This category contains 19 posts

What is the West?

GUY SORMAN-PARIS (4-28-2008) — Everyone everywhere has by now heard about the “clash of civilizations.” This Samuel Huntington concept has become universal. In the 1950’s, the French economist, Alfred Sauvy had a comparable success with the expression “third world.” One reason these phrases gain wide acceptance is their lack of clear definition. The “clash of civilizations,” … Continue reading


Perhaps no other work of modern literary theory has had such a deep and lasting impact on the fields of Near East, Middle East and Islamic Studies than Edward Said’s Orientalism. Said is arguably among the most influential public intellectuals of the late 20th century. Modern scholars of these fields have found within his work … Continue reading

Murdoch’s Homeland by Shiva Balaghi created Jan 22, 2012 Posted by Teala

Terrorists have backstories, and American politicians play dirty in the “war on terror.” These revelations propel Showtime’s hit series, Homeland, seemingly setting it apart from other pop culture representations of post-9/11 America. “How do you tell a thriller in the post-9/11, post-Abu Ghraib, and post-Guantanamo world?” asks Howard Gordon, one of the show’s creators. “Homeland will challenge … Continue reading

‘Islam Through Western Eyes’ by Jonathan Lyons

BOSTON GLOBE 1-21-12 This book review by Rayyan Al-Shawaf critiques Jonathan Lyons’ new book, “Islam Through Western Eyes.” It seems as if the book has a similar theme to Orientalism, but specifically addresses Western anti-Islamic attitudes. Al-Shawaf criticizes Lyon for not addressing the new position which is a reaction to anti-Islamic discourse.  Al-Shawaf seems to think that those … Continue reading

Orientalism and the Way Forward

Edward Said’s Orientalism provides a scathing analysis of Western depictions, both scholarly and popular, of Islamic culture. Examining the inaccuracies of Western portrayals of “the Orient,” Said explains how these misconceptions were generated and why they continue to be recycled today by scholars as well as producers of popular culture. Focusing on the British, French … Continue reading

Tabsir Redux: A Candid[e] View of an Honest Turk

  By Tabsir, Published Jan 11, 2012   [One of the great moral tales of the 18th century is Voltaire’s (1759) Candide, a book well worth reading and rereading from time to time. Here is an excerpt from the end of the book, but it is not Orientalism in the Saidian sense of negative portrayal; indeed … Continue reading

Political Islam Without Oil

By THOMAS FRIEDMAN New York Times Published: January 10, 2011 With the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the even more puritanical Salafist Al Nour Party having stunned both themselves and Egyptians by garnering more than 60 percent of the seats in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, we’re about to see a unique lab test for the Middle East: … Continue reading

This Revolution Isn’t Being Televised

By JON B. ALTERMAN New York Times Published: December 30, 2011 THE Egyptian revolution did not happen last winter. It is happening now. And it is not taking place in Tahrir Square, but in towns and villages throughout the country.

Arab Spring

By COLUM McCANN New York Times Published: December 23, 2011 The breath and hum of democracy seemed almost a libidinous thing in parts of the Middle East, but, in truth, the body heat had been simmering for years. The protests took hold in Tunisia in late 2010 after the street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on … Continue reading

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