This book is not a history of the past half century of the Middle East, not a memoir, not an autobiography. It is just what the title says: windows. Windows meant to illuminate the times. Windows opened by journalism.
It is not a chronological account of people and events but an impressionist literary experiment. Stories gliding along streams of thought rather than daily entries in a journal or systematic press coverage.
While based in Lebanon and Cyprus, Michael Jansen has travelled the Arab world from Yemen in the east to Algeria in the west.
“A unique perspective on the Middle East over the past half century. Michael Jansen has been everywhere, met everyone and understood the forces of history and personality that have shaped the region. By giving the reader snapshots of the great historical figures and the ordinary people to whom she listened carefully, she shows how the area degenerated and incurred so much harmful foreign intervention. It is a personal story, but it is also an important document.” – Charles Glass, former ABC News Chief Middle East Correspondent, author of Tribes with Flags and Syria Burning.
“I was so engrossed when first reading her story and the events rolling backward and forward, when I looked at the time it was two in the morning. She pursued and presented events as they were, describing in minute detail the surroundings and the people, the spirit of the Middle East, the revolutions and the defeats, the social changes and upheavals without trying to explain or analyze, leaving that to the reader. Her observations show she understands the Arabs.” – Dr. Lamia al- Gailani Werr, Iraqi archaeologist and author.