Writing off the Beaten Track (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East Series): Reflections on the Meaning of Travel and Culture in the Middle East

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $4.99   
  • New (5) from $19.14   
  • Used (3) from $4.99   


"Written by an American woman who resides and teaches in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, these informal sketches of life in the Gulf capture the flavor of that exotic corner of the Arab world. Even as she acquaints us with intriguing aspects of Emirati culture, Judith Caesar notes the varied difficulties inherent in perceiving another way of life, especially one that has been ignored and frequently misrepresented in the West. The author provides a unique view of the diverse ways in which American pop culture affects Middle Eastern thought and custom, from shopping and song to fashion and fads." Writing Off the Beaten Track will be vastly useful to teachers of Middle East studies and those who have contact with non-Western students. Readers interested in the region and travel aficionados will find it an enlightening and highly original read.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Caesar (Crossing Borders: An American Woman in the Middle East) is a well-intentioned but disappointing narrator who fails in an attempt to extrapolate from her experiences teaching English at a university in the United Arab Emirates to a larger commentary on the Middle East. Despite 10 years in the region, she comes across as wide-eyed. Rather than the "muddle east," a term used by her expatriate friends in Saudi Arabia (where Caesar has lived), in the Emirates she finds "a kind of melded east": she marvels at women with abayahs (veils) and cell phones, and finds it surprising that she is able to sit "in a French-named coffee shop in an American-style shopping mall in Dubai drinking Italian espresso." She is disappointed to find middle America in the Middle East, but she is content to repeat predictable stories with little analysis or context, based on conversations with expatriate teachers or their spouses and with a handful of her restive students. Caesar does not claim to be an expert, and some of her thoughts on travel in general are perceptive, though a little wooden-"I liked living in other cultures because it made me question what I thought I knew." Her more observant anecdotes are about what it is to be an American abroad and how travel has made her more aware of issues in America-like poverty, misogyny and hate crimes-that she had previously been blind to. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815629573
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Series: Contemporary Issues in the Middle East Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Don't You Just Stay Home?
Pt. 1 Places
Time and Space: Abayahs and Cell Phones 3
Sharjah and Dubai: Cities on the Sand 14
Hatta: Off the Beaten Track of History 29
Pt. 2 People
Windows into the Emirates 43
Students: Teaching and Learning Across Cultures 64
Mohammad al-Murr's Map of Dubai 82
Pt. 3 Looking Inward
The Garden and the Desert 101
Wild and Tame: The Cheetah in the Bathroom 105
Distorted Images in the Mirror 111
Windows into America 130
Pt. 4 Off the Beaten Track
Teaching Multiculturally and Being Multicultural 153
Dune Planet at the Millennium 164
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)