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Thematic chapters on Islam, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Persian Gulf conflicts, Middle Eastern oil and gas, and U.S. Middle East policy address overarching trends and events that affect the entire region. Updated country profiles provide individual histories of each nation along with vital statistics. New to this edition are profiles of Turkey and the Palestinian Authority as well as a foreword by scholar and area specialist Richard B. Parker, who looks at the current states of the Middle East and U.S. involvement there. Many of the profiles have been significantly revised. Coverage of events extends through 2006.