Four excellent books about Islam in modern western politics and history.
An ardent feminist and leftist scholar, Mahmood assumed a certain degree of internalized subordination in women who find solace and meaning in deeply patriarchal traditions. Yet, over the course of two years listening to and learning from several religious revival groups run by da’iyat (female “callers”), she discovered an entirely different understanding of religious devotion.
In The Ottoman Age of Exploration, Giancarlo Casale contests the prevailing narrative that characterizes the Ottoman Empire as a passive bystander in the sixteenth-century struggle for dominance of global trade.
Alaa al-Aswany’s novel The Yacoubian Building (2002, Arabic عمارة يعقوبيان) tells the story of a group of people loosely bound together by dint of living in the same crumbling building – a real place – in downtown Cairo.
On June 8, 2010 an Egyptian Google executive based in Dubai, named Wael Ghonim, was stunned by a YouTube video that featured a fellow citizen by the name of Khaled Said, bloodied and disfigured. It turned out that the Egyptian police had beaten Said to death and mutilated his body. Appalled by this short video that ran viral through Arab social media, Wael Ghonim created a Facebook page that came to symbolize the involvement of ordinary people in creating change.
The city of Beirut witnessed a legendary amount of violence during the fifteen year long Lebanese Civil War. News programs the world over broadcast it into the homes of millions of people from 1975 till the Lebanese Parliament ratified the Taif accord in late 1989.
Two weeks ago the British Guardian revealed that the Israeli Air-Force has been conducting secret training exercises in preparation for an imminent attack on Iran. As the war drums beats get stronger, one should ask why Iran preoccupies such a large part of Israel’s inner discourse?
In the wake of the recent events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere in the Middle East, many try to predict whether Islam can exist together harmoniously with democracy. In this book, Bayat successfully dismantles the presumptions that constitute this discourse, by stating in the beginning that “the question is not whether Islam is or is not compatible with democracy, or by extension, modernity, but rather under what conditions Muslims can make them compatible.”
More on telling the history of Egypt
In this work, Zachary Lockman seeks to introduce a general audience to the history of the study of Islam and the Middle East in the United States and Europe, with particular attention to US studies from the mid-twentieth century. The importance of this book lies in Lockman’s attempt to reach the general public with information about the history, politics, and culture of the Middle East.