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Middle-East

“America and Iran” by John Ghazvinian: Why the United States and Iran Struggle to Get Along

Street shopping in Iran. Yes, those are “no parking” signs right next to all the parked cars plus the guy in the street hanging out on his motor bike. Pretty standard for that part of the world. Mehr News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons As soon as I saw John Ghazvinian’s new book, …

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Forsyth’s “A Short History of Drunkenness”: The Importance of Handling the Buzz

Americans in Paris celebrate the repeal of the 18th Amendment. Unknown /w New York Times, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons, 1933. Who would think to write a history of drunkenness, and what is there to say?   That’s what I thought when I ran across this bizarre little book, but as it turns out, people have …

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Naomi Shihab Nye’s Voice of Reason about Palestine and Israel

Arab Festival T-shirt SEATTLE 2007. I wasn’t even there, But wear this shirt proudly all the time. Since when Arab Tragedy only? No! Forgetting spread tables, smoky eggplant, tiny spinach pies, punctuating pomegranate seeds, neat salmon in the center of each rectangle of harissa, since when we put down embroideries, joy, birth certificates of stitching …

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Craig Thompson’s “Habibi”: Can an American depict the Middle East fairly?

The Middle East is a complicated place, full of contradictions. So is Craig Thompson’s Habibi. Buy on Amazon Ever since I moved back from the Middle East a few months ago, I have been excited about rereading Habibi. I first read it the summer after my first year there. Because the book is so big …

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