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Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey





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About the book:

The Arab world, writes Palestinian scholar Fouad Ajami, has been beset for years by divisions: religious, social, economic, and political. Many of these divisions came to the fore during the time of the Persian Gulf War, a "foreigners' rescue" in response to Saddam Hussein's attempt to seize Kuwait, which was, Ajami hints, in part a reaction against Iranian designs on the Gulf. Even those Arab intellectuals who supported Allied intervention at the time are now questioning whether it was the best solution to what they believe was a local problem. Ajami writes of the role of some of these intellectuals in shaping the culture of the region, among them the Lebanese writer Khalil Hawi, who committed suicide in the wake of Israel's invasion of his country in 1982. He also examines the terror that religious fundamentalists have been visiting on secular states such as Egypt, "a country with a remarkable record of political stability" that, Ajami believes, will be able to ride out the present storm. Ajami's essays will be most revealing for students of contemporary politics and Arabic history.

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