New Books in English Bookshelf

Public Health in the Arab World [Hardcover]
Samer Jabbour MD MPH (Editor), Rita Giacaman PharmD MPhil (Editor), Marwan Khawaja PhD (Editor), Iman Nuwayhid MD DrPH (Editor)

The Arab world is a distinct geographic and cultural entity, with a complex demographic. Public Health in the Arab World reviews and dissects the public health concerns specific to this region. This volume will interest not only researchers, practitioners and students in the Arab world, but also the wider constituency of international public health specialists and social scholars interested in this region. With contributions from a multidisciplinary group of leading regional and international experts, this volume addresses a comprehensive range of contemporary topics, including the social determinants of health, and health issues in different population groups. Synthesizing a large body of knowledge in an accessible manner, the authors critique and adapt public health concepts, frameworks and paradigms to the context of the Arab world, engaging readers in current debates. This is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in global public health and in Arab world studies.

The World Through the Eyes of Angels (Middle East Literature in Translation) [Paperback]
Mahmoud Saeed (Author), Samuel Salter (Translator), Rafah Abuinnab (Translator), Zahra
Jishi (Translator)

Mosul, Iraq, in the 1940s is a teeming, multiethnic city where Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians,Jews, Aramaeans, Turkmens, Yazidis, and Syriacs mingle in the ancient souks andalleyways. In these crowded streets, among rich and poor, educated and illiterate, piousand unbelieving, a boy is growing up. Burdened with chores from an early age, andafflicted with an older brother who persecutes him with mindless sadism, the child findshappiness only in stolen moments with his beloved older sister and with friends in thestreets. Closest to his heart are three girls, encountered by chance: a Muslim, aChristian, and a Jew. After enriching the boy’s life immensely, all three meet tragicfates, leaving a wound in his heart that will not heal. A richly textured portrayal ofIraqi society before the upheavals of the late twentieth century, Saeed’s novel depicts asensitive and loving child assailed by the cruelty of life. Sometimes defeated but neversurrendering, he is sustained by his city and its people.

Arabian Tales [Hardcover]
Khalid Kishtainy

A man who goes to bring a handful of soil from his motherland; a boy who defies authorityto eat an orange with his mother; how dogs and cats caused chaos with the Arab/Israeliconflict; the consequences of a perfumed handkerchief discovered in the underpants of abusiness executive; the cost of old sins. Those who know already the wit and wisdom ofKhalid Kishtainy and who have read his syndicated newspaper columns for many years willbe delighted by this collection of short stories; some sad, some erotic, but all imbuedwith sympathy for the dilemmas of humanity. For readers unaware of Kishtainy'sinternational reputation for skewering the great and the good with his sly, capricioushumour, a delightful discovery awaits you.

Khalid Kishtainy was born in Baghdad and came to England after graduating from theFaculty of Law at Baghdad University and the Academy of Fine Arts. He has written manybooks, but is best known for his syndicated newspaper column, which he has written forover 20 years in al-Sharq al-Awsat, enjoyed throughout the Arab World and Europe for itswry cynicism and sharp analysis.

Early Arabic Poetry: Select Poems
By Dr Alan Jones

Ithaca Press is pleased to announce the publication of Early Arabic Poetry: Select Poemsby Professor Alan Jones. This new edition of Early Arabic Poetry combines the two volumesfirst published in 1992 and 1996, bringing them together with a new foreword andintroduction by Professor Jones, which covers the major background problems faced bystudents of early Arabic poetry. The book will appeal to academics and students in thefields of Middle East Studies, Arabic, literature and poetry.
The book is divided into two main sections: the first section contains a study of fifteenpoems from two of the more vivid genres: laments and poems by the outlaws. The secondsection focuses on famous odes. The poems are analysed in minute detail, providing thestudent with all the information needed to understand the texts and to consider eachpoem’s overall thrust and purpose.
The study of early Arabic poetry is a difficult one for a number of reasons; it is thework of people of a very alien milieu – the great composers were camel-dependant nomads;its grammar has many complications that do not survive in the later language; its textswere transmitted orally for up to two-and-a-half centuries; and there are seriousproblems about authenticity. It is nevertheless a fascinating and rewarding area ofstudy, from which all later Arabic poetry stems.
This book provides unique insights into ideas prevalent in the region at the rise ofIslam. In his introduction, Professor Jones describes how ‘Poetry had a number of facetsthat took it into the realms of magic’. As well as the inspiration of the poet by his ownspirit, and the magic of the sound of poetry recitation, poetic utterances were believedto contain magical forces, particularly when the poem was intended to denigrate or curse.Thus the book transcends mere analysis of poetry to provide a rich critique of thecomplexities of the subject and the era.

Alexander McNabb

Olives is a novel set in Jordan. It is a spy story and a love story, a stranger abroadstory and a thriller. It brings the Middle East to life, even as it weaves a path throughpassion, betrayal and death.

It is, indeed, a violent romance.

When Paul Stokes runs out of choices, his only path is betrayal.

The fragile peace is holding. Behind the scenes, the Israelis are competing for dwindlingwater resources as Jordan and Palestine face drought. Daoud Dajani has the solution toJordan’s water problems and is bidding against the British for the privatisation ofJordan’s water network.

When journalist Paul Stokes befriends Dajani’s sister, Aisha, British intelligence agentGerald Lynch realises Paul offers access to the man threatening to drain Israel’s watersupply and snatch the bid from the British. Blackmailed by Lynch into spying on Dajani,his movements seemingly linked to a series of bombings, Paul is pitched into a terrifyingfight for survival that forces him to betray everyone around him. Even the woman heloves.

Candygirl: An Egyptian Novel [Paperback]
M.M. Tawfik (Author, Translator)

Trying to evade intelligence agencies out to assassinate him, the Cerebellum, an Egyptian scientist with a past association with the Iraqi nuclear program, rents a room on the roof of a brothel in a Cairo slum. His interaction with the other residents is limited; instead he spends most of his time in the virtual world, where he has a love affair with candygGirl, a gorgeous avatar. On the other side of the planet, an ex-NSA agent has joined a secret organization whose mission is to assassinate Iraqi scientists. He does not allow his doubts about the legality-or the ethics-of his mission to interfere with his work. He chases his victim relentlessly, but when his top-of-the-line equipment fails to locate the Cerebellum in Cairo's slums, he takes the chase to the virtual world.

Blindfold (The Hugh Maclennan Poetry Series) [Paperback]
John Mikhail Asfour (Author)

Blinded by a grenade in Lebanon as a teenager, poet John Asfour came to Canada armed with James Joyce's words, "For the eyes, they bring us nothing. I have a hundred worlds to create and I am only losing one of them." Blindfold investigates the ways in which disability influences our lives and is magnified in our minds. In a series of thematically linked poems, Asfour draws the metaphor of the blindfold across the eyes of sighted citizens who are impaired by estrangement, emotional complexity, and social pressures. A sense of exile and belonging dominates the poems, following the journey of a blind man whose life in his new land has been hampered by prejudice and barriers to communication. Exposing the rich and surprising possibilities of a life that has undergone a frightening transformation, Blindfold relates feelings of loss, displacement, and disorientation experienced not only by the disabled but by everyone who finds themselves separated from the norm.

Read the Poetry

Book of Sins [Paperback]
Nidaa Khoury (Author)

"One of the major exponents of modernist Arab women writing is the Palestinian poet Nidaa Khoury. ... Khoury’s poems transcend national and cultural boundaries."

These poems are burning off the pages with a rhythm embedded in fury and a beauty embedded in the ancient. --- Antjie Krog, author, South Africa

Khoury's poetry is fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when many of us feel unreal and often spiritually hollow. --- Yair Huri, Ben-Gurion University

Written in water and ink, in between the shed blood. Nidaa Khoury's poems take us to the bosom of an ancient woman … an archetype revived. The secret she whispers is 'smaller than words.' --- Karin Karakasli, author, Turkey

Modern Poetry, contemporary Middle Eastern and comparative literature. Palestinian
literature. Palestinian and women writing in Israel. Full English, Arabic, and Hebrew

The New Arab Media: Technology, Image and Perception [Hardcover]
Emma Murphy (Author), Mahjoob Zweiri (Editor)
Publisher: Ithaca Press (GB) (November 2010)

The New Arab Media: Technology, Image and Perception provides a valuable introduction and analysis of some of the most important issues surrounding the new media revolution in the Middle East, in particular examining the two Janus-like faces of the new media in the Middle East: its role in reflecting developments within the region as well as its function in projecting the Arab world outside of the Middle East.
Topics examined within the book include the impact of Al-Jazeera; implementation of the Internet in the region; use of the media for diplomacy and propaganda; image culture; use of the Internet by religious diasporas; ICTs and the Arab Public Sphere; the influence of satellite TV on Arab public opinion; and the explosion of local radio stations in Jordan.

Murder in the Tower of Happiness (Hardcover)

“When the first armchair smashed into the asphalt, Sergeant Ashmouni was at his usual spot on the median of the Nile Corniche, trapped by the road’s twin currents turbulently flowing forth to Maadi and back to Old Cairo. He was wiping the sweat away from his eyes with his worn out sleeve-and in the process adding a new stain to his white traffic-police uniform-when surprise from the thunderous impact catapulted him into the fast lane of the side of the road closest to the Nile.”

Thus opens this fast-paced city thriller laced with dry humor that takes us inside Borg al-Saada-’Tower of Happiness,’ one of the luxury high-rises planted like alien bodies amid the fields along the Nile south of Cairo-and inside the sordid lives and lavish lifestyles of its super-rich and famous denizens. The naked, strangled body of Ahlam, a beautiful young actress, is discovered in one of the elevators, and as the police investigation gets under way, we meet many of the tower’s strange characters: the owner’s agent, Kasib Bey, overweight, toupeed, and decked in gold chains; wealthy contractor Abd al-Tawab Mabruk Basha (Tutu Basha to his friends), insomniac since Ahlam’s murder; Abd al-Malak, a psychic with a Ph.D. in genetic engineering from MIT; Farah, his erstwhile sweetheart, who has become one of the very candy dolls she used to scorn; belly-dancer Lula Hamdi, who would be able to see Timbuktu if she stood on top of a pile of all her money; Madame Esmeralda, the society lady from Chile; and the homely Dr. Mahgub, somewhat less well off than his neighbors. And of course there is Antar-the naughty boy-who roams the tower, enters apartments, and overhears conversations, unsettling and exposing the decadent occupants and their relationships.

Book Reviews:
A rare thriller from the Arab world Lisa Kaaki
The End of Dreams in Murder in the Tower of Happiness by M M Tawfik Sally Bland

Bridging Al-Serenities [Paperback]
Richard Mc Sweeney (Author)

A delightful prose-poetic work which begins on the beautiful isle of Éire (Ireland) with the world of the invisible presenting itself in person to the world of the visible. The focus then shifts to the Middle East, to a mythical queendom set in pre-Qur'an, pre-Bible, pre-Torah times. Seekers of wisdom, beauty, and love; seekers of spiritual contentment will find this cultural bridge building work greatly to their liking. In particular, those who are attracted to the literary heritage of Éire; the literature of the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur'an, and the writings of Gibran, Rumi, and Hafiz as well as the playful philosophical gymnastics of the Chinese sage Chuang-Tzu will immediately recognize and know this work to be a gem-find of this globally maladministered age. A fragrant cornucopia of stories and narratives all richly and exquisitely seasoned with spiritual and philosophical elegance and eloquence. It is an attempt at cultural bridge building; connecting peoples and ideas.

Photography and Egypt (Reaktion Books - Exposures) [Paperback]
Maria Golia (Author)

Egypt immediately conjures images of the pyramids, the temples and the Sphinx in the desert. Early photographs of Egypt took these ancient monuments as their primary subjects, and these have remained hugely influential in constructing our view of the country. But while Egypt and its monuments have been regularly photographed by foreigners, little has been known about the early days of photography among Egyptians. Photography and Egypt examines both, considering images from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, including studio portraits, landscapes and photojournalism.

Two forces drove photography’s early development in Egypt: its link as an essential tool of archaeology and the accelerating effects of archaeological photographs on the burgeoning tourism industry. In this book, Maria Golia examines these twin drives, through the work of Europeans who travelled to Egypt as well as early Egyptian and Middle Eastern photographers. Golia examines how photography was also employed for propaganda purposes, including depictions of celebrated soldiers, workers and farmers; and how studio-based photography was used to portray the growing Egyptian middle class. Today’s young photographic artists, Golia reveals, use the medium to celebrate everyday life and to indict political and social conditions, with photography bearing witness to history––as well as helping to shape it.

Illustrated with a rich, sometimes surprising variety of images, many published for the first time in the West, Photography and Egypt is the first book to relate the story of Egypt’s rapport with photography in one concise and highly readable account.

Counterpoints: Edward Said's Legacy [Hardcover]

May Telmissany (Author, Editor), Stephanie Tara Schwartz (Author, Editor)
Revolving around the theme of 'counterpoint' extensively used by Edward Said as the interplay of diverse ideas and discrepant experiences, this book aims to explore Said's contribution to the fields of comparative literature, literary criticism, postcolonial theory, exilic and transnational studies, and socio-political thought among many others. Overshadowed by his legitimate political positions in support to the Palestinian cause and at odds with Islamophobic hostilities, Said's intellectual achievements in the fields of humanities and philosophical thinking should equally be acknowledged and celebrated. Said articulates his notion of counterpoints through a vivid description of the composition of Western classical music. In the counterpoint of Western classical music, various themes play off one another, with only a provisional privilege being given to any particular one; yet in the resulting polyphony there is concert and order, an organized interplay that derives from the themes, not from a rigorous melodic or formal principle outside the work. This book pays tribute to Said's contrapuntal methodology as well as to his academic and humanistic legacy.

NATO and the Middle East: The Geopolitical Context Post-9/11 (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics)
Mohammed Moustafa Orfy (Author)
Despite having been active in the region since the mid-1990s, the role of NATO in the Middle East has attracted particular attention since the events of 11th September 2001. This book analyses the limits of NATO’s role in the Middle East region and examines whether or not the Alliance is able to help in improving the fragile regional security environment through cooperative links with select Middle Eastern partners.

The author reviews the strategic importance of the region from a Western perspective and why it has become a source of instability in world politics, looks at US and international initiatives to counteract this instability, and charts the development of NATO in this context. He also examines NATO’s role with regard to two pressing Middle Eastern crises, Iraq and Darfur, assessing whether or not this role has been consistent with, if not an expression of, US strategic interests.

A comprehensive examination of the impacts of 9-11 events on world security and the development of NATO’s role in the Middle East, this book will be an important addition to the existing literature on security and strategic affairs, US foreign policy, Middle Eastern politics, European politics, and terrorism studies.

Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Vol. 3: Conflict without End? [Paperback]
Alan Hart (Author) Clarity Press

This is the third volume in the series ZIONISM, THE REAL ENEMY OF THE JEWS, an epic journey through the propaganda lies and the documented truth of history as it relates to the making and sustaining of the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel. Conflict Without End? takes the story from the 1967 war and the creation of a Greater Israel right up to the present and the question: Will President Obama be allowed to deliver an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians in order to achieve peace for all—and if he can’t deliver, is a final round of Zionist ethnic cleansing inevitable?

The compromising of Security Council integrity, author Alan Hart argues, is the key to understanding everything that has happened since the 1967 war. By allowing Israel to violate international law and settle the Occupied Territories, the major powers, led by America, effectively created two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations—one for all the nations of the world minus Israel and the other exclusively for it.

Hart enables readers to grasp how PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat risked everything, including his life, to persuade first his leadership colleagues and then his people to accept his policy of compromise and peace on terms which any rational government and people in Israel would have accepted with relief.

This third volume also includes insights Hart gained while acting as the linkman in a secret exploratory dialogue between Arafat and Israel’s Shimon Peres who, at the time, was the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, hoping to deny the Likud’s Menachem Begin a second term in office. The story of this mediation effort and of Sharon’s blood oath reveals why making peace may be a mission impossible for any Israeli leader, without sufficient outside pressure.

Only an American President, Hart concludes, has the leverage required to cause enough Israelis to be serious about peace on terms most Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept. In an Epilogue titled “Is Peace Possible?” Hart suggests the changes that must be made in America if any occupant of the White House is ever to be free to make the peace.