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Mrs. R. C. Tinsley "Pig Lit" (London, UK)

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Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World
Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World
by Maha El Said
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars During the Arab Spring thousands of brave women participated in ..., 13 Mar. 2016
During the Arab Spring thousands of brave women participated in demonstrations against the rule regimes, risking their lives. yet, once the aims of the uprising had been achieved, Arab society unceremoniously returned women to the private sphere, back to subservience and servitude, to be rarely seen and not heard. This thoughtful collection of essays explains what happened, and how the public space for women has been chipped away. For instance, in Libya, thanks to the Western powers, there is a clause in the constitution guaranteeing female representation in parliament. In practice, when a woman gets up to speak, they turn off the microphone. There is an especially moving chapter about how Palestinian women literally put mind over matter to survive torture and rape, seeing their bodies as the people of Palestine being oppressed. This is invaluable if you want to know more about the position of women in these societies in transition.


The Spirit of Peace: Pentecost and Affliction in the Middle East
The Spirit of Peace: Pentecost and Affliction in the Middle East
by Mary C. Grey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely book about the vanishing but stoic Christian communities in the Middle East, 20 May 2015
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In 1922 Christians made up 51% of the population of Jerusalem. Now, only 2% of Palestinians are Christian. In “The Spirit of Peace” the theologian Mary Grey explores the decimation of this ancient community, linking it with the recent sectarian cleansing of Christians from Syria, Iraq and Egypt. “They discovered they were invisible,” she concludes, “unacknowledged, dismissed, denounced or forgotten by fellow Christians throughout the world, especially in the United States.”

Yet, Grey also puts their suffering in the wider context of the Palestinian people, whom, she believes, have endured a terrible injustice, robbed of their land and homes in 1948 Nakba or catastrophe, struggling to survive in refugee camps, or under pressure from Israeli expansion ever since.

Grey travels throughout the Middle East, visiting Christians and Muslims, hearing how they co-existed in mutual respect and even harmony, until recently. She believes the deterioration in relations in Palestine began when Hamas won the election in 2006: the desecration of churches and targeting of clergy followed.

In Egypt, where the Christian community has halved, Grey observes that once the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood took power after the Arab Spring, attacks escalated dramatically; police stood by as churches were destroyed and people were killed. A week before a referendum on whether Egypt should adopt a constitution based on sharia law, 50,000 Islamists marched through the city of Assiut, chanting “Islamic, Islamic despite the Christians.” Crowds threw stones at Christians to stop them voting.

“Men on horses rode around wielding swords in Christian districts of Assiut evoking images of Muslims conquering Christians in the early years of Islam,” Grey reports.

But surveying the dismal treatment of Christians throughout the Middle East she also points the finger of blame at Saudi Arabia, funding terror and intolerance, spreading their hate-filled Wahhabist ideology.

Nevertheless she finds brave Muslim-Christian-Jewish interfaith groups staking out common ground and building bridges. Grey makes the point that women play a significant role in these groups, and laments how little media attention is paid to their courageous initiatives. She also draws a line connecting the stoicism and determination that inspired the early, persecuted Christians with Middle Eastern Christians and more generally Palestinians today.

She concludes, “Theology and spirituality should never be left to fanatics and fundamentalists.”


Debating Palestine and Israel
Debating Palestine and Israel
by Dan Cohn-Sherbok
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and important book simplifying the politics of the Holy Land, 14 Aug. 2014
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This book appears just when many of us need someone to guide us through the complex and heart-breaking politics of the Holy Land. It takes the form of an email conversation between Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok and theology Professor Mary Grey. Their exchange illuminates the historic origins of today's violence, and it makes clear why the gap between the two perspectives seems increasingly unbridgable. Mutual incomprehension lies at the roots of the conflict: Cohn-Sherbok asks why the Palestninas cannot feel sympathy for the Jews who have been persecuted throughout history and therefore need a land of their own where they can feel safe. Grey asks why the Israelis cannot grasp why the Palestinians have grievances about what they see as the theft of their land at the founding of the state of Israel. Worthwhile and illuminating.


Ten Weeks in Africa
Ten Weeks in Africa
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars the real Africa, 29 Jun. 2014
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This novel reveals the truth behind futile Western aid efforts in a continent we still barely understand. A gripping story which isn't afraid to paint realistic characters, such as the corrupt female cabinet minister who trades on Western naively about "women's empowerment" - a great antidote to those fools who somehow believe the world's problems would be solved if women were in charge. The story is also truthful about the centrality of tribal and superstition today in many African countries, again ignored by well-meaning development experts from the rich world. A real achievement and totally recognisable to someone like me who has been working on these issues for a decade.


The Silence of Our Friends (Kindle Single)
The Silence of Our Friends (Kindle Single)
Price: £1.15

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this if you believe in freedom of expression, 9 Feb. 2014
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It is irrelevant whether or not you are a Christian; anyone who believes in tolerance, co-existence and freedom of speech should be outraged by the wholesale destruction of Christianity in the Middle East and Egypt. Ed West provides the disturbing facts about the way in which Christians and other religious minorities are being killed and terrorised in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. Most puzzling is the silence of Christians in the west who seem obsessed by homosexuality, while turning a blind eye to the fate of groups who have been Christian for 2000 years. One cannot overstate the stupidity of George W Bush in announcing his "crusade" against "the evil ones," providing the perfect excuse for Islamists to massacre Christians in the Middle East. An essential, disturbing read.


The Snowden Operation: Inside the West's Greatest Intelligence Disaster (Kindle Single)
The Snowden Operation: Inside the West's Greatest Intelligence Disaster (Kindle Single)
Price: £1.15

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for those interested in the intelligence world, 6 Feb. 2014
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Edward Lucas admirably analyses the pros and cons of Edward Snowden's exposure of the NSA. Drawing on decades of experience of the Russia intelligence world, he reveals how Putin has benefited from Snowden's leaks, while asking why those who campaign for greater transparency have not taken issue with the vast spying capability of France, China and Russia. Of particular concern is the wide scale privatisation of those parts of the US security world that might be better controlled by accountable government agencies. Fascinating and important.


Young Voices: British Children Remember the Second World War
Young Voices: British Children Remember the Second World War
by Lyn Smith
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective on the civilian experience of war, 20 Sept. 2013
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I found it hard to put this book down, such was the freshness of the anecdotes and the lack of sentimentality. We are all familiar with the cliches about the nation pulling together in war time. This book makes it clear quite a lot of people did not embrace the spirit of sacrifice and community, acting selfishly and treating evacuees badly. It also offers unheard stories about how the city of Hull suffered a huge amount of bombing for years, yet without much media interest at the time or since, probably because it was "Up North" and didn't have a cathedral destroyed (unlike Coverntry, where fewer people died). Really interesting.


The Pig with No Name
The Pig with No Name

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and informative animal story for kids, 20 Sept. 2013
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This book combines interesting facts about these delightful but maligned animals with a story children will enjoy. The drawings are charming and the story moves along at a brisk pace. Recommended.


Istanbul Passage: A grippping historical thriller from the author of Leaving Berlin
Istanbul Passage: A grippping historical thriller from the author of Leaving Berlin
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars gripping, atmospheric, authentic, 17 May 2013
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If you love the film "Casablanca" then you will enjoy this novel. Kanon subtly weaves into a gripping plot his knowledge of World War Two politics, with all its intringue, ambiguity and betrayal. The story takes place in Istanbul, in the aftermath of WW2, and the atmosphere he conjures up is reminiscent of The Third Man's Vienna: corruption, greed, and the big powers plotting against each other for influence in a seemingly insignificant place. As ever, his characters are believable, flawed but compelling. You keep turning the pages, captivated by the authenticity of the sordid world Kanon has created. Wholly satisfactory read. I wish Kanon would churn out more like this.


A Century of Genocide
A Century of Genocide

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading on genocide, the crime that never seems to go away, 7 Dec. 2012
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A first rate collection of essays on each of the genocides of the 20th century, from the Herrera people of Namibia to the current slaughter that continues to this day in a media vacuum in Darfur. This has been my 'subject' for the last 20 years, but I learned so much about the lesser-reported episodes like East Timor and Burundi. Despite the world's diplomats regularly pledging, "Never Again," it keeps happening because all nations offer mere words, and follow their self-interest. This book explains how the international community time and again fails to act, despite its promises and legal treaties and conventions. A must-have for people who care about the persistence of this most vile of crimes.


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