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- DescriptionThe landscapes, cultures, and cuisines of deserts in the Middle East and North America have commonalities that have seldom been explored by scientists, nd have hardly been celebrated by society at large. Soran Desert ecologist Gary Nabhan grew up around Arab grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in a family that has been emigrating to the United States and Mexico from Leban for more than a century, and he himself frequently travels to the deserts of the Middle East. In an era when some Arabs and Americans have markedly distanced themselves from one ather, Nabhan has been prompted to explore their common ground, historically, ecologically, linguistically, and gastromically. Arab/American is t merely an exploration of his own multicultural roots but also a revelation of the deep cultural linkages between the inhabitants of two of the world's great desert regions. Here, in beautifully crafted essays, Nabhan explores how these seemingly disparate cultures are bound to each other in ways we would never imagine. With an extraordinary ear for language and a truly adventurous palate, Nabhan uncovers surprising convergences between the landscape ecology, ethgeography, agriculture, and cuisines of the Middle East and the binational Desert Southwest. There are the words and expressions that have moved slowly westward from Syria to Spain and to the New World to become incorporatedfaintly but recognizably?into the language of the people of the U.S.?Mexico borderlands. And there are the flavorspiquant mixtures of herbs and spices that have crept silently across the globe and into our kitchens without our kwing where they came from or how they got here. And there is much, much more. We also learn of others whose work historically spanned these deserts, from Hadji Ali (?Hi Jolly?), the first Moslem Arab to bring camels to America, to Robert Forbes, an Arizonan who explored the desert oases of the Sahara. These men crossed t only oceans but political and cultural barriers as well. We are, we recognize, builders of walls and borders, but with all the talk of ?homeland today, Nabhan reminds us that, quite often, borders are simply lines drawn in the sand.
- Author BiographyA MacArthur Fellow and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, Gary Paul Nabhan is Director of the Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University.
- Author(s)Gary Paul Nabhan
- PublisherUniversity of Arizona Press
- Date of Publication15/03/2008
- SubjectSociology & Anthropology: Professional
- Place of PublicationTucson
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Arizona Press
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight295 g
- Width147 mm
- Height226 mm
- Spine10 mm
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