Davis, Diana K (Editor), Burke III, Edmund (Editor)
The landscapes of the Middle East have captured our imaginations throughout history. Endless images of shifting golden dunes, camel caravans, isolated desert oases, and rivers lined with palm trees have often framed the written and visual representations of the region. Embedded in these portrayals is the ubiquitous belief that the environment, in most places, has been deforested and desertified by centuries of misuse. It is precisely such orientalist environmental imaginaries, increasingly undermined by contemporary ecological data, that the contributors in this volume dispute. This is the first volume to critically examine culturally constructed views of the environmental history of the Middle East and show that they have most often benefited elites at the expense of the ecologies and the peoples of the region."