Kanan Makiya

Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, Brandeis University

Kanan Makiya is the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University.

Born in Baghdad, he left Iraq to study architecture at M.I.T, later joining Makiya Associates to design and build projects in the Middle East. In 1981, he left the practice of architecture and began to write a book about Iraq. Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq (1989), became a best-seller after Saddam Husain's invasion of Kuwait.

Makiya's next book, The Monument (1991), is an essay on the aesthetics of power and kitsch. Both Republic of Fear and The Monument were written under the pseudonym, Samir al-Khalil. Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World (1993), was published under Makiya's own name. It was awarded The Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book on international relations published in English in 1993. In 2000 he published The Rock: A Seventh-Century Tale of Jerusalem, a work of historical fiction that tells the story of the building of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

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