Who are the writers you recognize as shaping your vision of the ME region?
Maxime Rodinson. Walid Khalidi. Mohamed Sid Ahmed. Fred Halliday. Ernest Gellner. Kanaan Makiya. Edward Said – even though, of course, they disagreed strongly with each other. Perhaps above all Israel Shahak, whom you may not think of as a writer, but he wrote indefatigably – thousands of pages translating bits of the Hebrew press which he knew the government press office would never translate; long handwritten personal letters; and one or two important small books, especially “Jewish History, Jewish Religion”. A strong and brave man, not always right perhaps, but one of those who makes it just about tolerable to be a member of the human race…