The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World

Joseph Braude. Random/Spiegel & Grau, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-385-52703-3
Journalist Braude (The New Iraq), an American of Iraqi Jewish origin, spent four months in Morocco embedded with a police precinct in Casablanca whose detectives infiltrate drug cartels, break up al-Qaeda cells, and pursue a variety of more routine criminals. Befriending an unemployed Muslim Berber named Muhammad Bari, the author investigates the brutal murder of Bari's best friend—a rural migrant killed in the warehouse where he spent his nights. Following the case with Bari—and suspecting the police of duplicity —Braude begins an investigation that takes him through the gamut of Moroccan society: Berber farming communities; wealthy, cosmopolitan Jewish neighborhoods; tin-roofed shantytowns; drab housing projects; bustling cafés, mosques and synagogues. A scholarly and perceptive observer, Braude intersperses the cloak-and-dagger narrative of the murder mystery with digressions on Morocco's history, geopolitics, and culture; the country's rich Jewish heritage; the role that magic, sorcery, and dream interpretation play in Moroccan society. This lyrical and engrossing book puts a human face on this "moderate, constructive player" in the politics of the Middle East, giving readers a firsthand glimpse of its glittering religious, intellectual, cultural history—and its future. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Open Ebook - 211 pages - 978-0-679-60432-7
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-921942-03-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-93989-0
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