Monday, April 28, 2008

The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History by WTTW Channel 11 and G. Bradley Publishing

The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History is a phenomenal book that examines the various ethnic and food servings found in Chicagoland. It was produced in conjunction with the WTTW Channel 11 (Public Television) program hosted by Geoff Baer called "The Foods of Chicago: A Delicious History" which aired recently in Chicago.

The 152 page book with high resolution color photos of each food serving and the food makers (from a wide range of ethnic groups that include Palestinian and Arab foods) is a high quality production available for about $35. You can get information on purchasing the book at

Foods covered include Arab/Palestinian, African American, Chinese, Cuban, Lithuanian, Greek, Irish, Italian, Polish, Native American, Jewish, Lebanese, Mexican, Puerot Rican, Swedish, South Asian and Polish. Each recipe features a detailed full color photograph, a recipe and, more importantly, the book puts each recipe into a cultural context with profiles of the many families and individuals who prepared the foods for the book. Three Arab families are included int he book from Chicagoland.

The compelling stories are edited and written by Diane Gannon, Gloria Baracks, Mark Weinstein, Liz Roy, with photography by Katherine Bish. Excellent.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New poetry book released

W.W. Norton & Co announces the release the much anticipated:
"Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, & Beyond"

Edited by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal and Ravi Shankar
Foreword by Carolyn Forché.

Come celebrate with us on Friday, April 25th, 2008, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
at The Rubin Museum, New York City

Rubin Museum of Art · 150 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011 · 212.620.5000

Other Readings this Month in NYC:
May 1 Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
When: Thursday, May 1Where: Segal Theater, CUNY Graduate Center: 365 Fifth Ave. What time: 1–2:30 p.m. With Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal, Ravi Shankar, and special guest poets Free and open to the public. No reservations.


Look out for readings nationally and internationally…

Buy your copy now and spread the word:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

"The Transparent Cable" by author Stephen J. Sniegoski

What a phenomenal book and exercise in understanding the challenges of today's Middle East. "The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East and the National Interest of Israel" by author Stephen J. Sniegoski is must read to understand the pernicious policies of Western World corruption that have inffected the Middle East and Islamic world and brought injustice and unDemocratic rule.

It has a powerful forward by former Congressman Paul Findley, one of the most brilliant minds on American foreign policy, a victim of the vicious slander of the extremist right and pro-Israeli fanatics who have placed Israel's interests way above principle, the rule of law, morality and justice for both Arabs and Israelis.

The book will be published June 15, 2008. It attempts and can help invigorate the lack of national discussion and debate on the war crimes of President George W. Bush -- that one day will, hopefully, be prosecuted -- and on the failed policies of the US invasion of Iraq and how Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld help create a training ground and expanded presence for al-Qaeda terrorism in the Middle East that plague us till this day far worse than the terrorist crimes of Sept. 11, 2001.

For too many years, Americans were prohibited from having this debate, accused of being unpatriotic by neocons and American extremists who never even served in the military themselves. hypocrits who exploited American fears to undermine the American Constitution and deny civil rights to people based on race and religion and national origin. These policies erode the fundamental strength of the vision of a genuine American democracy and set the stage for the nation's destruction.

With new leadership, an open and honest national debate and discussion, and Sniegoski's book, this could all change for the better and terrorism may one day be wiped clean from humanity.


"The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State" by author Noah Feldman

Noah Feldman's book "The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State" conveys many of the common stereotypes and political assertions that have undermined justice in the Middle East, Arab World and Islamic World. Althoug it offers some deep thought, it is consumed by common stereotypes: for example in Iran, the author argues that Islamicists merged Islamic law with political government, but really doesn't put the blame where it belongs, on the corruption of American and Western foreign policy which helped create confrontation pushing Muslims into a corner in the world that they have learned to dominate and use as a base for expansion.

Iran was governed by one of the most brutal secular tyrants in the world, the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi. He was a murderer worse than Saddam Hussein or even Hitler and yet he had the bacing and support of the American government for years as he oppressed his people. When the people of Iran rose to force the Shah out of office -- fighting against the Shah and his American supporters -- the natural reaction was to turn to an extremist Islamic code of justice to compensate for the American corruption that the Shah represented.

Of course, the author does not address the role of Israel, another instance where Western powers sought to impose political situations on the Middle East only to have created a situation where Christians and Muslims were plagued with Western-style injustice. The response, again, has been an extremist rise of anger against Israel and the West, pushing the two sides to extremist ends.

Never criticism of Israel, of course or its role in pushing the Islamicists to the extreme.

If you strip away the politics and perceptions -- which is difficult -- Feldman does try to offer an analysis of today's Islamic world challenges in today's context. His historical narrative is very accurate in many instances. But the bottom line is that no one can expect the Islamic World to embrace legal reform and the rule of law when it is not practiced in other parts of the Middle East, especially in Israel and in Iraq, which is today an American occupied wasteland and killing field.

The real challenge is to address the hypocrisies of the Western World as it applies to Islam and how the failings of the Western World have made it almost impossible to establish true Democracy in those Islamic countries.

The best answer to the Islamic challenge is to practice what you preach and set an example, rather than explaining how the Islamic World has failed to evolve to meet our, Western, expectations.

A great read, despite some need to reinforce missing aspects of the story.


Inclined to Speak: a collection of Arab poetry

"Inclined to Speak" offers a broad array of poetry from some of Arab America's best modern poets. The book is edited by Hayan Charara and includes many of the well known poets in the community who write often and are found throughout the Arab American community. The poetry addresses everything from love to politics and begins with a very lengthy introduction by Charara on the state of Arab American poetry today.

This will reach many Arab Americans but Arab American poetry hasn't yet broken through to mainstream Americans -- some, but not enough.


Monday, April 7, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Gabriel Tabarani's "Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"

Author House, an Indiana, USA based publishing house confirmed today the release of a new book titled: "Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: From Balfour Promise to Bush Declaration - The Complications and The Road for a Lasting Peace"

The author, Gabriel Tabarani, is a very well known and respected specialist on Middle East affairs. He has been involved in journalism in Beirut and London as a reporter, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief for over 25 years. He has already authored two books: "The Tears of the Horizon" a romantic novel, as well as "The Winter of Discontent in The Gulf" (1991) about the first Gulf War when Saddam Hussein took over Kuwait.

"My goal with this book is to provide a fair and balanced view on a very important, sensitive and long running conflict," says Mr. Tabarani. Experts agree that the book is a fair and balanced piece, which makes it very rare in its kind.

Mr. Tabarani takes us on a trip back through the history of the Middle East reaching back into Biblical times. He discusses in detail the origins of both Zionism and the Palestinians as well as from which Biblical and historical sources the Jewish and the Palestinians factions base their claims to the former British mandate of Palestine.

The book develops and explains the substantial body of history required for meaningful understanding of the current troubles, it covers in detail the wars, conflicts and compromises, as well as their impacts and consequences on the Palestinian and the Jewish peoples, including the 1948 war, the Suez war in 1956, the Six-Day War in 1967, the 1973 War, the Lebanese Wars, and most recently the two Palestinian "Intifadas" (uprising)…

Furthermore, he argues and discusses in detail the issue of both Palestinian and Jewish refugees in addition to the political effects of those wars on the peace process.

Moreover, Tabarani speaks in detail about the obstacles to a lasting peace, taking into consideration international involvement of various parties, including USA, EU, Russia and Iran. In addition, he discusses the economical and political viability of a Palestinian state in the West bank and in the Gaza Strip.

In his conclusion Tabarani comes to recommendations as to how to broker a stable peace in the Middle East. It is groundbreaking for a book to provide such a detailed course of action that can help all parties involve to reach a lasting peace.

This book (450 Pages) can be found and bought by Internet on, or, or or or, or… The Internet selling price (from authorhouse) is 22.99US$ plus the shipment costs. From Amazon, other Internet sellers and in stores the price is 24.99US$. The book can be found too at Ingram Book Group and its affiliates and other distributors in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and around the world.

For more information you can contact:
Lisa Metcalf
Author Services Representative
Author House
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403, USA
Tel: 1-888-519-5121 Extension: 5407
Fax: 1-812-349 0807

Thursday, April 3, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: "Once Upon a Time in Iraq"

=====================FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE===================
March 27, 2008For more information, contact:Basil Balian, phone: 513-236-0260E-mail:
New Book Details Life in a once Peaceful and Progressive Iraq

CINCINNATI—Imagine an Iraq where people of different religions and ethnicity lived in harmony and peace, where children could grow up and be educated, where businesses both large and small thrived, and the basic necessities of life were within nearly everyone’s reach. Imagine a progressing, economically vibrant Iraq on its way to becoming a vital and functioning developed country. A new book, "Once Upon a Time in Iraq", by Basil Balian, offers such a view.Balian, an ex-Iraqi and resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, memorializes his growing-up years in Iraq in this book. "Once Upon a Time in Iraq" provides American readers with a glimpse of a pre-Saddam Hussein Iraq in which ordinary life was possible. Described by one early reviewer as "informative, humorous, insightful and humanizing of the Iraqis," _Once Upon a Time in Iraq_ provides the reader with a vision of Iraq they’ve never seen before, a place of growth and progress but also traditions and customs, a place of human comedy as well as tragedy.>From his early childhood spent among the Kurds in Khanaqin, near the Iranian border, as the son of a British Petroleum Company executive, to his adolescent and young adult years in Baghdad and as a student at the American Jesuit high school, Baghdad College, Balian treats readers to personal stories in a place that’s become known only as a place where devastating explosions are a daily occurrence and American soldiers go to die. Balian’s motivation for writing the book, he says, "came from friends and acquaintances who seemed interested in what I had to say about the Iraqis after our involvement in Iraq. They thought what I had to say needed telling." He continues, "Iraq was going through relatively normal times during the decades that I write about. Iraq was pro-West at this time. There was an underlying strong nationalistic sentiment among the middle class and educated masses to be independent but the main outside influence was a western influence. Indications are that history is about to repeat itself. Maybe there are lessons to be learned this time." "I believe the failure of the West in the past was that they did not take enough time to understand the Iraqi culture. I hope it will be different this time, and I hope this book will be helpful," he adds.The 250-page book is available only from as an e-book for $6.50 or $16.50 for a paperback copy. To view a preview of the book, go to the website and type "Balian" in the Search button.