Friday, February 11, 2011
Things Are Happening in the Middle East
As the whole world watches Egypt, you might be seeking some context for the events unfolding there. The library can provide you with some useful reading:
Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Reistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam (2008) by Mark Levine might be the most unusual tour of the Middle East to be found in our collection. One chapter is devoted to the metalheads of Egypt and Levine's investigation provides insight into the Muslim Brotherhood, the edges of society resisting 30 years of dictatorship, and the many metal musicians who are well-educated sons and daughters of diplomats, military officers, or other members of the country's elite. (956 L)
John R. Bradley provides a prescient title in his three year old book: Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution. "Five decades after Nasser and the Free Officers overthrew the British-backed monarchy in a dramatic coup d'etat, the future of Egypt grows more uncertain by the day as the country teeters on the brink. . ." A key U.S. ally, world tourist destination, and brutal Arab state is explained by a journalist fluent in Egyptian Arabic. (962.055 B)
For an understanding of the United States involvement and interests in the broader Middle East from George Washington to George Bush, check out Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren. (Oren is the American-born Israeli Ambassador to the United States.) Did you know the region played a role in shaping American identity--including a majestic sculpture first designed to grace the Suez Canal in Egypt but later transformed into the Statue of Liberty? (956 O)
From A History of the Modern Middle East by William Cleveland to the reliable The Middle East for Dummies by Craig S. Davis the library collection can bring some understanding to this complex and rapidly changing part of the world.