PLEDGE NOW
One Reporter's Middle East
Neil MacFarquhar and bodyguards, Marib, Yemen.

Neil MacFarquhar and bodyguards, Marib, Yemen.

New York Times correspondent Neil MacFarquhar grew up on a beach in Libya, son of an American oil engineer, before our age of violent jihad, war, and Middle Eastern turmoil.

He studied Arabic and went back to cover upheaval in the Arab world. But he could never ignore the other side of Arab life — the human, the everyday, the sometimes comical — behind the headlines of terror and tyranny.

In a new book he says Americans need to remember and speak to that humanity.

This hour, On Point: Neil MacFarquhar’s unexpected encounters in a changing Middle East.

Is there another Middle East to call on, draw on, beyond the endless headlines of conflict? Or not? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Neil MacFarquhar joins us from New York. He was Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times from 2001 through 2005 and is now its UN correspondent. He grew up in Libya and covered the region for the Associated Press. His new book is “The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes you a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Changing Middle East.” He’s also the author of a novel, “The Sand Café.”

You can read “The Beachhead,” Chapter 1 of MacFarquhar’s new book, at his website.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 10, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waves to the crowd before speaking during a primary night watch party at Concord High School, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The winners and losers in New Hampshire, and the path ahead in the presidential primary race.

Feb 10, 2016
In this Feb. 1, 2016 photo, a technician from the British biotec company Oxitec, inspects the pupae of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a vector for transmitting the Zika virus, in Campinas, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Taking on the Zika virus, from tackling the disease itself, to killing the mosquitoes that carry it to the challenge of birth control.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

 
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment