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    In The Other Side of the Wall the author recounts his experiences in Palestine as a member of a prominent organization of peace activists called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). This controversial group, which works on the front lines of the conflict in both the West Bank and Gaza, has been accused of supporting Palestinian terrorism, but it has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    The author witnesses the brutality of the Occupation and the countless forms of humiliations the Palestinians face on a daily basis, such as violence meted out by both soldiers and settlers, long waits at checkpoints, home demolitions, travel restrictions, unfair economic practices, arbitrary detention and arrest, and long prison sentences.

    “Richard Hardigan … has written a measured, you-are-here account, a vivid journal that takes us past slogans and ideologies.” – Philip Weiss, editor of Mondoweiss

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    Looking Both Ways is a collection of interlinked essays that explores family, language, politics, identity, and culture, often with a touch of humor.  These essays move across time and space, beginning in Egypt and crossing the ocean to follow the author’s travels and the challenges of adapting to American culture and creating a family in her new world. 

    The collection is divided into four sections.  “Making Home,” centers on the notion of home, beginning in Egypt in the 1960s and moving toward the U.S.  “In Transit,” examines the connection between place and identity.  “With Caution,” engages with the idea of danger, highlighting issues related to being Arab in America.  “Time Difference,” begins with the 2011 Egyptian Uprising and delves into the blurring of cultural experience between Egypt and the U.S.  

    From recounting her attempt to retrieve a stolen nativity camel to relaying her sense of cultural indignation when her husband tells her to follow a recipe, these essays use humor to dive deeper into the experience of what it means to live as an Egyptian in the United States.  Other essays confront more difficult topics, such as being called “Osama Bin Laden” by some young boys the day after Bin Laden was killed or experiencing the 2011 Egyptian revolution while living in America.  

    Together, these essays create the impression of a memoir as they weave together to reflect the larger narrative of immigration.  This book explores culture, identity, and displacement, offering a unique vision into the Arab American immigrant experience. 

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    The modern Middle East often seems like a web of problems none of which has proven more intractable over the last half century than the Israeli-Arab conflict. One of the core issues is the Israeli claim to ownership of modern-day real estate based on ancient stories that have been enshrined in scripture, promoted by politicians, and buttressed by Hollywood.

    In Biblical Time Out of Mind, two revisionist thinkers expose what they argue are the tenuous underpinnings of these claims. Was the Exodus of scripture actually a Hebrew exodus? Was the Moses depicted by Charlton Heston actually a Hebrew leader? Or were they echoes of a much earlier exodus of Hyksos, the invasive people to first conquer and reign over Egyptians?

    The authors argue that neither Moses nor the Hebrews were in Egypt until around 1000 BCE--500 years after the earlier Exodus is known to have taken place. They go on to sift through research of an Hyksos evacuation of Egypt led by an Eastern leader who is far different than the Moses with whom we are familiar.

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    Preservation of minority groups. Religious tolerance. Governance of ethnically diverse societies. In the Ottoman Empire Muslims and members of many different faiths lived alongide one another in peace. The Ottoman example debunks the current stereotype of Islamic intolerance and offers a framework for a peace.

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    Abu al-Abbas was one of Yasser Arafat’s top generals. His name is forever linked to an operation in 1985 that sparked an international crisis: the hijacking of an Italian cruise liner named the Achille Lauro and the death of Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly American tourist. This memoir by the wife of Abu al-Abbas recalls an era of Palestinian resistance, the hard realities of a cause that faced impossible odds, and the irony that the death of a single man should outweigh all arguments of right and wrong.

    "Abu al-Abbas told his wife . . . that his intention was “to carry out an honorable operation against the Israeli Army . . . . I wanted them to reach Ashdod: not to fight the passengers on board [the Achille Lauro].”

    [Abu al-Abbas] was to be haunted by the crime for the rest of his life. And when he died mysteriously in US custody in a Baghdad prison camp after America’s 2003 invasion, all the world remembered of Al-Abbas was a crippled man called Leon Klinghoffer. No-one cared how an apparently healthy man would die in American hands."
    —Robert Fisk, The Independent

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    A friendly, helpful, and sometimes humorous conversation that demystifies Arab, Arab-American, and Muslim cultures.

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    In the wake of the 9-11 attacks in 2001, Linda Sartor was dismayed to see her country responding primarily with military action and coercive diplomacy. Rather than isolating and defeating the perpetrators, Linda saw US action punishing the innocents in foreign lands, lending credibility to Al Qaeda's depiction of the US as an imperial state and an enemy of Islam, making enemies, and undercutting decades of effort to win the hearts and minds of people around the world.

    Linda resolved to do more than complain. For the next decade she engaged in self-styled citizen diplomacy, traveling to six war-torn countries to see for herself, and to do what she could to assist locals in their efforts to attain peace and justice.

    Linda traveled to Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan, and Bahrain. She traveled with several different Peace and Justice organizations. And part of her story is the work of Americans and internationals to highlight injustice and to make some noise about the need for peace.

    Linda Sartor takes us behind the headlines, and she also isolates the idealism of activists from the US and other countries. She hopes that her stories will inspire readers to confront fear, to follow their hearts, and to place a bet that individual protest will, ultimately, undermine and reform the harsh imperial and economic systems that are too often accepted as a baseline "reality" when the nations of the world exercise power.

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    Professor Tom Gage portrays eight modern educators and links their ideas to those of Fethullah Gülen, a highly influential educator who draws on Islamic traditions.

    — Muhammed Cetin, PhD

    This sweeping work reminds us of the achievements of the West’s great educational thinkers and connects them to Gülen’s ideas and accomplishments that have arisen in the east and have spread throughout the world.

    — Dr Paul M. Rogers

    George Mason University

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    Forty-two testimonies of Palestinians from the Jenin refugee camp who survived the Israeli army invasion in April 2002.

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    Kisses From A Distance begins in 1895 at a Lebanese mountain convent where a young girl was abducted and given into a marriage that she neither anticipated nor desired. The story exquisitely details the resulting consequences of this event.

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    The Stage Warriors are women from around the world who use theater to talk about war, politics, crime, abuse, and violence in nations where these subjects are taboo. The interviews in this book explain why these women launch drama onto troubled waters, who they help, and the importance of their work.

    Beyond the boundaries of poverty, religion, and intolerance these women use theater to broaden citizen participation, bring focus and energy, and reshape national identity. Through the shows and workshops they create, the Warriors are finding ways to help the disenfranchised exert power in education, politics, the economy, and the home.

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  • Congo Memoir

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    Fred Hunter arrives in the Congo in 1963, three years after its chaotic independence. He expects heat, jungle, hardship, even violence. Instead he finds the Kivu, a kind of paradise. It lay nestled among Rift Valley lakes. The climate was benign, the beauty extraordinary. It was peaceful, people got along, and an African king lived atop the nearby mountains. Enchanted, his senses alert, he writes about the people and his adventures: the Congolese employee, a womanizing rogue, with whom travels; a Foreign Service family with whom he lodges; an American academic intoxicated by Africa; a lady missionary lost in time; a visit to that African king; mud-trapped, hippos-surrounded, in a deserted game park at nightfall; a Kivu girl with whom he falls in love. The memoir takes you along on these Kivu adventures. It offers glimpses of an Africa that circumstance and conflict keep alive only in memory and memoir.

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    Jamal Gabobe was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland. This book includes his poems, both personal ("Love") and political ("Memory"). Art by Sultan Mohamed.

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    The American government wants to establish a stripped-down diplomatic post in the Equateur, the remotest part of the strife-torn Congo. No diplomatic protections. Not even diplomatic communication links. Officers assigned to staff it refuse to go. They won't serve in that "hellhole."

    Enter Fred Hunter, a young US Information Service officer just arrived from training in Belgium. Why not send him? Sink or swim. Let's see if he'll survive.

    So Fred goes alone into the Equateur, a typewriter his only friend. Quoting liberally from letters written on that typewriter, this memoir recounts the adventures of Fred's year at the edge of the jungle.

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    Elizabeth Jenkins, 17, raised on a Congo mission station, is under intense pressure to marry the station doctor, twenty years her senior. Hours before the wedding, Elizabeth flees. She runs toward the wider world beyond the station. She reaches Nairobi, a place of danger for a single woman without a protecting clan. Can she survive?

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    Mats Svensson is a photographer and writer who has lived in the occupied Palestinian territories. The evidence of his lens and the words of the Palestinians he quotes depict a state of apartheid just a few hours’ flight from Paris, London, Oslo, Geneva--and Washington. Will the high minded ideals of the West come to the rescue? Or will a downward spiral that violates all precepts of justice and humanity continue with increasing dark and deadly force?

    APARTHEID IS A CRIME, Portraits of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine is a remarkable book about an evil that we all believed had disappeared: apartheid. An evil created by a government that believes it stands above international law. Mats Svensson, a Swedish writer and photo artist, has merged his own words with black and white photos, and combined these with voices from around the world. He has created a piece of art that challenges the habitual discourse on Israel and Palestine. It contrasts the created media illusions and  distortions of lies surrounding the never-ending conflict.
     
    Mats Svensson has created a book that describes how he as a diplomat was part of a system that generated servants that were docile, obedient as sheep. That he worked to build  a state under occupation, to revive an already dead peace process by supporting the Palestinian security services, democratic elections and refugees. While he worked, Palestine was disappearing. Before him, Palestine became smaller and smaller. He knew that it was too late, but avoided talking about it. Palestine was disappearing while the number of refugees kept growing.
    This is a book that tells us all to dig deep into our prejudices; it forces us to take action to search for a common solution. It deals with our own consciousness and gives us a story that we are all part of.

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    Refugees from Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa find themselves isolated after resettling in the US. Used to village culture, they are adrift. "Empower a Refugee" tells the stories of refugees who participated in the Peace of Thread program near Atlanta, GA. Run by compassionate Christians who have found their calling in helping the dispossessed, Peace of Thread involves refugee women in fabric-related craft work.

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    In recent years, there has been a strong movement in Latin America for governments to regulate working conditions of child labor. On July 2, 2014, Bolivia passed legislation to allow children to work as young as age 10. This action put Bolivia in violation of the UN Conventions regulating child labor and was strongly condemned by human rights advocacy groups.

    “In Child Labor – Legalize? Or Outlaw?” The author describes the child labor movement in Latin America and points out the challenge that many children have to work illegally to survive. They do not have the luxury of waiting for a “perfect” solution.

    Although regulations on the working conditions of child labor can protect child workers by law, it is not an effective solution on the ground.

    A better policy will be to protect the child workers legally while also providing a “collaborative approach.” The author explores this alternative in her book. 

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Bridge Between the Cultures
Books from the Bridge Between the Cultures (Jsr al-Thaqafat) series of Cune Press.
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