Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727

Product Description

Traveling to archives in Tunisia, Morocco, France, and England, with visits to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Spain, Nabil Matar assembles a rare history of Europe’s rise to power as seen through the eyes of those who were later subjugated by it. Many historians of the Middle East believe Arabs and Muslims had no interest in Europe during this period of Western discovery and empire, but in fact these groups were very much engaged with the naval and industrial development, politics, and trade of European Christendom.

Beginning in 1578 with a major Moroccan victory over a Portuguese invading army, Matar surveys this early modern period, in which Europeans and Arabs often shared common political, commercial, and military goals. Matar concentrates on how Muslim captives, ransomers, traders, envoys, travelers, and rulers pursued those goals while transmitting to the nonprint cultures of North Africa their knowledge of the peoples and societies of Spain, France, Britain, Holland, Italy, and Malta. From the first non-European description of Queen Elizabeth I to early accounts of Florence and Pisa in Arabic, from Tunisian descriptions of the Morisco expulsion in 1609 to the letters of a Moroccan Armenian ambassador in London, the translations of the book’s second half draw on the popular and elite sources that were available to Arabs in the early modern period. Letters from male and female captives in Europe, chronicles of European naval attacks and the taqayid (newspaper) reports on Muslim resistance, and descriptions of opera and quinine appear here in English for the first time.

Matar notes that the Arabs of the Maghrib and the Mashriq were eager to engage Christendom, despite wars and rivalries, and hoped to establish routes of trade and alliances through treaties and royal marriages. However, the rise of an intolerant and exclusionary Christianity and the explosion of European military technology brought these advances to an end. In conclusion, Matar details the decline of Arab-Islamic power and the rise of Britain and France.

Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Categories: Dubai Books   Tags: , , ,

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

  • ISBN13: 9781596913431
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description

In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.
Sandy Tolan is the author of Me & Hank: A Boy and His Hero, Twenty-five Years Later. He has written extensively for magazines and newspapers, and has produced dozens of documentaries for National Public Radio and Public Radio International. He was a 1993 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and an I. F. Stone Fellow at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he teaches international reporting.

A Church and Synagogue Library Association Rodda Award Nominee

In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Eshkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967. Based on extensive research, and springing from his enormously resonant documentary that aired on NPR’s Fresh Air in 1998, Sandy Tolan brings the Israeli-Palestinian conflict down to its most human level, suggesting that even amid the bleakest political realities there exist stories of hope and reconciliation.

“A graceful, compassionate and unmuddied presentation of Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lives of an Arab and a Jew, strangers who forge a connection and a reconciliation while never veering from their passionate desires for a homeland.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Quite simply the most important book I’ve read for ages . . . a handbook to understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a narrative that captures its essence through tracing the connected lives of two extraordinary individuals. Literally the single work I’d recommend to anyone seeking to understand why the conflict remains unresolved, and why it continues to dominate the region.”Time
“The affecting story of an unlikely truce, even a peace, between Palestinians and Israelis in contested territory. The symbolic center of radio documentarian Tolan’s latest could not be simpler: In an old garden in the town Arabs call al-Ramla and Jews Ramla (neither name to be confused with the West Bank town of Ramallah, 20 miles away), a family cultivated a lemon tree that provided shade and refreshment for many years. When the Khairi family left al-Ramla, driven out in the Israeli War of Independence-a time Palestinians call Nakba, ‘the catastrophe’—a family of Bulgarian Jews took over the property, which, as far as they knew, had been ‘abandoned.’ Drawing on interviews and oral histories, Tolan reconstructs the stories each family, Khairi and Eshkenazi, told about their respective displacements, the lands they left behind, those who died and were born. His book begins with the arrival of three young Palestinian men in Ramla shortly after the Six Day War; stopping at houses they had once lived in, they asked the new inhabitants whether they could step inside to see them. Only one woman, a Tel Aviv university student named Dalia Eshkenazi, assented. ‘She knew,’ writes Tolan, ‘that it was not advisable in the wake of war for a young Israeli woman to invite three Arab men inside her house’; yet she did, and from that simple act, a sort of friendship evolved, even as events made Dalia more resolute in her defense of Israel and turned the oldest of the men, Bashir Al-Khairi, into a freedom fighter—or terrorist, if you will—in the Palestinian cause. Through broad sweeps of narrative going back and forward in time, Tolan’s sensitively told, eminently fair-minded narrative closes with a return to that lemon tree and its promise of reconciliation. Humane and literate—and rather daring in suggesting that the future of the Middle East need not be violent.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Tolan captures the Arab-Israeli struggle in this story of a house and the two families, first Palestinian and then Jewish, who successively lived in it. Members of both families came to know one another and to seek dialog between Arabs and Jews. This wonderful human story vividly depicts the depths of attachment to contested ground. An excellent choice for general readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“The title of this moving, well-crafted book refers to a tree in the backyard of a home in Ramla, Israel. The home is currently owned by Dalia, a Jewish woman whose family of Holocaust survivors emigrated from Bulgaria. But before Israel gained its independence in 1948, the house was owned by the Palestinian family of Bashir, who meets Dalia when he returns to see his family home after the Six-Day War of 1967. Journalist Tolan traces the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the parallel personal histories of Dalia and Bashir and their families—all refugees seeking a home. As Tolan takes the story forward, Dalia struggles with her Israeli identity, and Bashir struggles with decades in Israeli prisons for suspected terrorist activities. Those looking for even a symbolic magical solution to that conflict won’t find it here: the lemon tree dies in 1998, just as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process stagnates. But as they follow Dalia and Bashir’s difficult friendship, readers will experience one of the world’s most stubborn conflicts firsthand.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 16, 2010 at 3:14 am

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The Future of Islam

  • ISBN13: 9780195165210
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Amazon.com Review
John L. Esposito is one of America’s leading authorities on Islam. Now, in this brilliant portrait of Islam today– and tomorrow– he draws on a lifetime of thought and research to provide an accurate, richly nuanced, and revelatory account of the fastest growing religion in the world.

Here Esposito explores the major questions and issues that face Islam in the 21st century and that will deeply affect global politics: Is Islam compatible with modern notions of democracy, rule of law, gender equality, and human rights? How representative and widespread is Islamic fundamentalism and the threat of global terrorism? Can Muslim minority communities be loyal citizens in America and Europe? The book also turns the mirror on the US and Europe, revealing how we appear to Muslims.

Recent decades have brought extraordinary changes in the Muslim world, and in addressing these issues, Esposito paints a complex picture of Islam in all its diversity-a picture of urgent importance as we face the challenges of the coming century.


John L. Esposito and Karen Armstrong: Author One-to-One
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous works on comparative religion, including the critically-acclaimed The Case for God. She spoke with John L. Esposito about Western perceptions of Muslims and the issues facing the world’s fastest growing religion.

Armstrong: How did you view Islam before you began to study it seriously? How did study affect your understanding of Muslim faith and culture?

Esposito: Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, surrounded by Italian Catholic neighbors, I knew little about the one Irish girl in my class, and much less about Arabs or Islam who were invisible in the American landscape. And what I did know (much of it, I discovered later, was the product of bias and stereotypes) did not attract me to “these strangers”. In addition, since most theology and religion departments did not teach Islam, the prospect of getting a teaching position in this area were indeed bleak. When the department chair of religion at Temple encouraged me to take a course in Islam with a newly hired Muslim professor, I declined. However, he was “gently adamant” and I, reflecting on my precarious position as a grad student, finally agreed to “take just one course.”

When I first encountered Islam in graduate school, I was astonished to discover that Islam was another Abrahamic faith. While the Judeo-Christian connection was well known, no one ever mentioned a Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. Why? If Muslims recognize and revere many of the major patriarchs and prophets of Judaism and Christianity (including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus) and God’s revealed books, the Torah and the Message (Gospels) of Jesus, why had I not been aware of these similarities after all my years of liberal arts and theological training?

Armstrong: Western feelings about Islam have certainly intensified since 9/11. But do you think that the Western perception of Islam has fundamentally changed? If so, how has it changed? If not, why not?

Esposito: There certainly has been more coverage of Islam and Muslims are more visible in the public square. However, during the past decade continued terrorist attacks, the sharp politicization among experts and political commentators, the influence of neocons and the hardline Christian Right have fed a significant increase in anti-Islam and anti-Muslim (Islamophobia) attitudes and policies. The Gallup World Poll and other major polls have demonstrated the impact on public opinion. When Americans were asked in 2007 what they admire about Islam, 57% (that figure dropped to 53% in 2009) said “nothing” or “I don’t know.” The critical missing link in our information and the key question in understanding Muslims ought to be “What do Muslims globally, the mainstream majority, really think?” To chart a new way forward, we in the West need to know not only what experts and pseudo-experts say about Muslim attitudes, beliefs, grievances, hopes, fears, and desires but also and most importantly what the often silenced Muslim majority have to say. I believe we’d discover many commonalities in their values, hopes and dreams.

At the same time, there has been an exponential growth in information and knowledge regarding Islam and Muslims, in books and media. It’s not clear that this has led to greater understanding. Toward that end I have seen an increase in inter-civilizational and inter-religious dialogue initiatives and media and popular culture projects that reach a broad audience, especially youth who are the future of Islam.

Armstrong: What are the particular challenges that Islam faces in the modern world?

Esposito: The first challenge is time. In contrast to Christian reforms that grew out of and were influenced primarily by conditions in the West over several centuries, Islam and Muslims have decades, not centuries, to make significant progress in a globalizing world characterized by Western political, military, and economic hegemony. Secondly, many Muslims today pursue reform not from a position of power and strength but from one of relative weakness, struggling for change in the face of authoritarianism and repression, limited freedom of speech and the press, and in some cases war and terror.

Armstrong: What do you find most hopeful in current Muslim thinking?

Esposito: Post 9/11, the call to reform Islam, to strengthen its relevance in a rapidly changing twenty-first-century world, has intensified. If some say that Islam is a perfect religion that doesn’t need to change or adapt, many others stress that Islam is inherently dynamic and that reinterpretation and reform are critical in the struggle to respond to the demands of our times, to marginalize extremists, and to promote gender equality, religious pluralism, and human rights. This debate has been intensified by a modern technology and mass communications and by the growth of religious extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam.

An influential group of vibrant Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders, from Africa to Asia, from Europe to America, have addressed the role of Islam in contemporary society: How do religion and Islamic law contribute to the modern nation-state? Where do Islamic values apply to key issues of today, like democracy, secularism, gender equality, human rights, free market economies, modern banking? What is the role of the clergy (ulama); are they the preeminent authoritative voices who speak for Islam?

Reformists are clergy, as well as intellectuals and activists; rulers and citizens, both traditionalist and modernist. They can be found at Islamic institutes and universities, at academic and religious conferences, and in parliamentary debates. Reformist ideas proliferate in hundreds of books and articles, audios, videos and DVDs, in newspaper editorials, in muftis’ fatwas, and on the Internet. As in the history of Christianity and the Reformation, change in Islam is not limited to debates in theology and law but also involves struggles in politics and society, and at times violence and terror.

Read Karen Armstrong’s foreword from The Future of Islam [PDF]

(Photo by J.D. Sloan)


The Future of Islam

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 15, 2010 at 12:43 am

Categories: Dubai Books   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Future of Islam

  • ISBN13: 9780195165210
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Amazon.com Review
John L. Esposito is one of America’s leading authorities on Islam. Now, in this brilliant portrait of Islam today– and tomorrow– he draws on a lifetime of thought and research to provide an accurate, richly nuanced, and revelatory account of the fastest growing religion in the world.

Here Esposito explores the major questions and issues that face Islam in the 21st century and that will deeply affect global politics: Is Islam compatible with modern notions of democracy, rule of law, gender equality, and human rights? How representative and widespread is Islamic fundamentalism and the threat of global terrorism? Can Muslim minority communities be loyal citizens in America and Europe? The book also turns the mirror on the US and Europe, revealing how we appear to Muslims.

Recent decades have brought extraordinary changes in the Muslim world, and in addressing these issues, Esposito paints a complex picture of Islam in all its diversity-a picture of urgent importance as we face the challenges of the coming century.


John L. Esposito and Karen Armstrong: Author One-to-One
Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous works on comparative religion, including the critically-acclaimed The Case for God. She spoke with John L. Esposito about Western perceptions of Muslims and the issues facing the world’s fastest growing religion.

Armstrong: How did you view Islam before you began to study it seriously? How did study affect your understanding of Muslim faith and culture?

Esposito: Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, surrounded by Italian Catholic neighbors, I knew little about the one Irish girl in my class, and much less about Arabs or Islam who were invisible in the American landscape. And what I did know (much of it, I discovered later, was the product of bias and stereotypes) did not attract me to “these strangers”. In addition, since most theology and religion departments did not teach Islam, the prospect of getting a teaching position in this area were indeed bleak. When the department chair of religion at Temple encouraged me to take a course in Islam with a newly hired Muslim professor, I declined. However, he was “gently adamant” and I, reflecting on my precarious position as a grad student, finally agreed to “take just one course.”

When I first encountered Islam in graduate school, I was astonished to discover that Islam was another Abrahamic faith. While the Judeo-Christian connection was well known, no one ever mentioned a Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. Why? If Muslims recognize and revere many of the major patriarchs and prophets of Judaism and Christianity (including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus) and God’s revealed books, the Torah and the Message (Gospels) of Jesus, why had I not been aware of these similarities after all my years of liberal arts and theological training?

Armstrong: Western feelings about Islam have certainly intensified since 9/11. But do you think that the Western perception of Islam has fundamentally changed? If so, how has it changed? If not, why not?

Esposito: There certainly has been more coverage of Islam and Muslims are more visible in the public square. However, during the past decade continued terrorist attacks, the sharp politicization among experts and political commentators, the influence of neocons and the hardline Christian Right have fed a significant increase in anti-Islam and anti-Muslim (Islamophobia) attitudes and policies. The Gallup World Poll and other major polls have demonstrated the impact on public opinion. When Americans were asked in 2007 what they admire about Islam, 57% (that figure dropped to 53% in 2009) said “nothing” or “I don’t know.” The critical missing link in our information and the key question in understanding Muslims ought to be “What do Muslims globally, the mainstream majority, really think?” To chart a new way forward, we in the West need to know not only what experts and pseudo-experts say about Muslim attitudes, beliefs, grievances, hopes, fears, and desires but also and most importantly what the often silenced Muslim majority have to say. I believe we’d discover many commonalities in their values, hopes and dreams.

At the same time, there has been an exponential growth in information and knowledge regarding Islam and Muslims, in books and media. It’s not clear that this has led to greater understanding. Toward that end I have seen an increase in inter-civilizational and inter-religious dialogue initiatives and media and popular culture projects that reach a broad audience, especially youth who are the future of Islam.

Armstrong: What are the particular challenges that Islam faces in the modern world?

Esposito: The first challenge is time. In contrast to Christian reforms that grew out of and were influenced primarily by conditions in the West over several centuries, Islam and Muslims have decades, not centuries, to make significant progress in a globalizing world characterized by Western political, military, and economic hegemony. Secondly, many Muslims today pursue reform not from a position of power and strength but from one of relative weakness, struggling for change in the face of authoritarianism and repression, limited freedom of speech and the press, and in some cases war and terror.

Armstrong: What do you find most hopeful in current Muslim thinking?

Esposito: Post 9/11, the call to reform Islam, to strengthen its relevance in a rapidly changing twenty-first-century world, has intensified. If some say that Islam is a perfect religion that doesn’t need to change or adapt, many others stress that Islam is inherently dynamic and that reinterpretation and reform are critical in the struggle to respond to the demands of our times, to marginalize extremists, and to promote gender equality, religious pluralism, and human rights. This debate has been intensified by a modern technology and mass communications and by the growth of religious extremism and terrorism in the name of Islam.

An influential group of vibrant Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders, from Africa to Asia, from Europe to America, have addressed the role of Islam in contemporary society: How do religion and Islamic law contribute to the modern nation-state? Where do Islamic values apply to key issues of today, like democracy, secularism, gender equality, human rights, free market economies, modern banking? What is the role of the clergy (ulama); are they the preeminent authoritative voices who speak for Islam?

Reformists are clergy, as well as intellectuals and activists; rulers and citizens, both traditionalist and modernist. They can be found at Islamic institutes and universities, at academic and religious conferences, and in parliamentary debates. Reformist ideas proliferate in hundreds of books and articles, audios, videos and DVDs, in newspaper editorials, in muftis’ fatwas, and on the Internet. As in the history of Christianity and the Reformation, change in Islam is not limited to debates in theology and law but also involves struggles in politics and society, and at times violence and terror.

Read Karen Armstrong’s foreword from The Future of Islam [PDF]

(Photo by J.D. Sloan)


The Future of Islam

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 12:43 am

Categories: Dubai Books   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,