This account presents the panoramic experience of the Arab peoples, whose world has expanded from the Arabian Peninsula to include North Africa, the Levant, and the Persian Gulf. The narrative depicts the rise of Islam, the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the empire founded by his successors, which encompassed the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Following this empire's fragmentation circa AD 900, Central Asian rulers controlled the Arab world. Ultimately, the age of European dominance produced the modern Middle Eastern and North American states. The author concludes with an analysis of present-day challenges facing the Arab nations.
Kirk H Sowel received his bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Texas at Austin and his Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School. He spent a year studying at the University of Jordan in Amman as a recipient of the National Security Educational Program scholarship. Sowell is a freelance writer on legal and international affairs.