The Kingdom by Robert Lacey #BookReview

the kingdom. arabia and the house of sa'ud

The Kingdom is also the story of the House of Sa’ud, a dynasty that has fought its way from poverty and obscurity to wealth and power. A family characterised by fierce loyalty among its members, ruthlessness towards its enemies, and dedication to one of the world’s most severe and demanding creeds. In the updated version of his book that Robert Lacey is currently preparing, he examines the challenges facing the world’s wealthiest royal family. What are its chances of survival in the 21st century? The Kingdom by Robert Lacey is the prequel of Inside the Kingdom, that I recently reviewed. …

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Inside the Kingdom by Robert Lacey #BookReview

Inside the Kingdom by Robert Lacey

Saudi Arabia is a country defined by paradox: it sits atop some of the richest oil deposits in the world, and yet the country’s roiling disaffection produced sixteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. It is a modern state, driven by contemporary technology, and yet its powerful religious establishment would have its customs and practices rolled back to match those of the Prophet Muhammad over a thousand years ago. In a world where events in the Middle East continue to have geopolitical consequences far beyond the region’s boundaries, an understanding of this complex nation is essential. With Inside the Kingdom, British …

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A Line in the Sand by James Barr #BookReview

A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the struggle that shaped the Middle East

In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. The creation of Britain’s ‘mandates’ of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France’s in Lebanon and Syria, made the two …

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Andreas Weiß (Short Story Series #20)

So let’s continue with Andreas’ story in Salzburg. The last one was over here. After the weekend with his ex-wife and all their friends, Andreas needed a break. The whole exhibition went perfect and he was happy for Emma, she finally had her dream come true. So he did his duty as a friend, but now it’s Andreas time. He remembered a beautiful, almost hidden, book store near his hotel, so he decided to take a walk over. Little did he know how much joy would that bring to his life. The book store had expanded a bit and added …

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5 Great Reasons to Learn French

paris french flag

As you guys know, I am in love with languages in general, and some of them in particular. I have studied French in school for many years, and recently I wanted to rekindle that knowledge. And I wanted to remind myself why French is such a great language to know. And I want to share those reasons with you. Of course, there are other reasons as well, but these are some of my favorites. Here we go: 1. French is a beautiful language Just listen to it. 🙂 It’s simple. Now really, it had an amazing pronunciation and sound even …

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Conclave by Robert Harris #BookReview

The Pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth. I am talking about Conclave by Robert Harris, a book I heard about recently. As you might already know, I have something that draws me to this types of books. Yet again, we find ourselves in Rome, in the …

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5 Great Reasons to Learn Spanish

se habla espanol

I believe Spanish is one of the most important languages of the world today. I myself have some knowledge of Spanish and I wanted to think of some reasons why Spanish is useful. All of the below are my own personal opinion, of course, but the reasons why Spanish is useful don’t stop there. Let me know what you think of the reasons I picked and what else can be added to the list. Here we go: 1. Spanish is beautiful Alongside French, Spanish is an amazingly musical, sweet language. It sounds very beautiful and learning Spanish will let you …

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