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By Christopher Catherwood

In The short heritage of the center East writer Christopher Catherwood makes an attempt to teach how our whole international is eventually formed by means of occasions that experience opened up or have their starting place within the center East. Catherwood insists that, until we let lack of understanding to blind us—which to a undeniable volume it already has—the heart East mustn't ever be seen as ''some unusual position over there.'' 3 of the world's significant equipped religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—all stem from the realm, as do defining civilizations from historic Egypt to Babylonia. Catherwood examines this storied quarter in the course of the lens of the current via asking those questions. How did the Palestinian factor come up? Why does Osama bin weighted down harp at the glories of Moorish Spain? Why did Islamic extremism turn out to be an alternative choice to Arab socialist nationalism for thus many? contemporary headlines have transparent historic motives, and The short heritage of the center East will convey that idea into concentration.

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Extra resources for A Brief History of the Middle East: From Abraham to Arafat

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It began around 1800 BC — two centuries after the Hittites arrived in the region — reached its zenith in terms of power and size, around 1380-1350 BC, and was finally destroyed by a group known to history as the Sea Peoples, thought to be from around present day Libya and other parts of Northern Africa in around 1200 BC. (Indo-European is now used as a language term, to include languages as far apart geographically as English, Greek, Latin, Persian and Hindi. While its origins remain disputed, the proto-Indo-European ancestral language is thought by most to have originated in what is now southern Russia, and to have existed as a single language until between 3000 and 2000 BC the wide range here perhaps indicating that there is no real consensus.

This is through its most famous inhabitant, Abraham, from the Sumerian city of Ur in today's Iraq. Right up to and including our own century, Abraham, the Patriarch, and founder of Judaism, has been revered by millions around the world. Sadly, though, many of his current followers dispute his legacy, often violently. For Abraham, as we will discover later, is as highly regarded by Muslims as he is by Jews and Christians. We see this in the twenty-first century in the Intifada, the ongoing struggle between Jews and predominantly Muslim 30 THE DAWN OF MONOTHEISM Palestinians.

Cyrus had begun his imperial journey by subduing the Mede kingdom in the north-west of modern Iran and founded an empire that was to last until it was overcome by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, over 200 years after its foundation. As a result of these conquests the empire Cyrus established is sometimes known as that of the Medes and Persians, and he would be especially revered by his new Jewish subjects for allowing them to return to their homeland in 516 after 70 years in exile. The Persian Empire used Aramaic as its official language, and introduced the idea of hierarchical rule, since considerable power was devolved from the centre to local commanders, or satraps.

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