Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels among the Youth of the Middle East

By Jared Cohen
Read by Jason Collins

9.63 Hours 09/01/2007 unabridged
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Defying foreign government orders and interviewing terrorists face-to-face, a young American tours hostile lands to learn about Middle Eastern youth—and uncovers a subculture that defies every stereotype. Classrooms were never sufficient for Jared Cohen; he wanted to learn about global affairs by witnessing them firsthand. While studying on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, he took a crash course in Arabic, read voraciously on the history and culture of the Middle East, and in 2004 he embarked on the first of a series of incredible journeys to the Middle East. In an effort to try to understand the spread of radical Islamist violence, he focused his research on Muslim youth. The result is Children of Jihad, a portrait of paradox that probes much deeper than any journalist or pundit ever could. Written with candor and featuring dozens of eye-opening anecdotes, Cohen’s account begins in Lebanon, where he interviews Hezbollah members at, of all places, a McDonald’s. In Iran, he defies government threats and sneaks into underground parties, where bootleg liquor, Western music, and the Internet are all easy to access. His risky itinerary also takes him to a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, borderlands in Syria, the insurgency hotbed of Mosul, and other frontline locales. At each turn, he observes a culture at an uncanny crossroads: Bedouin shepherds with satellite dishes to provide Western TV shows, young women wearing garish makeup despite religious mandates, teenagers sending secret text messages and arranging illicit trysts. Gripping and daring, Children of Jihad shows us the future through the eyes of those who are shaping it.

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Summary

Summary

Defying foreign government orders and interviewing terrorists face-to-face, a young American tours hostile lands to learn about Middle Eastern youth—and uncovers a subculture that defies every stereotype.

Classrooms were never sufficient for Jared Cohen; he wanted to learn about global affairs by witnessing them firsthand. While studying on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, he took a crash course in Arabic, read voraciously on the history and culture of the Middle East, and in 2004 he embarked on the first of a series of incredible journeys to the Middle East. In an effort to try to understand the spread of radical Islamist violence, he focused his research on Muslim youth. The result is Children of Jihad, a portrait of paradox that probes much deeper than any journalist or pundit ever could.

Written with candor and featuring dozens of eye-opening anecdotes, Cohen’s account begins in Lebanon, where he interviews Hezbollah members at, of all places, a McDonald’s. In Iran, he defies government threats and sneaks into underground parties, where bootleg liquor, Western music, and the Internet are all easy to access. His risky itinerary also takes him to a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, borderlands in Syria, the insurgency hotbed of Mosul, and other frontline locales. At each turn, he observes a culture at an uncanny crossroads: Bedouin shepherds with satellite dishes to provide Western TV shows, young women wearing garish makeup despite religious mandates, teenagers sending secret text messages and arranging illicit trysts. Gripping and daring, Children of Jihad shows us the future through the eyes of those who are shaping it.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“This young gutsy writer knows that the East-West struggle is being fought over the café tables of the Near and Middle East. Do the youth of the Islamic world dream of an engineering degree from Michigan State or a martyr’s death? This young American has had the moxie to sit and listen for hours at those tables. In the words of the poet, Jared Cohen has taken the road ‘less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.’” Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball and NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show. 
“Cohen’s chronicle is fine fieldwork for students of the Middle East.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jared Cohen

Jared Cohen joined the U.S. Department of State after completing this book. A Stanford graduate (2004), Oxford graduate (2006), and Rhodes scholar, he has conducted extensive research in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. He has also traveled to Afghanistan, as well as 21 African countries. He has worked in the public and private sectors and appeared in the media, including ABC Radio and the Discovery Channel. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 9.63
Audience: Adult
Language: English