The Middle East is an inadequate word for a broad,undefined, and beautiful stretch of the world. It is the home of the world’s oldest civilizations, the birthplace of at least three of humanity’s great religions, and the crossroads of old and new empires. Despite this rich history, one which has and continues to shape our lives, the Middle East remains one of the most misunderstood regions of the globe. I don’t assert to know everything about this diverse and complicated region of the world, but I have made it a mission to learn as much as I can and to share this knowledge with those who are willing to listen. I hope that my notes will provide some food for thought, and perhaps a bit of insight into a world that we all should know a little more about. While I have a particular interest in the Arab world, I may also delve into topics involving the Broader Middle East and North Africa region, Islamic culture and religious thought, inter-faith dialogue, Muslim Americans, and international politics and development.