Searching for a Perspective on the Middle East


I have been interested to the subject of the Middle East for most of my life, whether for religious, cultural or political reasons.  Sometimes I think I understand facets of this complicated region, and other times I am completely bewildered.  My current employment has made the Middle East a more frequent topic of discussion, and I have been reaching for a better understanding of the cultures and attitudes of this important region.  To this end, I have been listening to audio books by a variety of authors on numerous related subjects, and I’d like to offer my viewpoint on a few of these for your consideration.

Of the multiple authors and subjects I’ve explored recently, one author stands out for me.  Tamim Ansary is an Afghan American born into the upper levels of the Afghan society where he lived until emigrating to the US in 1964 at age 16.  Ansary now lives in San Francisco where he is an author, teacher, editor, and lecturer.

I’ve found Ansary’s books very enlightening due to their balanced and insightful narratives about Afghanistan, Muslim culture, and world history in the Middle East.  I’ve read three of his books, which I recommend for your edification.  (if you listen to the audio versions, which are narrated by the author himself, it is especially helpful to listen to the correct pronunciation of names and words.)

Ansary has authored a number of other books on a variety of subjects (e.g. American Indian tribes, Holidays, etc.) which can be found in the usual places.

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Mark Bobb

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