By Bernard Lewis
because the birthplace of 3 religions as and plenty of civilizations, the center East has for hundreds of years been a middle of data and concepts, of strategies and commodities, and, every now and then, of army and political strength. With the histoical -- and nonetheless turning out to be -- value of the center East in sleek politics, historian Bernard Lewis's cogent and scholarly writing brings a much wider knowing of the cultures of the zone to a favored viewers.
during this immensely readable and large background, Lewis charts the successive ameliorations of the center East, starting with the 2 nice empires, the Roman and the Persian, whose disputes divided the quarter thousand years in the past; the improvement of monotheism and the expansion of Christianity; the astonishingly quick upward thrust and unfold of Islam over an unlimited region; the waves of invaders from the East and the Mongol hordes of Jengiz Khan; the increase of the Ottoman Turks in Anatoia, the Mamluks in Egypt and the Safavids in Iran; the height and decline of the good Ottoman states; and the altering stability of energy among the Muslim and Christian worlds.
inside this narrative, Lewis info the myriad forces that experience formed the heritage of the center East: the Islamic relgion and criminal procedure; the traditions of presidency; the large number of exchange and the remarkably wide variety of vegetation; the elites -- army, advertisement, spiritual, highbrow and creative -- and the commonality, together with such socially unique teams as slaves, girls and non-believers.
He ultimately weaves those threads jointly through taking a look at the pervasive impression nowa days of Western rules and know-how, and the responses and reactions they evoked. wealthy with bright aspect and the information of a superb student, this exceptional survey of the historical past and civilizations of the center East finds the large Islamic contribution to eu existence, in addition to the ecu contribution to the islamic international.
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Extra info for The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, there was a very rapid and extensive development of the press - daily, weekly, and monthly — especially in Egypt, where the British occupation created favourable conditions. Egyptian publications circulated widely in other Arabic-speaking countries, all of which, in due course, developed their own newspapers and magazines. The effect of the growth of the press was enormous. The provision of regular news from both home and abroad gave the ordinary person who could read, or listen to someone else reading, an awareness of the world in which he lived, the city, the state, the country, the continent, that was totally impossible in earlier times.
In the Arab, and more generally, the Muslim world, the region formerly called Syria was known as Shâm, a name also given to its major city, Damascus. The name Syria — in Arabic Sûriya makes an occasional rare appearance in geographical writings, but was otherwise unknown until the latter part of the nineteenth century, when it reappeared under European influence. It was officially adopted as the name of a province — the vilayet of Damascus — by the Ottoman administration in 1865, and first became the official designation of a country with the establishment of the French Mandate after the First World War.
A more accurate expression of how the Western impact is perceived by those who oppose it was given by Khomeini, when he spoke of the United States as 'the Great Satan'. Satan is not an imperialist; he is a tempter. He does not conquer; he seduces. The battle is still going between those who hate and fear the seductive and, in their view destructive, power of the Western way of life, and those who see it as a new advance and a new opportunity in a continuing and fruitful interchange of cultures and civilizations.
The Middle East: A Brief History of the Last 2,000 Years by Bernard Lewis