I Was Told to Come Alone

My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
Author: Souad Mekhennet
Publisher: Henry Holt
ISBN: 1627798978
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 368
View: 617

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"The journalist who broke the "Jihadi John" story draws on her personal experience to bridge the gap between the Muslim world and the West and explain the rise of Islamic radicalism Souad Mekhennet has lived her entire life between worlds. The daughter of a Turkish mother and a Moroccan father, she was born and educated in Germany and has worked for several American newspapers. Since the 9/11 attacks she has reported stories among the most dangerous members of her religion; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. In this compelling and evocative book, Mekhennet seeks to answer the question, "What is in the minds of these young jihadists, and how can we understand and defuse it?" She has unique and exclusive access into the world of jihad and sometimes her reporting has put her life in danger. We accompany her from Germany to the heart of the Muslim world -- from the Middle East to North Africa, from Sunni Pakistan to Shia Iran, and the Turkish/ Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner "Jihadi John," and then in Paris and Brussels, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Too often we find ourselves unable to see the human stories behind the headlines, and so Mekhennet - with a foot in many different camps - is the ideal guide to take us where no Western reporter can go. Her story is a journey that changes her life and will have a deep impact on us as well"--

I Was Told to Come Alone

My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
Author: Souad Mekhennet
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 162779896X
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 3408

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“I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel. . . .” For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for The Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing – Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other. In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighborhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalized and the Iraqi neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” and then in France, Belgium, and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Mekhennet’s background has given her unique access to some of the world’s most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS, and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.

I Was Told To Come Alone

My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad
Author: Souad Mekhennet
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0349008396
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 368
View: 2874

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Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2017 I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel . . . For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for the Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing - Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other. In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighbourhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalised and the Iraqi neighbourhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner 'Jihadi John', and then in France, Belgium and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilisation. Mekhennet's background has given her unique access to some of the world's most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.

Daring to Drive

A Saudi Woman’s Awakening
Author: Manal al-Sharif
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476793026
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 304
View: 742

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This is a memoir about living, loving, dreaming, daring, and driving while female -- in a country where it's dangerous to do all of the above. Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year strict fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was religious radical, melting her brother's boy band CDs in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties, she was a computer security engineer, one of a few women working in a desert compound built to resemble suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her school-age brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving on Saudi streets. Manal-al-Sharif has written a memoir about the making of an accidental activist, a story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men -- and won.

Journey of the Jihadist

Inside Muslim Militancy
Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780156031707
Category: History
Page: 328
View: 4017

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Draws on the author's extensive research into the minds and motivations of Kamal al-Said Habib, a founder of the jihadist movement, in an account that documents the terrorist's life as well as the experiences of numerous Islamic fundamentalists to offer insight into crucial events from the past thirty years. Reprint.

Peacerunner

The True Story of How an Ex-Congressman Helped End the Centuries of War in Ireland
Author: Penn Rhodeen
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
ISBN: 194163172X
Category: History
Page: 350
View: 1550

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Twenty years after the Good Friday Agreement, discover the story of an unsung hero who made peace in Northern Ireland possible: “A must-read” (Liam Neeson). The world celebrated the end of the fighting in Ireland, but just a handful know the full story of former congressman Bruce Morrison and how critical he was in bringing peace. This book takes us on the journey of Morrison, who worked with Irish Americans to help elect Bill Clinton as the best hope for a new American policy on the ancient conflict. He then devised the political strategy that helped Clinton make that policy a reality. Despite having no official position, Morrison traveled tirelessly to meet with anyone—including those seen as terrorists—who could help end the fighting. In Northern Ireland, he showed that the United States could be the honest broker for both sides—and blazed the trail on which Clinton and George Mitchell helped political leaders forge the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and a new beginning for a suffering land. This fast-paced and insightful narrative brimming with unforgettable characters—presidents and prime ministers, politicians of every stripe, activists and guerrilla fighters—reaches far beyond Ireland’s bloody history to show that no conflict should be seen as too intractable to solve.

Spoils


Author: Brian Van Reet
Publisher: Lee Boudreaux Books
ISBN: 0316316156
Category: Fiction
Page: 304
View: 7851

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"The finest Iraq War novel yet written by an American"-- Wall Street Journal, 10 Best Novels of the Year "An electrifying debut" (The Economist) that maps the blurred lines between good and evil, soldier and civilian, victor and vanquished. Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence It is April 2003. American forces have taken Baghdad and are now charged with winning hearts and minds. But this vital tipping point is barely recognized for what it is, as a series of miscalculations and blunders fuels an already-simmering insurgency intent on making Iraq the next graveyard of empires. In dazzling and propulsive prose, Brian Van Reet explores the lives on both sides of the battle lines: Cassandra, a nineteen-year-old gunner on an American Humvee who is captured during a deadly firefight and awakens in a prison cell; Abu Al-Hool, a lifelong mujahedeen beset by a simmering crisis of conscience as he struggles against enemies from without and within, including the new wave of far more radicalized jihadists; and Specialist Sleed, a tank crewman who goes along with a "victimless" crime, the consequences of which are more awful than any he could have imagined. Depicting a war spinning rapidly out of control, destined to become a modern classic, Spoils is an unsparing and morally complex novel that chronicles the achingly human cost of combat.

Radical

My Journey out of Islamist Extremism
Author: Maajid Nawaz
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1493025724
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 296
View: 1841

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Maajid Nawaz spent his teenage years listening to American hip-hop and learning about the radical Islamist movement spreading throughout Europe and Asia in the 1980s and 90s. At 16, he was already a ranking member in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a London-based Islamist group. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a top recruiter, a charismatic spokesman for the cause of uniting Islam’s political power across the world. Nawaz was setting up satellite groups in Pakistan, Denmark, and Egypt when he was rounded up in the aftermath of 9/11 along with many other radical Muslims. He was sent to an Egyptian prison where he was, fortuitously, jailed along with the assassins of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The 20 years in prison had changed the assassins’ views on Islam and violence; Maajid went into prison preaching to them about the Islamist cause, but the lessons ended up going the other way. He came out of prison four years later completely changed, convinced that his entire belief system had been wrong, and determined to do something about it. He met with activists and heads of state, built a network, and started a foundation, Quilliam, funded by the British government, to combat the rising Islamist tide in Europe and elsewhere, using his intimate knowledge of recruitment tactics in order to reverse extremism and persuade Muslims that the ‘narrative’ used to recruit them (that the West is evil and the cause of all of Muslim suffering), is false. Radical, first published in the UK, is a fascinating and important look into one man's journey out of extremism and into something else entirely. This U.S. edition contains a "Preface for US readers" and a new, updated epilogue.

Terror in France

The Rise of Jihad in the West
Author: Gilles Kepel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884640
Category: Political Science
Page: 240
View: 1791

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The virulent new brand of Islamic extremism threatening the West In November 2015, ISIS terrorists massacred scores of people in Paris with coordinated attacks on the Bataclan concert hall, cafés and restaurants, and the national sports stadium. On Bastille Day in 2016, an ISIS sympathizer drove a truck into crowds of vacationers at the beaches of Nice, and two weeks later an elderly French priest was murdered during morning Mass by two ISIS militants. Here is Gilles Kepel's explosive account of the radicalization of a segment of Muslim youth that led to those attacks—and of the failure of governments in France and across Europe to address it. It is a book everyone in the West must read. Terror in France shows how these atrocities represent a paroxysm of violence that has long been building. The turning point was in 2005, when the worst riots in modern French history erupted in the poor, largely Muslim suburbs of Paris after the accidental deaths of two boys who had been running from the police. The unrest—or "French intifada"—crystallized a new consciousness among young French Muslims. Some have fallen prey to the allure of "war of civilizations" rhetoric in ways never imagined by their parents and grandparents. This is the highly anticipated English edition of Kepel's sensational French bestseller, first published shortly after the Paris attacks. Now fully updated to reflect the latest developments and featuring a new introduction by the author, Terror in France reveals the truth about a virulent new wave of jihadism that has Europe as its main target. Its aim is to divide European societies from within by instilling fear, provoking backlash, and achieving the ISIS dream—shared by Europe's Far Right—of separating Europe's growing Muslim minority community from the rest of its citizens.

Children of Jihad

A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East
Author: Jared Cohen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781592403240
Category: History
Page: 278
View: 1563

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Documents the author's travels to the Middle East in search of an understanding of radical Islamic violence, journeys during which he focused his research on Muslim youth and learned about his interviewees' perspectives and experiences at the risk of his own life.

My House in Damascus

An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution
Author: Diana Darke
Publisher: Haus Publishing
ISBN: 1908323655
Category: History
Page: 260
View: 2539

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The ongoing conflict in Syria has made clear just how limited the general knowledge of Syrian society and history is in the West. For those watching the headlines and wondering what led the nation to this point, and what might come next, this book is a perfect place to start developing a deeper understanding. Based on decades of living and working in Syria, My House in Damascus offers an inside view of Syria’s cultural and complex religious and ethnic communities. Diana Darke, a fluent Arabic speaker who moved to Damascus in 2004 after decades of regular visits, details the ways that the Assad regime, and its relationship to the people, differs from the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya—and why it was thus always less likely to collapse quickly, even in the face of widespread unrest and violence. Through the author’s firsthand experiences of buying and restoring a house in the old city of Damascus, which she later offered as a sanctuary to friends, Darke presents a clear picture of the realities of life on the ground and what hope there is for Syria’s future.

The Library at the Edge of the World

A Novel
Author: Felicity Hayes-McCoy
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062663739
Category: Fiction
Page: 368
View: 6383

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November 2017 LibraryReads Pick In the bestselling tradition of Fannie Flagg and Jenny Colgan comes Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s U.S. debut about a local librarian who must find a way to rebuild her community and her own life in this touching, enchanting novel set on Ireland’s stunning West Coast. As she drives her mobile library van between villages of Ireland’s West Coast, Hanna Casey tries not to think about a lot of things. Like the sophisticated lifestyle she abandoned after finding her English barrister husband in bed with another woman. Or that she’s back in Lissbeg, the rural Irish town she walked away from in her teens, living in the back bedroom of her overbearing mother’s retirement bungalow. Or, worse yet, her nagging fear that, as the local librarian and a prominent figure in the community, her failed marriage and ignominious return have made her a focus of gossip. With her teenage daughter, Jazz, off traveling the world and her relationship with her own mother growing increasingly tense, Hanna is determined to reclaim her independence by restoring a derelict cottage left to her by her great-aunt. But when the threatened closure of the Lissbeg Library puts her personal plans in jeopardy, Hanna finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of the Finfarran Peninsula’s fragmented community. And she’s about to discover that the neighbors she’d always kept at a distance have come to mean more to her than she ever could have imagined. Told with heart and abundant charm, The Library at the Edge of the World is a joyous story about the meaning of home and the importance of finding a place where you truly belong. “Heart-warming . . . reminiscent of Maeve Binchy and Roisin Meaney.”—Irish Examiner

The Bread of Angels

A Journey to Love and Faith
Author: Stephanie Saldana
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307280462
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 305
View: 5418

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The author presents an account of her year in Damascus, where she studied Jesus's role in Islam, witnessed an influx of refugees displaced by America's Middle East invasion, and fell in love with a young French novice monk.

Garden of the Lost and Abandoned

The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves
Author: Jessica Yu
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544617061
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 384
View: 3337

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The fascinating and joyful story of Gladys Kalibbala, a Ugandan "orphan sleuth," who works to connect missing and castaway children to their families

The Origins of ISIS

The Collapse of Nations and Revolution in the Middle East
Author: Simon Mabon,Stephen Royal
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1786721481
Category: Political Science
Page: 256
View: 1673

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The rapid expansion of ISIS and its swathe of territorial gains across the Middle East have been headline news since 2013. Yet much media attention and analysis has been focussed upon the military exploits, brutal tactics and radicalisation methods employed by the group. While ISIS remains a relatively new phenomenon, it is important to consider the historical and local dynamics that have shaped the emergence of the group in the past decade. In this book Simon Mabon and Stephen Royle provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of the roots, tactics and ideology of the group, exploring the interactions of the various participants involved in the formative stages of ISIS. Based on original scholarly sources and first-hand research in the region, this book provides an authoritative and closely-analysed look at the emergence of one of the defining forces of the early twenty-first century.

DC Jazz

Stories of Jazz Music in Washington, DC
Author: Maurice Jackson,Blair A. Ruble
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626165912
Category: Music
Page: 208
View: 9137

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The familiar history of jazz music in the United States begins with its birth in New Orleans, moves upstream along the Mississippi River to Chicago, then by rail into New York before exploding across the globe. That telling of history, however, overlooks the pivotal role the nation's capital has played for jazz for a century. Some of the most important clubs in the jazz world have opened and closed their doors in Washington, DC, some of its greatest players and promoters were born there and continue to reside in the area, and some of the institutions so critical to national support of this uniquely American form of music, including Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., are rooted in the city. Closer to the ground, a network of local schools like the Duke Ellington High School for the Performing Arts, jazz programs at the University of the District of Columbia and Howard University, churches, informal associations, locally focused media, and clubs keeps the music alive to this day. Noted historians Maurice Jackson and Blair Ruble, editors of this book, present a collection of original and fascinating stories about the DC jazz scene throughout its history, including a portrait of the cultural hotbed of Seventh and U Streets, the role of jazz in desegregating the city, a portrait of the great Edward "Duke" Ellington’s time in DC, notable women in DC jazz, and the seminal contributions of the University of District of Columbia and Howard University to the scene. The book also includes three jazz poems by celebrated Washington, DC, poet E. Ethelbert Miller. Collectively, these stories and poems underscore the deep connection between creativity and place. A copublishing initiative with the Historical Society of Washington, DC, the book includes over thirty museum-quality photographs and a guide to resources for learning more about DC jazz.

Blindsided by the Taliban

A Journalist’s Story of War, Trauma, Love, and Loss
Author: Carmen Gentile
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 1510729704
Category: History
Page: 240
View: 6824

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I turn to see a rocket-propelled grenade screaming toward me. The ordinance strikes me in the side of the head, instantly blinding me in one eye and crushing the right side of my face. On September 9, 2010, while embedded with an Army unit and talking with locals in a small village in eastern Afghanistan, journalist Carmen Gentile was struck in the face by a rocket propelled grenade. Inexplicably, the grenade did not explode and Gentile survived, albeit with the right side of his face shattered and blinded in one eye. Making matters worse, his engagement was on the ropes and his fiancée absent from his bedside. Blindsided by the Taliban chronicles the author’s numerous missteps and shortcomings while coming to terms with injury and a lost love. Inventive and unprecedented surgeries would ultimately save Gentile’s face and eyesight, but the depression and trauma that followed his physical and emotional injuries proved a much harder recovery. Ultimately, Gentile would find that returning to the front lines and continuing the work he loved was the only way to become whole again. As only he can, Gentile recounts the physical and mental recovery which included staring only at the ground for a month, a battle with opiate-induced constipation and a history of drug addiction, attacks by Taliban assassins born of post-traumatic stress, the Jedi-like powers of General David Petraeus, and finding normalcy under falling mortars in an Afghan valley. The result is an unapologetic, self-deprecating, occasionally cringe-worthy, and always candid account of loss and redemption in the face of the self-doubt common to us all. Blindsided by the Taliban also features the author’s photos from the field that depict the realities of life in Afghanistan for soldiers and civilians alike. #KissedbytheTaliban

The Far Enemy

Why Jihad Went Global
Author: Fawaz A. Gerges
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139445337
Category: History
Page: N.A
View: 4557

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Since September 11, Al Qaeda has been portrayed as an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad, against the Christian West. However, as the historian and commentator Fawaz A. Gerges argues, the reality is rather different. In fact, Al Qaeda represents a minority within the jihadist movement, and its strategies have been criticized and opposed by religious nationalists among the jihadis, who prefer to concentrate on changing the Muslim world rather than taking the fight global. Based on primary field research, the author unravels the story of the jihadist movement and explores its philosophies, its structure, the rifts and tensions that split its ranks, and why some members, like Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, favored international over local strategies in taking the war to the West. Gerges asks where the jihadist movement is going, and whether it can be transformed into a non-violent, socio-political force.

I Speak for Myself

The Autobiography of John Haynes Holmes
Author: John Haynes Holmes
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Civil rights movements
Page: 308
View: 7780

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Inside ISIS

The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army
Author: Benjamin Hall
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 1455590568
Category: Political Science
Page: 320
View: 6212

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A year ago, few people had heard of ISIS-- today, they are a major terrorist threat. Despite numerous warnings from intelligence services, ISIS's rise to power has left countries around the world floundering for solutions. Today, we face a threat that is more violent, powerful and financially stronger than ever before. In this book, Journalist Benjamin Hall will provide insights by answering the basic questions we still don't have the answers to; Who are they? Where did they come from? How are they so successful, so quickly? How can they be stopped? By embedding himself behind enemy lines, Hall provides a riveting narrative based on firsthand experience and personal interviews. He goes beyond the vicious jihadis, to reveal a generation of chaos, and uncover a volatile region engulfed in turmoil. Hall reveals why ISIS is a problem that will define the Middle East - and the West - for decades to come.