Year: 2015

Popular Protest in Palestine: The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance

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By: Marwan Darweish
Andrew Rigby

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Yiyi Chen, PhD

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Shanghai, P. R. China

The book is partially based on analysis of over a hundred face-to-face interviews and conversations between the authors and activists, both Palestinian and Israeli. But it is not a collection of interview transcripts; these data are weaved into an ambitious attempt to see through the history, characteristics, and challenges of the Palestinians’ painful struggles to gain liberation from the occupation. It is very useful reading for not only the experts, but also the general readers…

Yemen: Revolution, Civil War and Unification

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By: Uzi Rabi

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

G. Doug Davis, PhD

Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Yemen is a difficult country to understand due to its tribal character and its limited openness to foreigners. There are few works chronicling Yemen’s history in the twentieth century that carry their examination through the Arab Spring. Uzi Rabi provides a book, Yemen: Revolution, Civil War and Unification, that fills this gap by documenting the Turkish and British presence through the emergence of North and South Yemen, to a unified nation up to the Arab…

Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring

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By: John L. Esposito
Tamara Sonn
John O. Voll

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Hakan Erdagoz, MA

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

As Guillermo O’Donnell rightly observed, when the struggle for transition to democracy persistently failed in Latin America during the 1970s, the greatest obstacle for democracy there was thought to be the legacy of the Catholic Church which had not allowed room for individualism in Iberian societies. Today, many have similar justifications as to why democracy is often absent in countries with large Muslim populations. In this timely book, John L. Esposito, Tamara Sonn, and John…

Islam and Nazi Germany’s War

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By: David Motadel

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Sarah Hackett, PhD

Bath Spa University

UK

In July 1940, retired diplomat Max von Oppenheim sent the German Foreign Office a memorandum in which he argued that the time had come for Germany to rally the Muslim world against the British Empire. It is with this event that David Motadel begins what is an impressively researched, beautifully written and refreshingly original account of Nazi Germany’s ambitious and persistent attempt to forge an alliance with Islam during the Second World War. Contextualised within…

Iran and Pakistan: Security, Diplomacy and American Influence

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By: Alex Vatanka

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Mohammad Taimur Ali Ahmad, BS

Georgetown University

Doha, Qatar

In recent years, Pakistan’s regional and foreign policy has been contingent on the continuing political instability in Afghanistan, strengthening of ties with China, and typically tumultuous ties with India. However, the neighboring country with which Pakistan has had the most fluid — yet inconspicuously resilient — relations is Iran. Alex Vatanka takes on the challenge of trying to chart out the multifaceted relationship between Pakistan and Iran in this book. It is no small task,…

Zionism in Damascus: Ideology and Activity in the Jewish Community at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

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By: Yaron Harel

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Josef Olmert, PhD

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

Damascus and Syria have been bleeding in the last four and a half years in an atrocious civil war, which is mainly, though not exclusively, the result of the sectarian problem which has been at the center of Syria’s existence ever since its independence in 1946. A book dealing with one of the many ethnic and religious communities in this very small mosaic is therefore a timely and important contribution to the discussion of the…

Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe

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By: Jeanette S. Jouili

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Alexandros Sakellariou, PhD

Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences of Athens

Athens, Greece

The presence of Muslim communities within the European societies has been at the forefront of furious debates again during the last years, especially after the appearance of the so-called Islamic State, but also because of the massive waves of refugees and migrants that arrive on a daily basis in Europe. Of particular interest is the issue of Muslim women and their acculturation in European societies, a topic that has caused many discussions and disagreements, especially…

Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Communi

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By: Anthony Gorman
Sossie Kasbarian, Editor

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Shawn Teresa Flanigan, PhD

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian’s edited volume Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community presents eleven case studies of diasporic communities within the Middle East. By focusing mostly on diaspora communities living within the region, this volume presents a welcome and much needed complement to the growing body of scholarship on Middle Eastern diasporic communities outside the region, such as Middle Eastern migrants in Europe and North America. The volume takes a multidisciplinary perspective,…

Converging Regions: Global Perspectives on Asia and the Middle East

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By: Nele Lenze
Charlotte Schriwer

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Abdullah Khurram, MA

Johns Hopkins University

Washington, D.C.

In this important book, the editors and authors bring to light some very interesting avenues where Asia and the Middle East are converging. Charlotte Schriwer points out that according to the New York Times, trade between the two regions grew 700% between 2000 and 2010 (p. 4). Such a thriving commercial connection has also historically led to an exchange of ideas in social and political realms. The world’s largest producers of oil have been in…

Middle Eastern Belongings

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By: Diane E. King, Editor

Volume: 3 Issue: 11

November 2015

Review by:

Basem Ezbidi, PhD

Qatar University

Doha, Qatar

This excellent book portrays multi-dimensional images of belonging and depicts the various ways in which belonging can be manifested by focusing on its worries and thrills in the Middle East. All images observe women in the context of their complex relationship to and in between territory and politics. The chapter by Sarah S. Persinger shows how gender constructs can be utilized by political regimes in national discourse to maintain their grip on society in times…

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