This Site:

It started with an email I sent to friends and loved ones (see HOW IT STARTED). I won’t get into the content here…read all about it on the site. Well, within a very short time, I got my first batch of responses (See Post below). And of course, some were what I expected…that is, of people calling me out for being annoying with my mass email…However, most felt an opportunity to engage. I am now hoping that those who are interested can come to this site not only to find useful links to explore in regard to these issues, but also to find an avenue for expression and satisfaction to curiosity. For those who are interested, I hope to facilitate the development of an arena for ANYONE to speak and engage in thoughtful, informed dialogue. That said, I am specifically interested in hearing and learning from folks are not as well read about these issues.

As those who know me, know all to well…I study issues of the Middle East for a living…Thus I have not only the time, but I get paid to research and to disseminate. Most folks, however, are busy with lives that require their attention elsewhere. This is precisely the point! Following the example of Rashid Khalidi (Professor of Middle Eastern History at Columbia University in New York City & author of “Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints in the Middle East 2004)…My inspiration for this Web Log is to provide an easy space for folks who are busy with their day to day, and yet folks who want to engage such topics, to find it easy, if they so desire, to get themselves involved in discussions, and to facilitate the quest for knowing more without intimidation.

I hope anyone who decides to participate shows respect for all others. This is not a place for ridicule or attack. That said, people should also feel free to disagree, and to attempt to persuade others…preferably with facts/evidence and/or redirects to informed sources. We get enough misinformation from the mainstream media…This is no place for uniformed rants; but it definitely is a place for one to feel free to ask questions, ask others’ opinions, and to find answers…again, if they so desire.

All said, I am hoping we can get something going. My theory is that you all must talk such topics over beers, dinner, on your lunch breaks, when you catch the news…why not talk about it here…We are all listening! (Or I am at least!)