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This cookbook is amazing for cooks of all levels of experience. My daughter who is living in the Middle east first started using it and found it very helpful with the ingredients available in that part of the world. I bought a copy and found it equally accessible here in the US. Terrific recipes.
The recipes are simple to create (which is a blessing for those of us who are already far too busy!), but they are also very repetitive. The same ingredients recycled over and over again, in very related recipes. Otherwise, it's a amazing cookbook.
This book provides dozens of interesting and delicious vegetarian dishes that are both exotic (to me) and simple to make. Every time we create something from this book everyone fawns for it. I've bought fresh copies as bonuses and the people that I've gifted it to have gone on to buy it as a bonus for another person!If you're a veg-head, this is a must have!
I'm always on the lookout for various vegetarian dishes since I am imposing my vegetarian lifestyle on my meat loving husband, and this book does not disappoint. My only complaint is the lack of pictures of the finished product...the front cover image of eggplant is the only photo. I love meal from Armenia and the other Caucasus countries because they're a blend of my favorites...Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. This book has a dozens of recipes from all over the Middle East, North Africa and Caucasus and those I have tried are delicious.
My wife and I have an extensive cookbook collection. One cuisine that has been ill covered in the past has been Persian (Middle eastern) faire. Sabrina does an perfect job of presenting some perfect recipes that turn out delicious. Perfect pictures are abundant. A top notch addition to any cooking library.
I fell in love with Iranian meal back in my college days--pre-revolution--when my Persian mates cooked their mothers' home recipes for me. I found it fresh, flavorful, attractive on the plate, and full of surprises. Quick forward a lot of years and I have aculated a shelf full of Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cookbooks, a lot of of them exclusively Persian. I love this cuisine so much, complex yet simple, refined yet rustic--consider it one of the greats, right up there with Mexican/French/Italian--that I search a fresh Persian cookbook hard to resist. It is an irresistible r all you picture hounds, there is a full-page color picture of the completed dish for every recipe. That's right. Every...single...one. (I hold Kindle for PC installed on both my laptop and desktop computers for just such books as this. The pictures look amazing on my Kindle Fire (the 7" one), but they look spectacular on a huge HD monitor. Every small detail... You foodies know what of I speak. Sigh!)Ingredients are given in both metric and American tsp/tblsp/ounces etc. (I read somewhere recently that the U.S. is one of three countries left hanging on to non-metric measurements. Surely we will eventually bow to the majority, but I hope it's after I'm no longer cooking. In the meantime all my fresh kitchen measuring cups and spoons have both standards clearly imprinted, so I don't miss out, or obtain confused. Just a suggestion...) The whole cookbook has been edited with the view to international distribution. But, the one thing, the only thing, I've found which wasn't "translated" for Americans is the oven temperature, which is given in Centigrade and "gas mark". But the internet is full of converters, so no apters are as follows:Mezze (appetizers,etc.)--19 recipesBreads and Grains--9 recipesSoups, Stews, and Tagines--12 recipesRoasts and Grills--22 recipesSalads and Vegetables--26 recipesDesserts and Sweet Treats--12 recipesA grand total of 100 and I'm determined to cook my method through all of ere are a number of recipes for lamb, but beef can be easily substituted, a lesson learned from an old American mate married to an Iranian who always said she was a better cook than his mother (high praise indeed). I live in a little town, surrounded by little towns, where a dozens of lambs cuts are expensive and not readily available. I don't know if the author would approve; I just know it can be done. (If you're interested, the book which created my mate into a "better than my mother's" Persian cook is "Persian Cooking" by Nesta Ramazani and is still in print and available on Amazon. It's fabulous beyond words and thorough, but be warned, there are no pictures.)Any unfamiliar spices (sumac, for example) are easily obtainable online from vendors like Penzey's (the best, IMHO). Persians are very fond of new herbs in quantity, nothing unusual, but if you fall in love with this cuisine, you might wish to grow some of your own, quite easily done in pots on a window sill in a pinch.Just a few words about rice cooked Persian style: It is heavenly. Fluffy, tender, toothsome, aromatic, every grain separate from its neighbor. Fixed plain or fancy, it is hands-down the best prepared rice I've ever eaten. And it reheats beautifully for leftovers. You will never fix rice any other is isn't a collection full of ingredients that you've never heard of or wouldn't recognize on the grocery shelf. The recipes are clearly written, simple to follow. Techniques are easy and successful results should be well within the reach of the average home cook. This would be a fine introduction to one of the world's amazing cuisines. Highest recommendation!
I really love this book as the recipes are so diversified and simple to follow. I look through it each time I wish to prepare something special and delicious. And I have all the ingredients already in my pantry. Amazing book to give as a bonus to someone who appreciates fine cuisine. I can definitely say it is one of my favorites and the images are amazing alongside the recipes.
One of my favorite cookbooks of all time.Absolutely delicious. Amazing r unfamiliar cooks, most ingredients you might have difficulty finding in your usual grocery shop can be ordered on Amazon, which makes Persian meal really accessible. Some of the flavors and ideas might be shocking, but for the adventurous lover of fabulous food, this is a amazing put to es I've created from this cookbook include:Saffron chicken with fennel and barberry (phenomenal. one of my favorite chicken recipes ever)Walnut and pomegranate chicken (truly unique. and quite tasty)Lamb with tomato and black garlic (good. turns out I'm not a large fan of lamb)Lamb and apricot stew (didn't love it - recipe not at fault, I just learned that these aren't flavors I'm into)Fish with tamarind cilantro sauce (amazing. truly delicious.)Bejewlled rice (fantastic. hard not to binge on)Bulgur salad (good)Lemony quinoa salad (good)
I am a huge fan of the Ottolenghi cookbooks - Jerusalem, in particular - and over the latest few years, I've come to love the flavor profiles of meal from the Middle East and Central Asia. However, as much as I love the recipes in Jerusalem, they are definitely 'weekend' recipes - I have yet to create anything that took less than 45 minutes, and I often feel as if I need a sous chef. The amazing thing about Persiana is that you have a related intensity of flavor and liberal use of spices, herbs, and vegetables, but the recipes are a lot more user-friendly.I especially recommend this cookbook for "mixed" (i.e. vegetarians and meat-eaters) households, as there is enough in here to hold everybody happy. Although, TBH, I think there are just about enough hearty non-meat dishes in here to justify the purchase even for strictly vegetarian households.
Want I could return it as I seem to have lost the window to return... this book is lacking proper ‘how to’s’ like oven temperature for her ‘joojeh kabob’ that she supposedly bakes in oven vs. grill... it will be collecting dust on a shelf! —- nonsense recipes! Oddly not Persian but trying too hard to veer a sort of a ‘gourmet wanna be’!—-Shirazi salad with lots of sumac and pomegranate??? Really?!—yuck!
I seldomly write an amazon review but this time i HAD too,forget the perfect quality of paper and attractive pictures in the end you wish to create a food out of ur cookbook and not use it as a coffee table book right? the recipes are awesome if you love mediterenean/persian/arabic meals you will LOVE this,every recipe was simple to follow and more importanty every recipe HAD A PICTURE! The ingrediants are available in most supermarkets , a MUST add to ur cookbooks
Very not good representation of Persian, Turkish and other middle eastern recipes traditional or modern. A lot of experimental attempts with no experience. Recommend looking at this book at your local bookstore before purchasing to be sure it meets your expectation.
Lovely book filled with detailed, delicious authentic Persian recipes. As a burgeoning cook I especially appreciate the additional mile she went to contain small tidbits of cooking hints and other pearls of wisdom on the prep process which have served me well when preparing these recipes. I have received a lot of compliments on the meals prepared off these recipes and I take that as a testimate to it's worth, after all it is a cookbook! Well done 👏🏼
Palestinian statelet of Gaza, Palestinian State of Israel with its Arab Autonomy and Palestinian Kingdom of JordanNaomi Shihab is not a Palestinian poet, though her father was born in a country of Palestine formed almost a hundred years ago by the British who tried to civilize their fresh Kingdom of Jerusalem.Her father, a journalist, was not a refugee; he was a free-spirited Arab who didn't wish to practice omi acknowledged later that her father was a wanderer. Not a refugee! He could go back and forth to Ramallah or Jerusalem which were part of the Palestinian monarchy even after omi Shihab became a omi's mother was a German Lutheran based in Missouriwhere Naomi lived in her formative Shihab is a “profiteer,” she tries to compare her native city of Ferguson to modern Palestine which was long subdivided into Gaza, the Arab Autonomy in Ramallah, Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Eastern Palestine (Jordan) now ruled by half English King omi Shihab Nye is a highly educated person and a manipulator:“She was a Palestinian born in Jordan.” What does it mean?The Kingdom of Jordan is located in Palestine, in case you don't for her poetry it is full of question marks (Give us answers, Naomi!) and e task of a poet to give us e chimney poem follows. Note that there are no chimneys in the South Levant including the British Palestine.Tip their mouths begin to the sky.Turquoise, amber,the deep green with fluted handle,pitcher the size of two thumbs,tiny lip and graceful we put the smallest flowerwhich could have lived invisiblyin loose soil beside the road,sprig of succulent rosemary,bowing ey grow deeper in the center of the we entrust the little life,thread, fragment, breath.And it bends. It waits all the bread cools and the childrenopen their gray copybooksto shape the letter that looks likea chimney rising out of a house.And what do the headlines say?Nothing of the smaller petalperfectly arranged inside the larger petalor the method tinted glass filters and boys, praying when they died,fall out of their e whole alphabet of living,heads and tails of words,sentences, the method they said,“Ya’Allah!” when astonished,or “ya’ani” for “I mean”—a crushed glass under the feetstill shines.But the kid of Hebron sleepswith the thud of her brothers fallingand the long sorrow of the color Palestinians [the Arabic speakers in Judean Hevron, Dirah or Samaria] Hold Warm - Poem by Naomi Shihab NyeChoose one word and say it overand over, till it builds a fire inside your hafera, the one who holds out, Alphard, solitary one,the stars were named by people like us.Each night they line up on the long path between ey nod and blink, no right or wrongin their yellow eyes. Dirah, small house,unfold your walls and take us well went dry, my grandfather's grapeshave stopped singing. I stir the coals,my babies cry. How will I teach themthey belong to the stars?They build forts of white stone and say, "This is mine."How will I teach them to love Mizar, veil, cloak,to know that behind it an ancient manis fanning a flame?He stirs the dark wind of our breath.He says the veil will risetill they see us shining, spreading like emberson the blessed hills.Well, I created that up. I'm not so sure about Mizar.But I know we need to hold warm here on earthAnd when your shawl is as thin as mine is, you tell a native speaker of English, not Arabic, Naomi should educate herself more in American poetry; her brain comes from her mother. And she should stop using poetry for political ends by employing the wrong terminology and to obtain preferential treatment as a member of a protected e Pasts[The template borrowed from Charles Simic, a Poet Laureate of the United States]Our pasts must have causes for hidingTheir a lot of twists and turns from usAnd those causes must have something to do with either pity or spitefulness.I believe that most of us don’t careAnd that surely is the ere's a slim possibility of being introducedThough we are still neighborsWho walk away from each other steadily and even break into flight,Speechless and turning deafAccelerated into nothingnessBy an adorable babyOr some sparrows looking for feedOn the paved over archaeological sitesContaining fossils of weirs in lost riversDec 23,2010John Ziemba proofread on the 7th of December, 2012
These 60 poems come from a dozens of geographic places. Reading the short biographies about the poets, helped me understand the fluidity of some of these Arab places… a lot of of the authors had moved from their birthplace. Some were written by children, and I think the book is suitable for children. I think its valuable that I couldn’t derive a common “Arab” e book is divided into loose chapters “A Galaxy of Seeds”, “The Globe is a glass you drink from”, “Pick a sky and name it”, and “There was in our house a river”. Some of my favorite included Adonis beginning Speech “That kid I was/ came to me once/ an unfamiliar face”. The Train of our stars by al-Raheem “The night is a train that passes,/carrying moon and stars..” and Shurayh’s untitled “Today I realize/ that my spirit has rusted/ to a degree/ I shall not be able/ to shine it again”. In the final section Serri’s “Thread by Thread/knot by now/ like colonies of ants/ we weave a bridge”
This book does a amazing job giving a history of the Middle East. It is effectively organized and does a fairly balance view of the different religions that have arisen in the area. This book is a stepping stone into a deeper series of studies and is useful for helping the reader to see what they are really interested in. The author does a amazing job giving the history as the people would have viewed themselves in each time period. I.e. when discussing the Ottoman Empire, the priorities of the Sultans is rendered fairly accurately as they themselves would have given it and not played down to test to seem like the Ottomans were mostly peaceful coexistence types. As with most empires, there was a balance between peace and battle and the author does a amazing job showing that. However, as we reach into modern times, there is a tip of the "we all need to obtain along" notice in how some modern Islamic societies are portrayed and while that is real for some people and governments, that notice needs to be better balanced with the opposing views of those who believe that peaceful coexistence is not possible. I am not saying that the author did a poor job at all, just hold in mind that it is harder to maintain that balance viewpoint when there is so much propaganda going in all directions. To be fair, any historical works which touch on happenings in the latest forty to fifty years has to deal with this issue. So, my advice, read the book and then dig deeper into what you found most interesting. Enjoy.
Bernard Lewis's "The Middle East" is a thorough and comprehensive history of the region, though overwhelmingly focused on the Muslim/Arab dominance of this region. Though labeled as a history of the past 2,000 years, it's mostly a history of the past 1,400 years. Persians, Christians, Romans, and modern Israelis operate on the fringes. Still, if you wish a history of Islam in the Middle East, this is the book for you.
I was looking for a broad overview of what we now know as the Middle East. That Eurocentric, somewhat inappropriate term is explored by Lewis in an easy, flowing narrative that jumps decades, centuries, geography and culture fairly seamlessly. I've been told by mates who are studying the region here at college that broad, concise overviews aren't exactly plentiful. Lewis is somewhat controversial as a Westerner reviewing another regions history. As someone of Chinese descent who has read Chinese history written by Westerners, I think it's something to be mindful of but not to ignore that scholarship for any me of the other reviews here correctly describe the shape and structure of this book. It's roughly broken into 3 parts, the first being what might be called 'Classical' Islam, the second being a cultural study, and the third being a brief modern history. While it seems arbitrary, most of what I've read in Chinese history really is broken down the same way. A cultural history is always important, but like Islamic society, and really almost all non-Western societies, the rise and domination by Western civilization really changed the course of history and deserves it's own section. I found reading the sections on the Ottoman Empire's stagnation and economic malaise very reminiscent of the history of the late Qing in China, and as in both countries a subsequent revolutionary movement.I recommend The Middle East to any novice scholar of that busy crossroads between Europe and the Far East, where three major religious arose and so much history was made. If you've ever wondered why there can be Turks in Turkey and Central Asia, or whether Egyptians are ethnically Arab or Egyptian this book is a amazing put to start.
This book is representing a thorough reference to all people interested in understanding the history and the dynamics of the current Middle East region, where the writer has demonstrated the full history of the region with the outside globe in a simplified way. Moreover, he had the power to link the history with the current status of those countries in a pragmatic unbiased e book is an asset for those who are looking for a clear understanding of the ME region even if they are not academics and I highly recommend this book to anyone who are in need to understand part of the current global powers movement without being over saturated with unnecessary details.
Perfect brief historical presentation of the Middle East. Mr Bernard Lewis accomplished his purpose of introducing us to the Persian and Byzantium empires from the pre- Islamic Arabia and the founding of the Islamic state. Also he establishes the link between modern Middle East and the Ancient civilization. I would consider this book as an perfect historical resource.
This is a wonderful, brilliant book by the Dean of Middle East historians, Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Near East history at Princeton University now in his 96th year. Dr. Lewis's special erudition and mastery of the topic matter is immediately apparent upon first reading the book, however, be forewarned that Dr. Lewis does not suffer fools gladly and assumes of the reader a fairly powerful knowledge of Middle East history as well as a high level of reading comprehension skills which makes this "brief" overview a bit of a contradiction. Still, this book, which incorporates an immense amount of informatio, was my introduction to the Middle East and each time I re-read it, I search fresh nuances that create it an endless source of vast wisdom, insight and intellect.
Is not a blow by blow acc of the generals, crusades and battles but goes through in amazing detail the economics, politics and shifting alliances of the Middle East. Well worth the read. Test also Lewis's "What Went Wrong" which is shorter and complaint: the Arabic characaters are not displayed correctly and are nearly impossible to read. So, when you come across the name of a zone or a person, the hero is tiny, unreadable and annoying.
Subtitled "A Brief History of the Latest 2000 Years", this over four hundred page book cannot support being a bit like jumbo e author himself admits as much, writing in the Preface, "Any attempt to show two thousand years of the history of a rich, varied and vibrant region within the compass of a single volume must necessarily omit much that is of importance. Every student of the region will create his or her choice. I have created mine, and it is inevitably personal".And so it a effect there are, for example, only a few short paragraphs on the whole vast topic of the Crusades. At the same time we learn in detail about the keen observations of the French traveler Jean de Thevenot, who visited Egypt in 1655.Or as another example, a number of pages are devoted to a detailed discussion of the revolutionary movement of the Young Turks in the early 20th century. On the other hand, notwithstanding the fact that The Middle East takes us essentially to the show day, there is no mention of the Muslim Brotherhood and the origins in the 1950's of the thinking that has evolved into the radical Islamist doctrine that today confronts the e author is undoubtedly a amazing and learned scholar. But as a effect of the compromises needed of "A Brief History of the Latest 2000 Years", this book is neither here nor there.
Bernard Lewis is among the top historians of the Middle East. This book is testament not only to the depth and breadth of his knowledge, but also to his craft in writing history. _The Middle East_ is an perfect introduction to the broad themes, conflicts and personalities of the region since the age of lamic civilization is complex: it involves a number of peoples (Arabs, Persians, Turks, Mongols), competing interpretations of Islam (Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Ismai'li) and a number of significant ruling empires (Mameluk, Ottoman, Safavid, Abbysid, Ummayad) that unfold over 1500 years. As Lewis points out, the culture of the Middle East does not have the continuity of China or India - rather, each successive ruling group brought their own special spin on islam and governance. The brilliance of this book is that it clearly (if briefly) illustrates the relationship and network of ideas and people over time.Certainly there are flaws with such an overview - minutae and info that some would prefer are left out, while others may search fault with the level of specificity given. I believe Lewis does an exemplary job of striking a balance - not only in terms of political history, but also of addressing the economic and social changes and challenges the Middle East encountered over the latest millenium. In particular, his discussion of the 19th and 20th centuries was excellent, summarizing the struggle the Islamic globe faces as it seeks to embrace and mimic the indsutrialized West while it is simultaneously repelled and humiliated by it. Similarly his treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict, while brief, covers the most necessary elements in understanding the points of disagreement.Of the a lot of books on the history of the Middle East, I recommend this as the put to start for a solid, broad overview of the major happenings politically, socially and economically. Highly recommended.
This is a series of 51 short articles written by the author for different newspapers, magazines and reviews. Though the articles are arranged in roughly historical sequence, it's a sporadic, rather than a continuous coherent history. It covers every national, racial and religious group to occupy the ME from ancient to modern times, being more about history than a history per se. As indicated by the title, the author leans heavily on language development to trace progress. Lewis is perceptive, astute and informational on language as well as history and politics. Translation of the Quran is forbidden. Clearly its not totally observed. His point that the Turks don't have a common language, doesn't seem significant for national Turks and translators, or is there more to it?His history points out that Iran was Islamized, not e first @#$%!es in Iran were iism was reintroduced under the Safavid ws survived only in Christian and Muslim dern Hebrew is a revival of Yiddish brought to Israel by EastEuropean settlersLewis cites Maimonides as saying history having no moral value is a waste of e Suez c was originally an Ottoman idea.Turks were never preeminent at sea.During the British mandate. in a throwback to the Crimean Battle Brits wanted to preserve Ottoman empire. The Russians wanted to destroy e Sunni-Shiite split is not the only sectarian division in Islam, but is by far the most nflict within Islam is more significant than battle with the West or Israel. Western focus on the Arab-Israel conflict is misdirected.Hate is embedded in religion and Jewish hatred does not arise from racial considerations.Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism but it is sometimes used as a cover.Our view of modern Islam is contaminated, rather than enhanced, by consideration of the crusades which were a long delayed reaction to Islamic conquest of Christian holy locations by ch of the current status in politics is now out of date. Lewis says that for the moment the globe seems disposed to leave them in peace, not very current. Political focus is on Saddam and Osama bin Laden. He Lewis asks “Will Muslims in Europe join the mainstream?” The book was perhaps too early to see latest happenings in France pointing to a negative are the comparisons of western and Islamic concepts of democracy, focusing largely on separation of church and state. Lewis observes that democracy is difficult to make and also to destroy. In a special view of western development, it's the first time I've seen an author quote John Tyler as a paragon of democracy. Lewis deplores “political correctness' that is so inhibiting to serious consideration of history and current institutions. Over respect for Muslim institutions precludes Western media from reporting on slavery which is still extant throughout the Islamic e book ends, or rather peters out, with references to Islamic literature sources. It's impressive but useful only to the spet. In spit of exceptions, the book has very thoughtful insights and research that is well worth the time to wade through it.
In reading and reviewing two of Bernard Lewis's latest books (What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response 2002 and The Crisis of Islam: Holy Battle and Holy Terror 2003) I was favorably impressed with not only his obvious erudition, but with his reasoned tone and his realistic perceptions. However, in this volume, which is a collection of some of his writings going back to the 1950s, I found myself a bit mystified. On the one hand there is the brilliance and eloquence for which the venerable historian is well known. On the other hand, there are some strange and unsettled statements which lead me to wonder if Professor Lewis has not lost some of his fabled rst, there is the inclusion of a very short piece entitled "We Must Be Clear" that he wrote for the Washington Post a few days after September 11, 2001 in which he is anything but. Apparently Lewis wants the US to be clear about its intentions in the Middle East in light of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He concludes that "What is required is clarity in recognizing problems and alignments, firmness and determination in defining and applying policy." (p. 370) What this vague and essentially empty pronouncement follows is Lewis's apprehension that some states are "friends" on two levels, one "a deep mutual commitment" and the other "based on a perception of shared interests." (p. 369-370)One will permit me a "You don't say?" here. In this same piece Lewis mentions that Saddam Hussein "has created battle versus three of his neighbors..." and that the other states in the Middle East "are neither forgetful of the past nor confident of the future." What Saddam Hussein (and what his neighbors think about him) has to do with 9/11 is unclear. It's as if Lewis had something he wanted to say, some connection he wanted to draw, but was unable to be clear about it, perhaps for political reasons or because he thought he knew something he wasn't at liberty to any rate, even more disconcerting is the article entitled "A Time for Toppling" from the Wall Road Journal a year later (September 26, 2002) in which he seems to be a stalking horse for Bush's desire to invade Iraq. He doesn't however argue so much that Saddam Hussein is a danger to the US, but instead makes the claim that in order to solve the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, it is first important to deal with ere is some legitimacy to this argument, and Lewis recalls Saddam's policy of rewarding the families of Palestinian suicide bombers with stipends of $10,000 to $25,000. However what is grievously wrongheaded about this "toppling" that Lewis seems unaware of--as was Bush and the neocons in the White House--is that in invading Iraq, the US would make massively more issues than it would solve, and would only exacerbate the predicament of the Israeli and Palestinian people, since the Arab and Muslim globe would rally around a kindred Muslim nation invaded by a foreign power even if it was the fiefdom of a hated dictator. I am surprised that the usually wise and learned Professor Lewis could write so nakedly in favor of the foolishly aggressive policy of the Bush rsonally, I think Lewis revealed here the real heart of the historian: such a person may be incredibly wise and reasonable when he has time to think and rethink an problem and has the benefit of his research and a considerable experience; however when he is called upon to create a fast judgment on happenings still warm in the doing, his judgment may allow me recall the Bernard Lewis of the volumes mentioned above and allow me quote from a couple of locations in this collection in order to balance what would be, on the basis of these two articles, a misconception of the man. Consider, for example, this statement on the three Abrahamic religions of the Middle East: "If we look at them in a wider global perspective, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are various branches of the same religion....Compared with the religions of India, of China and of other places, they are as alike as peas in a pod." Lewis goes on to create the point that when Muslim and Christian say to one another, "'You are an infidel and you will burn in hell,' they understand each other perfectly." However "Such an argument between a Christian or a Muslim on the one side and a Buddhist or a Hindu on the other" would have been "impossible" because "They would not have known what they were talking about." (pp. 200-201)This insight is from his essay "A Taxonomy of Group Hatred" which originally appeared in the Viennese review Transit in 1998-1999. This is a particularly amazing essay (published in English here for the first time) in which Lewis doesn't mince words about the human failing called hatred and gives a most interesting psychological and historical take on this most destructive emotion which he allies lamentably with the very essence of the human process of self-identity. He notes, "Loyalty to the tribe, however defined, and hatred of other tribes are at the very core of identity." (p. 203)There are 51 essays arranged in three parts, "Past History," "Current History," and "About History." There are pieces on such diverse topics as money, travel and meal in addition to the usual political concerns of historians. Particularly good, because of the insight it affords us into the life of Bernard Lewis, is the Introduction in which he outlines his career as a Middle Eastern historian.I recommend this book for readers who wish to increase their knowledge of the Middle East. Here is Lewis's own justification for such a study: "The history of Islam is a vital and essential part of human history without which even 'our' own history is not fully intelligible." (p. 412)
This book is a collection of speeches and articles (most previously published) by Bernard Lewis, considered to be one of the world's foremost scholars on the Middle East. While he does not test to hide his private thoughts and biases on problems (e.g. Israel), he presents everything with amazing erudition and scholarship. The topics of these range from linguistics to religion to bibliography to, of course, history. Almost every aspect of Middle East studies is examined, as well as a lot of discussions on other parts of the world. After reading the book you will have a much wider knowledge of the region, its peoples, history, culture, religions, etc. If I had to search faults with the book, I would say that there were two, nearly unavoidable, ones. First the articles cover a wide time-span, some are 60 years old! Of course that means the contents can be somewhat dated. Secondly, because these were all speeches and articles that were meant to stand alone, there is quite a bit of repetition of different materials. But nevertheless, I think this book is a must read for anyone who wants an insight into the Middle East.
Bernard Lewis is certainly one of the most articulate and prolific authorities on the topic of Islam and the Middle this compendium of essays and speeches on the subject covering the latest 60 years, Lewis makes a palpable contribution to the topic and gives us some much required portant points explain the Muslim prohibition on accepting the rule of non-Muslims, especially in lands that were ever under Islamic rule. This is illustrated by the Islamic faith's division of the globe into the realms of Dar el Islam (House of Islam) and Dar el Harb (House of War) applied to any nation that is not under Islamic cording to Islam, for misbelievers (non Muslims) to rule over real believers (Muslims) is evil and blasphemous and leads to the corruption of religion and morality or even the abrogation of Allah's is may go some method to explaining the conflicts around the globe where Muslims are under the governance of non-Muslim majorities such as Indian Kashmir, Serbian Kosovo, Israel and when it had a Christian also may explain why Muslims in Western and Central Europe demand a high degree of legal protection which those countries no longer give to Christianity and have never given to Jews. Or even demanding Sharia law in parts of Europe, and for example harassing and attacking non-Islamic women who they see as being dressed immodestly.Lewis' study of propaganda in the pre-modern Middle East may go some method to explain how Islamic propaganda (under tutelage during the 20th century of Fascism, Nazism and Communism) developed versus Israel and Jews.He studies monarchy in the Middle East pointing out the necessary point that republics and democracy are not synonymous at all. In Europe the surviving monarchies are without exception constitutional democracies, while the tyrannies of the globe today, are, almost without exception, republics.He also mentions republican dynasties where rule belongs to a single also has to look at Syria of the Assads, Iraq before the liberation of 2003 (where Saddam was grooming his sons to take over from him) and Libya and Egypt (where Gaddafi and Mubarak respectively are grooming their sons to succeed them).Perhaps my favourite chapter is an Address to meeting in Jerusalem entitled 'The British Mandate for Palestine in Historical Perspective'Over here Lewis puctures the myth that there was ever a country in the Levant called 'Palestine'.While there were states in the region before the British Mandate, none of them were called 'Palestine'. Palestine was begun as a Greco-Roman term. The authorized ver 'Old Testament' names 'Palestine' three times. all three were REMOVED in the revised edition because they are mistranslations of the word Philistia-Hebrew:Peleshet- not Palestine but e name was first used for two and then three provinces in the Roman Empire, survived briefly in the early Arab Empire and then disappeared. The Crusaders called the country the holy Land, and their state the Kingdom of Jerusalem.Under Ottoman rule people in the zone identified themselves by religion or descent, most often by allegiance to a particular tribe. when they identified themselves by locality it was by the town or immediate district of province. so they would have been Jerusalemites or Jaffaites, or like the Syrians identified with the larger province of Syria (The Syrians regarded the Holy Land was regarded as a part thereof, as did a lot of of it's Arab inhabitants).Lewis dissects quite a few myths and propaganda cluding the purile argument that Arabs and pro-Arabs cannot possibly be anti-Semites because Arabs are themselves e term anti-Semtism was an invention of the anti-Semites to provide a pseudo-scientific cover for Jew-hating and Jew-biting and did not apply to other Semitic peoples and certainly not Arabs.Lewis also rights how universities and the powers that control academic and info discourse have repressed history that is not politically correct.Hence students have been discouraged from studying the Arab role in the slave trade and slavery in the Middle East, even though the European slave trade of the 16th to 19th centuries was begun by the Arabs.If this was created more apparent those who demand reparations for slavery from Europe and America would also have to demand the same from Arab states, which would certainly expose the anti-Western Third Worldist agenda.He also points out that there is a very amazing argument for the case that, as the Crusades were preceded by Islamic Jihad versus Christendom , there is a very amazing case for the argument that the Crusades were a long delayed, limited response to Muslim e author's 1970's essays on the hypocrisy of the United Nations are more real today than ever given the UN's obsessive focus on condemning Israel while ignoring all the true atrocities around the world.A amazing exploration of the questions involving conflict in the Middle East region, though not an simple read.
Bernard Lewis is perhaps the world's foremost scholar on the Middle East. He also, unlike a lot of academics, has outstanding writing skills and is able to reach a wide audience. This particular book is not about a single subject. But rather is a collection of diverse essays written over a period of a lot of years. Of course, some essays are more interesting and insightful than others. Also several of them come across as dated in respect to current events, such as those discussing Saddam Hussein, the threat of terrorism prior to 9/11, etc. Unfortunately, Bernard Lewis also supported the idea of taking military actions in Iraq and so some of his pre-war statements come across as profoundly misguided and not well thought out. Therefore I can't give this book the sort of "5 star" ringing endorsement that goes to his best works, such as "What Went Wrong?".But still Lewis is so knowledgeable and astute about so a lot of aspects of the Middle East that most of the book is well worth reading. The essays cover an enormous range of subjects - for example, the Ottoman Empire, the historic conflict between Islam and Christianity and the current tensions between Israel and the Palestinians - all written about with expertise and insight. Readers can sharply increase their knowledge of the Middle East by this reading this as well as the a lot of other perfect Bernard Lewis books.
This recent book of Bernard Lewis is a collection of short stories he has written in the latest decades, some very old some new. The stories spans a broad area: history of the middle east, Israel, Jihad, Arab Nationalism, Shi'a, United Nations, Islam phobia and more.I have read his previous three books as well, and I really like the writing style of Bernard Lewis. He sure likes the Arab people he writes about and the cultural legacy they own, but that does not lead him to be uncritical of their society. Also the history in his stories sometimes tries to connect with current affairs. This can lead to interesting stories about the current Jihad suicide bombers and the ancient Killer order. Or about the Islamic invasions in Europe and the later invasions of imperial Europe. It is also interesting to see what Bernard Lewis has writes long before everybody became interested in the Islamic globe (long before 9/11), some are really prophetical...Just as in his previous works Bernard Lewis writes in a friendly, objective and balanced style about history. To compare it with his previous works, it goes further than "What went wrong" and the "Crisis of Islam" and is not as dry as "The Middle East". Most stories are good, but not all, there is some repeating in the stories, but on a whole I enjoyed it very much and gained more insight in the Islamic world.
I have a couple issues with this book, but I will still give it a rating of 5 first issue is that it doesn't flow particularly well from one chapter to the next. This is because the book is an anthology of different speeches, op-eds, chapters of other books, lectures, and other work over the years, a lot of previously unpublished. I would have appreciated some more commentary from today's point of view on his work done a lot of decades ago. Because it jumps from year to year, topic to subject, it is hard to digest huge portions of it at a time. My recommendation would be to provide even just paragraph-long segues from one chapter to the next explaining why he included each chapter and how it all adds up to the grand point he is cond, I allow someone borrow it, and she declared it boring and refused to plug away to [email protected]#$%!. I will admit, this book is not exactly for beginners on the Middle East, nor is it for people looking for exciting quasi-history or conspiracy theories. It is not pop-history. It is, rather, a subtle and mostly objective look at the history and contemporary affairs of the Middle East over multiple generations, and in such a collection of work, one can glean bits of why the globe is how it is today. But don't expect the book to jump out and slap you in the face, arguing from the point of view of an extreme ideologue. If you can't handle it being dry in some places, this is not the book for far as the amazing things go, the book is a amazing method to brush up on Middle Eastern history. I've read some of Lewis' other books, and they are also very good. Some of the other ones flow much better than this one, but this one is the one I would recommend to those who wish a more comprehensive yet succinct look at the Middle East, because it does cover so a lot of topics.
This is a series of very readable short papers by a globe expert on the history of the Middle East, though there is a certain amount of overlap or repetition in them. They are divided into three parts: "Past History" (some 250 pages), "Current History" (about 200 pages), and a part about History as a topic and about Islamic historiography (about 70 pages). One or two of the papers in the first part are perhaps rather specialized for the general reader. Others are summaries of histories that will not provide much fresh info to the general public (e.g. on the emergence of Modern Israel). Newspaper readers will have formed some idea of the differences between the Sunni and the Shi'ites; the article on the latter gives an exceptionally amazing acc of them. Some chapters may give info even to people who are rather well informed about the Middle East: I, for instance, found the perfect chapter on Pan-Arabism telling me a lot of things I did not know, among them that, although Egyptians speak Arabic, Pan-Arabists did not initially consider Egypt an Arab country, nor that, until the time of Nasser, did the Egyptians themselves describe themselves as Arabs. And how a lot of of even assiduous newspaper readers know anything of the 19th century history of Lebanon, sketched out here in a short article?The latest section has a fascinating paper showing how originally `Turkey' was a western term: the Ottomans used the word `Turk' only as a word denoting an ignorant peasant (and in the West, too, it frequently carried the connotation of 'barbarian'), but not to identify the nature of their empire or of its ruling ethnic group. Here the Ottomans followed the traditions of Islamic history which never concerned itself with national or ethnic differences. It is only with the advent of nationalism in the 19th century that the idea of the Turks as a nation developed in response, first, to the nationalism in the Balkans, then (rather later) in the Arabic lands, and finally of course, when Turkey proper was all that was left of the Ottoman several of the papers Lewis refers to the almost total lack of interest shown by Islamic countries in the West until the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century and the expansion of Western power into the Middle East in the 19th century. Thereafter patchy efforts to update the Islamic globe by copying western models, often slowed up by the rejection of western values by conservatives, were only partially successful and failed to stem the advance of western power in the Middle East. This has greatly contributed to fuelling the Islamic resentment of the West, which the main theme of the second part of the ever, Lewis points out that even the most anti-western regimes have adopted not only western technology, but in a lot of Islamic countries also such institutions as parliaments. From the western point of view, the role of women in most Islamic countries is still very restricted; but seen versus earlier periods of Islam, women have seen noticeable advances in emancipation and education.Lewis' ysis of the past is often masterly; but it would have served his reputation as an yst of future trends better if some of his papers had not been reprinted. In 1991, after the liberation of Kuwait and Bush Senior's unwillingness to follow this up with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, Lewis believed that, since Russia was unable and the USA unwilling to play an imperial role in the Middle East, the governments there `will be able to create their own decisions'. An article first published in 1996, still before the second Gulf War, describes as a `most telling indication of the fresh era' the fact that the West was no longer interested in bringing about regime change in the Middle East. In 1991 Lewis did not foresee the oil-thirst of China and India and opined that `the West will more easily search other sources of energy than the oil-producing states can search other money customers.'On the other hand, some older papers anticipate much that has become common currency later: in a 1957 paper, Lewis several times uses the phrase and the concept of `A Clash of Civilizations' to explain the tensions between Islam and the West, a full forty years before the publication of Samuel Huntingdon's popular book of the same title. Astonishingly accurate, too, is the forecast in 1969, when Nasser was still President, that his successor might very well create peace with Israel - which Sadat did ten years one fascinating lecture Lewis asks (and answers) the question why the Arab-Israeli conflict attracts so much more globe interest than the a lot of inter-Arab and inter-Muslim conflicts, some of which have involved oppression, casualties and suffering on a far greater scale than in all the Arab-Israeli disputes place e book is pervaded by Lewis' empathetic understanding of all sides in the Middle East. That does not mean that he cannot be very forthright in his judgments, as in his attitude to fanaticism, in his regret at a number of features of Islamic history and society, or in his description of the double standards that have become habitual at the United Nations, exemplified by the 1975 condemnation of Zionism as a form of racism, a resolution supported by a number of nations and groups who use anti-Zionism as a cloak for their own racist antisemitism. The official Arab media, after all, then as now, propagated the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and published cartoons that could have come straight out of the pages of the ch criticisms has in latest years created Lewis the topic of some obloquy in the globe of Islam, but the Arabic translator of one of his books described him as either a candid mate or an honourable enemy; and Lewis writes, 'I am content to abide by that judgment.'
This is a fine collection of articles by Bernard Lewis about the Middle East. Some are about past history, and some are about show history. And a few deal with history itself. Lewis explains that there will always be people who demand to falsify, fabricate, eradicate, invent, distort, or misuse history. But he says these people must be opposed, because otherwise they will win. And if we thus abandon history, we'll no longer be able to have a knowledge about the past, understand the present, or use that info to influence what happens rhaps my favorite of the articles was one from 1979 about the United Nations. It is at least as necessary today as it was then. Lewis explains that there is a religious sect called the Yazidis. They believe that there is a God and a Devil. They believe that God is good, and therefore won't cause them any trouble. But the Devil is evil and may do just that. So they offer almost all their prayers to the Devil, not to God.And that is how Lewis describes the United Nations, where nations know that if they attack or offend the Arabs, that may be costly and risky. But if they attack or offend the United States and its policies, they risk nothing. Instead, they gratify America's opponents and victory acclaim and respect from a lot of American allies, as well as a lot of Americans, American policy-makers, and a significant portion of the American at article alone created this book worthwhile. And there are fifty articles in addition to it.
I was very disappointed in this cookbook and don't understand all the raving reviews. I am a relatively experienced cook and was expecting this book to compile the best, detailed recipes of vegetarian mideast cuisine that do not include, for example, in the recipe for ful mudammas instructions to buy a can of ful--I already do that! I will be returning the book.
After checking this unbelievable book from the library, I had to have it! Newto vegetarian cooking, & although I like meat, the recipes were deliciouswithout it. The images are so enticing, that I am always looking at them & have created many. My favorites are Roasted Cauliflower with garlic-tahini dip, Asparagus & Feta Quiche, Quinoa Stuffed Peppers ( use Bob’s Red Mill quinoa- don’t have to rinse ), Spiced Apple & date crumble, and Pistachio walnut halva ( absolutely devine, butmine turned out like brittle twice & think it’s probably supposed to be more the consistency of fudge? ) . Soexcited to be using Lebanese 7 - spiceseasoning, in, coriander, sumac , pomegranate molasses, & tahini paste, za’atar & more listed in the glossary! And the small stories at the beginning of each recipe create themeven more special. Thank you Salma!
I had been looking for a amazing vegetarian Middle Eastern cookbook for a while, and when I saw this book on Amazon, I went to my local library to preview the book. The book has amazing recipes, the photographs are incredible, and the kibbeh recipes alone are the reason why I had to obtain this book. The recipes are fairly simple to make, and Salma Hage has also included some fresh dishes with a Middle Eastern twist. Love this book!
This book definitely has tasty recipes. Especially the spicy tahini dressing on veggies has been a huge hit. But there are 2 things that bother me: 1. At least one recipe is erroneously marked gluten free (wheat berry porridge). So I would definitely check the recipe thoroughly and not just rely on the small symbols. 2. The bean recipes are based on canned beans. I think it would be fine to offer the canned beans as an option but then give the recipe with actually cooking the beans. For example the lentil and bean soup: The directions state to cook the lima beans, black-eyed peas and green lentils "as directed on each package". And then to use them in the soup recipe. One plus is that the author does give the amounts of dried beans you would need and tells you to soak them overnight.
Book looks cute but there must have been a misprint because if you keep the book what looks like the correct orientation based on the outside cover everything is upside down and backwards once you begin it. My 5 year old is so distracted by that we haven’t been able to test any of the recipes yet
The recipes are amazing and simple. My granddaughter chose the Swedish meat balls for our first play date luncheon and they were a huge hit with the 8-10 years old as well as the adults. The recipes are simple for my granddaughters to cook on their own with just a small help.
Amazing balance between taste, preparation time and healthy ingredients. I have tried more than 10 recipes and they mostly turned out amazing or very good. Reminds me of Ottolenghi’s Plenty, but more focused on Lebanese cooking. The menu is overlapping though - four various kibbeh recipes, four falafel recipes, three hummus recipes, the baba ganoush recipe is almost identical to the eggplant dip, etc. Comes across as if the author struggled with coming up a diverse menu. Not excited about replacing bulgur dishes with quinoa.
Love, love, love this cookbook, Wish to test all of the recipes. Enjoyed the private stories of her life and learned a lot about MidEastern spices and how they are used. Already tried the Quinoa Tabbouleh and the Falafel which were excellent. She contains pictures so you can see what your dish is supposed to resemble. Learning to combine fruit both dried and new into recipes that I never would have thought of. Yesterday I had the Minted Cuber salad and added pomegranate seeds and pine nuts--really, really good. I ordered another Middle Eastern Cookbook, The Fresh Persian Kitchen which I would rate just OK. I will probably donate it to the library. This book had lots of meat recipes which are OK and you can substitute legumes, but not enough pictures so it was hard to visualize the dishes. As a newbie to Middle Eastern meal I required more of an explanation with pictures to create me curious to test the food.
Simple to use for my seven-year-old daughter. We are excited to Incorporated in this year's eLearning / homeschooling as we explore other countries and cultures an hour learning units. A amazing bonus idea, especially if you pair it with some of the mini kitchen utensil sets.
Purchased this as a bonus for a small girl who loves American Girl and loves hearing my travel stories - I thought this book who be a hit. I peeked inside to see how it is organized and promptly decided to return it. It is not visual enough. a lot of of the recipes do not include photographs of the dish. And it is not really organized in a logical way. There is not really interesting info about the dish and how it relates to that part of the world. And wouldn't it be nice if the models within the book actually represented the locations around the world? It does not do this. I wish something that not only was accessible for young girls to cook but also offered them a glimpse into cultures. This book most definitely does not do either.
While this book looks interesting, I found it to be poorly organized for my intended use. We were looking for a international children's cookbook. We wanted to focus on one country a week. Unfortunately, this cookbook is not organized in a method that makes it simple to focus on one country. Recipes from a specific region, continent, or country are not grouped together. Instead the cookbook is organized by meal serving category. That would have been fine if there was an index in the back showing all the recipes from country x but that is not there either. You have to scan the entire table of content or to flip through every recipe to group the recipes from the same country together. The recipes themselves seem fine and if cooking from a specific country or region is not necessary to you, this cookbook will be fine.I borrowed this book from our local library so I am not a verified purchaser.
Sincere, honest, and funny are words that come most readily to mind when summing up this book. Young American Ben Orbach showed significant courage in traveling to the Arab Globe (and Turkey) post-9/11, and he was on the ground with battle in Iraq brewing and then breaking out. He is a real traveler in the classical sense, going afar to seek wisdom and change, not to impose or justify prejudices or preconceived notions. He is clear about his convictions, but humbly does his utmost to understand the a lot of various opinions he encounters along the way. His insights, informed by his knowledge of the local language, are passed on to us through the e-mails that he wrote home from the Middle East--those missives are the substance of the book. His distinction between "America haters" and "American policy critics" will support Americans who are struggling to grasp the nuance of Arab/Muslim politics and society. In this and some other sections of the book, Orbach outlines what he believes are some of the implications for U.S. Middle East e author's personality comes through with a amazing sense of humor. His acc of using the facilities in high-class hotels is hilarious--something any young and cash-strapped traveler who has searched desperately for clean restrooms in developing nations can surely relate to. The Jordan snowball war is is wil be a sort of tutorial book for Americans studying in the Arab/Muslim world. It can also be a Middle East primer for any Americans who are seeking to be more-informed rhaps the most necessary question to ask of any text is, "what of it?" At first glance, pursuing peace might seem a somewhat grandiose ambition to link with this book, but I believe that is the author's basic motivation. His find is in the spirit of U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, who dedicated his book "To the Kids of the Middle East." The Middle East is controversial, and readers will surely search cause to disagree with Orbach at points along the way. But they will also search his views to be balanced, fair, and sum, the author's sincerity, credentials (advanced Arabic, SAIS masters degree), and his travel and work experience (notably with the U.S. government's Middle East Partnership Initiative) demand that his book gets a serious look and a fair read. At a time when the need for mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Arab (and Muslim) globe has never been more vital, this is a timely, important, and enjoyable book.
Mr. Orback's affection for the people he encountered is obvious. He describes the grim realities of their situation in the Middle East realistically and objectively. His experience is one that a woman could only read about. He describes quite well the differences in the strata of society and the ways that women have to conduct themselves within the culture. I am glad that Mr. Orbach had courage to have created this journey during such a tumultuous time in East/West relations (and lived to tell the tale). I thank him for his book.
Wow, really liking this travelogue book. It's a collection of letters he sends home during his long stay in the Middle East. It's honest, authentic and I feel I am able to connect with the country(s) and the people in a method that not all travel books are successful at.
We bought this book prior to our travel to Jordan in November of 2012. The book was amazing to obtain the accurate impression of the local culture and customs from an American that spent a lot of time living among the locals. I didn't give it five stars due to numerous political rants included in the book. It was almost as if the book was written by two various people.
Loved this book so much, mostly because I just returned from an awesome life-altering trip to Jordan just two weeks ago. We visited a lot of of the locations he mentions in the book. I'm from Fresh York, I've studied Arabic both Fuhsa and the dialect of the Levant and thankfully, I've been to Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. I plan to visit as a lot of Middle Eastern countries as I possibly can. Although the book is dated (2002) I completely felt the vibe that the author was giving us as he described his adventures in Amman, his struggle to master a very difficult language and getting to know the culture. I learned a lot from reading this book about the identities of the Jordanians, Palestinians, refugees and the sentiment of America in the Arab East. It was a pleasure to read this book and I only pray that things in this attractive region of the globe obtain better.
This is an awesome book. It is told through letters and a that student's perspective. What makes it so awesome is that while he is a student of Arabic he is also a Jew. He develops relationships with different Arabs throughout the book. It gives hope that friendship and understanding can come even in the most diverse gatherings. It also gives us, the average reader, the opportunity to visit countries most of us will never see due to political strife and civil unrest.
I originally bought this book (Kindle Version) because I thought we were going to going to Jordan for a holiday/vacation, and I wanted it in my Kindle to read when we were going to be there. As it turned out we booked Cyprus instead. Having now read the book I'd like to cancel the plans to Cyprus and book them to e author has a method of bringing the people he met and wrote about to life. I truly felt I could understand them and their points of view, which helped to challenge and inform my own point of view on several though I do not live in the Middle East, as an American expat living in the UK, I was able to understand (and relate to) several of his observations about living in a various culture than the one you were brought up only complaint about the book was that it wasn't long enough. I wanted it to hold going on - I wanted to learn about more of the people he met!
This outlines the experiences of a graduate student moving to Jordan and living there for 7 months just prior to the American invasion of Iraq. His experiences and interactions with local people are facinating and highly insightful. His travels around the middle east are equally insightful. It is simple to see the Arab people as a homogenous group when in reality there are large tribal differences between the peoples of the locations a human face and personna on the different peoples in the region.
A unbelievable book. The parallels with Tom Friedmans' "Beirut to Jerusalem" are remarkable, but where Tom's insight derived from serving as the NY Times correspondent to Beirut and Jerusalem and interacting with high level politicos (top down), Ben's piece involves living in Amman where he had to endure a brief, cold shower every other day due to water constraints (bottoms up).This work palpably demonstrates how miserably US foreign policy aggravates Middle East problems, but reinforces the hope that if we take the time to know our neighbors, peaceful reconciliation is possible.
I read this memoir because Rayya is the partner of a favourite writer, Elizabeth Gilbert. I knew of Rayya's latest health struggles and that she had lived an extraordinary life that took her from a rock star junkie to the insightful, inspirational figure she has ough it is not particularly well-written and could have benefitted from more/better editing, I found this book fascinating. It is real that Rayya here offers small insight and is boldly unapologetic. I imagine that she has more than created amends to the loved ones she damage during the a lot of years that she was abusive to herself and those around her.I can't relate to much that Rayya writes about, yet for me that created it all the more interesting. How does someone hold making the same mistakes, and why? How can a person with so much talent and promise throw it away? The answers aren't here but Rayya's wonderful story is. If you are curious, you should read it.
I’m a large fan of Elizabeth Gilbert and since her most latest book Town of Girls came out on the tail end of Rayya’s loss, I wanted to read Rayya’s story. It was tough to read in that I wanted her to stop using and have a look at her pain, but I couldn’t place it down. Rest In Peace Rayya.
From the website: "This debut memoir charts four decades of a life lived in the moment, a path from harrowing loss and darkness to a put of peace and redemption." In what globe is continuously shooting heroin/cocaine and using and abusing mates and family called "living in the moment"? I found this poorly written memoir to be repetitive and self-congratulatory. Very small insight. Doing like a rock star does not create one a rock star.
A true page turner! I'm sad she passed away; I'm sad for Elizabeth Gilbert, her partner. She lived a very full life; a lot of it was dangerous. For me it was a realistic look at a globe I know nothing much about: life on the road and addiction..I highly recommend this book.
A sad, beautiful, intriguing look into one woman's life. Highly readable, and an perfect illustration of how every person we meet is a living story -- and should engender compassion in us.
Couldn't place this book down - wonderful story of addiction and eventual recovery. Don't know how Rayya created it through all her not good experiences but she survived and went on to write this book and thrive.
The raw honesty and the method Rayya owns her life is humbling and admirable. I kept rooting for her and saw myself in so a lot of of the moments in her life albeit never using or being homeless. Thank you for this book.
A amazing page turner. I felt the angst the writer was suffering from as a kid through adulthood until she could finally deal with the pain head on. That's no simple task --dealing with and admitting the truth--let alone to bear one's troubles to the world. I really have fun memoirs and this author speaks as if she's right there in your living room telling you about her quite colourful past. I praise her family for sticking by her side but more so, Rayya for her awakening, her seeing there's so much to live for and for channeling both her darkest and brightest thoughts through her love of music, hair styling, writing and more. She's a amazing talent and inspiration for many.
An intèresting life. An interesting journey. As simple as it is to make our own hell, we can just as easily make our own freedom. It's up to us to decide. Rayya Elias' story can easily inspire all of us.
William Dalrymple is amazing writer. This story of a journey of through the entire Byzantium world, its history,geography and politics is compelling reading,Dalrymple is writing about the dying civilisation of the eastern Christian world, falling beneath the might of e incidents, the brilliant pictures of locations he visits and the people he meets, are illuminating, most of it news to me.An extraordinary man, brave, hugely observant and objective. This is what reading is for.
Having previously read Dalrymple's In Xanadu, a book he had written in his early 20s, I had two motivations in reading this book: first of all, I was intrigued to see how his writing had developed over the intervening decade; secondly, I wanted to see if his idea of following in the footsteps of ancient travelers would work as well with less well known journey than Marco Polo's?On the first question I can report that his style had broadened and deepened since his earlier book. In Xanadu had a breathless, almost over-excited air to it, quite fitting for the work of a young author. The style of From the Holy Mountain is more reflective and mature, although it loses nothing of the sense of wonder and excitement of the earlier e second question has a more involved answer. The travelers whose journey Dalrymple is recreating are John Moschos and Sophronius the Sophist through the Byzantine Empire to the Holy Land and ultimately to Upper Egypt in the late 6th Century. They set off on their travels during a time of amazing upheaval and uncertainty in the Byzantine Empire, traveling through and around the Holy Land. Compared with Marco Polo's journey these travels are almost completely unknown.Dalrymple chose to begin at Mount Athos which he visited to see the codex of The Spiritual Meadow, Moschos' collection of the tales he heard on the way. It is not far-fetched to say that From the Holy Mountain becomes Dalrymple's Spiritual Meadow as he shares with us the stories of the people he met and the locations through which he traveled. He then heads east through Istanbul, Anatolia, Syria, through Lebanon, the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Cairo, and ultimately into Upper Egypt to conclude his journey in the Amazing Kharga Oasis. This journey took Dalrymple nearly six months and during that time he passed through some of the most troubled and contentious locations in the world. In all that time he never loses sight of the basic purpose of his journey which was to chronicle what had become of the Christian communities in the region in the 1500 years since Moschos and Sophronius had passed that way.Dalrymple's two amazing strengths are his deep knowledge of ancient culture and history, and his genuine fondness and empathy towards the people whose lives he briefly encounters during his journey. These two aspects of his writing complement each other wonderfully in that he is able to give a sympathetic and knowledgeable acc not only of the show situation in which communities search themselves but also to provide insight into how they came to be there. He is fully engaged in the issue of understanding how this region has became a put in which such deep animosities and hatred are everyday acted out between three of the world's amazing religions, the three peoples of the Book. It will come as no surprise that he offers no simplistic or simple answers, but what he does provide is a detailed and insightful acc of a region that has become more, rather than less, troubled in the 20 years that have passed since he wrote his e respond to my second question then is a resounding, "yes". In my view this is an even better book than In Xanadu. Dalrymple has taken a less promising theme and turned it into a grand narrative encapsulating three of the world's most necessary religions over a period of immense historical change. He manages to chronicle the political, historical and religious developments that have turned this part of the globe into such culturally rich, but politically and religious difficult put to understand. Reading this book has significantly improved my understanding of the region and its people.
After sharing tales of our separate tours of Greece, some 35 years apart, I was told by the Chancellor of the University System of Fresh Hampshire, in which I teach, "You must read From the Holy Mountain." I interpreted that as an assignment, and ordered the book. I hereby thank my chancellor for his t since Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has a travelogue been so much more than a tale about a om the Holy Mountain is about a Scottish Roman Catholic who, in 1994, decided to retrace the steps taken and chronicled by Fr. John Moschos back in 587 A.D. Dalrymple visits Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the Middle East where, even as late as 1994, local Muslims came to worship, and brought animals to sacrifice to Christian saints whom they believed capable of divine intervention in their lives. The book is about Greece and Turkey and Syria and Lebanon and Israel and Egypt in 587 A.D., in 1994, and episodically in-between.William Dalrymple is a skilled writer whose prose moves at a quick pace, without sacrificing the detail and anecdotes which lend humor and humanity to his story. Dalrymple has the bonus of conversation. His interpersonal encounters hold the story alive.Dalrymple has a prodigious vocabulary, and visits some obscure places, so the book is best read with a dictionary and a amazing atlas r anyone with an interest in any of the countries mentioned above, an interest in the Byzantine or Ottoman Empires, an interest in early or modern Christianity, in early or modern Islam, or simply with a traveler's soul, From the Holy Mountain is a amazing book.P.S. Added in December, 2005: In these troubled times, From the Holy Mountain is especially relevant, as it illustrates how Islam and Christianity can coexist in the Middle East, and sheds light on the issues between Israel and her Lebanese and Palestinian neighbors. Perhaps that should create the book a "required reading" in a lot of courses in the social sciences.
What an unexpectedly profound, exciting and necessary book this turned out to be for me. Before I read this book, I knew it was based on the Byzantine journeys of John Moschos chronicled in "The Spiritual Meadow" - a book I recently read and recently hated. Therefore any mention of John Mochos by the author automatically triggered for me . . . daydreams of a tacky ancient TV present entitled "Lifestyles of the Poor, Reclusive and Famous" . . . hosted by your favorite author for hire . . . JOHN MOCHOS!!!But then this book is real. William Dalrymple is searching for Christians. Well ok he is searching for Christian descendants of ancient Christians . . . in the locations John Moschos visited . . . 1400 year ago. The major point of the book seems to be that Christian History in the Middle East is literally vanishing . . . both physically though the deterioration and destruction of churches, monasteries and sacred websites . . . and culturally through the persecution, extermination and exportation of Christian people William (the author) goes to those locations that John Moschos went to. It turns out, the locations were real. And that there are true stories to tell from true Christians living in true locations in "Bible Land" which in modern terminology means Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and . . . Egypt. Those locations in this book are mainly monasteries. The latest of the remaining monasteries. The common theme in the interviews with monks, pious laity and cab drivers seems to be that twenty years is the estimate for years left for remaining Christians in the Middle East. Imagine that . . . 20 years left after 2000 years. . . and this was in 1994 . . . almost 20 years ago . . .As an "American Christian" layman there was a considerable learning curve for me here. However I can't support feeling poor about the various Christian people interviewed in this book who said something like . . . "no Christians helped us . . . we were alone." I can't support thinking that as American Christians . . . we are beautiful oblivious to what is going on in the globe . . . if it isn't a situation of complete charity . . . well dang . . . it's too complicated . . . say how did our ball club do tonight!!??Anyway this is a amazing read, by an unassuming author that inspired Bruce Feller (Walking the Bible) and I suspect Peter Hessler (River City . . . other China nonfiction). Unlike Feller, this author begins to pray (p. 287) for the remaining Mideast Christians. I think we should be praying for them too . . .
This is a amazing book for amateur historians who can have fun a history-laden but simultaneously lighter-weight acc of the author's journey. Kind of like the tales of people who have traveled the route of Marco Polo. Fascinating for those who have fun middle east history and certainly the roots of Christianity.
I truly liked this book. Starting in Greece, Dalrymple travels to Eastern Orthodox congregations scattered in W. Asia (Near/Mid East) covering their ancient origins and how they have fared over centuries of Islamic rule and the complex relationship of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in the Middle East. Once living with a relatively reasonable degree of acceptance, Christian groups in the region even in the late 1990s were already suffering persecution by different factions and occasionally through different governments' policies. A very interesting look both back in time and now, with some predictions for the future which have been beautiful accurate. Dalrymple could have created this simply a pedantic series of descriptions, Happily, he did not.
Simply put, a fascinating book, and tragically, correct. The ME is depopulating of Christians, even in long-time redoubts like Lebanon or Coptic Egypt, where the Copts increasingly face discrimination from the Muslim Brotherhood. The Israelis are also pushing the Christians out, not just the Palestineans, but also those in the Armenian Quarter as discussed by the author.
This fascinating travelogue by Mr Totten is compelling. It is full of private observations, sharp ysis and socio-political commentary. It is clearly written by an experienced well travelled and well read observer of people, regimes and current events. The overview of the Middle East and North Africa you will read here will support you understand things more subtly and deeply than more politically correct mainstream sources. Most of all, them author's writing style, with its wry humour and calling things what they are, is entertaining while it informs. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand more about this region, and how things got to be where they are today. This is the first book of Totten's I have read, and I have just downloaded another. I will be recommending Turret of the Sun to my friends.
If you think if you've seen one Islamic republic, you've seen them all, you will have your world-view turned upside down by Totten's essays on his travels through the Mideast and North Africa over the past decade or more. He shares his astute observations and interactions in a clear and entertaining fashion. You will come away with an historic appreciation of the struggles and successes of people in the Levant.
I confess to being completely baffled by Middle Eastern politics. If you have ever watched a news report and found yourself thinking, "What's the problem? Why don't they just [fill in the blank]," Michael Totten does an perfect job of explaining the truly precarious balance in the entire region that beautiful much prevents almost anything from happening. You may not remember the nuts and bolts of the intricate relationships, but you will come away with a better understanding of the greed, corruption and frustrated resignation that keeps true progress from taking put in this region.
I'm a fan of the author, and this book did not disappoint. Running the gamut of the Mideast and North Africa, Turret of the Sun was part travelogue, part history book, part political guide. From Morocco to Tunis, Libya, Egypt and his one time home in Lebanon, Totten goes where the news is and gives you a perspective you're unlikely to obtain anywhere else. Well worth the time.