Hugh Eakin is a Senior Editor of The New York Review and Editor of the NYRblog. (October 2013)
On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines—and Future by Karen Elliott House
Saudi Arabia on the Edge: The Uncertain Future of an American Ally by Thomas W. Lippman
Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino
Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East by Deborah Amos
Whose Culture? The Promise of Museums and the Debate Over Antiquities edited by James Cuno
Catastrophe! The Looting and Destruction of Iraq’s Past an exhibition at the Oriental Institute Museum, Chicago, April 10-December 31, 2008.
The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq edited by Peter G. Stone and Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly
Antiquities Under Siege: Cultural Heritage Protection After the Iraq War edited by Lawrence Rothfield
Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq by Patrick Cockburn
Reclaiming a Plundered Past: Archaeology and Nation Building in Modern Iraq by Magnus T. Bernhardsson
The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Epic of Gilgamesh by David Damrosch
American Hostage by Micah Garen and Marie-Hélène Carleton
The Medici Conspiracy: The Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities, from Italy’s Tomb Raiders to the World’s Greatest Museums by Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini
A series of photographs shows some of the many different situations encountered among Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.
By taking in tens of thousands of new Syrian refugees, Northern Iraq hopes to build a new Kurdistan. But it could start a new war.
While the conflict in Syria has deeply divided the Middle East, the refugee crisis it has produced is forcing the opposing sides to work together outside Syria’s borders—above all in Lebanon, a tiny, fractious country with large Sunni and Shia populations and especially complicated ties to Syria.
Runners invariably have their own favorite parts of the marathon course and those they dread. But it seemed beyond any runner’s imagination that the finish line in Boston itself—the final moment of triumph—could turn into a nightmare, a zone of horror and devastation that stood the entire logic of the race on its head.
In March 1548, having brought the Ottoman Empire to the height of its power, Suleiman the Magnificent decided to build a mosque in Istanbul. “At that time,” an anonymous chronicler explains, “His Highness the world-ruling sultan realized the necessity to leave behind a monument so as to be commemorated till the end of time” and “ordered the construction of a matchless mosque complex for his own noble self.” In late May of this year, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan—Turkey’s powerful Prime Minister, a devout Muslim, and the self-styled leader of the new Middle East—announced that he would be erecting his own grand mosque above the Bosphorus. It will be more prominent than Suleiman’s.
The United States is quietly being drawn into an escalating conflict in Yemen. The new conflict may be as much about Saudi Arabia, the longtime US ally and Yemen’s northern neighbor.
Over the past few years, the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar has created—from scratch—one of the most important museums of Islamic art in existence as well as a distinctive collection of modern and contemporary painting and sculpture by artists from all over the Arab Middle East. Now it is building a National Museum so large and complex that the structural engineering alone will cost some half billion dollars. How did the rulers of this parched and featureless desert peninsula—a place that until recently was peripheral even to the politics and culture of the Gulf itself—come to take such a far-reaching interest in the aesthetic traditions of the Arab and Muslim world?
Over the past ten days, the alarming flight of more than 11,000 Syrians to Turkey—and the prospect of thousands more to come—has brought the international press to Hatay, the dusty Turkish border province with a large Syrian minority where most of the refugees have been put in camps. But while journalists seek to interview victims of Assad’s horrific crackdown, they have also had to confront a surprisingly recalcitrant Turkish government: for more than a week after the refugees arrived, access to the camps where they are being housed was denied; and Turkey has until now refused all support from international humanitarian agencies to deal with the crisis. What is Ankara so nervous about?
There are many ways to train for the New York Marathon. My own method involves running three days a week and watching as many running movies as possible—and not just films about famous runners or historic races.
In reporting on the two million people who have fled Iraq since 2003, Alisa Roth and I have been struck by the extent to which their experiences have eluded visualization.
What do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Thomas Jefferson, and David Ben-Gurion have in common? More than we might think, according to a remarkable new exhibition about the Cyrus Cylinder, a 6th-century BC Babylonian text praising Cyrus the Great.