The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday

The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday

A New York Times correspondent's affectionate, irreverent portrait of the Middle East he's known since childhood—an unexplored place hidden behind the usual headlines.

Since his boyhood in Qadhafi's Libya, Neil MacFarquhar has developed a counterintuitive sense that the Middle East, despite all the bloodshed in its recent history, is a place of warmth, humanity, and generous eccentricity.

One of the Washington Post's Best Books of 2009

“Few in the West pay attention to these arguments within Islam—or to the daily tribulations of homegrown reformers—and that is the ultimate strength of this book. Mr. MacFarquhar has provided a sobering and heartbreaking record of these quiet struggles.”

The Sand Cafe

The Sand Café

Saudi Arabia, August 1990. As U.S. forces mass on the border with Iraq, preparing to throw Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, more than 1,000 foreign correspondents and other media species are jockeying for space. With no story to report, the press is getting restive.

Angus Dalziel, an up-and-coming war reporter, finds his attention divided between dull military briefings and Thea Makdisi, a smoldering, spirited cable news reporter. She is sassy while he is buttoned-down; she is exotic while he is studious; she is TV while he is print.

A woundingly witty black comedy of those who bring us news from the front lines.

The Sand Café is what Ernie Pyle left out of Here is Your War — the funny parts."

—P.J. O'Rourke