What do I consider the Middle East?
The Middle East is a nebulous term with each person defining it in a different way (it's also a very Euro-centric term so please forgive me for that). However I am going to use it for lack of a better way to define the area covered by this reading challenge. So, what is the Middle East? Traditionally it included only the "middle eastern" countries in Asia plus Egypt. Some define it as countries with Arabic as the dominant language, while others say it is all Islamic countries. For the purposes of this challenge I am going to stick with the more traditional/geographic approach including the countries around the Arabian peninsula.
I struggled about what to do with Turkey and have chosen to leave it out as they currently choose to be associated more with Europe. Likewise, I am not including the "stan" countries as they are culturally, linguistically, and ethnically different (and, officially, they are in Central Asia).
What books qualify for this reading challenge?
The author of the book may be from the countries listed below or the book can be set in one of the countries included in this challenge. The book could be about Islam. Fiction, non-fiction, YA and Adult lit, graphic novels, audio books, books for other challenge... they all count.
There are no levels for this challenge, my hope is that we'll each read whatever number works for us, learning to appreciate and understand the Middle East more along the way.
What are the dates of the challenge?
The challenge will run January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
How do I sign up to participate?
Write an introductory post about what you hope to get out of this challenge, or why you are signing up, or what you know/feel about the Middle East, or something that relates to this challenge. If you want to list books you are going to read you may, but you certainly don't have to. Please include a link back to this post so that others who are interested can find it.