Neil MacFarquhar, a national correspondent for The New York Times and the paper's Cairo bureau chief from 2001 to 2006, will discuss important developments in the Middle East, in light of U.S. military directions and foreign policies, and give a brief reading from his novel The Sand Café.
His new book, now out in paperback, satirically exposes the perils and plunders of reportage in the midst of the 1991 Gulf War, and is set in the confines of a Saudi Arabia hotel. As front lines heat up with American troops amassing on the Kuwait/Iraq border, tensions brew between the press corps and TV personalities -- all vying to be first to "break" the news of war.
Neil MacFarquhar has reported extensively across the swath of countries from Iran to Morocco, with a particular emphasis on Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt. He wrote from the same region for The Associated Press from 1988 to 1995, including two years based in Jerusalem. His exposure to the Middle East started early, even before he entered first grade at Esso Elementary School in Marsa Brega, Libya and continued through Stanford University, where his senior thesis focused on the Arab oil embargo as an economic weapon.
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Added by Pamela Troy on October 18, 2007