Water Sheikhs and Dam Builders

Water Sheikhs and Dam Builders : Stories of People and Water in the Middle East

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Description

Francesca de Chatel explores the problems and paradoxes of water resources in the Middle East and North Africa. She takes an entirely new angle on the much-discussed question of water scarcity by examining the history and culture of water from a human perspective. Unlike other books on the subject that provide specialized geopolitical, economic, and hydrological analyses, this book presents the reality of water scarcity through the eyes of those confronting the problem on a daily basis.

The author provides a colorful and diverse portrait of a resource that is inextricably entwined with the history and future of the region and its peoples. Using research obtained in her travels, she combines lively character sketches, interviews, travel descriptions, historical anecdotes, and hard facts to reveal the complexity of this invaluable resource.

Besides identifying the causes of the current water crisis, the book also discusses the reason for a lack of awareness among the general public, and deals with a variety of themes: the role of water in religions and ideologies, the impact of large-scale water projects on people's perception of the resource, and the politics of water pricing. In exploring the past, present, and future of water in the region, de Chatel exposes the roots of the current water crisis.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 222 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0765803771
  • 9780765803771
  • 2,361,551

Table of contents

List of Maps

List of Illustrations

Glossary

Acknowledgements

Prologue: Abundance

1. The Death of the Garden of Eden

2. A Gift from God

3. Fading Traditions

4. Chafa and Chirb, the Laws of Water

5. The Value of Water

6. Myths of Concrete and Steel

7. Making the Desert Bloom

8. Bitter Waters

9. War and Visions of Peace

10. Relearning the Meaning of Water

11. Four Stories of People and Water

Epilogue: The Smell of Rain

Bibliography

Index
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Review quote

-[Water Sheiks and Dam Builders] is filled with rich findings. . . . [T]he book provides rich and original narratives of perceptions and reflections on water in the Middle East and North Africa. Its greatest strength is the carefully researched narratives that the author presents. . . . [Chatel] illuminates the voices of Arabs that are rarely heard. Importantly, it provokes many interesting questions about future policy choices that governments and communities in the region will have to make as water becomes scarcer.-

--Nadya Hajj Parks, Arab Studies Quarterly

-Fascinating reading. She [de ChAtel] combines excellent understanding of the present problems relating to water in the region with keen appreciation of its history and of cultural nuances. The whole is presented in an attractive and lively style.-

--Robin Twite, Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information "[Water Sheiks and Dam Builders] is filled with rich findings. . . . [T]he book provides rich and original narratives of perceptions and reflections on water in the Middle East and North Africa. Its greatest strength is the carefully researched narratives that the author presents. . . . [Chatel] illuminates the voices of Arabs that are rarely heard. Importantly, it provokes many interesting questions about future policy choices that governments and communities in the region will have to make as water becomes scarcer."

--Nadya Hajj Parks, Arab Studies Quarterly

"Fascinating reading. She [de ChAtel] combines excellent understanding of the present problems relating to water in the region with keen appreciation of its history and of cultural nuances. The whole is presented in an attractive and lively style."

--Robin Twite, Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information "[Water Sheiks and Dam Builders] is filled with rich findings. . . . [T]he book provides rich and original narratives of perceptions and reflections on water in the Middle East and North Africa. Its greatest strength is the carefully researched narratives that the author presents. . . . [Chatel] illuminates the voices of Arabs that are rarely heard. Importantly, it provokes many interesting questions about future policy choices that governments and communities in the region will have to make as water becomes scarcer."

--Nadya Hajj Parks, Arab Studies Quarterly

"Fascinating reading. She [de ChAtel] combines excellent understanding of the present problems relating to water in the region with keen appreciation of its history and of cultural nuances. The whole is presented in an attractive and lively style."

--Robin Twite, Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information
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About Francesca de Chatel

Francesca de ChAtel is a journalist, editor, and author specializing in water issues in the Arab world and Mediterranean region. She received a PhD from the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
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