OZY on the Middle East
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because looking back may help prevent future conflicts.
Why is the Middle East the way it is? OZY explores three influencers.
Sayyid Qutb is widely regarded as al-Qaida’s biggest ideological influence, but he radicalized only after an American education. Here’s a look at how a devout but not particularly radical Muslim transformed into a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a virulent opponent of the secular Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and a martyr for the ages.
The Ottoman Empire ruled some of today’s most conflicted regions with a combination of military might and brilliant identity politics. Its longevity, and its PR strategies, might be a road map for the rocky rides ahead.
Roza Eskenazi was born broke and Jewish in Istanbul. She started her performing career by helping Grand Hotel Theater dancers who lived in her apartment building carry their costumes to the theater, wound up opening a night club in Greece, and took a German lover during World War II even as she was helping British secret agents and rescuing Jews. Her sinewy voice snaked through Middle Eastern instrumentation, soaked with a certain kind of longing. It was the sound of superlative.