Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 7:00 PM
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
An Emmy-award winning journalist and BBC television and radio correspondent brings forth an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979.
About the Book
In "Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East," author Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy.
With vivid storytelling, extensive historical research, and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran's fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS.
Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country's dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. "Black Wave" is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.
About the Author
Kim Ghattas is a BBC radio and TV correspondent. Author of "The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power," she was previously a Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times and part of an Emmy Award-winning BBC team covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict of 2006. Her work has appeared in Time Magazine, the Washington Post, and more. Born in Beirut, she currently lives in Washington, D.C.