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A strategically located land that links southwestern Asia with south-eastern Europe and commands the waters connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Turkey has for millennia been a prize for conquerors and a seat of empires. The Hittites, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottoman Turks all left their mark on this fascinating land. The modern Republic of Turkey, which emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, is unusual among the nations of the Middle East. A democracy in a region with autocrats, a Muslim country that enforces strict separation between religion and public life and that has always maintained cordial relations with Israel, Turkey is also a member of NATO and an important ally of the United States. Yet the nation is not without problems, including recurrent ethnic conflict and a military with a history of intervening in government affairs. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and communities of Turkey.
Throughout history tiny Qatar (pronounced "cutter" or "gutter") has at times been overlooked or forgotten. Today, however, this small country, located on a peninsula that juts into the Arabian Gulf, has become an important strategic partner of the United States. In recent years Qatar has gained international stature in part because of its vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Since coming to power in 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has made Qatar one of the more liberal Gulf states. Though the country is by no means a democracy in the Western sense, Qatar appears to be moving slowly in that direction. One day Qatar may provide a successful example of democracy for the Arab world. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and communities of Qatar.
Bahrain is one of the smallest countries of the Arab world, but its size does not reflect its importance. This tiny nation, made up of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf, is a key regional ally of the United States. In addition, Bahrain is one of the few countries in the Middle East that allows its people-both men and women-to participate in government, through an elected national assembly. Bahrain is far from a democracy, and the country has struggled with a religious division that has led to violence in recent years. But if Bahrain can move successfully toward a more open government, it may inspire other Middle Eastern nations to experiment with democratic principles as well. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Bahrain.
Wrapped along the edge of northeastern Africa lies the dry, dusty land of Somalia. Only two permanent rivers run through its arid plateaus, which for centuries belonged to clans of pastoral nomads traveling in search of food and water for their herds. Somalis are a resilient people, renowned for their nomad culture of vibrant oral poetry traditions and their reliance on camels. Like its climate, Somalia's history is harsh-a short-lived democracy in the early 1960s was replaced first by a brutal, 21-year dictatorship, and then by anarchy, as clan groups refused to accept the national government. For more than a decade, severe droughts warfare and factional warfare have forced many Somalis from their homes, and even from their country. Despite Somalia's uncertain future, its people continue to strive to revitalize businesses and return tranquility to a land that has lived too long without peace.
Tunisia is a small nation on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. An Arab country in which the people are predominantly Muslim. Tunisia nonetheless maintains strong ties to Europe and good relations with its African neighbors. Among the countries of the Arab world Tunisia is considered a moderate state; its policies, unlike those of neighboring Libya, are generally favorable to the United States and the West. The country is not without its problems, however. Religious fundamentalists, who want Tunisia to impose strict Islamic laws on the country, have caused unrest since the 1980s. In addition, political power is concentrated in the hands of a few people. Many hope that one day Tunisia will create a truly democratic society, in which all of the people can participate in improving their country. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Tunisia.
Algeria is a large country with a fascinating past and a troubled present. The nation was devastated by years of fighting between government forces and Islamic extremists. The unrest that began in 1991 left tens of thousands dead and forced many others to flee their homes. Fighting has also broken out between the country's Arab and Berber populations. In addition, although this large North African nation has great resources, including a large share of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, today its people are quite poor by Western standards.In recent years the violence has slowed, and the Algerian government has attempted to improve the lives of its people. However, it remains to be seen whether the country will have a peaceful and productive future, or whether the internal divisions within Algeria will ultimately fragment the nation beyond repair.
The United Arab Emirates is a federation made up of seven small kingdoms--Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, al- Fujairah, and Ras al-Khaimah--located on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The UAE is considered one of the more liberal countries in the Gulf, and it has become a key ally of the United States and other Western nations.Though the UAE is small compared with its Arab neighbors, it has become important for several reasons, among them the oil controlled by the UAE and the strategic location it occupies along the Arabian Gulf, one of the world's major shipping lanes.
At the center of one of the world's most intractable conflicts are a people who number fewer than 10 million worldwide: the Palestinians. For centuries these people of Arab ancestry lived in the eastern Mediterranean region known as Palestine or, because of its significance to the christian faith, as the Holy Land. In 1948 a United Nations plan to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states led to what Palestinians call al-Nakba ("the disaster")-an Arab-Israeli war that produced hundreds of thousands of refugees and left Palestinians without a homeland. Another war, in 1967, brought hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas under Israeli military rule. Since that time, Palestinians and Israelis have been locked in bloody conflict. This continued violence has prevented the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of the Palestinians.
Saudi Arabia is a young kingdom with an ancient legacy. King Abd al-Aziz brought the divided land into one entity in 1932. His family, the Al-Saud, named the country and still rules it today. Every year millions of Muslims travel across the Saudi Arabian border to Mecca, the sacred city of Islam and the birthplace of its holy prophet, Muhammad. As custodian of key Islamic traditions, Saudi Arabia enjoys a leading status among its Muslim neighbors. But as the world's largest single exporter of oil, it also has forged relationships with the United States and other powerful countries of the West. Saudi Arabia's divided loyalties have created an unsteady international balance that is a continual source of concern and speculation. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Saudi Arabia.
In the spring of 2003, the United States and it allies invaded Iraq to remove one of the world's most brutal dictators, Saddam Hussein, from power. But when the Hussein regime fell, Iraqis wondered whether their country would hold together, or if it would disintegrate under the force of long-standing ethnic and religious rivalries. The international community also watched closely. With the world's second-largest proven oil reserves, Iraq holds great economic importance for an energy-hungry globe. As one of the largest Arab states, Iraq is politically important in the Middle East region as well. Some American policymakers believed that with Saddam gone, Iraq could become an example of democracy and progress for the other Arab states. However, a period of sectarian violence prevented that from the occurring. Despite the conflict, Iraqis took steps toward developing a parliamentary democracy, approving a constitution in October 2005 and holding several subsequent elections for government officials. In addition, new military strategies have significantly reduced the level of violence. While the future remains uncertain, Iraqis hope their country is on a path to peace and promise. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Iraq.
Established in 1946, the Syrian Arab Republic is at the heart of the Middle East. The ancient region encompassing this young country was once the heart of the civilized world.Dotting Syria's landscape are ancient ruins dating back to the major periods of Middle Eastern history. These relics bear witness to Syria's troubled past under the rule of competing empires and colonial powers. Over the centuries, the Syrians lived under the Greeks, the Ottoman Turks, and the French, from whom they eventually gained independence following the Second World War.As a modern nation, Syria has consistently pushed for a unified Arab front against its longtime rival, Israel, which since 1967 has occupied the Golan Heights, located in the southwestern corner of Syria. Decades of failed alliances and costly wars have taken their toll on Syria, and a lasting peace remains a must for its leaders.
Nearly 5,000 years ago, on the eastern edge of the Sahara Desert, one of the world's earliest and greatest civilizations began to flourish. That civilization, Egypt, has held a firm grip on the human imagination ever since, with its powerful pharaohs, its awe-inspiring pyramids, and its mysterious religious beliefs. But Egypt is much more than a land of unsurpassed archaeological wonders. Today, it is the most populous Arab country; it was also the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel. As this ancient land struggles with the many problems of the 21st century, it remains a vital member of the global community. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Egypt.
The Iranian Revolution and the Resurgence of Islam examines the history and ideology of the modern Islamist movement, discussing the Iranian Revolution, other examples of revolutionary Islamism during the 1980s and 1990s, and the state of jihadism today.
The Cold War in the Middle East, 1950-1991 examines American and Soviet involvement in the Middle East, and how each superpower's policies and alliances contributed to its overall Cold War strategies.
The Arabian Peninsula in the Age of Oil examines the impact this valuable resource has had on the political and social development of the region.
Arab-Israeli Relations, 1950-1979 examines the history of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, discussing such important events as the 1956 Suez Canal crisis, the June 1967 War, and the 1978 Camp David Accords.
The First World War and the End of the Ottoman Order examines the social and political events of the 19th and early 20th centuries that brought the Ottomans into the First World War on the side of the Central Powers, discusses the division of the empire at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, and explains the formation of modern Turkey.
In this Internet Age, is the Grand Old Party over for the Republican Establishment? If so, what individuals and ideas will ascend to meet the moment and revitalize a party that is now viewed as more of an antiquated complaint than a transcendent cause? In "Liberty Risen: The Ultimate Triumph of Libertarian-Republicans", former GOP House Republican Policy Chair - and NOT a Libertarian - Thaddeus McCotter articulates the political and cultural circumstances driving the GOP's once disdained Libertarian wing to its present prominence and predestined dominance. Yet, if Liberty is risen, when will it reign? To find out, buy the book.
By almost any standard, Malaysia has become one of the most prosperous and successful nations in the Islamic world. The Malaysian economy has grown steadily, thanks to a focus on new technology and manufacturing. Although Malaysia's government is not fully democratic, it permits an increasing degree of public participation. This book examines the economic and political issue facing Malaysia today. It provides up-to-date information about the country's geography and climate, history, society, important cities and communities, and relations with other countries.
When the British Empire partitioned its Indian colony in 1947, it created two independent states: India, where most people were Hindus, and Pakistan, where most were Muslims. Violence immediately broke out, during which approximately 250,000 people were killed and a million became refugees. Since then Pakistan and India have fought several wars, and tensions between the two countries during the late 1990s nearly led to another conflict-one that might have been devastating, as both countries now possess nuclear weapons. This book examines the economic and political issues facing Pakistan today. It provides up-to-date information about the country's geography and climate, history, society, important cities and communities, and relations with other countries.
The Kurds are considered the largest ethnic group without a state of their own. Most live in the mountainous region historically known as Kurdistan; however, this region, which includes parts of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, never existed as a political entity. Under the rule of others, the Kurds were discriminated against and sometimes persecuted-most infamously by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. As a result the dream of autonomy or a national home holds a powerful grip on the Kurdish imagination. This book examines the economic and political issues facing the Kurdish people today. It provides up-to-date information about the geography and climate of the areas in which the Kurds live, the history of this ethnic group and its society, important Kurdish cities and communities, and the Kurds' relations with the governments of the countries in which they live.
Many Westerners associate Islam primarily with the Middle East. But in fact, four countries have larger Muslim populations than Egypt, the largest Arab state. Those four countries-Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh-all like within Asia. This volume presents a wealth of statistical and background information on more than 20 Asian nations with significant Muslim populations. The book also provides a valuable overview of the Islamic faith and chronicles the history of Islam's spread into Asia.
The history of the Middle East is long and complex. In the MAJOR MUSLIM NATIONS series, the term "Middle East" refers to the region encompassing 23 countries?Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.This book provides an overview of the history of the Middle Eastern countries, along with information about the region's geography, central religious beliefs, governments and economies of the various states, cultural groups, and important communities.
Like its neighbors on the Arabian Peninsula, the Republic of Yemen has a long and rich history. The southern Arabian region, which present-day Yemen shares, was once the home of the Sabaean kingdom. Led by the queen of Sheba, the kingdom formed an alliance with King Solomon, as recorded in the Old Testament. In the era of the burgeoning spice trade, the people of the Yemen region, which was advantageously located along the sea routes to Asia, had opportunities to attain great wealth. However, the British and other powers to the north eventually made their own claims on trade in the region. In the years after losing control of their great ports, the Yemenis have endured long periods of poverty and armed conflict, much of which has been waged between their rival northern and southern states. A much-needed unification between the north and south finally occurred in 1990, but Yemen still struggles to resolve its regional differences and compete with the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and communities of Yemen.
Early Arab geographers referred to Morocco as Al-Maghreb al-Aqsa-"the farthest land of the setting sun." Today this country in the northwest corner of Africa-long a crossroads for trade from Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the East-retains a distinctly exotic feel, with its colorful mix of Middle Eastern, African, and Western cultures. But Morocco is also a nation struggling to emerge from a difficult colonial past and a recent history of human-rights violations. If the country succeeds in its quest to develop stable and democratic political institutions as well as a vibrant economy-and to accomplish these goals without violence-Morocco may serve as a powerful example to the Arab world. Discusses the geography, history, economy, government, religion, people, foreign relations, and major cities of Morocco.