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The Cultural Heritage of Arabs, Islam, and the Middle East (The Cultrual Heritage of) [Paperback]

William G. Baker

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Another Book About Islam 19 July 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is not just another book about Islam. I found this book to be a hands-on practical guide to the real world of multi-cultural interaction between the West and the Middle East. It is a book for those who desire immediate guidance on, and knowledge of, Arab culture. The American author has had a unique life-long experience living and working in the Arab world. As a child, he was probably more native "Arab" in his upbringing than American. His experience gives him unique insight as to how the Westerner and the Middle Eastern Arab perceive each other. Without cultural sensitivity and a basic understanding of the Arab Middle East, misunderstandings will occur between cultures. The book gives wonderful examples of how seemingly simple interactions between Westerners and Middle Eastern Arabs can go wrong. The author describes elements of the cord of common identity of Middle Eastern Arabs. This includes discussions and examples of the language, the manner of emotional expression, the music, food, religion, humor, dress, the norms of public and private behavior, and of wrong and right. I recommend this book for all Westerners who seek to conduct business with Arabs in the Middle East. I also highly recommend it for all Foreign Service Officers and military academies. It is a wonderful book for university courses in sociology, international relations, and Middle Eastern studies. And, if you are an American who plans to travel and visit the Middle East, take time to read this book and become more culturally sensitive as to how to dress and behave appropriately. Also learn a few Arab expressions to try while visiting. Avoid the appearance of the "ugly American tourist" and enrich your life with the wonderful opportunities of being a good world neighbor!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book 23 Sep 2003
By ELIAS KASIS - Published on Amazon.com
Professor Baker has written a book on the Arab people which has never been written before. Unlike what is found in the media today, professor Baker puts a face on the Arabs as a people. Because he has spent so much of his life among Arabs, he is able to see Arabs as they really are and honestly passes this information on to the reader.
This book is the most accurate representation of Arabs I have ever seen and should be read by all Americans especially U.S. government employees in the State Department and members of the U.S. military who plan to work or travel to the Middle East. This book provides knowledge and insight into the Arabs which will make the American experience in the Middle East more effective and accurate. I give this book five-stars for its accuracy and honesty.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cultural heritage of Arabs, Islam and the Middle East 21 Mar 2013
By Constantine - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Being someone that grew up in Arab culture. I was curious about how an American born like William Baker understood our culture. I must say after reading the book. I was impressed by Mr. Baker's perception of it. He really understands Arab culture as good as any Arab does. I would also say that this book is a great book to read if you were a westerner that had to travel and do business in the Middle East.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference for cultural awareness 7 July 2013
By Roberto Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I am an active duty service member. This book was recommended to me by someone who has spent his life living and working in the Middle East, and who is now in charge of providing basic cultural awareness lessons to service members and civilians joining the command I now work for, for the first time. It certainly didn't disappoint, and was a perfect companion to follow up his in-person class.

I had spent considerable time in the past working directly with Arabs, as an adviser to the Iraqi Army. Everything contained in this book was spot on with what I saw and experienced in person.

I highly recommend this work to anyone who is seeking to have a solid foundation on understanding the mindset of Arabs. Sure... not every person, or culture, is the same. And that applies everywhere in the world. But that fact in itself is talked about in this book. In general terms, it is a very good book to base your knowledge off of, and get on your way to a better understanding.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Insight 24 Oct 2007
By R. S. Mayer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely terrific. Gives incredible, unbiased insight into the complexities of Arabic society and culture. A must read for anyone who hopes to understand the Muslim world.
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