Synopses & Reviews
Since his boyhood in Qadhafi's Libya, Neil MacFarquhar has developed a counterintuitive sense that the Middle East, despite all the bloodshed in its recent history, is a place of warmth, humanity, and generous eccentricity.
In this book, he introduces a cross-section of unsung, dynamic men and women pioneering political and social change. There is the Kuwaiti sex therapist in a leather suit with matching red headscarf, and the Syrian engineer advocating a less political interpretation of the Koran. MacFarquhar interacts with Arabs and Iranians in their every day lives, removed from the violence we see constantly, yet wrestling with the region's future. These are people who realize their region is out of step with the world and are determined to do something about it--on their own terms.
A "New York Times" correspondent's affectionate, irreverent portrait of the Middle East he's known since childhood--an unexplored place hidden behind the usual headlines
Since his boyhood in Qadhafi s Libya, and later as a reporter for more than thirteen years in cities stretching from Tehran to Marrakesh, Neil MacFarquhar has developed a counterintuitive sense that the Middle East, despite all the bloodshed in its contemporary history, is a place of warmth, humanity, and generous eccentricity. In The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday MacFarquhar shares a lesser known side of the region, the story he always wanted to file. MacFarquhar shows the daily lives and attitudes of people frequently obscured behind the curtain of violence: the stories of chefs and sex therapists, bloggers and academics struggling to reform on their own terms.
About the Author
Neil MacFarquhar served as New York Times Cairo bureau chief from 2001 through 2005. An Arabic speaker, he grew up in Libya and covered the region for the AP, including stints in Israel and Kuwait. He is the author of a novel, The Sand Café.