With a wealth of history, the Middle East has been the star of many books.
Countless western researchers and journalists have taken this region under their wings, dedicating their lives to report on events and wars taking place.
Here are just a few book recommendations to give you a head-start on Middle Eastern history.
1. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman (1990)
From Beirut to Jerusalem came as a wake-up call for the world to remember the tragedies happening in the Middle East.
Thomas Friedman wrote down his reflections as a journalist covering the Lebanese civil war and the first Palestinian Intifada for the New York Times.
Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner whose weekly column appears in the NY Times.
2. A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani (1991)
A History of the Arab Peoples provides a panoramic view of 12 centuries of the Arab civilization that is both thorough and predictive.
Albert Hourani was a prominent British Historian born to Lebanese parents who have migrated from Marjayoun, South Lebanon.
His book Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (1962) also delivered a comparative study of the periods between 1798 to 1939.
"This is history in the grand style. It can lead to a better understanding of the Arabs, past and present," L. Carl Brown New York Times Book Review.
3. The Great War for Civilization by Robert Fisk (2005)
The Great War for Civilization is Fisk's masterpiece on his life-long coverage as a correspondent for several media outlets on Middle Eastern affairs since 1976.
Don't let the size of the book intimidate you (1,107 pages,) it is surely worth a read.
Robert Fisk is a best-selling author with more than 10 published books about his perspective of current events in Algeria, Syria, Egypt, and other Arab countries.
4. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin (2009)
A Peace to End All Peace recalls the plans of western allies when they decided to draw new lines, remaking the geography of modern-day Middle East.
David Fromkin explains the choices made and implemented in the region, which are still affecting it till this day.
The late author was a professor at Boston University, celebrated for various non-fiction books such as The King and the Cowboy.
5. Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood by Justin Marozzi (2014)
Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood is a book which takes readers on a journey around the city's most flourished times during the Abbasid Empire.
It sheds light on Baghdad's times of despair, natural disasters, and U.S. invasion. The book illustrates Baghdad's turbulent history between peace and violence.
Justin Marozzi is a travel-historian whose vision was formed upon his work in post-conflict Iraq and extensive travels to the Middle East.
6. All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer (2003)
Stephen Kinzer's knowledge of the Middle East region and western affairs accumulated from his work as New York Times bureau chief in Istanbul, Berlin, and Managua, Nicaragua.
All the Shah's Men provides a western explanation for the USA's entanglement in Iraq, the deep-rooted conflict and anti-America sentiments in the Middle east, a recent look to old events, and how their impact is still present today.
7. Syria - A Decade of Lost Chances: Repression and Revolution from Damascus Spring to Arab Spring by Carsten Weiland (2012)
Syria - A Decade of Lost Chances assesses the performance and personality of President Bashar Al-Assad along with his relationship with Syrians.
This book helps readers understand the current Syrian plight and its roots.
Carsten Wieland is a political consultant and journalist who took interest in the Middle East; focusing on Syrian affairs recently.