A List of Suggested Readings


Title: Arabian Sands    
Author: Wilfred Thesiger  
Year: 1983  
About: British adventurer, Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003) tells his story of his travel through the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia.

Title: A History of the Modern Middle East
Author: William L. Cleveland
Year: 2004
About: An overview of changes in the Middle East over the past two centuries, taking in social, cultural, and economic developments.

Title: If Olaya Street Could Talk
Author: John Paul Jones
Year: 2007
About: Olaya Street is a major commercial street in Riyadh. The book looks at the past 25 years, and how Western perceptions of the country and how those perceptions were formed.

Title: Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia
Author: Robert Lacey
Year: 2010 (reprint)
About: As Amazon describes the book, "... the fullest portrait yet of a land straddling the worlds of medievalism and modernity."

Title: Living Behind Walls    
Author: Bruce M. Petty  
Year: 2008  
About: The stories of expatriates living and working in Saudi Arabia.


Title: Al-Qur'an: A Contemporary Translation
Author: Ahmed Ali (Translator)
Year: 2001
About: Text is both Arabic and English

Title: Islam: A Short History
Author: Karen Armstrong
Year: 2002
About: A very readable overview of the history of Islam.

Title: Muhammad: A Prophet for our Time
Author: Karen Armstrong
Year: 2013
About: A biography of the prophet Muhammad.

Title: No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam
Author: Reza Aslan
Year: 2006
About: Internationally-renowned scholar Reza Aslan, describes the origins and evolution of the Islamic faith.

Women's Stories:

Title: Girls of Riyadh (A Novel)    
Author: Rajaa Alsanea and Marilyn Booth  
Year: 2008   
About: A novel about the lives of four upper-class young Saudi women.

Title: In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom    
Author: Qanta Ahmed    
Year: 2008    
About: A British-American doctor talks about her experiences working in Riyadh, including during 9-11.


Title: The Complete Middle East Cookbook
Author: Tess Mallos
Year: 2007

Title: Middle Eastern Cookbook
Author: Maria Khalife
Year: 2007

Conflict in the Middle East:

Title: The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East
Author: Robert Fisk
Year: 2007
About: As Amazon describes, "A sweeping and dramatic history of the last half century of conflict in the Middle East from an award-winning journalist who has covered the region for over forty years, The Great War for Civilisation unflinchingly chronicles the tragedy of the region from the Algerian Civil War to the Iranian Revolution; from the American hostage crisis in Beirut to the Iran-Iraq War; from the 1991 Gulf War to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. A book of searing drama as well as lucid, incisive analysis, The Great War for Civilisation is a work of major importance for today's world."

Title: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
Author: John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
Year: 2008
About: Amazon says of the book, "...Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds."

Title: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Author: Ilan Pappe
Year: 2007
About: Israeli historian, Ilan Pappe writes of the creation of the State of Israel between 1947 and 1949, when "over 400 Palestinian villages were deliberately destroyed, civilians were massacred and around a million men, women, and children were expelled from their homes at gunpoint. ... (H)ad it happened today it could only have been called "ethnic cleansing."

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