The second part of the book provides the background to these current events. It describes what life has been like for Dheisheh's refugees since 1990, and explains why the second Intifada was a natural development of the Oslo peace accord. "Refugees in Our Own Land" is a rare insider's look into the hearts and minds of Palestinian refugees.


  Muna Hamzeh is a Palestinian-American journalist whose work on the Palestinian question has appeared in The Economist, Ha'aretz, The Christian Science Monitor, Jerusalem Report, and Middle East International. Her internet coverage of life in the Dheisheh refugee camp has received international attention. She is currently Official Visitor at the University of Texas in Austin..

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