By Mehran Kamrava
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Extra resources for The Modern Middle East, Third Edition: A Political History since the First World War
I am grateful to TWQ’s editor, Shahid Qadir, for permission to quote extensively from the article here. My wife, Melisa Çanli, deserves special thanks. Over the nearly five years that it took to write this book, she put up with my many solitary hours behind the computer, my frequent mood swings, and my far-too-frequent frowns. All along, she never wavered in her loving support for my work. As I was in the final stages of preparing the book, she gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Dilara. As a meager token of my love and gratitude, I dedicate this book to them both.
In fact, many of their development projects, which enriched members of the political elite and raised the tax burden on ordinary people, were so deeply resented that Yezid III (r. 34 With the gradual routinization of the dynasty came new challenges, many of which the later Umayyad caliphs were ill prepared to handle. 35 Although some individuals from these groups could reach very high offices in the Umayyad court, they were still subject to discrimination and at times even maltreatment. Adam Mez, the German scholar of Islam, has observed about the status of religious minorities during the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates that “the most amazing feature of the Islamic Government is the number of non-Muslim officers in state service.
PART I A Political History of the Middle East AS HOME TO SOME OF THE world’s earliest civilizations and the birthplace of three great religions, the Middle East offers a rich tapestry of human life and deeply ingrained traditions. At the same time, the region’s political history, both classic and modern, has been punctuated by the rise and fall of great powers, colonial domination, the birth or creation of new countries, and uneven marches toward political and economic development. The multiple consequences of these developments for the Middle East have been particularly pronounced since the early decades of the twentieth century.