From the publisher:
At a time when the Middle East dominates media headlines more than ever – and for reasons that become ever more heartbreaking – Shifting Sands brings together fifteen impassioned and informed voices to talk about a region with unlimited potential, and yet which can feel, as one writer puts it, ‘as though the world around me is on fire’? Collecting together the thoughts and insights of writers who live or have deep roots in there, Shifting Sands takes a look at aspects of the Middle East from the catastrophic long-term effects of the carving up of the region by the colonial powers after World War One to the hopes and struggles of the Arab spring in relation to Egypt, Iran and Syria. And it asks questions such as: what is it like to be a writer in the Middle East? What does the future hold? And where do we go from here? For all those who are wearied by the debates surrounding the Middle East – often at best ill-informed and at worst, defeatist propaganda – this intelligent, reasoned perspective on life in the Middle East is a breath of fresh air.