Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Arabs: A History by Middle East scholar Eugene Rogan

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So much has been written about the history of the Arab World, most driven by interpretations of emotion,  suffering and partisanship. Many of the books have been narratives reflecting the author's bias or political preferences, making them either easy to read satisfying your needs or difficult to read challenging your beliefs. Eugene Rogan, the director of The Middle east Centre at St. Anthony's College in Oxford, however, provides a clinically accurate and compelling "history" that gives the Arab World in a timely examination and explanation.

The introduction details why knowledge of the history of the Arabs is so important and it is followed by chapters that take you through the major developments and the evolution of today's Arab. How did they get to where they are at? And, are they being marginlized and erased by the growing Islamic revolution which is burying the richness and uniqueness of the secular Arab culture in a cult of religious bastardization? These are only some questions that one might answer in understanding the history of The Arabs in Rogan's book.

We all know the historical chronology, but Rogan takes us through a more interesting read through Ottoman rule, the Muhammad Ali empire, reformation, colonization in African, World War I, the disastrous rule of Britain in the Middle East, France in Lebanon, the disaster in Palestine, the rise of Arab nationalism, and the decline of Arab nationalism, the age of oil and the age of Islam, with a look at the consequences of the aftermath of the Cold War.

The other problem I have with past narratives of Arab history has been the writing. It's so hard to read some of the past historical collections. They are painful to the reader and intended for the scholar. Rogan's book mixes his firsthand experience living in the Middle East, his love for the Arab people and a writing style that encourages the non-scholar to appreciate and enjoy the rich cultural and political history of the Arabs. What the Arab World needs is less interference from the professors and scholars and more understanding among the public at large. The public needs this book more than the dusty shelves of some Middle East studies department or the classroom of affected PhD wannabes.

It's the ease by which one can read this thick scholarly work that makes it so valuable. Knowledge is worthless if it can't be expressed and passed along to the less knowledgeable. Rogan has taken the complexities of the Middle East and the role of its evolution under The Arabs and made it something everyday readers will enjoy. More importantly, they will take something away from this enjoyable reading experience. I've read almost every book on the Middle East and the Arabs over the past 35 years of American Arab activism, but Rogan's "The Arabs" has been the most enjoyable, and that makes it the most educational.

I am not a scholar on the Middle East, just a lifelong student. Reading through Rogan's book has been very informative and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

More information on "The Arabs":

The Arabs

A History
by Eugene Rogan

Nov 2, 2009
US $35.00
CAN $44.50
ISBN: 9780465071005
ISBN-10: 0465071007
Published by Basic Books


To American observers, the Arab world often seems little more than a distant battleground characterized by religious zealotry and political chaos. Years of tone-deaf US policies have left the region powerless to control its own destiny—playing into a longstanding sense of shame and impotence for a once-mighty people. In this definitive account, preeminent historian Eugene Rogan traces five centuries of Arab history, from the Ottoman conquests through the British and French colonial periods and up to the present age of unipolar American hegemony. The Arab world is now more acutely aware than ever of its own vulnerability, and this sense of subjection carries with it vast geopolitical consequences. Drawing from Arab sources little known to Western readers, Rogan’sThe Arabs will transform our understanding of the past, present, and future of one of the world’s most tumultuous regions.

Eugene Rogan

Eugene Rogan is a faculty fellow and university lecturer in the Modern History of the Middle East at St Antony’s College, Oxford, where he serves as director of the Middle East Centre. His previous book, Frontiers of the State in the Late Ottoman Empire, was judged by the Middle East Studies Association of North America to be the best work on the Middle East in 2000 and awarded the Albert Hourani Prize. He lives in Oxford, England.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Maria Khoury: Book signing schedule for "Coloring with Christina" and "Witness in the Holy Land"

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Maria C. Khoury / Fall 2009 Holy Land Presentations with Book Signings Promoting Coloring with Christina, featuring the Holy Sites for the very young and Witness in the Holy Land for older readers.  New children’s book at Christmas from Christina Book Series: Meet the Evangelists, featuring a close-up look at Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

October 24, 2009 Presentation following Vespers 6:30 pm
St. George Antiochian Cathedral,
3400 Dawson St.
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213                                           
Church Tel:  412-681-2988

October 25, 2009  Liturgy, 10:00 am (Presentation & Children’s Program)
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral
419 S. Dithridge Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15213
Church Tel: 412 682 3866

October 26, 2009
Three Hierarchs Eastern Orthodox School (Children’s Program)
1819 Ellswroth Ave
Heidelberg, PA  15106
School Tel:  412 278 3333

October 27, 2009  6 pm (Event by Invitation)
Latrobe Academy of Medicine Dinner
at Giannilli' II, Route 30
East Greensburg, PA 15601

October 28, 2009 5:30 pm Student Presentation
North Park University
Chicago, Il

October 29, 2009
St John the Baptist Church 9:00 am Parents & Children & 7 pm Paraklesi
2350 Dempster Street
Des Plaines, IL  60016
Church Tel:  847 827 5519

October 30, 2009 10:30 am Children’s Program
Pythagoras Children's Academy of the Greek Orthodox Church
Saint Demetrios
893 North Church Road
Elmhurst, IL  60126
Church Tel:  630 834 7010

October 30, 2009 6:30 pm Children’s Program & Presentation
St. Spyridon Church
12307 S. Ridgeland
Palos Heights, IL  60463
Church Tel:  708 385 2311

October 31, 2009 7:00 pm SS Vespers Holy Anargyroi - Cosmas & Damianos Philoptochos Celebration
St. Demetrios Church
893 North Church Road
Elmhurst, IL  60126
Church Tel:  630 834 7010

November 1, 2009 Liturgy 10 am Children’s program 1:30 pm Presentation
St. George Antiochian Church
1220 S. 60th Crt
Cicero, IL  60804
Church Tel 708 656 2927

November 2, 2009 6:30 pm Youth Encounter
SS Constantine & Helen Church
11025-45 South Roberts Rd
Palos Hills, IL   60465
Church Tel:  708 974 3400

November 8, 2009 10:00 am St. Julia CafĂ©’ Parish Hall
One Clock Tower Drive
Wellesley, MA 02481
Tel:  781-431-6463

November 9, 2009 5:00 pm Tree of Life Conference/participant
First Congregational Church
Cape Cod, MA

November 29, 2009 10 am Liturgy Children’s program
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
West  Roxbury, MA

December 4, 2009 8 pm Youth Religious Retreat (Lock-In)
615 Mercer Street
Cherry Hill, NJ  08002
Church Tel:  856 665 1731

December 5, 2009 4 pm Reading with Students / Presentation following Vespers 5pm
St. George Church
30 East Forge Road
Media, PA 19063
Church Tel:  610 459 0366

December 6, 2009
St. Sophia Church
900 South Rooper Road
Jeffersonville, PA 19403
Church Tel:  610 650 8960

Monday, October 12, 2009

Film Trailer on Taybeh Palestine

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a film trailer on line about Taybeh Oktoberfest. 
It needs a minimum amount of votes to stay on line so thought to share it with you so you might view it, vote, share it with others if possible

It appears on the second page of the site as:
Palestine, Beer & Oktoberfest: Under Occupation

The filmmaker Lara Van Raay filmed this last Oktoberfest 2008 and I will try (don’t know how right now)  to use this film as a fundraiser to help finish the Taybeh Post Office since my husband started this public building but did not finish it so when I show it in the usa I will ask for a minimum donation of $500 written to the Taybeh Municipality specifically towards the Post Office building and hoping this will be David Khoury’s last month as mayor but it would be great to finish the post office project which has been in the works for three years.

The synopsis:

Meet the family that created Palestine’s first beer and see a side of Palestine where Jews, Muslims, and Christians all drink together in peace. A heart-warming story of success that touches on the politics of Jewish settlements, control of natural resources and the difficulties of doing business under occupation. Filmed at the Oktoberfest in the Christian town of Taybeh, on Palestine’s West Bank- this is a light, festive, and positive story from Palestine that you never get to see. (43 minutes)