“Beware of Small States” by David Hirst

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“Beware of Small States” by author David Hirst is an intense narrative of the challenges facing Lebanon and its history of conflict. Hirst puts Lebanon in the bigger context of the Arab-Israeli war and details Israel’s fixation of Lebanon, a country it has fought to dominate many times.

Banned in six Arab countries, and kidnapped twice during Lebanon’s civil wars, Hirst is also a former Middle East correspondent for the prestigious Guardian Newspaper.

A lengthy book and easy to read, Hirst offers a detailed understanding of Lebanon and explores the rise of Hizbollah and the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. If you can understand Lebanon’s history and challenges, you can understand the larger regional conflicts in the Middle East, Hirst argues. He does a good job of bringing history together and exploring its impact on today.

The Middle East has been overwritten but Hirst’s book helps bring understanding to a complex region.

Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East
By David Hirst
Nation Books, April 1, 2010
428 Pages

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania