Reviews and Blog Posts: Middle East

The Tangier diaries 1962-1979

by John Hopkins

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The summer before his senior year at Princeton, Hopkins and a friend head to South America to explore a business deal. The experience proved life-changing and upon graduation, they commit themselves to seeing the world. At the time, Peru was Hopkins' first love but in 1962 he sets up residence...

The tyrant's daughter

by J. C Carleson

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An excellent portrayal of the culture clash between the Middle East and middle-class America.  Carlson uses real-life experiences from her own time in Iraq and from recent violence in Syria to craft the story of Laila, who is seeking asylum in the United States after her father, a violent Middle...

Guests of the Sheik : an ethnography of an Iraqi village

by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

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Guests of the Sheik is the firsthand account of Elizabeth Warnock Fernea's experience living in an Iraqi village for several years in the 1950's with her anthropologist husband. I loved the book because it was a very open, sincere look into a culture and a time that I knew little about.

On Saudi Arabia : its people, past, religion, fault lines-- and future

by Karen Elliott House

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​Karen Elliott House, a former political reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize, reported on politics in Saudi Arabia for many years. During that time, she says, she became more and more fascinated by the "ordinary" Saudis she met ​​and by their culture. It reminded her of the conservative, Christian, Texan...

Gaddafi's harem : [the story of a young woman and the abuses of power in Libya]

by Annick Cojean

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French journalist Annick Cojean writes an important but difficult-to-read account of the extensive system of sexual violence that existed in Libya under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi. She uncovered this very secretive world of abuse while investigating women's role in Libya's revolution, a topic that has not received much attention. 

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