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Engaging the Arab and Islamic Worlds Through Public Diplomacy Paperback – December 13, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: The Public Diplomacy Council (December 13, 2004)
  • ISBN-10: 0976439107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976439103
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,070,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Rugh, who holds a PhD in political science, is the author of "Arab Mass Media" and many articles on Middle Eastern subjects. He was a U.S. Foreign Service officer for 30 years, and during that time he served at embassies in six Arab countries, including as American Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (1992-95) and Ambassador to Yemen (1984-87). During his career he held several public diplomacy positions, including Area Director for Near East and South Asia (1989-92), and PAO in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Between 1995 and 2003 he was President of AMIDEAST, an American non-profit organization.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Newton on July 21, 2005
Perhaps no aspect of American diplomacy has received more attention in the period since 9/11 than public diplomacy, conducted by the Department of State since the 1999 demise of the U.S. Information Agency. There is widespread agreement that the state of our public diplomacy is seriously inadequate in all respects. The congressionally created Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World, chaired by retired Ambassador Edward Djerejian, issued a scathing critique, including detailed recommendations, in October 2003. Like the 9/11 Commission, the study called for significantly greater funding, but also recommended structural changes and greatly increased, trained human resources.

Now another group of public diplomacy experts, comprised largely

of retired USIA officers, has joined the debate. The Public Diplomacy Council, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 and with close ties to the USIA Alumni Association, adds in this report a professional analysis of the means to conduct successful public diplomacy and an action plan to implement such a program. The study is edited by former ambassador and USIA officer Dr. William A. Rugh, who has written extensively on the subject.

Leading off the six-part report, Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat

Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, sets the political stage, noting, as have others,

the collapse of Arab trust in the United States, particularly in the first term of President George W. Bush. He identifies the Arab-Israeli issue as the "prism of pain" through which Arab audiences judge the United States, even though the region has many other problems. He makes the telling point that much resentment aimed at the U.S. is based on the perception that the U.S.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Retired Diplomat on January 24, 2005
At long last there is a book by public diplomacy practicioners and Middle East experts who really understand how and why the United States must engage with the Arab and Islamic worlds. Ambassador Rugh, the editor, and 10 essayists, most of whom have lived and worked in the region and who have a first person understanding of the importance of public diplomacy, have produced a first rate book that any student of the either the Arab and Islamic worlds or of public diplomacy/strategic communication would find invaluable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Washington Reader on March 1, 2005
The personal touch

By Sol Schindler


Edited by William A. Rugh, Public Diplomacy Council, $19.95, 181 pages.

Public diplomacy is the new phrase designating what used to be called international information and cultural affairs - that is, a country's efforts to persuade the people of other countries through mass media and other channels of its friendly, worthwhile intentions.

This collection of essays, edited by William A. Rugh - author of the book "Arab Mass Media" and former ambassador to Yemen, and later the United Arab Emirates - attempts an examination of our efforts in the Muslim world pointing out how we could do better. The title of the book, "Engaging the Arab & Islamic Worlds Through Public Diplomacy," encapsulates the book's thesis by the use of the word engaging. It is not enough to reach somebody, to deliver a message or, even worse, to send a signal. It is necessary to engage him in a mutual endeavor where through both intellectual and emotional exchange, true understandings can be reached.

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Kenton Keith, also a distinguished former ambassador, in his contribution emphasizes this point. He states "the reality [is] that the most effective public diplomacy tool has always been one that engaged Americans personally with citizens of a particular country.
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