About the Book
A counter-point to prevailing assumptions about Arab culture, the 6th edition of this seminal work is a timely, lucid, and engaging guide to the values and cultures of the Arab world, based on Dr. Nydell's decades of working and living in the region, and her training as a professional linguist for the US State Department.
Book Synopsis The definitive guide to understanding Arab culture for three decades.
For nearly three decades, diplomats, students, business people and governments have relied on Dr. Margaret Nydell's seminal work as the essential guide to comprehending an immensely varied culture. Covering all aspects of Arab life, from religion and society to social norms and communication styles, this all-encompassing guide reveals what the often misunderstood Arab culture is really like.
Each chapter, including the examples, all statistics and charts, and each country overview has been extensively updated to reflect current events. This candid and readable guide for non-specialists promotes understanding between modern-day Arabs and Westerners without pushing a political agenda. It beautifully captures the contrasts and characteristics of a great, largely misunderstood civilization and brings them vividly to life.
This highly anticipated sixth edition features completely new material in the following sections:
- Introduction: "Patterns of Change,"
- Chapter 5, "Men and Women" - changes in women's rights
- Chapter 11, "Islamic Fundamentalism," and the inclusion of ISIS
- Chapter 12, "Anti-Americanism," including implications for Europe
- Chapter 13, "Arabs and Muslims in the West"
- Chapters 14, 15, and 16, "Arab Countries"
For fifteen years, Margaret Nydell's Understanding Arabs
has been used by countless Americans preparing to work or live in the Arab world. It is a unique source; there is nothing like it. Written with wit as well as seriousness, it provides a sound cultural appreciation and basic data on the region... Her personal message of the tragic events of September 11 should be required reading by all who make decisions or write commentary on the Arab world.--Max L. Gross, Joint Military Intelligence College
For her understanding of the Arab mind, her expertise in teaching, and her skill in crafting this book, Dr. Nydell is truly a national treasure. Understanding Arabs
should be required reading for any professional or policy maker who is involved in any way with working with Arabs or on matters impacting the Middle East.--F.L. Rusty Capps, former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, and President of Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence Training Partners, LLC.
Margaret Nydell blends her informed understanding of Arab history and contemporary politics with deep and thoughtful insight into Arab culture and psychology. Many authors know much about the former, and a few know much about the latter, but only Understanding Arabs
conveys a deep understanding of the synergies of both. This is essential reading for those working in - or with - Arab countries, or seeking to understand Arab society.--Lawrence R. Velte Associate Professor of Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, and Associate, Washington Center for Protocol, Inc.
Middle East specialists have long relied on their worn copies of Understanding Arabs for insights about Arab social behaviour.. A whole generation of U.S. diplomats were introduced to the subject by Dr. Nydell in the 1970s and 1980s. In this concise and practical guide, she shares her wealth of scholarly and real-world experience, and she does so without the psycho-babble that too often dominates the other surveys of the subject.--Ambassador David L. Mack, Vice President, Middle East Institute
Still the only volume of its kind. This timely and needed volume supports serious-minded efforts to learn, understand, and communicate with Arabs and Muslims. Nydell combines her many years of experience living in the region with her special linguistic expertise to offer today's students insights they are obliged to critically consider before study or research abroad. The accessible presentation succeeds in humanizing as it reveals both the difficult issues and the abiding values that govern people's experiences. Nydell reminds us that in the Middle East and North Africa there will be much more to grasp as continued rapid change alters those lives daily.--Terrence M. Potter, Visiting Associate Professor, Georgetown University
This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to comprehend the Middle East. The writing is fluid, full of examples, and updated to include the Arab Spring. Dr. Nydell, a world renowned linguist with decades of practical experience in the field, is an authoritative voice. She provides profound insights into Arabs' perceptions underlying political events, and our interactions with each other.--Elizabeth McKune, Executive Director, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, and Former US Ambassador to the State of Qatar
This is an important and fascinating book, especially for Americans in the crucial time in U.S.-Arab relations. Dr. Nydell presents a timely, lucid, and engaging guide to the values and cultures of the Arab world, based on her many years of working and living there, and on her training as a professional linguist. This candid and wonderfully readable book captures the contrasts and the characteristics of this great civilization and brings them vividly to life for a Western audience.--Karin Ryding, PhD, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Professor of Arabic, and Chair of the Department of Arabic Language, Georgetown University
This latest edition of Understanding Arabs
is a great introduction to the Arab world for both the general public and college students who wish to expand their knowledge of the region. Nydell's book is of tremendous use in the classroom, as it engages the cultural, linguistic, religious and political diversity of the Arab people and the Arab lands.--Douja Mariem Mamelouk, Assistant Professor, French and Arabic Literatures, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
About the Author
Dr. Margaret Nydell is a widely respected scholar and professor of Modern Standard Arabic, Arabic dialectology, and many Arabic regional dialects. She was an Arabic linguist for the Foreign Service Institute and the U.S. Department of State, and has directed the latter s School of Advanced Arabic Training in Tunisia. The author of ten books, she currently lectures on Arab cultural orientation for numerous government and private organizations. Dr. Nydell holds a master s degree in Arabic and a PhD in applied linguistics, both from Georgetown University. She has lived and worked in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Cairo.