- Editor's Note
The revolutionary changes we have witnessed during the first half of 2011 show few signs of slowing, and as a result interest in this region remains unusually high. Because our mission here is not only to track events (though the unusual length of the "Chronology" section in this issue reflects our tracking of the drama of the first months of this year), our issue offers a mix of articles offering a deeper analysis of the historical and cultural factors behind current events.
Although narcotics trafficking is only occasionally a subject of scholarly interest, it is a regrettable but often important regional issue. Ryan Gingeras of the Naval Post-graduate School offers us an examination of the history of Turkish drug smuggling and the involvement of factions within the Turkish "deep state."
Two articles deal with issues related to modern Lebanon since the end of its civil war. Sami Baroudi and Imad Salamey, both of Lebanese American University, address the question of US-French rapprochement over the issue of Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon after years of disagreements over Iraq. Faten Ghosn of the University of Arizona and Amal Khoury of Guilford College offer an analysis of "Lebanon after the Civil War: Peace or the Illusion of Peace?"
Two very different articles round out the issue. Nicholas Rowe of the University of Auckland studies the role that dance, specifically the dabka (dabkeh), has played in defining both Palestinian and Israeli identity, as the dance was appropriated by both sides in the dispute.
Finally, Reza Ghasimi, a retired World Bank official, uses internal World Bank archives to delineate a mostly forgotten sidelight of the Iranian oil crisis of the 1950s, when the World Bank considered running the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, in "Iran's Oil Nationalization and Mossadegh's Involvement with the World Bank."
The book review article is "Lebanon: Untangling the Web" by David S. Sorenson, dealing with recent books on Lebanon. In addition to the full range of book reviews, there is the aforementioned expanded "Chronology."
Between issues, be sure to follow our several series of online publications at http://www.mei.edu and my daily blog, the MEI Editor's Blog, at http://mideasti.blogspot.com. [End Page 361]
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