But mostly it was because I was able to research in detail a story that I have come to see as a theme all around the world: the good things that the gospel can bring in the midst of violent Islamism.
Also inspiring was the story of the incredible heroism of the Catholic missionary fathers who stayed on in Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s — holding the hand of dying friend, as they put it — knowing they were laying down their own lives for their adopted country.
In 2005 we published a new edition, updating the 1998 original. It was great to report the Church moving forward. In the Middle East, the number of secret believers and underground churches had risen. And in several countries of North Africa, churches were emerging from the underground and establishing legal space for themselves as Christians — communities of former Muslims peacefully following Christ.
Albert Hourani A History of the Arab Peoples. Masterly history of the Arabs; the sort of book worth taking on holiday and giving a careful read, to give proper context to everything you might subsequently read or hear about this region. The later editions have a post-2001 postscript.
Karine Bennoune Your Fatwa does not apply here untold stories from the fight against Muslim Fundamentalism. Brave and startling book from an Algerian Muslim.
Aljazeera.net News site of the famous Omani satellite broadcaster.
Arab News Saudi newspaper.
Sat7.org News of the innovative broadcaster that serves the Church of the Arab World.
Arab World Ministries