Professor Uzi Rabi is the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and a senior researcher at the Center for Iranian Studies, both at Tel Aviv University. Formerly, he was the Head of the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University. From 2004-2005, he held a visiting professorship at the Lipinski Institute of San Diego State University. Prof. Rabi is the director of the TAU Workshop, an annual ten-day seminar for international scholars that focuses on the geopolitical situation of Israel and its neighbors, and the co-editor of Bustan: The Middle East Book Review. His research focuses on the modern history and evolution of states and societies in the Middle East, Iranian-Arab relations, oil and politics in the Middle East, and Sunni-Shi’i dynamics; within this framework he has supervised the dissertations of numerous doctoral candidates in this field over the years. He has authored numerous books and scholarly papers to date.
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Following the much-publicized self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi on December 18, 2010, a tempestuous succession of demonstrations, revolutions and civil wars swept the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. These events, collectively referred to as the “Arab Spring” spread contagiously throughout the Middle East and the Maghreb. However, for autocratic states, instead of ushering in tidy transitions of power, the revolutions and uprising descended into chaos, greatly complicating the task of analysts and historians attempting to make sense of the events. Has the Arab Spring brought much-needed change to the Arab people or will instability and turmoil preserve a perpetual state of “Arab Winter”.
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: July 2018
Joseph A. Kechichian is an American scholar, historian and political scientist specializing on the Persian Gulf region, focusing in the domestic and regional concerns of Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. He was previously a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation and is now a Senior Fellow at the King Faisal Center for Research & Islamic Studies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and an author specializing in the Arabian/Persian Gulf region. ‘From Alliance to Union’ is one of his best works so far.
George Orwell (June 25, 1903 to January 1, 1950), born Eric Arthur Blair, was a novelist, essayist and critic best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Born to British civil servant, Orwell spent his infancy days in India and came to England with his mother when he was one year old. Like many other boys in England, Orwell was sent to boarding school. In 1911 he went to St. Cyprian’s in Eastbourne, where he got his first taste of England’s class system. On a partial scholarship, Orwell noticed that the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He wasn’t very popular with his peers, and in books he found solace from his difficult situation. He read works by Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells, among others. Due to impoverishment, he had to discontinue formal education. Instead he joined the India Imperial Police Force in 1922. After five years in Burma, Orwell resigned his post and returned to England. He was intent on making it as a writer.
Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi to parents of Goan origin and grew up in London, where she lives. She was special correspondent for Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper, foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and political correspondent for Reuters. Her first book, Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism, was a finalist for UK’s 2008 Index on Censorship Award and was nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award. Her second book, The Last Jews of Kerala, was shortlisted for the 2009 Crossword Book Award and was a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year.
Friedrich Engels, an illustrious German philosopher, social scientist and journalist, was born on November 28, 1820 in Barmen, Rhine province, Prussia. He is considered as the closest collaborator of Karl Marx in the foundation of modern communism. Although born to an affluent German businessman, Engels received little formal education. But his inquisitive potential developed in him a fancy for Hegel who influenced him the most later on. In 1845, Engels published ‘The Conditions of the Working Class’, his first notable communist treatise which introduced him to another revolutionary communist, Karl Marx. Same year, Engels went to Brussels to join Marx in organizing the German workers like the French and English workers were uniting. They became members of the German Communist League and were asked to draft a manifesto for the organization, which is now widely known as the Communist Manifesto. Thereafter, they worked together till Marx’s death in 1883, with Engels editing the second and third volumes of the famous Das Kapital after his friend’s death. Marx regarded him as highly informed on economics, political and military issues. Friedrich Engels died on August 5, 1895 in London, England