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Syria’s tragedy and the story so far
Jan31

Syria’s tragedy and the story so far

Europe, not just the European Union, continues to blunder through policy and practice vis à vis Syria and its refugees as the turmoil in the country continues and the death toll mostly of the innocent mounts daily. And now there’s President Donald Trump of the United States, and the future for Syria, the Middle East and indeed the whole of Europe and the West looks uncertain. Amidst these multiple imponderables comes a new book from a...

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Against all odds: Sudanese literature today
May12

Against all odds: Sudanese literature today

Life under international sanctions in Sudan is glimpsed in contemporary fiction being written in the country or in Sudanese diasporas under challenging conditions, as evidenced in London literary magazine Banipal‘s current issue. Banipal 55 is focused on the new, contemporary and modern fiction writings in the country and by Sudanese in numerous diasporas. Amidst a political climate blighted by the government’s response to...

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Arabic fiction award goes to—a Briton
Apr27

Arabic fiction award goes to—a Briton

As art prizes go, the International Prize for Arabic Fiction is no ordinary trinket. It comes with $50,000 cash plus an unusual guarantee that the winning book will not just be rewarded but also be translated and published in English for a start, with translations in other languages no doubt to follow. This week (26 April 2016) IPAF’s 2016 edition was won by Rabai Al-Madhoun, a Londoner and a Briton via Palestine, for his novel,...

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‘Blair Inc.’ promises exposé of ex-premier profiting from post-Iraq business bonanza
Feb25

‘Blair Inc.’ promises exposé of ex-premier profiting from post-Iraq business bonanza

A new book on former British prime minister Tony Blair promises an exposé of the politician’s multimillion dollar business empire, built in the aftermath of his ardent support, whilst in power, of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Blair Inc. The Main Behind the Mask is presented by publisher John Blake as “an explosive investigation into the secret financial world of the former British Prime Minister. Beyond the reach of legal...

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5 decades of transformation: An American-Bedouin story
Feb06

5 decades of transformation: An American-Bedouin story

As Jordan boils over the murder of air force pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh and weighs future course amid ISIL’s reign of terror, its many happier days in the Levant are invoked with moving pathos in a memoir from that era long gone. Through the Palace Keyhole by Ann Hutchison Sawalha, an American who married into a Bedouin family, is as much a personal history as a chronicle of a period marked by the Arab world’s coming of age in...

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Old Links and New Ties: Lord Howell on preserving UK’s historical links
Mar17

Old Links and New Ties: Lord Howell on preserving UK’s historical links

  Britain needs to make a better use of its existing historical links with a host of countries worldwide that used to be part of its old empire, Lord (David) Howell argues in a new book and a forthcoming exclusive article for The Middle East in Europe and European Crossroads. In Old Links and New Ties: Power and Persuasion in an Age of Networks (London: IB Tauris, 2013), Howell, 78,  former Secretary of State for Energy (1979-81)...

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