11.07.2019 in Book Review

Understanding the Contemporary Middle East Essay

In ‘Understanding the contemporary Middle East’, it is a collection of essays and trying to learn how authors give their opinions. In this book of understanding the contemporary Middle East, it tries to bring out the sophisticated realities but in a lay man language. It is actually a must read book. The attention is attracted to the readers more on the  In Middle East there is only one common religion that people use and if there is a need to use the other religion, then mostly they do not have the freedom to worship, or if they have to then they must use their one religion. There has been a stereotype in the region after there was an attack in one of the town in the Middle East. In most of the colleges, they tackle issues as terrorism, women in the Middle East and Political Islam. These are chocked with so many subscriptions in the same site. It is just clear that the extended form of intervention and corporation is not going to be exhausted any time soon. There is one common assumption in the whole of western nations that it had limited interests in the Middle East until when the colonial period discovered their oil. The chapters found in this book talks widely on the key themes that affects the Middle East in the history politics and geography. Chapter two brings out clearly the definition of Middle east according to the author analysis and tries to explain in a broader perspective the political boundaries in the Middle east and how this has literary affected the geographical areas of the Middle east. There is a suggestion of changing the political boundaries completely to such that it will lead to the multiplication and the complete shifting of the boundaries.

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The theme of religion is widely discussed in chapter three whereby apart from religion, Middle East has always been liberal and allowed people to interact freely in other factors like economy, politics and culture. There is however restriction when it comes to religion as people have been brought up with only one religion in mind so if you try to change or introduce a multiple of religions, then they have never been ready to accept that particular change. Internal politics has also been brought up in the book and here the effect that the colony brought about has been discussed, During the colonial period in the Middle east, the women were not allowed to vote and even among the men, only a small percentage were allowed to vote. This had a negative impact to the region and people had to reject the laws that had been placed into the system.

Mary Ann, who is also a politician in the Middle East, brings out the aspect of international intervention, and many other religious aspects that were negatively affected during the colonial period. Politics however in the Middle eat has been changing with time ever since in the colonial period, to the cold war but still this had a negative impact to the society as we see war was very common aspect especially before or just after the national elections. These continuous wars affected the development of the country to such that they had to depend on social aids. The theme of economy is explained vividly in chapter seven and this basically is built on the themes that are earlier discussed in the previous chapters. Economy cannot be okay in a land where there are frequent wars as every time people are involved in the destruction and they do not spend more time in the economic activities. Trade patterns kept on changing and there was also a paradigm shift in the economy after there was a realization of oil in the land. This quickly improved the economy in the area and people lifestyle picked another direction of life. Oil companies became multinational companies and this benefited the Middle East.    Economy improvement brought about urbanization hence improved lifestyles and the region population also started to increase as there were no more wars in the area. The outside countries came in to assist in the purification of the oil. There was a reduction in the graph of poverty and unemployment as more people could now access job opportunities due to the improved economy.   Despite all these improvement in the region, ethnic groups and kinship still remained as an obstacle to the growth of the economy. Gender is also another theme that is broadly tackled here. Women were not expected to make any economical decisions neither were they supposed to participate in matters of religion. If it in religious houses, the furthest they could go it to prepare food as the discussions went on. Women have the capacity to participate in the decision making as they have proved to be competent too.

There is now gender of equality and all human beings are seen to be equal and must be given an equal opportunity to try out issues that men have failed for so many years. There is a need for change in all areas like politics, religion and other professional sectors. This can only be brought about if we allow women also to participate in the decision making. Here, we do not mean that now women should have reserved spaces for them but people should change their attitude and perception about women. Terrorist that has been common in that region is one of the challenges that affect the Middle East and the world at large. This has been a global worry and has brought international interest that now everyone wants to see how best they can stop the issue. It is a big debate allover and it has been believed that terrorists originate from the Middle East. After the bombing that occurred in the United States of America, it became everyone’s concern as to how best to eradicate terrorist as America is known best of its securities and it is the leader in the security reinforcements. There are also so many domestic issues in Iraq for example that making the people to leave with fear. The issue of religion being the most common, there is Islamic as the leading and with so many believers followed by Buddhism and the least and with very few believers is Christian. You can walk the whole town and barely meet a church. Apart from them being few in the area, they are not even allowed to put up open opening meetings like crusades and conferences in the area. They live under fear and in fact the few Christians found there are mostly immigrants who are just in the country for a short period of time. Those who stay there for a longer time are forced by circumstances to convert because as much as you may not wish to convert, there is no availability of churches that will allow you to go and worship. These is one of the major themes that has been expressed and has been evidently seen overlapping in other themes of the book in the continuous chapters. Probably people there have so much believe in their religion more than anything else.  Things are whoever changing but in a snail pace in the Middle East because people are so possessed with their religion. 

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