Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab States Today [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Arab States

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This extremely timely and helpful ready reference will familiarize all students and readers with the Gulf region and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, and Qatar. These states are bound by the desert culture, the Gulf, new oil economy, and Islam, to name some commonalities. Most Americans know something about the region, such as oases, dates, camels, oil, Bedouin tribes, and the legends of Lawrence of Arabia to Osama bin Laden. Islamic concepts and practices are still unfamiliar. On one extreme, Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, has been largely closed off to Western tourists. On the other extreme, Dubai courts tourist dollars as it constructs modern architectural showcases. This is the first A-Z encyclopedia to focus on the Gulf, illuminating the land, people, religion, culture and traditions, institutions, economy, and much more for general readers. The more than 200 essay entries have a current focus with historical context as necessary.

The breadth of coverage means that this resource will be of use for a wide range of researchers and browsers. Besides individual entries on each state, major cities and regions are also profiled. The natural environment and human adaptation to it receives significant space. Islamic customs and rules and various interpretations are clearly explained. Essays on topics such as key public figures, institutions, major events, politics, and state structures—some based on sources often not available in English—make this two-volume set the first-choice resource for accurate information. Suggestions for further reading accompany most entries; a chronology, selected bibliography, and photos also complement the text.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Cross-references are numerous, and a thorough index makes locating information easy. An extensive bibliography provides citations and further reading. This solid collection of entries, coedited by two academics, one from the U.S. and the other from Morocco, is highly recommended for academic and large public libraries."



"…individual entries in this book are very good…Any undergraduate studying the politics, history or geography of the modern world will find useful information here. . . . In view of the immense importance of the Arab states in the current political economy of the world, all public reference libraries and all academic libraries dealing with geographical or political topics ought to be carefully considering everything they can get on the region, and can certainly be recommended to include this encyclopedia in their deliberations."


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313344428
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2009
  • Pages: 527
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

SEBASTIAN MAISEL is Assistant Professor of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mchigan. He has researched and written extensively including books and essays on social, political, and religious issues in Arabia and his other field of expertise, the ethno-religious minority of the Yezidis. Among his books are The Customary Law of the Bedouins in Northern Arabia (2006) and Yezidism--Religion and Life (co-author, 2008).

JOHN SHOUP teaches at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. He has authored and co-authored a number of articles and book chapters and published Culture and Customs of Jordan (Greenwood, 2007) and Culture and Customs of Syria (Greenwood, 2008).

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