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If you are anything like me then you can’t wait to read each new issue of the New York Review of Books. The latest issue, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday, features a review by Fred Halliday of Steve Coll’s book on the bin Laden family.

Now, I have to admit that this book has been sitting on my shelf or, more accurately, in a pile on the floor right above Kenneth Pollack’s Path out of the Desert since I bought it months ago. But now thanks to Halliday’s review, I’m actually looking forward to reading the thing. Of interest to some of us, is the cameo role that both Tariq al-Fadhli and Shaykh ‘Abd al-Majid al-Zindani play in the review – both characters that often show up here at Waq al-waq.

Halliday criticizes Coll in the way only an academic can: in footnotes and about transliterations. My favorite footnote is the one in which he explains, much in the way I picture him holding forth to undergraduates, that one simply cannot have two “d”s in the word mujahidin. Ahh, classic Halliday.


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