Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Educating Myself

When I read or watch the news these days, I'm constantly challenged by the new (to me) names of cities, factions of political parties, and religious leaders mentioned. While I've tried with some effort in the past to educate myself on the Middle East, its history, and the different religious groups represented, I'm taking it a step farther. Currently, I'm reading Bernard Lewis' book, "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East." I did a bit of research and Lewis is considered one of the foremost scholars on the Mid East. I'm only on the introduction but it's interesting so far. Primarily, my search for greater understanding stems from the fact that I don't understand the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. What has anyone else read that relates to the Middle East and its history? Any good reads?