On the bright side, the same poll found that 59 percent of Americans want to “know more about Arab countries and people.” Great. But how? Enter James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, and author of the recent book Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us and Why It Matters. Zogby draws on a lifetime of experience and the results of a mega poll, conducted by the firm of his brother, John Zogby, to reveal what the world’s 350 million Arabs think about their lives, their countries–and us. Many of the findings will surprise you; for now, suffice it to say that the book sets readers straight on the myths, stereotypes, and flat-out ignorance that dominate our thinking about the region and its people.
For readers who want to go deeper, Zogby recommends a short list of books. “Some are classics from which I have personally benefited,” he writes. “Others are gems written by authors I have hosted on my weekly program.” Read on for his picks.
James Zogby Recommends:
A History of the Arab Peoples
By Albert Hourani
“The classic and comprehensive history of the region and its people from the time of Muhammad to the present day.”
The Question of Palestine
By Edward Said
“Said was the preeminent Arab American scholar. This book remains the most authoritative treatment of the Palestinian issue and its importance to the Arab people.”
Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the rest of the World
By Edward Said
“A treatise on how Western media and popular culture have perpetuated stereotypes of Islam.”
Islam: A Short History
By Karen Armstrong
“The best treatment of Islam in one book.”
Engaging the Muslim World
By Juan Cole
“A useful survey of U.S. policies across the Muslim world.”
Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid
By Jimmy Carter
“It shouldn’t have been as controversial as it was, but the overreaction is indicative of the difficulty of having reasoned discourse about this issue.”
My Hope for Peace
By Jehan Sadat
“A short but insightful insider’s look at the life of her husband (Anwar Sadat), Egypt, and Islam today.”
by Friar's Balsam
by JULIAN BROOKES
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