Anatoly Zakharovich Yegorin-Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor, Head of the International Center "Russian-Arab Dialogue" of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, founder of the national school for the study of the history of Libya. He has written about 450 scientific publications and 40 books. In the works of A. Z. Egorin devoted to the Middle East and North Africa region, you can find answers to many questions of today, see the historical perspective of current events.
New work by A. Z. Egorin " The Arab East in the struggle for renewal (Libya, Egypt, Syria). Chronicle of Events, 2012-2013" (Moscow, IV RAS, 2014. 350 p.) introduces the reader to the most notable events in the region over the past two years.
This collection is one of the few documentary sources in Russian devoted to the recent history of the Middle East and North Africa, which gives the reader the opportunity to follow - in "real time" - the development of the political, economic, and military situation in the region and outlines the main directions of the formation of states after the "Arab Spring" of 2011.
The material in the book is organized in such a way as to draw the reader's attention both to the chronology of events (dated news reports from various news agencies) and to their historical and political significance (analytical articles). Despite the fact that the author's position on what is happening is obvious, it does not seem that the reader is being "pushed" to certain conclusions. Rather, the presented facts speak for themselves, arming the readership with information for reflection and inviting them to draw their own conclusions. Balanced structuring and objective presentation of the material contribute to the formation of the most complete picture of the situation in the region for those who are interested in this topic.
It is worth noting that a similar construction is typical for the previous work of A. Z. Egorin - " The Overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan Diary 2011-2012 " (Moscow, IV RAS, 2012. 432 p.), which describes in detail the development of the situation in Libya during this period and helps to assess the ambiguity and, sometimes, inconsistency of the events that led to the fall of the regime.
Unlike the previous one, the new collection covers the current situation more fully, not in the context of a single country (although the "Libyan scenario" turned out to be the most dramatic and revealing), but on the scale of the entire region, which, of course, is the advantage of this work.
Despite the fact that the book is mainly devoted to the period from 2012 to 2013, it also provides a brief" historical " digression: these are the author's personal observations, his memories of diplomatic service in the Soviet embassy in the Libyan Jamahiriya from 1974 to 1980. He also talks about his meetings with the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
Of interest is an article describing the evolution of information warfare. The author's review of media technologies is particularly important, since the "Arab Spring" campaigns launched by both Western and regional media had a significant impact on the course of the conflict and, in the case of Libya, served to form a new state ideology.
An extensive part of the collection covers events in Syria. "Introductory" analysis characterizes the features of various scenarios that can be implemented in this country, as well as assesses the very probability of their implementation. Then you can read articles that touch on the most pressing Syrian topics: the destruction of chemical weapons, relations with the United States and other Western countries, Russia's role in preventing the deployment of the" Libyan scenario", as well as the deterioration of the situation of Syrian Christians provoked by the military confrontation.
The complex of materials on Egypt examines the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the life of the country before the current president, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, came to power, and also assesses the actions of the army and its ability to influence the political climate.
The book is thus "divided" by country, offering the reader the most important information about what is happening, respectively, in Libya, Syria and Egypt. However, "cross-cutting" analytical articles devoted to foreign interference, including military interference, in the internal affairs of the region also deserve special attention. They refer not only to the direct NATO intervention in Libya in 2011, but also to the supply of weapons from the UK to the Syrian rebels, and the threat of US strikes on the positions of Bashar al-Assad's troops. Accordingly, against the background of the current situation in Iraq, the selected material takes on a special meaning.
Summing up, it should be said that, as the new work of A.D. Egorin convincingly proves, the violent "implantation of democracy" turned out to be a catastrophe for the entire region of the Middle East and North Africa. The effects of these "tectonic transformations" will undoubtedly be felt for many years to come. That is why a thorough analysis is especially important for preserving and restoring historical truth.
The book is written in an accessible language and may be of interest to both specialists and a wide range of readers.
E. I. DOROSHENKO, Candidate of Philological Sciences, MIA "Russia Today"
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