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Mrad "Haidar" (Amman)

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We are Iran
We are Iran
by Nasrin Alavi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Arrogant beyond belief, 21 Feb 2006
This review is from: We are Iran (Paperback)
Comparing poor Afghans and Iranians to "blessed cheesemakers" is a typical example of the upper-class and exile snobbery that characterises the thinking behind this book. The idea that a sample of internet users can truthfully say "We are Iran" is a total absurdity. This is the kind of book you can dip into from time to time, but to claim it speaks for Iran is arrogant beyond belief. And you can get this book in Iran, by the way, or even (shock horror) take in a copy with you.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2007 5:33 PM GMT


The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East
The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East
by Robert Fisk
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The great war for civilisation - and Arabic, 11 Oct 2005
There is no reason yo judge this book solely on whether or not Robert Fisk speaks Arabic, but I have met him and he does not. When he talks about Arab dialects and so on, he is relying on information supplied by others, but then again you do have to wonder why he seems to want to create the impression he speaks Arabic - maybe because this enhances his reputation in the west.

There are very few western reporters who know Arabic, a point made by Said Aburish in his excellent A Brutal Friendship, which I would recommend as an alternative to Fisk's memoirs for those interested in the Middle East rather than self-indulgent journalism. I would also recommend The Gin and the Olive Branch, by David Hirst, a western reporter who does speak and read Arabic.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2013 2:28 PM BST


The Wars Against Saddam: Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad
The Wars Against Saddam: Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad
by John E. Simpson
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this the first draft of history?, 3 Oct 2004
The idea that John Simpson is at the "centre" of world affairs typifies what's gone wrong with so much journalism. Making the first draft of history should not be a matter of self-publicity. There are many factual mistakes in this book and also misunderstandings that arise from the author's complete lack of any Arabic. If you want to read about Saddam Hussein, read Said Aburish's very readable biography. Simpson is just Eastenders for grown-ups.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2014 12:39 PM GMT


Danziger's Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers
Danziger's Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers
by Nick Danziger
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst kind of orientalist fiction, 7 May 2004
The author presumably has his own reasons for having written this as a travel book rather than as a novel but I would certainly file under fiction, or even narcissism (?). Very sketchy accounts of Iran and Afghanistan that will mean little to anyone who knows these countries. Danziger is one of those self-styled experts out to experience and conquer the orient, and what he comes out with is the worst kind of orientalism. The seduction scene will make you cringe ...


The Best Of Elkie Brooks
The Best Of Elkie Brooks
Price: 4.99

16 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tepid stuff - get back to Whole Lotta Shakin', 7 May 2004
The last reviwer - Harris P. Peters - couldn't be more wrong. Elkie has always been at her best when raunchy and rocking, and not when trying to do middle-of-the-road covers of average material.
Check out the stuff she did with Robert Palmer in Vinegar Joe - Rock and Roll Gypsies was recently reissued on CD - and you will see the real Elkie, hair flying, body wiggling and her voice eating through the scales and the emotions in a way that will make your knees weak and your back tingle.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 8, 2009 1:16 PM GMT


Stripped
Stripped
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: 3.51

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stripped, Striped .... Streuth, 7 May 2004
This review is from: Stripped (Audio CD)
Fantastic picture on the cover but why can't people write music reviews without marking each track out of ten. Music shouldn't be reduced to such penny-pinching banality.
This is good pop music, certainly not Stravinsky but okay to listen do while you're doing something else - like simultaneous equations or cleaning the bathroom.


News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World
News from No Man's Land: Reporting the World
by John E. Simpson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.99

1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There's no business like show business, 30 Mar 2004
Tell me, if it was so dangerous walking into Karbul, why was the cameraman walking backwards while filming John Simpson? Yes, I know it's show business and not journalism but that's precisely my point. Can any one remember James Cameron?


Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First-Century Iran
Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First-Century Iran
by Geneive Abdo
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overplays theology ... and falls between two stools, 1 Feb 2004
The authors overplay the importance of theology and downplay the central role of power in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They have some interesting material but I fear the book will bewilder anyone with little knowledge of Iran and say little to anyone who knows the country better. I agree, too, with the earlier Iranian reviewer that the breathy style becomes wearing after a while.


Saucy Haulage Ballads
Saucy Haulage Ballads

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half Man Half Biscuit, the masters of the EP, 13 Jan 2004
This review is from: Saucy Haulage Ballads (Audio CD)
This is a stunning disc, on which the finest song is "It Makes the World Look Bigger". This is indeed a subtle reference to the Yorkshire artist John Jackson, although for me it evokes his installation 'Sammy Get Your Bike' as much as 'Red Pulling Pants'.
The other great song is 'Tending the Wrong Grave', which I have been humming to myself for weeks. Half Man Half Biscuit are becoming the masters of what we used to call - in the days of records - the EP.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2009 5:37 AM BST


Bush in Babylon
Bush in Babylon
by Tariq Ali
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.47

4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing about the cruelties of the Baathists, 6 Jan 2004
This review is from: Bush in Babylon (Hardcover)
If you take Tariq Ali's book as an introduction to Iraqi poetry, you are surely misunderstanding what it is about. His point is that the poets have long extolled "resistance" to something called "imperialism", a term he is using in a Leninist sense (he would not for example talk about Arab imperialism against the Kurds, which has killed far more people than Mr Bush).
As earlier reviewers pointed out, he is following the old leftist sleight of hand in portraying anyone who resists what is defined as "imperialism" as progressive. As Cambodians and others could point out, this is nonsense. Those killing Iraqi civilians - including worshippers leaving the Imam Ali mosque - are in no way progressive.
Anyone interested in the modern history of Iraq should try Peter Sluggett's book, Kanan Makiya's Cruelty and Silence, or Jon Randall's book on the Kurds. Tariq Ali writes nothing about the terrible things inflicted on the Shia and the Kurds by the Baathist regime, and so he can have no understanding of why the Kurdish and Shia leaders were prepared to give guarded support to the Americans.


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