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A Times Literary Supplement ‘book of the year’

A fresh look at the Middle East today, tomorrow and in the past: fifteen writers, with an introduction by Raja Shehadeh, author of the Orwell Prize-winning Palestinian Walks, and Penny Johnson

List of contributors: James Barr - Avi Shlaim - Salim Tamari - Ramita Navai - Dawn Chatty - Robin Yassin-Kassab - Malu Halasa - Marilyn Booth - Mai Al-Nakib - Selma Dabbagh - Tamim Al Barghouti - Justin Marozzi - Alev Scott-Khaled Fahmy

Academics and writers provide valuable insight in this fine collection of essays edited by Raja Shehadeh and Penny Johnson.

The journalist Ramita Navai delivers a strong analysis of the tensions bubbling away in Iran and asks whether the emerging alliance between Tehran and Washington can ever be more than a temporary tactical union. Along the way she points out how the internet invigorated the gay scene there, while online searches for pornography in Iran are among the world’s highest. Yet still the conservative clerics seek to control women’s sexuality, even debating leggings in parliament, ‘not, as one would hope, as a crime against fashion but as a crime against morality’.
— Ian Birrell, The Guardian
Shifting Sands: The unravelling of the old order in the Middle East (Profile), edited by Raja Shehadeh and Penny Johnson, brings together sixteen anguished but sharply analytical essays on topics from the First World War to 2015 and places including Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
— LUCY BECKETT, The Times Literary Supplement