Middle East Studies

Understanding Players of Libya’s Recent Past

Last Tuesday, September 11, United States ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three of his staff members were killed when violent riots broke out in Benghazi, fueled by a 14-minute YouTube trailer of an American-made film called “Innocence of Muslims.” Now, U.S. officials believe that the Benghazi riots were

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The Influence of Social Media on the Arab Spring

Since December 2010 countries across the Middle East have employed a variety of tactics that have brought down multiple dictators and irrevocably changed the region. In The Battle for the Arab Spring: Revolution, Counter-Revolution and the Making of a New Era, Lin Noueihed and Alex Warren break down the timeline and

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Curator Helen Evans Tours the Objects of Byzantium and Islam

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th – 9th Century), the revelatory exhibition now on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (accompanied by a rich catalogue of the same title), was recently lauded in the New York Times, praised specifically for “offering a soothing picture of artistic continuity.”  The

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Islamic Distinctions

For more than a decade now, “Islam” has been a contentious word, associated alternately with terrorism, political regimes, and a widely misunderstood religious faith. Since September 11, 2001, American political commentators have been split between those who call the acts of terrorism typified by the destruction of the World Trade

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An Art History of Israel

Israel: An Introduction, new from Yale University Press, provides a comprehensive look at a nation that has always been at the center of the world’s stage, tracing its tumultuous history and political realities while providing an overview of its economics, population, and culture. In this excerpt from the book’s chapter

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To London, with Love: Springing for Politics

Ivan Lett— I’m no political junkie, just a book publishing historian who comes away from the glory of Britannia every so now and then to find the ever-changing world around me to be…well, ever-changing. When news of the revolution in Egypt broke last winter, I was  still in a holiday

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Lest We Forget: Palestine Betrayed

Sarah Underwood— Who betrayed whom in Palestine? Many people with many purposes would call western nations like Great Britain or eastern powers like the Arab League the traitors, with Arabs and Jews alternating the position of betrayed. For Efraim Karsh, author of Palestine Betrayed, one important and forgotten answer is

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The Daily Show and More Interviews with Trita Parsi on Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran

Since the December headlines about U.S.-led sanctions against Iran to President Obama’s statement today that “there is still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution to this issue”, American-Iranian relations have been at the center of foreign policy, as we head into another election year and reflect on the

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Yale Press Podcast Episode 28: Trita Parsi on Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran

When President Obama took office in 2009, one of his most notable proclamations was his commitment to a more open foreign policy. During the 2008 presidential debates, then-Senator Obama openly declared the importance that the United States “talk to the Syrians and the Iranians”, remarking that those who think otherwise

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Renovated Islamic Art Galleries Open at The Met

Today, The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens a suite of fifteen galleries devoted to Islamic Art, after an eight year renovation project. The new space will display 1,200 works of art from Arab lands, Turkey, Iran, Central, and South Asia, among them the celebrated Emperor’s Carpet, and the Damascus Room,

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