Nikki Keddie is a pioneer woman who has a passion for the Middle East. Her is thus motivated by the sheer context of description for the Middle East women that are misunderstood by many societies of the world (Keddie 152). The author’s main argument in her work is to describe the various political, social and economic differences of the Arab women. At the same time, the author is more attached to the different traditions and culture of the type of group. She feels that the set of women have experienced more than they would in their entire lives. Importantly, she explains the circumstances and experiences that have shaped the lives of the women in the Middle East.
The American scholar is driven by the various challenges the women in the Middle East have faced over the years; she feels the need to expose the tribulations of these group of women to the world with the intention to end the particular oppression(Keddie 212). In her opinion, the author thinks that women in the Middle East have long been abused in their backyard. For example, she feels remorse for the fact that Arab men have treated their women with less regard and respect. Again, she is also concerned with the way the world has perceived these group of women based on their societal settings like the Islamic religion and Sharia law.
Islamic movement is the point of reference for the author who uses her knowledge to develop the case of the argument for the tribulations of the Arabic women. The example cited in Keddie’s work includes the radical movements such as the Mirza Aqa Khan Kirmani which continue to undermine Islam with various parts of countries like Iran(Keddie 152). As such, the author attributes the undermining of the Arab women to these kinds of movements.
Keddie’s work is a master piece that has helped to enlighten the world on the realities and challenges faced by women in the Middle East. The ground to present such reasoning develops from the fact that many of the world’s populace tends to assume the universality of the Arabs and Muslim religions within the Middle East. However, her work distinguishes the existence difference of communities and religions like the Sunni sub-tribes which are the main component of the Middle East Society(Keddie 198). Therefore, the documentation by the author is essential for the establishments of the much perceived universal code for the Muslims in the Middle East. In fact, her work links other credible sources that have attempted to understand the political, social and economic aspects of the Arab countries. The again, there is the element of the wrong interpretation of the modern day Islam. The identity of the modern day Islamic culture and religion is mostly perceived to be a forced culture or tradition. These include recent radicalizations within countries in the Middle East in the proclamation and interpretation of the Quran and Sharia laws.
Conclusively, Nikki Keddie’s work ‘Is there the Middle East’ is a provocative journal that has attempted to clarify the underline matters of the communities in the Arab world. The weight of the text underlies in the in-depth discussion on practices and cultures of the Middle East societies which are forced on the Arab women. Her approach to the entire matter is also worth noting given the credible citations used for discussion like historical contexts and development of cultural norms.
Keddie, Nikki R. “Is There a Middle East?.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 4.03 (1973): 255-271.