The New Middle East – Paul Danahar


Many countries of the Middle East have been on world radar since 2011. Dictators like Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussain, Gaddafi and Bashar-al-assad have been dethroned by their people and what they’ve left behind are countries in chaos, having millions of people who are constantly looking for their lost identities and are confused with their existence in their respective regions. Amongst all this, these people are also struggling with the fact that where and how will Islam take their lives and politics.

Ever since these civil movements broke out in these countries, I’d always been curious to know what exactly happened but more importantly, why? Paul Danahar’s extremely well researched book ‘The New Middle East’ answered many of my questions about the regions and their current socio-political conditions.

Every movement led by the citizens of a country has its own repercussions that resonate over a very long period of time. We have seen it time and again in various parts of the world. Paul Danahar, who happens to be the BBC Bureau Chief with his deep knowledge and understanding of Middle East’s history and current situation has analyzed all the forces that will play a vital role in shaping up the new Middle East. He had access to many key people with whose help he has been able to draw a very fresh, interesting and compassionate perspective towards how countries (Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Israel, Syria and Tunisia) are still recovering from the turmoil.

In over 400 pages, Paul has picked up one country at a time and has explained each and every aspect of the war. Right from the pre-war times to what led to it and post war effects. How people are struggling to cope with the current situations there? Who would be the new key people who will come into the power and shape up these tormented nations? How the west specially America will affect and help in shaping up the future of these countries. The conflict and tension between religious and secular Jews living in the Middle East has destabilized the region time and again but will these communities be able to adapt to these new changes?

All this and a lot more, Paul Danahar has studied and observed every aspect of these countries through a human eye, which is what a person needs to understand the rising of the new Middle East. Anecdotes, history, discussions, inferences and theories have been brilliantly presented in a way, as they should have been. Once you are into the book, it becomes extremely tough to put it down.

The only problem that I faced as a reader while reading it is that I was not too familiar with the geography of all the countries in discussion. But other than that, what I read was the result of A-class research coming from a human being having years of journalistic experience. This book will serve as an eye-opener to many of us who have always seen this entire region with a certain kind of suspicion. But, as you will read this book, you will realize that, these countries are made up of people like you and me who are stuck in situations whose outcomes are almost unpredictable.

Book Source : Publisher
Publisher : Bloomsbury
Genre : Non-Fiction
Price : Rs. 599/-

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