Dictionary of the Middle East

Hiro, Dilip
Date published: 
April 1996

'An impressive attempt...Mr Hiro can see both sides of an argument, applying the same stringent scrutiny to the Zionists' Irgun and the Arabs' Islamic Jihad.' - Economist 'An invaluable guide for journalists, diplomats and, not least, politicians...The 1,000 entries ensure comprehensiveness, and their compression into a single manageable volume ensures compactness. And this has been done with a precision that is truly admirable...' - Middle East International '...invaluable to anyone with a professional or personal interest in Middle Eastern affairs.' - Ben Holland, Turkish Daily News 'While the general reader will find the Dictionary readable, the specialist will find it mostly reliable.' - Middle East Quarterly'A very useful and highly informative reference work on the region...Hiro deserves much credit for this well researched and highly balanced work which fills a void in the field.' - Middle East Insight'[T]his encyclopedia will satisfy the needs of journalists, businessmen, undergraduates, and ambitiously cerebral travellers.' - Orbis: Journal of World Affairs'Hiro skillfully condenses often very complex subject matters into readable dictionary entries that strike an admirable balance between detailed treatment and cursory overview...the overall value of this handy reference tool for the countries it covers is undeniable. Especially strong in the coverage of recent Middle Eastern history and the current political situation, Dilip Hiro's Dictionary of the Middle East can wholeheartedly be recommended for college and university as well as public library reference collections.' - Christof Galli, University of California at Berkeley The term 'Middle East' conjures up a multitude of images and concepts in the western mind. Sand dunes, camels, nomads. Gushing oil wells. Saddam Hussein. Terrorists, assassins, hostage-takers. Babylon. Islamic fundamentalism. OPEC. Bombed-out Beirut. Women under the veil. Jerusalem, the Holy. The Gulf Wars. The Islamic dome and minarets. The Promised Land. The Pyramids. Yasser Arafat. The Church of the Nativity. Oil Sheikhs loaded with petro-dollars. Teeming Cairo. Arabs and Jews fighting. Ayatollah Khomeini. Arabic calligraphy. Suicide bombers. Bearded Jews in black coats. The Bible. Kibbutzim. Kurds, Shias, Orthodox Jews, Maronites, Bahais, Sunnis, Zionism. Dilip Hiro, the author of several books on the region, has written a general purpose dictionary of the Middle East. Containing almost 1000 entries, it deals lucidly and objectively, with an impressive variety of images, events, ideologies, natural resources, religious sects and organisations. From 'al' to 'Azerbaijan', 'Bible' to 'Byblos', 'semiotic languages' to 'sufism', 'the peace process' to 'Protestant Church', the dictionary covers all you would ever want to know about the Middle East. Thorough and cool-headed, the dictionary will prove indispensable not only to journalists, academics, diplomats, business people and students but also to all travellers to the region.