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History > Middle East

Egypt is the most populous country in the world's most unstable region. It is the key to Middle East peace, the voice of the Arab world and the crossroads between Europe and Africa. Its historical and strategic importance is unparalleled. In short, Egypt matters. And the key to Egypt - its colourful past, chaotic present and ... read more

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The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War One was, in the words of T.E. Lawrence, 'a sideshow of a sideshow'. Amidst the slaughter in European trenches, the Western combatants paid scant attention to the Middle Eastern theatre. As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers ... read more

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WINNER OF THE NATAN BOOK AWARD An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today Not since Thomas L. Friedman's groundbreaking "From Beirut to Jerusalem" has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Midd... read more

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"The power of the people is stronger than the people in power." Social media allow ideas to be shared. They are places where people can unite, Revolutions can begin. A new type of Revolution -- Revolution 2.0 Wael Ghonim used to be a man unwilling to publicly criticise the Egyptian regime. Like many, he was silenced by the fe... read more

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Jeremy Bowen has been the BBC's Middle East correspondent for twelve years and has been on the ground for them as the recent revolutions have swept through the region. Realising this as a game-changing moment in the history of the Middle East, The Arab Uprisings captures the thoughts and feelings of the people involved as the... read more

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For the past forty years the story of the Middle East has been simple. The news images flashing across our TV screens from the Middle East provoked anger, outrage and, sometimes military action from the international community. But now the handful of dictators who ruled over hundreds of millions of people with an iron fist ar... read more

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For troops in the desert, Cairo meant fleshpots or brass hats. For well-connected officers, it meant polo at the Gezira Club and drinks at Shepheard's. For the irregular warriors, Cairo was a city to throw legendary parties before the next mission behind enemy lines. For countless refugees, it was a stopping place in the long... read more

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Written by one of Israel's most notable scholars, this volume provides a breathtaking history of Israel from the origins of the Zionist movement in the late 19th century to the present day. Anita Shapira's gripping narrative explores the emergence of Zionism in Europe against the backdrop of relations among Jews, Arabs and Tu... read more

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This handy guide to Egyptian mythology explores how the ancient Nile-dwellers explained the world around them. It delves into the origins of life, the creation and evolution of the world, and the reigns of the gods on earth, before introducing us to the manifestations of Egypts deities in the natural environment; the inventiv... read more

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September 1997. In an Amman street, five men purporting to be Canadian tourists accost a Palestinian and inject a mysterious chemical into his ear. Within 48 hours it should kill him and leave no trace. The assailants were Mossad agents; their target was Khalid Mishal, head of Hamas's political bureau in Jordan. But, after 48... read more

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Throughout World War II, Lisbon was at the centre of world attention. The only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis powers openly operated, it was also a temporary home to much of Europe's exiled royalty; over one million refugees seeking passage to America; and a host of spies, secret police, captains of indus... read more

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In this brilliant exploration of the post-9/11 world, leading Lebanese novelist and intellectual Amin Maalouf sets out to understand how we have arrived at such disorder. He explores three different but related aspects of disorder: intellectual (manifested in an unleashing of statements on identity that allow no possibility o... read more

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Between 1856 and 1876, five explorers, all British, took on the seemingly impossible task of discovering the source of the White Nile. Showing exceptional courage and extraordinary resilience, Richard Burton, John Hanning Speke, Samuel Baker, David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley risked their lives and their reputations ... read more

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The relationship between Jews and Muslims has been a flashpoint that affects stability in the Middle East and has consequences around the globe. This book challenges the standard media portrayal and presents an account of hope, opportunity, fear, and terror that have characterized these two people through the 1,400 years of their history.

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Jerusalem is the universal city, the capital of two peoples, the shrine of three faiths; it is the prize of empires, the site of Judgement Day and the battlefield of today's clash of civilizations. From King David to Barack Obama, from the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to the Israel-Palestine conflict, this is the ... read more

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With nuclear aspirations, an Islamic theocracy, oil riches, and a leadership given to inflammatory rhetoric, Iran is the bogeyman of global politics. This book presents an account of a vast conflict being fought under the public's radar. It provides insight into the power struggle at the heart of the Middle East.

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Now fully updated to cover the Arab Spring, Eugene Rogan has written an authoritative new history of the Arabs in the modern world. Starting with the Ottoman conquests in the sixteenth century, this landmark book follows the story of the Arabs through the era of European imperialism and the Superpower rivalries of the Cold Wa... read more

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Tracing today's troubles back to the imperial overreach of Great Britain and the United States, "Kingmakers" is the story of how the Middle East came to be, told through the lives of the Britons and Americans who shaped it. Some are famous (Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell); others infamous (Harry St John Philby, father o... read more

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'Not long ago, in a small rubber boat more suited to a beach than the Nile, I floated downstream for ten kilometres, from my suburb to the city centre. I passed an island where, according to legend, Moses was left in his basket; a few kilometres farther downstream was the spot where Joseph and Mary landed after their flight t... read more

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In the spring of 1839, the British invaded Afghanistan for the first time. Led by lancers in scarlet cloaks and plumed shakos, nearly 20,000 British and East India Company troops poured through the high mountain passes and re-established on the throne Shah Shuja ul-Mulk. On the way in, the British faced little resistance.... read more

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