The Arab countries and the Arab Middle East have been projected as homogeneous and united social and political entities. Yet beneath the surface, ethnic tensions and conflicts simmer. Some of these conflicts are well kwn and the issues arising therefrom are part of the regular diet of news. Other tensions involving ethnic mirities and ethnic diasporas are less well kwn. But they are less problematic for regional actors. Particularly so since they are t only influenced by global developments, but they also significantly influence political, ecomic, cultural and ideological regional and intrastate developments. The purpose of this book is to highlight the factors, forces, and circumstances that affect inter-communal relations in the region, and point toward strategies and circumstances that promote or hinder coexistence and integration, or antagonism. By studying diasporas in the Middle East in terms of their significant regional factors in relation to the Middle Eastern diaspora worldwide, this book makes an important and unique contribution to linking the study of Middle Eastern diasporas to the general new field of diasporic studies.
Moshe Maoz is Professor Emeritus of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. He has published many books and articles on the political and social history of the Middle East.